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RPR Archive The Think-Tank: NSWRPF Flagship Planning and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Kalio_Dynkos, Mar 16, 2008.

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  1. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Why? I'm not seeing three worlds when one could serve just as well. Some sort of created wasteland isolated either naturally or artificially works just as fine for your last area. The setting itself determines what exactly caused it (zombie virus, nuclear weapons, magical blight, climate catastrophe, island floating too high above the clouds to be adequately sheltered), but isolation and a lack of resources will lead to things such as abandoned stuff, banditry, cannibalism, tech cobbled together from whatever's at hand, people doing strange things, people trying to secure their own settlements, people trying to escape but failing to cross whatever the particular barrier is, etc. You don't need a completely new world, you just need an absolutely terrible place to live, a reason for people to be there, and a reason why those people can't leave easily or be rescued easily.
  2. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    That's where the time travel can come into play. Each time period goes on through their own stories, but sometime during the game, and people from the postapocalyptic fiction travel back in time to the other periods to prevent something that has happened in their own time line. Sure, it's been done before, but I'm fascinated by this type of stuff.
  3. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Except one man's time travel means another man's game never exists and a third gets eaten by clockroaches. This is an example of why you can't please everyone, so it's better to get a central idea and work off of that.
  4. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Holy crap, they put all my scribblings in here? ;)

    Having thought about it all a bit more, three things do spring to mind:

    (1) As I've said before, I really think it is better to focus on working out the overarching "universe" first -- whether it's a Nexus, or one world with different time periods. I think it's a little cart-before-horse to go into asking about the darkness of relative worlds if we don't know where those worlds are. This is linking into Light's comment about how you need a solid vision in place before you start working up the minutiae. It's just a cautionary note. And I might also ask: whose vision is this? Who is putting themselves forward as the overall GM of the game -- because it's going to need that, and then sub-GMs for different worlds/time periods. I say that because the shoals of "doing the plumbing on the Titanic" are fast approaching, and someone needs to step up and say "Right, I volunteer to run the whole thing" -- knowing and accepting all that entails -- and then organise the discussion along those lines.

    And no, I'm not volunteering, because a NSWRPG + Union job + young baby = too many commitments to take on something of this magnitude. Sorry. :D

    (2) I've changed my mind (Spectator: yeah, cause the one you had was working so well!) on whether fantasy should be included in the list of genres. I'm actually against it now, and I'll offer this justification: how is it going to be so distinct from D&D that makes it both (a) playable and (b) not come across as D&D with a different coat of paint. Admittedly this is because I watched LSA's "Grand Unified RPG" sink with a lot of sadness, and I've yet to see a homebrew fantasy world RPG take off here -- mostly because IMHHO D&D and LOTR just cover the field, and everything else just feels like imitation. Actually, D&D doesn't cover the field -- it carpet bombs it. Hell, LOTR had worg riders in it for no other reason (as far as I can see) other than to provide a "random encounter" on the way to Helm's Deep ;) Anyway, you probably get my point; fantasy is that close to cliché I don't think you'd be able to put together a credible setting without referencing D&D or something like it. Also, for reasons partially connected to point (3) below, the idea of a fantasy world with elves and dwarves and suchlike connected with other purely or mostly-human worlds does jar a bit. They don't match up.

    (3) I'm intrigued by the idea of "time gates" rather than a Nexus, to be honest, though it'd be one wild and woolly exercise to see how a Steampunk world historically leads into the modern world and into a western world (to take some examples.) It is a way of doing it all on one world, though, bar the fantasy option. I do like it ... maybe as much as, if not more than, the Nexus idea. :D
  5. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    Clockroaches?

    EDIT:

    Yeah, it would be difficult to play in multiple time periods. But I believe a system could be worked out. If you take Lost's view on time travel, there is no paradoxes, you cannot change the future. If you go back and change something about the past (i.e. stop someone from dying) fate "course-corrects" itself so that that person dies some other way.

    But if we did go this route (course-correcting) that would discredit my idea of the storyline of going into the past to try and prevent something from happening.
  6. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I hereby nominate LightWarden for coolest time travel concept of the week. Beats the hell out of the weird time eaters in some of Stephen King's novels, let me assure you.
  7. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Clockroaches

    Anyways, I'm opposed to time travel on the grounds that it's a shared universe, thus if someone does something weird in the past, everyone else in the game has to deal with it. This is fine and nifty if it's your own personal game, but if you're running a setting, it's a pain to have to figure out just what the hell got nuked by that decision (Hello DC Comics!).

