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Started by pells, February 06, 2006, 02:41:44 PM
QuoteMy trade is content, not rules. This is my battleground. My design defines a new way to write setting/plots for the purpose of rpgs. What I'm doing is best suited for narrativist group, or so I think.
QuoteThere seems to be a need for content, or so I think. Living campaign, althougth free and of poor quality, seems to have some success. From what I understand, thousand are playing them. But I can't find figure about that. Anyone knows more ?
QuoteMy design won't change much, since the database is already built. That said, I'm looking at something more I could offer. I'll give an example. In the first place, I thougth no system was needed. But I learned here I needed one (even a bad one, I guess. I'll use d20 first, as their licence suits my needs and the game is well common and played by many). I realise it would take me a couples of hours (well, more than a couple, in fact) to add it. Better me to do it once than all my costumers to do it themselves. So, what could I add ?
QuoteI know content is not the cup of tea of the forge, but still, I'm looking for some examples of design related to content, let's say outside the chapters based/separated setting thing. Any examples ?
QuoteI don't think thats a safe assumption. Depending on how the plot threads are really constructed, it may be that Narr players find this design pretty much unusable, on the basis of the usual problems that arise with stories that are laid out ahead of time. But on much the same basis, Sim and Gamist players might having such a layout highly useful.
QuoteAs you can see, the use of the calendar is not much as "time bomb", but rather as a way to impose dilemmas. What I want to avoid, is seeing my characters say "let's prevent the war, then we'll go against the orcs." It is not possible, as the two plots occur at the same time. They can't do both. The calendar is useful when players go 'in' and 'out' of stories. And this is why I say that multi plots, using a calendar, encourages, intuitively, NAR play.
QuoteI would think, if you don't have a resolution system in mind, it would be better not to have any than to force-fit your idea to d20. The point behind advocating a dedicated system is that system controls how things are done in play, obviously, and thus how your game will ACTUALLY be played. But if that is not the purpose of the product, then adding an external system will likely only distort the idea; even the very presence of the d20 system will convince some players it is is intended to be played like any other d20 game.
QuoteHence this is quite a good way to convey how the culture views itself, regards itself in terms of its own history and mores.
QuoteFirst, I believe the story/plot should be rooted in 'history'. Characters, protagonists are linked by a common history. This is the glue that tie them together. And I think this is also true for all relationship (lovers, friends) : it exists because of a common history. From that point of view, I also believe no one can't understand the present without understanding the past. I believe that this reference to the past enables the plot to be thicker, richer.
QuoteHistory - gray orcs0 : not so many, they have been living in the exile's land for many millennium. As time goes by, seeing both victories and defeats, a race of half orc has emerged.25 : the first exiled gray orcs appear on the exile's land. They are fleeing from the capital and take refuge in the mountains.326 : the gray orcs, being lead by the black orcs, take part in the assault against the three dwarf strongholds. More than ten thousand of them will die in the battle at Murdithorn.330 : the gray orc's village are now emptied of their fighters. Many generations will be needed to replenish them. 430 : as the white orc's kingdom grows, the gray orcs retreat in the mountains.1050 : brigands take control of Murdithem and chase the gray orcs who live there. Fierce clans will try to oppose them.1100 : two generations of gray orcs are forced to war against the brigands but they will not be able to prevent them from taking over the stronghold. Sporadic assaults will remain, but the war is obviously lost.1330 : gray orcs are hunted by humans in the mountains but also in the moon's forest in what seems a total war for their opponents.1351 : the gray orcs allied themselves, voluntary or not, to the black orcs as to reconstruct the tower on the lake, but also to confront the brigands. Thousands of gray orcs will be lead by a handful of black orcs.History - black orcs0 : they lead their people's exile out of the Outer World. Gulmther has finished the tower of the many mirror and Guhnvack has completed the construction of the city in the clouds. The black orcs take refuge in the volcanic mountains where they establish their capital.325 : the black orcs lead an army to strike and take control of Madyernack, the dwarf's capital. Many smaller battles will follow in the surroundings of the capital, even up to the exile's land.950 : the black orcs lead an army who defeats the man at Hoperya. Many orcs are banished from Ethernya.1100 : the black orcs who are now established at Hoperya begins to trade with Carcandasse. Prosperity for both capitals. 1351 : Gulmther sends three distinct groups of black orcs to take back the control of the tower on the lake. As to insure the success of his plans, Gulmther asks Dragneckry, who is known in the exile's land as the human goddess Thikrum, to organize the liberation of Tarm from his icy prison. The black orcs who are sent to rebuild the tower will need the help of the gray orcs as they will be oppose to brigands, the nature's dark side, humans, white orcs and even undead. Their task is not an easy one.
