Justice For All Session 1 – The End is the Beginning

We return, listeners, to the Isle of Night, home of the Umbra, and the secrets of the world.

Several months have passed since the shipwreck of the Duquetimme and the subsequent showdown with Bazzi. Three of the “elski” sailors — Christian, Edouard, and Yeager — have chosen to stay and live in the village of Nachsun. They seek knowledge, freedom, and rest.

As we enter the scene, word is spreading of a hunting party gathering to trace the trail of a human, one left over from Bazzi’s landing party.

The trail will lead them deep into the Isle of Night, and begin a journey to uncover secrets buried deep in the dark.


  • Charlie – Roland. An apprentice of Niklas and student of Christian.  Lives in LeJeune’s Home, but is looking to move out.
  • James – Edouard  Fasson. Doctor, cook, etc. Decided to stay on the island following a shipwreck and encounter with the natives.
  • Mandaz – Uszhi. Vicious yet disciplined apprentice to Niklas. Her actions hurt more than her words.
  • Matt – Mesik.  Fisherman’s son with the troubled past.  Lives in LeJeune’s Home for Displaced Umbra.
  • Sam – Niklas. Resident Umbra badass. Hunter and master to Uszhi.
  • Zach – Marshall Yaeger. Scout and marksman. Decided to stay on this island following a shipwreck and encounter with the natives.


  1. This was an exciting session I tought. It made me eager to hear the next part as well as look forward to having a look at the game even more then I already was.
    It will be interesting to see how this will progress with such a varied group of characters. I mean in most of your games there is a theme to the group in a way, but this one seems quite a bit more scattered. Differant ages, social group, skillsets, and even races. Did this present any challanges? Judgeing from this first game it seemed that the group was split up a large part of the time but then again that seems to happen quite often in your games.
    How much scenario specific things have been written up ahead of time? Would it be a rough timeline of events or more of a smorgasbord of things that could or could not be encountered, or would there be somthing completely differant?
    I myself tend to go more for the smorgasbord likeness when I write, though some of the events may be linked in a specific chronological order. I cant really say how well it would work in a real game though as it has been a long time since I actually ran or even played in a game.
    I tried to run something last year but it didnt pan out since none of the players seemed that much into the whole thing. It was to be a bit of an experiment in a more free game style. I was to set up a world and a starting situations then let the players loose in my creation to see what would happen.
    Anyway now I am writing too much.
    Thank you.

    1. It’s totally fine! Write as much as you like, I appreciate the questions and comments.

      I’m glad to hear you’re even more interested in SD! Justice For All was run a bit after the more extreme playtests of Sordid Dystopia. About in the middle of this campaign, the game is mechanically as complete as it currently stands. The only things that have been tweaked since then have been details of the world, histories, and the like. So, the things you’ll hear in this campaign are reliably close to what the game is going to look like in the end.

      Balance wise, it would’ve been weird if Edouard and Yaeger weren’t already experienced characters. Humans are generally outclassed by the Umbra, for reasons you’ll learn over the course of this campaign. That being said, Edouard and Yaeger were already experienced coming into this, so they managed to compete just fine. As far as age groups go . . . well, this campaign goes in a very interesting direction because of that, skipping between the societal and relationship issues between the adult characters and the childish adventures of the kids living at the orphanage, both inter-mingling when the main conflict of Justice For All starts to become more and more prevalent.

      That being said, Justice For All, as was originally written, was not a good scenario. At least, I don’t think so anyhow. When I realized, at the whereabouts of the middle of session 2 I think, that I’d been deviating from everything I wrote, I opted to throw out everything I’d written and kept only the details of NPCs, their motivations, and the big bad’s goal. Ultimately, it started off as something meant to have a set timeline of events, but became a smorgasbord instead. It was for the better.

      The main issue, of course, was the player characters, and I do not mean that in a bad way. Justice For All was written for human PCs, and I tried to adjust it as written to work with Umbral PCs. That didn’t work so well, so I threw the scenario out. For all intents and purposes, though, this is meant to be an add-on to the Ship of Fools campaign. A different set of antagonizing forces, just in case the main antagonizing force is dealt with early, joined with, or etc. It’s basically an optional scenario for the sailors to have to deal with.

      As far as “smorgasbord vs timeline” writing goes, I also tend to write that way. I honestly find that it fits my GMing style much better. I have a hard time sticking to a scene by scene module, and even wind up deviating from them in other games’ prefabs all the time. So, when I write, even if there is a time-line, it tends to also just contain a mish-mash of other things the GM can do. Take, for instance, “The Ship Meet” in Ship of Fools. There is a set timeline. First, the ships board one another. Then, a party. Then, at the end, someone gets into a fight and it’s negotiation or fists time. Rather than going scene by scene, I wrote it to have these three specific events, between which just about anything the GM wants to do with all these other details can happen.

      1. I cant wait to read SD. I havent been able to play any game in ages but I have kept collecting and reading them. In the games I like I tend to make characters, sometimes on paper otherwise just in my mind. That usually involves quite alot of research as most of the time I want to figure out how something specific would influence a person. Then I kind of device scenarios or situations in which I try to figure out how that made up person would react. Anyway this all means that I cant wait to start makeing characters and do a bit of soloplay in your world.

        What do you think about balance then? Is it something you strive for often? I am wondering because I myself tend to often make flawed characters as I find them alot more interesting to play. Like the recent MaoCT character I made,actually the one I kind of play along with the Frieda´s setting with. She only has a feet stat of 1 because of a spinal defect which require her to use leg braces and cruches. It is the flaws that makes people interesting to me. Flawed and strange are what I do, even if the characters are good at something it is always balanced by flaws.

        Do you have any especially memorable characters?

        I am actually writing a couple of scenarios right now, both in a way horror based. If you ever feel like bouncing ideas or something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.