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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. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    That's it, too... I think the factions idea is a bit done to death. Having worlds as opposed to factions is something that (AFAIK) hasn't been done before, or at least not done as much.
  2. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    Wasn't IBoP a bunch of different threads?

    Here's another Idea that just came to me. OK, you have these three worlds, and you have the Nexus. So how about the worlds are already aware of the Nexus and each other, and the Nexus is like an Intra-Deminsional Trading station or something. People can interact, travel, what ever, with in the three worlds through the Nexus.

    Or maybe only select people know about the Nexus and can interact with the other worlds...Like the Stargate series. It's set in modern times, but it's a big secret that all this other life exists. Each world has it's group of people that know of the Nexus but the rest of the population is, at the time, oblivious.

    But that's just an Idea. I mean I can see where the one world Idea would be beneficial to start, but ultimatly it is going to be the demise of the thread if it grows to a larger capacity.
  3. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Bravo, Hammurabi. Nice job with the agenda. I'm good with your adjusted agenda.

    I think the biggest thing about getting a leadership set up is only so that we have a more cohesive plan here, rather than two or three. It seems to be going well now, though. I think it's just necessary that we go in one direction rather than the two we have thrust together. Conversation is happening.

    Besides, I don't think this idea belongs to just any few minds. We've got great conversation happening on what, two boards? I've never been to DreamWrights, but from this thread I think you're dedicated people. Certainly made up with respected RPers from around the RPF. I see this idea as everybody's, we're just all playing around with it, conjecturing, and adjusting.

    That said, on the point of #2 - Flagmaster - I'm keen on keeping a conversational leadership here as Darth_Elu and I work to keep things on point. He's created a world and I'd hate to take that from him. On the other hand, I've done the same but not with as much time dedicated as I believe you guys hit up on this off-thread earlier than we did. Our discussion here took off Wednesday on. So, what I'm saying is, I'm fine with conversational leadership as long as we continue melding these ideas together and not going all willy-nilly on two different ideas and just pretending to ourselves that we're talking about the same thing. :)

    4. One World Vs. Multiple Worlds

    Alright. I'm agreeing that multiple groups on a planet sounds a big ridiculous. The mechanics of why they don't know about the others does sound a bit weird.

    However, I'm against multiple worlds because that speaks bad to me for one main reason. The Nexus idea, while great, raises a question: can it be Newbie-Friendly?

    As I have said before, when pitching this the first time in the "Transition" thread, this game has to playable and simple enough that the greater amount of people can play this. It's a given that we are going to get newbies - and I use that word affectionately, because we've all been them and some of us might even still be.

    The point is, in my opinion, the IBoP made RPers out of a good many people. It taught us how to post IC/OOC, how the colors worked, how to interact, etc. Even if we were in other games before, IBoP was like a crash course, a booster, to another RPing level. I firmly believe that this Flagship must be able to do the same and we're, no doubt, going to get a lot of newbies and we need to want them! It's a flagship game, a game to represent and serve the entire NSWRPF Community.

    So, I think we need to be careful to not only create a system that works, but something that -at least in the beginning - is simple enough to attract and grow new players. Too many complex things will, honestly, not kill the game. We'll get experienced RPers that will do great - a good many ,if not all from here.

    However, we want this game, I have to believe, to open to newer players.

    That and Multiple Worlds/One World - I don't think we want to just accept the easier of the two to do, but what makes sense.

    A thought of explanation for one world. Education and location, location, location.

    Who says this needs to be on the surface of planet? Call it created planet - just for this purpose. Example, the world is hollow.

    A major civilization, likely the most advanced, could be situated inside our rotating globe, either believing their "world" to be the outside and not knowing they are on the inside, or knowing it and believing a war long ago removed all possibility of ever going to the surface. Hence, they've utilized their technology to mine the rocky core and have created their world. I mean, that has the potential to be huge. As to why they haven't found out about the surface dwellers:

    First, there is the element of education that can be used for most. Only because I can say with certainty that no one here has ever been in a nebula or flown in space. Yet, because of our Knowledge, our scientifically proven knowledge, we hold certain beliefs true. T
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Oh, this is something that might not have made it off Dreamwrights...

    The idea behind the gateways between worlds is that they're just like ... doors ... rips in space/time, whatever ... that you step through and bam, you're in the Nexus. In other words, they're wherever the GM wants them to be and there's no mental gymnastics involved.