    And if you're just going to have people eaten by clockroaches when they go time traveling, why the hell do you have it as an option to begin with?
  8. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I think that would actually pose a cool challenge to roleplayers. To make them react to something that happens in the past timeline. But I could see the problems it could cause.
  9. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    No, actually it's a complete and total editorial nightmare as you keep backtracking and trying to run damage control, at least when you're on a large scale game. If you've got a smaller game and you start screwing with yourselves, you may be better off, but otherwise stick to the present and move forward.

    Anyways, regarding fantasy, it doesn't mean you necessarily have to run it like the Forgotten Realms or Middle Earth, if you have a particularly interesting setting that's different enough (for example, contrast Eberron, Iron Heroes, Spelljammer, Planescape and the 4th edition setting with Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft). You can certainly mix things up, for instance take 17th century Caribbean with a variety of different nations competing and trading and warring and politicking while pirates run amok and generally try to profit, then throw magic and fantasy races, kick everyone up into airships on some sort of magical Aetherwind, and set sail for exploration, adventure, action, intrigue and other such things. Think Sid Meier's Pirates! plus Skies of Arcadia with plenty of Alexandre Dumas. And don't forget the flying whales. Anyways, you have fantasy, but it's certainly not Tolkein.
  10. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    A compromise course, perhaps (if we're running with the time travel option) made up of these propositions:

    (1) The T3 option: "You didn't stop Judgment Day - only postponed it. Judgment Day Is Inevitable." Certain large-scale events (such as those which lead to the creation of some genres, like the nuclear holocaust that creates the postapocalyptic world) are mandated by God/Buddha/Peewee Herman and can't be stopped -- at best, only postponed by a couple of years. The GM can fulfil this function. Time travellers know/are quickly made aware of this fact. Persistent offenders who try to knowingly alter (or succeed it altering) world-changing events are subject to elimination by the (GM) clockroaches (thus creating the "stick" to keep people from trying something like that.) Again, the very name clockroaches is cool and should be kept. :D

    (2) Nonetheless it is possible to alter some future events -- but only for time travellers, since an act committed by a 'native' to that time period is part of the natural course of history. Acts by characters in their native time periods should not alter overall history. Time travellers can alter some threads of future events -- for example, whether the Church uses white or black robes, things like that -- or save their own family from extinction if it's an ancestor of theirs under threat. Time travellers go back accepting the risk that they may cause themselves to cease to exist if they shoot their grandfather or some suchlike.

    EDIT: Admittedly that borrows a bit from the "time as a river" concept of the Dragonlance novels. For those who don't know them, the idea there was that time isn't a pond where if you toss a rock in you send ripples out across the entire pond. Time instead functions more like a river -- you can throw a rock in a river, and it might cause a couple of ripples for a while, but those ripples are lost in the overall course of the river. Of course, Raistlin of those novels represented a boulder large enough to change the river's course -- but that's where the clockroaches and "Judgement Day Is Inevitable" comes into it, to stop that type of godmoding.

    EDIT THE SECOND:
    Anyways, regarding fantasy, it doesn't mean you necessarily have to run it like the Forgotten Realms or Middle Earth, if you have a particularly interesting setting that's different enough (for example, contrast Eberron, Iron Heroes, Spelljammer, Planescape and the 4th edition setting with Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft). You can certainly mix things up, for instance take 17th century Caribbean with a variety of different nations competing and trading and warring and politicking while pirates run amok and generally try to profit, then throw magic and fantasy races, kick everyone up into airships on some sort of magical Aetherwind, and set sail for exploration, adventure, action, intrigue and other such things. Think Sid Meier's Pirates! plus Skies of Arcadia with plenty of Alexandre Dumas. And don't forget the flying whales. Anyways, you have fantasy, but it's certainly not Tolkein.

    *chews inside of lip* Hmmm. And it fits in as an earlier version of the steampunk airships thing, too.
  11. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    There would certainly be limitations on what could be changed and the magnitude of the changes. A major plot point though, could invole an event changing the course of history causing a new timeline, making the RP branch off into a new thread.

    It may be too complicated and it's probably too early to think about stuff like that, but I have just been thinking of a concept like this ever since I saw "The Constant" episode of Lost.
  12. Yuul_Shamar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2004
    star 4
    Question....

    What the heck is steampunk?
  13. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yuul - steampunk

    I agree that we need someone to be the head GM and run the whole thing - because in essence (IMHO) the reason why games succeed or don't is down to the GM's vision ... and we're getting to the point where said head GM has to decide that the game is going to be such-and-such. I always felt that without LSA, IBOP would have sunk completely, talented sub-GMs or no. (And it's not going to be me, either, I just like throwing ideas out there and watching the fireworks.)


