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Author Topic: Two Games, One Story  (Read 3721 times)
Keith Senkowski
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« on: September 14, 2004, 11:01:13 AM »

Hey,

My group and I are about to embark on a little experiment.  We are playing one game of Conspiracy of Shadows face to face and we are about to try and play a Play by Post game (different characters and such) of it and tie the two mothers together.  Since the face to face game is done in the style of a TV show (in particular modeled on Millenium and the X-Files) we are viewing this new PbP game as a spin off.  

Has anyone every tried running two games tied to the same story (either two face to face or PbP)?  Did it work out or was it a disaster?  How did you go about it?

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Luke
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2004, 04:38:51 PM »

i ran a long term SR game that involved two separate groups acting toward the same goal. Each one had a different mission arc to reveal a different aspect of the plot. One group was very tactical, one group was investigative. The first group played once a week, the second twice a year. Though the players knew about each other, the in-game character knowledge was limited.

Is that the kind of feedback you were looking for Keith?

-L
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Keith Senkowski
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Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2004, 05:39:43 PM »

Luke,

I'm looking for specific info on the experiences.  What worked.  What didn't work.  What you would do differently if you had it all over again.  Also, what was the make up of the different groups.  Were they the same people only playing different games, one or two in both groups or completely different groups.  Were both groups face to face players or did you use an electronic format (IM, Posts, Email, etc).

In my case, the play by post is going to have the core people of the weekly/semi-weekly game as well as some new faces.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Luke
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Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest


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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2004, 08:47:36 AM »

the two groups only had one crossover member. Everyone else was separate and unique to their groups. Though we did have one or two crossover sessions over the course of play.

The main pitfall for me was that running it took a fair bit of Force and railroading. Couldn't let the actions stray to far from the predetermined course -- there was a fixed ending scenario in place.

To mitigate that this time around, I'd pit the groups against each other. Story just creates itself there.

-L
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Valamir
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2004, 10:55:49 AM »

The only time I tried this it was two D&D parties both raiding the same dugeon at the same time.  Both groups knew their was another NPC party running around in the dungeon who may be friendly, may be hostile, or just may be out to beat them to the treasure.  But niether knew that the NPC group was actually the other party of PCs.

The hardest part was coordinating game time between the two groups and making sure that the play of one group accounted for things the other group had already done.  

This got real tricky when the second to play group would get to a room after the first to play group had already cleared it out, but in actual in game time they would have gotten their first.  There was quite a bit of time manipulation on my part as GM to fix such situations.  Some of the time manipulation was pure meta game (basically fast forwarding the clock).  Sometimes I used railroaded techniques like "sleep gas" traps where alls I needed was 1 pc to fail the save and then I could have them "wake up" whenever I wanted thereby forcing the party to wait however long I needed them to wait..

I also used other NPC groups who were actually NPC groups as red herrings.  When I thought that Group 1 was about to come across signs of Group 2, I'd introduce an NPC group.  Later after Group 2 actually ran, I'd ret con whether those signs were actually Group 2 or one of the NPC groups.

It worked, but both groups thought my GMing was rather sloppy at the time.


I've had more success with running two games set in the same story that were non concurrent.
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Keith Senkowski
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Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2004, 11:19:39 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
I've had more success with running two games set in the same story that were non concurrent.

Hey,

How did you work this?  Was one group in the future and one in the present?  How did these games impact each other?

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2004, 10:04:30 AM »

Quote from: Bob Goat
Quote from: Valamir
I've had more success with running two games set in the same story that were non concurrent.

Hey,

How did you work this?  Was one group in the future and one in the present?  How did these games impact each other?

Keith


One time it was an entire group substitution in the middle of a campaign.  The existing group broke up (moving, travel, family committments, etc.) and around a year later a new group started (with 1 carry over).  I decided rather than start something new I'd just continue with the previous Pendragon Campaign.  Most of the previous players PC's had minor children (generation play being a feature of Pendragon) so I just had the new group play those children, so all of the events and grudges and such carried over to the kids.

