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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 57 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Setting Concept]: Asia colonizing the West Coast of the Americas  (Read 6340 times)
MatrixGamer
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Posts: 582


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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2006, 09:21:29 AM »

Yes, I was thinking about that today, the whole biological warfare going on at the time would be intense. I'm considering connecting the diseases with certain secret societies that help spread them along and lower population levels across the continent. I'm seeing this as something PC's would be able to step in and try to stop, while at the same time attempting to avoid contracting the contagions themselves. Excellent point you make here.

I'm inclined to dislike this idea, mainly because it requires such relentless, capital-E Evil.  Europeans didn't have any kind of disease theory at the time, its hard to construct purposefulness and intent out of this IMO. 


Not so Obi Wan, While Europeans did have a modern disease model, Galenic medicine has decide opinions on the spread of disease and folk medicine certainly theorized that spirits spread disease. As to the question of whither the Europeans had knowledge of spreading disease as a weapon of war, plague was a wonderful teacher. I don't know if the Spanish were immediately aware of it but by the 17th century French British Dutch etc were selling the small pox victim's blankets to the natives. The movie "Black Robe" shows this.

Learning how these different world views interact would be one of the neat things a game like this could do.

Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
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Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
http://HamsterPress.net
Anders Larsen
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Posts: 270


« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2006, 01:12:10 PM »

I can see that everyone else is talking about the setting aspect of this game (including the people on rpg.net), so I will try to keep the focus on the gameplay aspect.

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Hey Anders, sorry I took so long with my reply, but you asked some crucial questions so I needed time to thoroughly consider my answers.

Please use all the time you need to answer my questions. And you properly have other stuff to think about as well. So don't worry about it.

I like the changes you have made to the setting. Now the characters will have a 'build in' purpose when the game starts. And I like the idea that the characters will alter the course of events.

To make a game that is only about exploration is hard to do well, because it is nearly impossible to build a dramatic structure around some character that just keep moving on to the next place. The secret society will give some overall structure.

btw, Is all the characters from the same society? Or will characters from deferent societies have to work together?

Well, on to your answers to my questions. They may not all be relevant anymore, but here we go anyway:

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Players will be playing the role of an average human (for the time period) who is swept up in a worldwide conspiracy where the stakes are the fate of humanity itself. They will have the oppportunity to rise as heroes for their chosen society, make discoveries, create social bonds, participate in political intrigue and ultimately ascend to positions of power within the gameworld. As individuals they will make decisions which affect their character's growth and development, as a group they will strive to establish themselves as key players within the gameworld.

It is a good thing that the characters is important, and they have an important mission. But the question is are they important when they are out in the world? Do they have authority to participate in political intrigue? The player have to feel that their character can make an difference, for them to really invest in the character.

Another way to get payers to invest in there characters, is to have a way for the player to communicate to the GM, what they want with their character. And of course make the GM use this in the game. In general it is very rewarding for the player if the surroundings reacts on what hes character do, and who he are.

This concept is called flagging, and there is a good article about it here: http://bankuei.blogspot.com/2006/02/flag-framing_03.html

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In addition to surviving the natural environment and social situations, as characters grow in power they are likely to be noticed by adversaries from rival societies who will take them to task. Beyond this, the situations they encounter will challenge them to sometimes have to decide whether they will appease the spirit(s) by adhering to their code or survive at all costs. Either way, the consequences will color the outcome of their decisions. Also, the technological differences in the gameworld will encourage them to strategize in combat (eg: a musket may have a tremendous knock-down capability but it is slower to fire than a bow, heavier, etc.)

These are the thing that can challenge the characters. But what in the game will enforce that the character will be challenges continuously?

It may be possible to get the player to set there own challenges, by setting short term goals, and maybe even suggest obstacles.

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From the start, PC's will select a society to align themselves with. The codes of these societies will dictate some of the goals for the PC's. As for individual goals of the PC's, they will be determined by the players themselves (based on how they perceive their character) while the GM gives out the goals for the team to accomplish during gameplay (situational goals). If you mean missions or quests, these will be set by the GM primarily and given by leaders of the various societies that the PC's are aligned with (even if they are aligned with different, but not opposing, societies).

I can not add anything to this answer. Other that maybe the short term goal I mention before.

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The natural environment will be fairly realistic in that weather, diseases, flora/fauna and terrain may not always work in the PC's favor. Also, cultural differences will have an impact in terms of PC's needing to find ways to deal with the social environment. While I do not envision the game as being so deadly that any mistep could end the PC's life, I do want it to be challenging so that it's not just a walk through the park.

Maybe you can handle the environment as an character or an beast? It could have abilities and traits. You can make combat against the environment that you can win or it can win.

This way the environment will have a strong presence in the rules.


Hope you can use these comments.

 - Anders
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