Two weeks ago we saw the season finale for National Treasure: Edge of History. It came at a busy time for me, just before consecutive weeks with a professional conference and a gaming convention. Now that those have passed, however, I've decided to share my thoughts on the series.
Thoughts on Season 1 of National Treasure: Edge of History
- First and foremost, I enjoyed this show.
- Yes, it had a lot of early-twenty-something relationship drama. I remember what it was like to be in my early twenties, however, and there was certainly relationship drama happening in my life. We should remember, though that, if relationship drama is an element that the players want to explore, then the GM should let them do so.
- I like how the series used Agent Sadusky in Episode 1 to introduce the main plot elements. This connected it to the two movies, while giving it some room to follow its own path.
- In Episode 2 we find our young protagonists in over their heads, with one of their number captured. I like how that takes talented, but inexperienced, characters and throws them into the action.
- The scene at Graceland in Episode 3, with Liam playing guitar and singing, is a great example of how the GM should let the players be creative. You want to distract everyone with a song? Give me a Performance check!
- Episode 4 introduce a couple of plot elements that expand the possibilities for the setting, with Sadusky's treasure room--awesome--and the "board of directors for a mysterious organization. That is good campaign planning!
- The action at the Governor's ball in Episode 5 reminds me of times when the GM lets the players take the ball and run with it, which has allowed for interesting character development and created some memorable moments.
- Episode 6, then, puts Jess into a position where she is separated from her friends, and needs to work with her enemy. This would be hard to do in an RPG session, but is certainly intriguing.
- In Episode 7 we have a great moment that mirrors the movies. While Ben Gates made such dramatic statements as "I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence" and "I'm going to kidnap the president," Jess is given her own such moment.
- I am reminded that in Episode 8 we see more of the NPC, Agent Ross, who both helps and hinders the heroes. That seems like just the kind of element a GM would want to add to a campaign.
- Episode 9, as the session before the finale, does just what it should. There are discoveries and revelations, important decisions and betrayals. It sets up the finale, of course.
- Finally, Episode 10 is the finale. It provides some closure, while leaving open other plot hooks. This reminds of many RPG campaign finales, which are often a mixed bag. Sometimes they are epic and resolve all of the story, while at other times they leave me wanting more. The latter is the case here, where I want to see what more lies ahead for these characters.
If I were running this as a Treasure Hunter Adventures campaign, then I think I would award four Advances throughout these adventures. One comes after the finale, of course, when the heroes become Seasoned characters; the others would happen after Episodes 3, 5 and 7.