The other time I did this with a group it was a D&D campaign set 999 years after the previous campaign...one of those "ancient evils arise every 1000 years" deals.  The group had played the heroes who had vanquished the ancient evil the first time.  Then the next time it came my turn to run D&D, I just repeated the formula.  The players didn't catch on right away and I got a few groans of "not another ancient evil" and "man this sounds familiar".  Fortuneately for me it was the habit of our group to completely forget our characters' names half the time, so for the first few sessions as I'd dropped hints about Pendarken Bladestorm (or whatever those cornball junior high D&D names were) -- the hero who defeated the evil in ancient times -- they completely missed the reference.  Then one day they had a "wait a minute, I had a half elf Paladin named Pendarken Bladestorm once....heyyyyy" moment that was simply priceless.  

Here all the tales I'd been spinning about the adventures of those ancient heroes were from that earlier campaign and they started piecing it together.  Eventually they retraced their character's old steps, went through a couple of the same dungeons (modified for 1000 years of history) and even recovered a few of their old magic items.

I had fun with that last bit.  Each of the previous characters was a hero in their homeland and there were stories and legends about them (except for one) so one of the weapons was now worn by the King of some kingdom, a suit of armor was in a museum, the mage's spell book had been translated into 37 languages and was now a standard teaching text for magic schools around the world (with spells named after him) that sort of thing.  

There was 1 magic sword in particular that one of the players wanted to recover.  It was one of those + a ton swiss army knife worth of powers munchkin swords so beloved back in 1980s AD&D.  It was probably intelligent and vorpal and double damage vs undead and stuff like that...can't really remember now.  I had fun with that one.  I said it had been buried with the hero, and then made the party fight their way through the previous PCs own ruined tomb and actually kill the old PC / Wight at the end (who was of course using the sword).  One of my favorite moments ever.

For more kicks I actually resurrected a bit of throw away color I'd used the last time.  One of the McGuffin/Artifacts I'd sent the party in quest of was guarded by a Sphinx (of course) who revealed that whoever took the item's family would be cursed "for every generation to the end of time" (or some such doom).  Of course it was just for drama at the time...in D&D who cares what happens to your kids.  But I used that in the new campaign.  I can't remember the character's name but, pretending it was Jaram, I had his name be used as a curse as in "Jaram take you!" or "I'll leave you like Jaram".  There were also lepers and leper colonies called Jaramites which were all of the blood decendents of that old character who suffered from the curse.  That didn't go over so well because they'd completely forgotten that characters name and never got the reference until I spelled it out for them, but oh well.  It was still pretty cool.
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Keith Senkowski
Member

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2004, 10:26:50 AM »

Ralph,

Sounds like it was more fun for you than for them cause you got it and they needed to have their hands held.  However, it sounds like the hand holding led to some payoff.  Very cool.

So the relationship was one way between the games?  No time travel stuff or anything to change things in such a way that they impact things in the present day?  Have you (or anyone else around here) ever run across a situation where the relationship was back and forth between the two games?

What I am attempting to do with my is use the PbP game to act as the political back drop for the face to face.  The idea came from a Birthright based game I ran a long time ago, which was basically in the same vein as Universalis.  Essentially actions from each game will have an impact upon each other directly.  However, I'm having trouble rectifying the time gap between the two since PbP will go much slower than face-to-face.  Anyone have any recommendations on how I can rectify this?

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
ffilz
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Posts: 468


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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2004, 01:13:06 PM »

Hmm, that reminds me of back when I was running Traveler. I was running a campaign back home, and then started one up in college. The guys in college visited this planet that had some ruins on it and had a bit of an adventure there. Over christmas, the players back home showed up at the same planet. And got to try and figure out the significance of the tracks the 1st group left in the dust (airless planet).

I also threw in rumors of other events from a third group that had played for a short while before either of the other campaigns were started.

Great fun, though certainly not to the same extent.

Frank
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Frank Filz
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