QuoteGray OrcsPresentationConsidered as inferior by the black orcs, most of the gray orcs have fled the capital to take refuge in the mountains. There are many dozen of thousand of gray orcs present on the exile's land, mostly in the mountains, but also in the moon's forest. Although this race is sickly by the sunlight, they can still bear it. Of peaceful nature, the gray orcs are often constraint to war, by adversaries who hunt them or by black orcs who lead them to battle. The gray orcs is a race who has suffered much by the decision of others.Arts, culture and woman's placeThe gray orcs have developed a culture of their own where nature has a predominant place. They have developed a particular bond with it, retiring magic abilities from this harmony. Those druids are wrongly named shamans and are not to confound with the real shamans of Raijuvak, half orcs who exploited the nature. Women do have an important place in their society. Often shamans, the future of this race was in the hands of women many times during their history, notably after great battles. As in all orc's culture, songs have an important place in the oral tradition, but here, it is more often question of nature than victories. Finally, those orcs owns a savoir faire for many crafts, but they do not produce any excess.PoliticsThe gray orcs live in small clans, almost family structures. Most of the time, it is the old ones who lead those gatherings. It is not rare to see a women shaman in this role, as they are known for their wisdom, but also their magic; the potions they prepare, among other things. The gray orcs do not seek wars and only wish to leave in peace. So, there is almost no battles between clans of these races, as they prefer to move than to confront aggressive neighbors. That said, gray orcs might reveals themselves great warriors if constraint to fight. And some clans, few among them, are well known for their ferocity.Trade and relation with other racesThe gray orcs would gladly trade with their neighbors but they are scorned and considered inferiors by them. So the gray orcs are at war with the humans : brigands and young rangers for the most. The first ones hunt them in the mountains as the second try to evince them from the moon's forest. The gray orcs are also hunted down by the dwarfs near Murdighar for the only reason that they represent the orc race. As for the white orcs, they affront the gray ones in the hope of seeing their territory, the kingdom of silence, grow. Finally, the gray orcs are tolerated by the Luciomes in the moon's forest as they are seen to live peacefully at nature's side. The gray orcs have their own forge where they create their weapons and armors. They use primary shorts lances and javelins in battles, wearing light armor and shield.Black OrcsPresentationThe mightiest people among all the orcs, the black orcs are mostly encountered underground, buried in his deepest depths. This race fears the light of the sun at the exception of the eater of the flesh. These elite orcs are exposed from their birth to the sunlight. Only one out of ten will survive their deadly training. But this is how the black orcs make their greatest warriors, the eater of flesh, the mightiest among the mightiest. Those warriors are tremendous colossus of more than two meters and a half, which the only sight inspires fear. They are the ones who led the exile of this race from the Outer World.Arts, culture and woman's placeMost of the black orc's culture has disappeared during their exile, but this race still owns a ancestral knowledge. So, for example, the black orcs know how to forge the noyrme, although their competence seem pale compares to those of the dwarfs. The flesh eater are always wearing splendid armors and using weapons made out from this rare metal. This race also inherit the ancient art of tattooing. As magnificent as they might seem, those tattoos are from a magic kind, conferring abilities, varied and powerful, to their wearer. Songs to the old heroes of this race are always present during any celebrations. The eater of flesh take their names from the fact that they literally eat their enemies, sometimes even on the battlefield itself. The female black orcs are reputed to be crueler and more dangerous than their male counterpart. Powerful wizard are also known to be present among this race.PoliticsThe politic system among the black orcs is quite simple since it is based on the law of the strongest. With the exile of this race from the Outer World and the massacre that took place with it, their ancients gods were killed. Thought, those who led the exile became the new gods of their race. Among the flesh eater, a small group parts from the lot, representing the leader of those warriors. The Vark'Grak'Khran, "those by whom victory befalls", constitutes a group of a hundred orcs who makes tremble from fear not only their enemies, but also those they command. It is said that a single warrior from those orcs can defeat more than a hundred adversaries. Note that all black orcs present in this scenario are from this elite formation.Trade and relation with other racesThe black orcs consider themselves the supreme race amongst the orcs. So, all the other orc's races must submit themselves, voluntary or not, to their so-called leaders. The black orcs are far better at destructing than constructing. They don't see any real interest from conquests outside domination. Native to the Outer World, the black orcs are used to be at war against all their neighbors. They tolerate the presence of the humans in the exile's land because they gain a real advantage from the trade they make with them. In the context of this scenario, the black orcs might form an unnatural alliance with the white orcs if they can't reach the tower on the frozen lake. To where this alliance might take them ? As to attain their objectives, the black orcs will need the help of the gray orcs. The latest will surely appreciate the offer, especially to oppose the brigands.