    It's not like some Sekrit Society controls access through the gates in all the worlds. Or - say it used to be like that, only now something has caused a 'destabilization' and now gates/doors/whatever you want to call them are popping up everywhere. That could be a plot point as well, but the point is, access is easy.
  5. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    And we're talking GM controlled doors? Such as the Flag-master tosses open a few doors to...wherever. Those players that find them, enter them end up where the Flag-master (or delegated Co-Gm, Wing-Master) takes them. That'd be interesting, because then we could even explore other things than just the other civilizations without being stupid.

    Giving each situation a clue, or nothing at all, would be interesting towards the overall plot.
  6. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    Now a hollow world...I can make that work for two of the Genres but the third would be more difficult to work in.

    For instance, Some sort of technology created forces our tehcnologically advanced ancestors into the earth, where they rebuild and create a whole sub-world. Eventually technology degrades in a fight for survival, and generations later we have our "Steampunk/Etc." world in the depths. Here genetically modified crops are grown with out light (or artificial light sources are created), and the steam creates a cyclic torrent almost daily. Here the creatures of the past roam, many evolving to survive in their new enviroment and others mutating due to the years of inbreeding and technical fall out of the mysterious ancestors. (Vampires, Were-wolves, Etc can be brought in here)

    Meanwhile, at the surface a new race of people have developed (through evolution, ancestors who were left behind, etc.) and this can be an what ever stage of technology you would like (Medeival would work for a relativly young race while Modern would work for a race that is developing to the point of the ancestors, but are yet to reach it.) Because the underworlders are in a technoligically stagnant enviroment because of fears of poluting their world etc. the upper world can be what ever you desire.

    So that would cover two of the genres but one would still be left out. But it's a good idea none the less.
  7. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Hm, I think the version we're working from is all gates lead either in or out of the Nexus. But gates leading from world to world could work too..


    About newbies, some more Dreamwrights posts that didn't make it across (I think):

    (I skipped quoting some short posts and the posts that didn't pertain to being newbie-friendly - they were about the money system.)



  8. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    How about these gateways, doors, whatever the Nexus does, is accessible from a whole separate place. Say, one "Controlled" by the Alien race. The created world could then be something of a laboratory experiment of a higher race.

    Regardless, I could fly with the idea, Cousin, with some fleshing out. Nice.
  9. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Hello all...

    I've been lurking in the back, reading all the interesting ideas for games, and platforms.

    I just wanted to mention something.

    Someone mentioned, that the reason, that IBoP worked so well, was because of a base that EVERYONE knew well.

    While the multi world, and different planet themes are interesting, you are losing the point of having something that folks could relate to.

    You want as many folks as possible to join. But you will never get them all..*neither did BoP*, but try for something that many could get into.

    Two tiny ideas, off the top of my head at the moment were:

    Something like a Mad Max type world. A decimated world, and you have different groups of folks wandering about..some with more technology than others...each has their own ideas and power base. Many folks are familiar with that base.

    OR

    Perhaps..Like the game, the Brearu....which is kinda like Men in Black. It is set in the present time, with agents on the hunt for not only aliens, but things supernatural as well, like vampires, mages, and orcs, and ghosts.

    But the agents are also things like Magic users, weapons techs, psychics, and other folks trained to handle the hords of aliens and monsters that they KNOW exists..and they have to do it, without letting the populace know.


    *just some ideas*

    Your getting too wrapped up on the WHERE. Figure out WHAT you want, and then you can decided on the background for it to take place.

    just an idea.... :D

  10. Yuul_Shamar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2004
    star 4
    I still see nothing wrong with the one world idea, who says it has to be earth sized? it would be easy to make it bigger. Regardless I'm just one voice and have been here less then a year(on the RP boards anyway)

    Anyway may i ask what Dreamwrights is?

  11. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Dreamwrights was an off-site board that Darth_Elu was using as a discussion forum for this topic, completely independent of Kalio_Dynkos. But seeing as the discussion's back here I imagine everybody has come back with it. :)
  12. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    You know, I kind of like this idea. It will provide a good backstory for the game.
  13. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    I've gone and compiled a list of the various arguments I've seen in the single-world vs multi-world debate. I may have missed something, but here's what I've seen:

    Pro-Single
    A. Multiple worlds involves clunky game mechanics and sketchy plotting, whereas a single world is more organic
    B. Multiple worlds divides gameplay too much and limits interaction
    C. Multiple worlds is tacky and cliche
    D. Multiple worlds overcomplicates things

    Pro-Multi
    A. We can't combine a wide variety of genres in a single world
    B. It's new and interesting
    C. Single world limits size/growth

    There have also been responses to these arguments. I haven't really seen/though of any responses to A, C, and D of the pro-single side (though if someone has any, speak up). However, the response to B has generally been that we can make interworld travel easier. Which is a reasonable viewpoint.

