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Author Topic: Character swapping and (in general) ownership of the PC  (Read 2176 times)
rgrassi
Member

Posts: 68


« on: April 09, 2008, 12:16:30 AM »

One of the things I do while playing is to 'swap' characters between players or changing the 1:1 relationship between the player and the PC, so that one player must move more than one character or many players are allowed to move only one.
Is there some game using the same mechanism, in order to have a look and find some idea / play advice?
Rob
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madunkieg
Member

Posts: 26


« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 04:38:59 AM »

A few, but it's not common, because character creation tends to make each character an expression of what each player wants out of the game.

White Wolf's Wraith: the shadow (id) of each character is run by another player
Atlas Games' Ars Magica: secondary characters (knights and other hangers-on) are a shared pool of characters used by whichever players don't have their main character going on this particular adventure
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rgrassi
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 04:58:26 AM »

A few, but it's not common, because character creation tends to make each character an expression of what each player wants out of the game.

I've noticed that once a Player knows (before playing) that he/she is not owner of a character focus to the story and narration is enhanced and the breaking of the 1:1 relationship greatly improve social activity and interest toward narration and idea for story.

Quote
White Wolf's Wraith: the shadow (id) of each character is run by another player
Atlas Games' Ars Magica: secondary characters (knights and other hangers-on) are a shared pool of characters used by whichever players don't have their main character going on this particular adventure

Mmm... Not exactly what I mean. I really mean that the player DOES NOT control anymore his/her (main or only) character.
Rob
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Evan Anhorn
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 05:25:59 AM »

I'm trying to do something similar at the moment in my game, 16-bit.  I'm thinking a character's back story will be effectively co-narrated by the group during major dialogue scenes.

My hope is that this will encourage a player to come to relate to his character's story over time (much like in video games), rather than a player create a character's back story before the game and be able to relate to him immediately (as in traditional pen and paper RPGs).

The adventure then becomes a vehicle to work through the stories of the characters.

I'm not sure how to structure the back and forth exchange that weaves a character's story yet, however.  In games like Polaris, there is an admirable system of bartering for plot points.  That game also sets up players in different roles (either narrating for or against the character whose scene it is).
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Christoph Boeckle
Member

Posts: 455

Geneva, Switzerland


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 05:27:14 AM »

Hi, I started to write a game a few years back already which does this on two levels:
- Other players choose your character's background, you choose what he does about it, now.
- Other players imply dirty connections to a crime for your character.

Here's the old beta 2 version, which wasn't quite as aggressive as what I describe above, but nearly. There's a few threads on the Forge where I talk about play tests, the game used to be called (homage to the X-Files and Lovecraft, two major sources of inspiration in the first stages).

It's more or less playable, but the endgame fizzles one time out of two, so it's going to get a major overhaul as soon as I get back to it.
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Regards,
Christoph
rgrassi
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 05:30:07 AM »

Other info (maybe useful). The player may obtain again the ownership of his/her original character during the game.
Losing the ownership is not 'forever'.
Rob
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 06:43:15 AM »

One of the things I do while playing is to 'swap' characters between players

Mmm...  I don't remember at this moment games where you HAVE a character, and then you swap it to another player at a certain point... all the examples I remember at this moment are of games where you know from that beginning that that isn't "your character" and you only play it at the moment.

Some examples... in Polaris the same character can be played by different people in different scenes, but this doesn't apply to Protagonist (if not in the case when a protagonist is played by the mistaken in another protagonist's scene, but if I remember the rules this is still subjected to the original protagonist's player veto)

Mmmm...I am thinking about other examples (Universalis, Dirty Secrets, Spione, etc.) but they are always examples of playing "like a GM", not of a game where you create a "traditional" character for you and then you have to swap it at a certain point and then another player play it from then on...  What kind of "swap" are you searching for precisely?

Quote
or changing the 1:1 relationship between the player and the PC, so that one player must move more than one character or many players are allowed to move only one.

This is much easier to answer.  For "a lot of players with the same character", look at "Cranium Rats", "It was a mutual decision" (this one is more a "team" game, where the players divide into two group - "males" and "females" and each team play one of the two protagonists, but there is an interesting mechanic that every player at the table can invoke without the group consensus), and I think I remember (but I never read it so about this check with other sources) "Hero's Banner" has some of that.

For "one player with many characters" there is even more choices: apart from all the many GM-full games (where this is inevitable, I think) there is In a Wicked Age (where you build in time a "stable" of characters to play in different sessions), Bliss Stage (where the GM and the other players divide among themselves all the characters).  And even the Jeepform "Doubt" that you could play at the next Ambercon...

And you could look at the "Galactic" game (it's still in playtest), where every player has a "captain" and a "crew member" in each of the other captains' ships.

Another game that could interest you is "Schizonauts", the last game chef's entry written by Fred Hicks, that you can download for free from the game chef depository.

But, from what I know of your interest in narration games, you should really, really read (and play) Spione...
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
rgrassi
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2008, 07:05:03 AM »

Thanks Moreno... Wink
E ciao!
Rob
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Evan Anhorn
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2008, 10:01:16 AM »

Actually, 16-bit is more relevant to this discussion than I previously suggested.  In Dialogue Cutscenes, each player controls a different hero (aka character), usually not their own.  If not all heroes are being spotlighted in the scene, players without a hero to control will control an NPC (the big-bad NPCs are generally left up to the GM, however).  Therefore, in dialogue scenes, you have no control over your own character (much like the old console RPGs the game is inspired by).  Because players can control NPCs (such as personal relations of the heroes), you still get that "oh shit!" moment when players get wrapped up in the scene and narrate some spooky-beautiful twist (like you get in Polaris quite a bit).

This is mainly how hero back story is developed, and what I meant by "co-narrated" by the group.  Of course, control goes back to the owner during minor dialogue (like when exploring the world) and combat encounters.

Now if I can just figure out a way to mechanically represent the loss 16-bit heroes endure to save the world...
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Illetizgerg
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2008, 03:57:15 PM »

Hi, I started to write a game a few years back already which does this on two levels:
- Other players choose your character's background, you choose what he does about it, now.
- Other players imply dirty connections to a crime for your character.

Here's the old beta 2 version, which wasn't quite as aggressive as what I describe above, but nearly. There's a few threads on the Forge where I talk about play tests, the game used to be called (homage to the X-Files and Lovecraft, two major sources of inspiration in the first stages).

It's more or less playable, but the endgame fizzles one time out of two, so it's going to get a major overhaul as soon as I get back to it.

Hey, odd question, but what font did you use in that beta?
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rgrassi
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2008, 11:03:58 PM »

Hi,

Mmmm...I am thinking about other examples (Universalis, Dirty Secrets, Spione, etc.) but they are always examples of playing "like a GM", not of a game where you create a "traditional" character for you and then you have to swap it at a certain point and then another player play it from then on...  What kind of "swap" are you searching for precisely?

Player A (is owner and is moving) Character A
Player B (is owner and is moving) Character B
(SWAP)
Player A (is owner and is moving) Character B
Player B (is owner and is moving) Character A

Rob
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