QuoteRules-lite Story or Character prioritiesThis section is likely to get me into trouble, so I'll tread carefully. I suggest that many self-described "rules-lite" or "story-oriented" role-playing games represent a derived version of the High Concept model, slanted heavily toward Situation - especially Situation which is under complete GM control, overt or covert. Players get to contribute tons of Color, even content, but never outcomes or final-resolutions, and playing the character as conceived is the first priority, sometimes taken to extremes of Actor Stance (e.g. Turku play, see the Glossary). Character and Situation are prioritized with Color, with Setting next, and lastly the formal System, which is slanted strongly toward Drama-mechanics. This mode of play may be strongly linked with LARP crossovers. (...)From the introduction to Theatrix (1993, Backstage Press, authors are David Berkman, Travis Eneix, and Brett Hackett): Making a story come to life can be a difficult task. Previous generations of game systems have been rules bound, trapped within their own structure and rigidity. We wanted to produce a game that would help you in every way, not hinder you. So we developed a system of rules that is written to evolve along with your style of storytelling and roleplaying. These rules can be used to guide every facet of the game's progress, without becoming intrusive. You can use all the rules, or easily peel them away in layers, until you're running free-form games. The rules heavily encourage adopting this style of play, making themselves unnecessary.In other words, the system helps create story by fading away, much like the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. I think that this whole design effort arises from a desire for "big story" in the face of Purist-for-System design and mainly Fortune-driven High Concept design. In the effort to get out of that sort of Simulationist play, the thought is to get rid of the System that supports it, with any explicit System being perceived as that sort of system. I consider this a problematic design goal but it's widespread enough to merit a category. What makes it difficult to discuss is that its explict story-creation goals are similar to those of Narrativist play, but the operational process is stripped-down High Concept Simulationism. (See the GNS stuff below for further discussion.)
QuoteMetagame time is rarely discussed openly, but it's the crucial one. It refers to time-lapse among really-played scenes: can someone get to the castle before someone else kills the king; can someone fly across Detroit before someone else detonates the Mind Bomb. Metagame time isn't "played," but its management is a central issue for scene-framing and the outcome of the session as a whole.(...)The following text is also from the first edition of the Dungeon Master's Guide (TSR, 1979); the author is Gary Gygax. You may ask why time is so important if it causes such difficulties with record-keeping, dictates who can or can not go adventuring during a game session, and disperses player characters to the four winds by its strictures. Well, as initially pointed out, it is a necessary penalty imposed on characters for certain activities [making magic items - RE]. Beyond that, it also gives players yet another interesting set of choices and consequences. The latter tends to bring more true-to-life quality to the game, as some characters will use precious time to the utmost advantage, some will treat it lightly, and some will be constantly wasting it to their complete detriment. Time is yet another facet which helps to separate the superior players from the lesser ones.
QuoteThe mere presence of story as the product of role-playing is not a GNS-based issue.
Quote from: pells on February 10, 2006, 01:42:22 PMI really don't know if I get this right, but I see this site, somehow, as a library. Personnaly, I use it in that way : present design, go into actual play, then come back to design, and finally publishing (later on). I guess the point in this is not repeating myself over and over, restating all the time the same thing. But there is a big counter point. It means that when writing down a new post, I'd have to ask people to read back the previous ones. And I know this is not easy to ask, as the number of threads increase. Unless some people 'follow' my project, but I wouldn't bet on that. So, I guess the use of the forge, as I see it, is kind of paradoxal.
QuoteI'm quite surprised about SIM and GAM. Do SIM players really need a plot based on event related to a specific story ? Do gamist players really need a good story ? Anyway, in both cases, they'll be confronted to the plot, to the obligation to make choices, to take sides.
QuoteI think, as long as players are looking for a good story, well, then they'll be glad with that product. I suppose I have to separate the way I play, the way I use my product, from what other people might do with it. As far as I'm concerned, it is clear to me now, that I really play narrative games.
QuoteBut there is a couple of things useful about this system, althougth, I might be wrong on my assumptions....It is gamist oriented. But I think many people use it in different ways. Why ? Because there are used to it, they're confortable with it. Or, at least I know many people who use it, but not for gamist purposes.
QuoteAnyway, for me, d20 is just a question of time spent. For Avalanche, I would need about a hundred characters sheets (main characters, and for organisations, like the military, the soldiers and officers and general). I guess I'll need about forty hours to do so. Honestly, that's not much.