    However, I do have responses to the pro-multi-world arguments. Option C is the simplest to counter. You see, a lot of people here are speaking as though a planet is small. I would argue the opposite: a planet is really very big, and allows plenty of room for expansion. In our multi-world solution, we'd have so much geography we'd have to limit our scope to small portions of each individual world. And the same applies to a single-world situation, but to a lesser extent. In any case, a single-world situation would certainly still have room to grow - with the option of introducing new geographic/cultural areas. For instance, if we set this in Britain, we could decide to include parts of continental Europe. Or the Americas. Or Asia. Or wherever. The fact is, it's not like we're ever going to fill up a planet.

    However, if we go single-world, we can't take a modern setting and add in a fantasy setting. Which is essentially argument A: single-world allows for less variety. Some posters have just assumed this would mean we'd end up with an unworkable world that tries to combine modern settings, fantasy settings, and steampunk settings on a single planet. Quite frankly, that's absolutely not what we'd do. We'd simply opt to remove some of the settings entirely, and then setup an organic world out of the elements that do blend well.

    Argument B is the one that really bothers me, because I disagree with it entirely. Some posters keep talking about our multiple-worlds thing like it's fresh and new. At least one has gone so far as to say they're tired of the same old factionalism, suggesting that multiple worlds is more dynamic and interesting. At the same time, I thought LightWarden made it pretty damn clear: multiple-worlds is gimmicky and overdone. What kills me is that it then becomes an attack on factionalism as being 'overdone'. If factionalism is overdone, it's because it works. Not only that, but it frequently results in compelling gameplay. It sets us up for conflict not just between players and their environment, but also between players. And if we have more than two factions, it allows for all sorts of delicious possibilities, including interfaction diplomacy and ambiguous conflicts in which there's no side on the moral high (or low) ground. Factionalism is also realistic - unlike multiple-worlds, factionalism is prevalent in the world we live in. It makes sense. It happens.
  14. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    Well, I think we've established that on a SW board, one franchise/genre will never achieve anything near the popularity of SW, which is part of my understanding of why IBOP worked. One world definitely limits the scope of the game because in very short order, without some bizarre contrived Game mechanic to prevent it, whichever race could first would be all over the planet, either conquering it or stripping everything of value from the parts they don't like.

    If we go multi-world, limiting the scope of the worlds is an obvious necessity, but I don't think it's a great challenge. When you have several worlds to choose from, is it really that much of a problem to be constricted to an England-sized island on one of the three or more worlds? It's not nearly the issue you seem to be making it out to be. I could happily and easily write up three genre-specific posts like I did with the Oceania post, limiting the play area without limiting the potential. Not a very daunting task at all.
  15. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    I'm not sure if I understand your logic. Why would that happen? I mean, we certainly see factional threads all the time, and rarely does one side totally dominate. And speaking of "bizarre contrived game mechanics", what do you suppose the Nexus is?

    I'm not really trying to make a geographic argument with you there. My point wasn't that it'd be problematic to limit the multiple-worlds; my point was that we've got a whole planet even in a single world, so space really isn't an issue.

    My broader point on this issue is that the more worlds we divide this into, the more we have to dumb down our individual worlds. If we focus on one world, we can have a much deeper world.
  16. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I must admit it is probably easier to create one world with multiple factions than it is create a number of worlds with maybe one faction per world.

    Perhaps the solution in throwing as many genres as possible into the world is by exploring the outer limits of those genres.

    I'm attracted to steampunk as the "gold standard" of civilisation on such a notional planet, mostly because the technology level, whilst not modern, is low enough to shoehorn other stuff into it -- even a touch of magick and/or fantasy. And it's here that I'm going to try and make a historical allegory.

    The British Empire, from somewhere around the end of Napoleon's time, was one of the (if not The) dominant colonial and technological power of the time. Its navies were the strongest, so it controlled the seas and thereby communications. But the Empire of the 1800s -- which I interpret as the notional "steampunk" period, referring to things like the LXG comic -- was not by any means the only civilisation or form of nation on the planet. Indeed its technological advantage was the reason it was a colonial power. There were nations like India, tribal groups like the Zulus, and even the native Americans who all existed at the same time as the English. They didn't all have the same level of technology, but their societies existed all the same. And 1800-ish England is also the time of Dracula, off in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains, which are in Europe, but no less remote and mysterious.