    Time travel... ehh. I'm a bit iffy because then everyone has to either come up with a semi-plausible reason for their character to be a time-traveller, or be stuck in their home time period forever. With the Nexus/multiple-worlds idea (not many worlds in the same system - many worlds linked by some quasi-mystical gateway), shifting between worlds is easy. It also allows the worlds to wage war on one another, which ... well, I think it would be more difficult to explain in time travel without mucking up everything.

    The mental image I got of the Nexus was this - you have many worlds that evolved in 'parallel', sort of, except their paths diverged sometime in history. One world had magic -> they harnessed it and built their civilization (fantasy). One world didn't -> they came up with technology (modern). One world had magic, but built technology anyway -> this would be steampunk-ish. And so on. The world (Nexus) that evolved as the 'gateway' between all these worlds could have been, at some point, a world like any other except they discovered a way to travel between worlds, which could explain why all between-world travel has to go through the Nexus.

    I don't think Romance should be a world because frankly it's a theme, not a world... perhaps "each genre is a world" is a bit misleading. It's more like, each world has a different setting.
  14. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Wow! This took off today.

    Thanks Sephy for bring over all that information from other thread and all you guys for doing all that work.

    However, I've got to say, I think we've taken 5 steps forward and 3 steps back. I'm going to finish reading, finish my notes and probably post something tomorrow. Love the enthusiam. I've some first impressions, particularly about the number of worlds and the time-travel deals, but I'll reserve comments until I've read the rest. I think there is some nice ideas here.

  15. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    In my frank opinion, Time travel sucks. Time travel, like Amnesia, is a story telling device used by aspiring writers and video games and works well when one person controls the entire universe and all the characters with in. Otherwise, you're going to destroy the game before it even gets off the ground.

    But, unlike Lightwarden (I think, as I'm not sure exactly where he stands on this issue), Having all of the places on one earth is asking for trouble as well. Either you're going to get earth, or you'll wind up with some cut and paste Teh Awsum n00b Game FTW!!! Which we have all seen in one form or another over the past few years.

    So far, I think the Nexus is our best idea. We can start out slow, people choosing which Genre is right for them and start them off in it. After a while of playing in one Genre we'll open up a new story arch, including the Church/Government/Council of Mages and a secret portal to the unknown. A little investigation time (Where does it go, what comes through it, blah blah blah) then we can start sending people through the Nexus if they so with. Or, before you start sending them through use the Nexus to progress story (Something on the other side causing interference/ Diminishing Powers/ the Monsters-Mutants are afraid of it.). Let imaginations run wild with what it is and what it could be for, then send them through it. Let them meet each other in the controlled world of the Nexus, maybe some of them fall for someone from a different world/dimension. While our heroes are gone, all the worlds start to go to hell, and blame the person on the other side of the portal. War, fights, truces, Alliances, etc. What ever you want to do, but as you can see, the Nexus opens up possibilities the other options don't, you just have to imagine them.
  16. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    *stares at Kalio*

    You...little...idea...stealer....

    *eye twitch*

    *sighs* Oh well. I suppose I'll just have to help out. :p

    As you can see, Sephy posted some information from our discussion at a site called Dreamwrights. I'm a little tired at the moment, so I'll contribute more later.
  17. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    HAHAHAHAHA!

    You know, if you've read our ruminations and what we discussed before, I find it completely uncanny what we have in common. I mean, I came up with my idea, it was expounded on by smarter people and then we find out all kinds of people already have it going on.

    However, I'd like to organize this discussion, because this has gotten way out of hand. I just read down the thread and we changed topic, I don't know, almost every other post.

    To quote a wise man, "Ok, now I'm confused and we all need to get on the same page. Unfortunately I have no idea what anyone is talking about now so someone try and explain if you would." - Darth_Vaders_Cousin.

    Let's take a breath, step back, take another breath and follow one idea through to completion. Three or four topics at once is not only madness, we're actually not getting anywhere. It'll take weeks and we'll still be discussing mechanics. The funny thing, we've already covered these things and we're all at different stags of this development. I'm liking some of these ideas, but wow.

    Therefore, let's get together an agenda, cover it and we can continue. Otherwise, as has already happened with conversations spilling over all willy-nilly, we've got some players way ahead on another idea, another holding onto the first one, another player talking about time travel and a good handful goin', "huh?"

    Actually, for the purpose of making this look better, I'm going to stop here and work on a second post. It may be a double-post, so I apologize in advance.

    In said post, I'm listing our agenda and a couple options/ideas/comments. It'd be nice if we all at least were on the same page. It's coming in a few minutes.
  18. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    Yes, it is quite amusing Kalio...But this is still my Baby. *brandishes scythe* :p

    Well, agenda I see. This is the list of things I have in a "To-Do list" among this discussion.

