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Author Topic: [Slime Story] Needs more encouragement for role-playing  (Read 991 times)
neko ewen
Member

Posts: 36

My brain is melting


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« on: November 16, 2009, 08:40:15 AM »

Slime Story is a game I've been working on for entirely too long. The short short tagline is "teenagers hunt cute monsters for spending money." It takes place in a world much like ours, but ten years ago magical portals opened up all over the world and started dumping out cute monsters like something out of a Korean MMO. In some parts of the world people are fighting wars over control of portals, but in small towns in America teenagers have taken up monster hunting as a hobby. This game is about those teenagers, a mixture of hunting and everyday life stuff. Yesterday I finally ran a playtest session with my regular gaming group.

Here's the current playtest draft (including most of the paper fiddly bits necessary to play), and here's my more detailed playtest report.

The first playtest was very encouraging. I think the basic rules, especially for Encounters (fights with monsters) are basically sound, if in need of lots of refinement. The major issue I'm grappling with right now is how to better encourage role-playing, because for all the elements of the game relating to character interaction, the first playtest session was kind of flat. Some of that was basically mistakes made in preparing characters and explaining the game, though.

A session (episode) of Slime Story is divided into Encounters and Interludes. Encounters are simple tactical monster fights, while Interludes are meant to basically give the characters free reign to recover, pursue social stuff, etc. Although players can have social elements be flashbacks or take place over cell phones (call up the girl you want to ask out, or flash back to when you saw her in person the other day), Interludes basically take place where the characters are out in a semi-wilderness area outside down hunting monsters. One of the key problems with the playtest was that a lot of the secondary characters (more or less NPCs, though players can also play them) didn't have any particular reason to be out there. Also, I should've made it clearer to the players that you can role-play and then select mechanical elements to engage accordingly. (So for example asking a girl out could turn into a Bonding action, a social conflict, or a Recovery depending on how things work out.)

I'm not sure I've explained it adequately, but I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to make it so the rules better encourage players to engage the social side of the situation and role-play more.
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Catelf
Member

Posts: 146


« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 09:30:16 AM »

Hello, and welcome to the Forge!
It may take (quite) some time until the more adept at this site (and your particular problem) answers, so i'll try to give you something to think of in the meantime.

So, you have a Moster-hunting Game ....... and not much more?
In order to get Character-Interaction during Interludes, you must give them good reasons to do so, either by GamesMastering a proper Plot and/or working it into the actual Rules! As far as i know, there is no other way than those two.
In diverse online-games, there is a third, namely socializing in itself, but this is lost when it is a distinct playing group, and thus no need for socializing in the Game itself.
Of course, some roleplayers enjoy the in-game social activity, but a huge part is mainly in it for the brain-bashing and/or the Loot.
So, work out a grand plot that requires interaction, and/or work into the Rules System that they MUST interact, in order to continue, or something like that.

When it comes to working Roleplaying Interaction into the Game's System, there is far better people than me at that particular Skill and Knowledge, but they may take their time, (unless you're lucky and they get to you directly,) just so you're prepared for any wait.

Best Wishes,
                            Catelf.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 03:31:38 PM »

okay I would make NPC interaction PARAMOUNT.

1. so a kid asks out a girl, but then finds out she has one of the cutest monsters around...  does he break her heart and steal it or help her protect it form other gangs trying take it, or doe she kill it himself.

2. what if the girlfriend sabotages his killing equipment and she is really for saving the cute creatures, and she is part of PETA or sumtn' and they go after the group or try to get the group in trouble by framing them for cheating in school and stuff.

3. what if the monsters can charm the kids into liking them? so they don't want to hunt them.

4. you can add addiction...  they get addicted to petting certain types, and eating or hunting certain types...

hope this helps...
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https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B-7APna9ZhHEZmRhNmFmODktOTgxNy00NDllLTk0MjgtMjI4YzJlN2MyNmEw&hl=en

Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 05:52:44 PM »

At the base of every RPG is the need to drive something forward and become better at driving that forward. 

In story games, you drive forward a plot. You're rewarded with the ability to further control the story.

In your game, it seems that you have the players killing stuff for loot and XP.  What does socializing have to do with that?  What do you want to get out of them socializing?  Drama?  A game like the Sims? 

Perhaps the killing stuff is actually just a peripheral of the social game.  What if players get money from killing monsters but no XP?  What if money helps them in social conflicts that get them XP? 

So my character, Ash Ketchup wants to ask out Misty Firepants. But she won't be very impressed by me if we ride our bikes to McDonalds.  So instead, I kill some monsters to rent a limo (+3 appearance) and go to sushi (+2 fun). Depending on how well I do on my date, I get 5-20 xp. Perhaps dates and other interactions have some sort of social combat, like in Burning Wheel. 

If you don't make the game encompass the whole package, players are going to discard the extra baggage.
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...but enjoying the scenery.
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