    What I'm driving at is that with steampunk as the most advanced civilisation of the time, it leaves you with lots of space at the margins for other genres. Gothic horror in the mould of Frankenstein and Dracula? Check; it's there in the shadows of the gaslight. Western/cowboys? Check; over on the frontiers of the notional Empire. Fantasy?

    I say yes, on the frontiers or even on the other side of the planet. For a world like this where transport is still seriously limited in its speed the other side of the planet might as well be the other side of the galaxy. The whole point of the "age of exploration" like this is the undiscovered country. Hell, magic could even be worked into the steampunk world as a "The Prestige" kind of way -- the suggestion that there is real magic hiding there, that it isn't just sleight-of-hand. (Although I personally classify "The Prestige" as a horror movie in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, but I digress.)

    You could easily have in that context whole cultures going up against one another, in the manner of the conquest of the Wild West. Gunpowder versus sorcery? Vampires versus the Holy Church? Bring it, I say. :)

    And as a last thought: if that world really isn't big enough to contain your characters and adventures, you still have the option of a "gateway to the Nexus" to put in at some later stage, and thus bring on other genres there.

    EDIT: The key being, of course, that one designs it organically to have all these different cultures on the one planet.
  17. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Very quickly, because I'm strapped for time.. generally what I find most attractive about the Nexus idea was the lack of 'travel time' between worlds/genres. Find a gate, step through, you're there.

    Although Saint's version of the one world idea does actually sound quite good. [face_thinking] A sort of 18th-century setting might work really well.
  18. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    It's human nature. Look what the Greeks and Romans did once they could build ships: They claimed the entire Mediterranean. Look what the Europeans did once they figured out that there was land on the other side of the Atlantic instead of a bottomless pit. If everyone lives on the same planet, the most advanced race will want to conquer the others. Stopping them from doing so requires some GM intervention, whether it's big force fields separating regions, or border-patrolling monsters or who-knows-what-else, but it requires some contrived mechanic.

    The Nexus, however, is the opposite. Instead of a GM-created barrier, it's a GM-controlled gateway. Instead of preventing entrance, it permits it.

    The problem with One World is that logic limits your genre potential. You can't logically go Sci-fi. You can't logically go modern/Supers. If you go One World with a Steampunk focus, you're trapped in Steampunk era. You can branch out a little to, say, Western, or Gothic horror, etc. If you go Nexus from the get-go, the sky's the limit. If you put the Nexus in later, it just seems kinda tacked on.

    And once again, it's not really too tough to make a bunch of individual worlds small enough to not be daunting.
  19. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Good day, all. I hope you're all well, and the dicussion thus far is at least going somewhere and is on topic. That's very nice.

    Please allow me to take a step backwards on the agenda. Personally, I want to complete and see Point #2/#3 finished and therefore I have a solution. For I am of the opinion that for this to work completely, we need one head. Once we start the RPF Poll, we're going to need someone to receive the votes. Once we start on the Co-Gm selection, that flag-master is going to have to start immediate conversation and having a direct role in the that choosing. For that reason, please allow me to tell you a story.

    I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the RPF HoloNet or what it did. The RPF HoloNet was an idea that I conjured up one winter night when wanting to tie in my life as a journalist into the GFFA. As it came to grow in my mind, however, I disregarded the game aspect and was taken with building up the RPF. For as a reader/RPer, I found it sometime frustrating and daunting to enter a game that had 5,000 posts. But, oh, they needed people, yet who wants to join something that epic? Well, I did. It was just daunting to catch enough of the history to make up my characterizations.

    That, and I found other writers who were locked into just one game while good ideas just petered out, mainly because of the lack of interest. So, I created the RPF HoloNet to be a way of giving a glimpse of all the stories going on at the RPF.

    Too, feeling (as has been mentioned most recently in the Awards thread) I'd always seen the RPF Awards as a popularity contest, rather than the kudos it should or could have been. So, the RPF HoloNet would also find those the people that were doing a fantastic job, writing something outstanding, or a great characterization and give them a chance at the spotlight. A few of the ones we interviewed had never been in the RPF Awards, I think.

    That's the long part, but when conjuring this idea up, it became my baby. I pitched it to NaboosPrincess and she was for it, loved it she said, but that another Rper had a similar idea, but not as complex as mine, so he came first. I pocketed the idea. Close to a year later, his idea never surfaced, so I contacted NaboosPrincess with my pitch. She suggested contacting him and working together on the project. As I just wanted to help out the RPF and get it going, I agreed.