    Oh and BTW...PLEASE NO TIME TRAVEL!!! God, I hate time traveling ideas.

    Travel Guidelines - Need to Make Something Concrete

    Money System (As I had discussed about the idea of a bank system and what not)

    Shop System (I feel it would make things more fun and challenging in a way and gives some players to get better weapons and upgrades, etc.)

    Not sure if this has been discussed, too much to wade through, but...War System. The Genre Worlds should have the ability to create tension with each other down the road and possibly wage war on the other. A highly intriguing concept IMO.

    Edit: This may be a shameless plug, but it's for the sake of the discussion. If things are getting too cluttered up, as one thread on this was wont to be. I nominate those interested to head to Dreamwrights (PM for link if we agree on this as it shouldn't be put on here, don't want it to be mistaken for advertising!) where I have multiple threads up for the separate pieces of the game.
  19. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    Agreed, time travel is better for its own separate game, not this.
  20. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    Not to take anything away from you Elu old chap, but we all need to stay in one thread here on the forums so we can all stay on the same page...literally the same page.

    So First things first right, no use putting the buggy before the horse as they say. KD I don't know what you are thinking, but I think the first thing we have to do is nail down the Mechanics.

    So what will it be folks, A Nexus of intertwined Dimensions, Time Travel, Three-in-One World...discuss.
  21. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    I tend to agree, concerning time travel. This game will be confusing enough, without that element.
  22. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    I am fine with staying on TFN for the discussion, DVC. But I'm unsure of one thread baring all of this. This is too much, IMHO, for one thread to bare. It'll actually be harder to be on one page with the RPG in just this thread.
  23. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Once the types of games are thought out here, I will allow individual threads for their planning, if the people here feel that is necessary. :)

    To get the best out of this thread, keep the conversation focused and methodological. Jumping around from X topic to Y topic will make things confusing here, yes.

    -I_H
  24. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    Ok, that's good. And good advice. Main Storyline and How Things All Connect (more than just a nexus) is what needs to be decided on first.
  25. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Dear friends, and Elu :p ,

    If we're going to succeed I feel we need to be on the same page and discussing the same idea. It seems, principally, that we're all working on different projects here. The Nexus, the single planet, the multi-planet, time travel, genres....wow.....wow!

    So, let's clean house. Snap up, clean up and get down to business. This agenda will be our guide and I'd like to see us follow this. I'm not against us going back to a point, within in reason. So, let's look at this agenda and start following it.

    We can cover the first two, I think easily enough at the same time. But, first, the agenda. Please read my explanation. It'll make more sense when we get going.

    1. List of Think-Tankers
    2. Interested Parties for Flag-Master
    3. Appoint Flag-master
    4. Worlds vs. One World & Nexus vs. Time Travel
    5. RPF Poll conducted
    6. Appoint Co-Gms
    7. Finalize game mechanics/rules/first posts
    8. Late Items
    --------------------------------------------------------

    1. List of Interested Parties
    Briefly, this list is for two reasons. First, I think it's good for us to see who is involved in our process thus far. Second, we're melding two massive ideas into one idea that is going to work and a lot of people that have differing views. Out of our list of Think-Tankers, when we come to the close of our discussion on a particular topic, we'll conduct a PM-style majority vote process over 24-hours.

    I see the list as follows. If I've missed you, please feel free to put your name in a list. I'll have I_H post it up in the first post and we can use that as our list of available voters. Argue your points, discussion, etc. and then I'll set up the 24-hour voting. That decided and all of us understanding where we are, we'll move on to the next point. This way, we can mow through things without side-stepping ourselves.

    Saintheart
    Kalio_Dynkos
    darth-nemisis
    Darth_Vaders_Cousin
    Darth_Elu
    DarthXan318
    Lightwarden
    Yuul_Shamar
    Hammurabi
    MASTERPRENN
    SephyCloneNo15
    Jango_10


    2. Interested Parties for the Flag-Master position
    Under the terminology we've already decided on for the Flagship NSWRPF, the Flag-master is the overall Gamemaster, followed by his Co-Gms (faction/world controllers), and their assistants, Sub-Gms. Their duites are laid out in the first post.

    It's necessary for this to work that we have a flag-master appointed now to head up the rest of the project. They're the driving force behind the overall game after we get started and will keep things working. Right now, their vision and leadership should be apparent and is entirely necessary. As DarthXan318 has said, "That's why the GM of each thread is the thread author. They should be in charge from the start."

    EDIT: I'd like to announce that I'm interested in being Flag-master
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