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Life in Orion's Arm (use of the Pool?)

Started by DevP, April 15, 2004, 10:37:41 PM

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There is this grassroots-built, expansive hard-science posthumanist sci-fi universe being built up at Orion's Arm, and certainly, some folks are trying to game it. However, lots of the Hard-Science constraints (realistic physics = weakens the traditional star-hopping space-opera) and the massiveness of the material, AND the fact that there's various interesting points in this 10,000-year timeline, I'm thinking of taking a different approach.

I posted there some rules I had for taking on this hard-sci setting in an interesting way (High Concept: Philip Dick, William Gibson and Rod Serling are writing an episodic story in the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits mileau. In summary:

QuoteFirst off, make sure some player had a laptop, so we could access the Encyclopedia Galactica in-game. Generally laptops would just distract, but given the complexity, I think it's worth it.

Secondly, I'd probably use a very light, almost free-formy system. In part that's because of my preference (I've started to walk away from overly detailed stuff), but also because I'm daunted by the work of tooling a heavily mechanical system to work with hard-science fundamentals that are honestly beyond understanding. So... I'd probably use something like The Pool, just cause.

And finally, the STRUCTURE of the game...

I feel like there are too many cool issues throughout the entire timeline that none ought to be ignored, but I don't feel you could even do a traditional star-hopping space opera. (And if I wanted space-opera, I'd play it full-tilt, rather than trying to jury-rig OA backwards.) I feel like the hard science and immserve craziness of OA is the strength, so I was going to play that up.

So the playstyle I envision is based sort of on "the Outer Limits" or "Twilight Zone". Each player represents (at a meta-level) one of billions of archaillects that have somehow been "imprisoned" by some entity beyond their understanding. In the attempt to understand, these archillects are collectively evaluating their "memories". (i.e. basically they're roleplaying until the end of time or until they reach enlightenment).

Each session (or every arc of a few sessions) focuses on a single slice of setting that (this week's) GM has selected; she will email all the players a week in advance of the necessary Encyclopedia links to read through to be familiar with the world. All the players will come up with character concepts (by talking with the GM), and play through them straight. Basically these archaillects are playing through these pre-written myths, trying to understand what they meant.

So I want rather laid-back char-gen, because new characters will be made nearly every week. It also feels like it can create lots of short stories that are heavy on the "wtf?" or "omfg!" factor. Which makes sense - you're taking your friends through stories that go far past the limits of humanity.

Also, what of the question of consistency? It would be damn hard to be consistent when there's so much detail in the EG... My answer would be this: assuming there's some Currency of Luck Points or Pool or whatever, If a player ever brings up a potential Inconsitency based on the EG, and if the player (or GM) explains it within the nature of the story, then both players get a Point. If this cannot be resolved, and it leaves merely a plot hole, the player loses her points, and gameplay continues, playing 'around the plothole'. Since these sessions are merely recreated events, errors in their recreation are certainly possible, almost akin to a glitch in the Matrix or such, but the player must pay a price for hampering the effectiveness of the story. In effect this will hinder the temptation (that we all have) to become rulesmongering fanboys, and remind us to call things into question only when they're a boon to the story, just maybe.

So I'd recruit a "stable" of regulars (RP/hard-sci/philosophy geeks amongst my friends), and send out the weekly email where this week's GM pick's the Premise to explore and the slice of time, and everyone else comes to the table having read up on the past and with some character hooks in mind.

Does this sound like a good fit with the Pool (since making new characters weekly isn't *TOO* draining)? Any good modifications that can be recommended for a better fit?