    However, the planning process was mainly us agreeing on my ideas already and his "naming" them. When the thread was ready, we decided we needed a leader and he wanted it, so I gave it to him, confident that I didn't need to run the show to enjoy the show.

    Essentially, I gave my baby into somebody else's care.

    He muffed it. Right off the bat, the player assumed credit for the whole idea, forgetting his small part in it. He didn't keep up his end of he bargain - namely that we split our coverage between SW eras - and our coverage was slanted because he didn't keep his end up. The one post he made was a post about his own character, in direct opposition to the idea of building up other players and congratulating them. The idea of the HoloNet was to be invisible whilst congratulating everybody else. Eventually, he disappeared and I was running the whole thing myself. All along, defering to him, the Editor in Chief.

    I don't mean to disparage a player, for he likely had real-life issues and I feel that the RPF Holonet was great success, despite that which was behind the scenes.

    I gave my baby away and I hated it, despite how much I tried to make it work.

    So, for that reason, while I hopefully see no direct corellation between that player and myself, I will not put Elu through the same thing. Even though we've both created a similar idea and have both put in a lot of hours, I swear I will not be the mirror of that player.

    I feel we need a leader and we need it now. It is a pre-requisite to have a power behind the project. I still push and greatly desire that the first post of every of these games will congratulate and name those players
  20. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    And now I, Darth_Elu, must come in and simply state that we have discussed this move in length along with other things and our choice is sure.

    To Kalio, as I said to you in private, I had already decided upon and will vow again to make sure all who contribute are mentioned and thanked, especially you in the first post of this Grand Game. It is an absolute must that that happens, nothing less.

    From this point on, Think-Tankers, let us now officially leave this topic behind and march onward with our discussions and make a dream into reality. Further more, I will soon move on setting up a poll to quickly and efficiently decide between the one world and the multiple worlds + Nexus debate. We must move forward and not become stagnant.

    Presidential Acceptance Speech now over.

    :) :p
  21. Kalio_Dynkos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Hahahahaha, Elu.


    All hail the chief.
  22. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    Kalio, I just realized the Hitchhiker's Guide quote in your sig, and I love it.

    Anyways, congrats Elu. Hopefully this game, now your game, will blossom into the great game we all know it can be. I know we'll all be working our best to make it so. (God, I suck at congratulatory speeches).
  23. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    For one I'm glad you guys sorted that out between yourselves. It would've been a heartbreaking choice to force us to choose between you, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Congratulations, Elu! :D
  24. Yuul_Shamar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2004
    star 4
    Ok, with that settled, and congratulations sent, how are we doing the poll?
  25. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I'm rather late to the discussion here...but I think that's a good thing because my perspective is an outsider's perspective.

    Few points.

    1. Why is there is attempt to try and shoehorn in as many genres as possible from the get-go? Surely start small and strong. I know you're planning a flagship, but expansion of the game universe should come once you have the players, not before. Who cares if it appears contrived to add the nexus/magic portal/time machine later on? At least then you'll have the player base established.

    2. The genres should be allowed to mix and collide and interact. Keep it too separate (i.e. by having multiple worlds) and you're going to end up with a collection of franchise echoes. Each group of players will be thinking 'this part of the game is just a poor man's version of LOTR/Battlestar Galactica/Deadwood/the Marvel Universe/whatever.'

    3. Geography and History are the two key elements of setting that I think have to be familiar for a flagship to be successful on these forums. And you're planning to create both from scratch. You'll either create in too little detail (causing players to feel lost and confused) or in too much detail (causing players to feel intimidated and confused).

    My answer to all three points is to take Saint's excellent post about the British Empire a step further. Just use Earth in that time period. Then replace what you need to in order to satisfy your genre cravings. Fantasy, Western, Horror and Supers can all be found there in the styles that Saint has suggested, or just mess around a little with various nations and regions to make them suitable. Japan becomes home to sorcery-using samurai or vampires seize control of all Siberia or the remote regions of India becomes the setting for a dwarf-dragon war. And the steampunk-using British are the dominant power.

    Anyway, the point is that you'd have both the geography of the world already sorted, and most of the history (with a few changes to accommodate the fantasy/steampunk/western/whatever elements). Also, the only genres you'd have to sacrifice would be the Modern/Sci-Fi ones.
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