QuoteThat said, I'll mention something. The database is meant for multi systems, meaning, if I can provide more than one, customers will be able to choose the one they want among them. So, if I read you well, what do you think about this : proposing (depending on their licences, my choices might still be limited there) a gamist, narr and sim systems ? Does it even seems like possible ?
QuoteThe design in itselfQuoteHence this is quite a good way to convey how the culture views itself, regards itself in terms of its own history and mores.History is an important aspect of my work. I'll quote myself
QuotePerhaps, I would not know of course, but inasmuch as you are determining events, this MAY be contradictory to the Nar desire to tell the story themselves, rather than listen to a story being told by the GM. Basically, Nar might chafe at following your story, while Sim and Gam might enjoy it precisely because it is not the MOST important issue for thrm.But that would depend on exactly how much direction you are giving.
QuoteAnd precisely because they are comfortable and familiar with it, they will use it in the same old way they always do when they play your game, and your page of play advice is going to have no impact on these embedded habits.
QuoteHow many readers are actually going to steadily work through a hundred character sheets and internalise the data? Not many I will bet.
QuotePhew. I think thats possible, but such a major idea that I have never heard it proposed before. In effect, that would be like writing three games, simply with the same setting. It would also likely mean that local play is widely divergent. Possible, yes, but I don't think you should you should try to take that on.
QuoteHaha come on man, I only work 37.5 hours a week, and they pay me real money. You're looking at a full working week here just for a bunch of NPC's that are intended purely for illustrative purposes?
QuoteIn the first place, I won't provide a dedicted system for my product (I know, what a shame). But still, I'm looking for systems that encourages NAR play in DM/players context, to see what I'd like to do. Any examples ?... an example. In the first place, I thougth no system was needed. But I learned here I needed one ... Better me to do it once than all my costumers to do it themselves. So, what could I add ?
QuoteI think it is suited to any form of play that the group likes (as is clear, by the way, in the Big Model: Creative Agenda supercedes Setting).
QuoteIf I may comment on just this question, I say don't do it (...)If I were you, with this very interesting methodology, I would instead pick "paragons" of GAM/NAR/SIM mechanics and make sure that your setting content makes it crystal clear where the "interfaces" to your setting are for particular system types.
QuoteMaybe even go so far as to organize the content presentation to mirror the Big Model. Clearly delineate the challenges, thematic import, and details of situation--even use those as major sub-headings for a given story module--and let the customer easily find the hook that they need for their favorite mode of play and system.
Quotemake your setting content so thoroughly detailed that a GAM will think it's rife with challenge and rewards, a NAR will find many threads of theme to explore, and a SIM will not ever lack for specific details of timing, culture, and conflict.
QuoteAs a final note: please look into some "nonlinear narrativism" and other modern (post-modern, really) literary theory: I recall some folks at UC Berkeley doing "experimental English" which your setting design method reminded me of. You are, it seems to me, bringing some bleeding edge literary criticism theory into the RPG market; you might take inspiration from what they have done.
QuoteDo you mean I should put no system ? What do you mean exactly by paragons ? Presenting three mechanics, each one from a clearly different type of play ?
QuoteI agree with you say. But I still think I need a system if I'm going to hope to sell more than three copies.
QuoteDoes that means that I can present my product with more than one system ? Is that still coherent ? Would the major error be to tag a system on my product ?
QuoteIf so, the problem of systems, does it become a publishing issue ?
QuoteDoes the design problem of the system should be thougth out as a whole ?
QuoteWould it be interesting to dissect the narrative stream (or so to called it) and find out what DMs would need, when, depending on their of play ? Here, I'm thinking about add-on on the events, some kind of properties, a link toward a system ?
QuoteIf you mean (b), then be prepared to compete with professional writers, perhaps with significant credits, who will appropriate your method as a "mode" to employ, not "your style" that they are plagiarizing. And they'll be write, so long as they do not adopt your method's terminology--which will be easy, as systems can be retooled quite quickly while keeping their functional core. But content (settings and situations) are just as easy to protect as systems are to steal: who could re-write Journe or the Dune universe or the Wild Cards settings without cries of "hack!" and "copycat!" ringing across the land?
QuoteWe are stumbling on diction, I think. I am proposing that you include no System at all: a setting/situation-only product that can be used with any of the three Creative Agendas (and any of a number of Systems that serve each Agenda). I also recommend that you do not include your method for creating your modules (it's your Trade Secret); this is what you seem to mean when you say "system," but The Forge has a fairly rigorous meaning for System, and it does not pertain to the content-creation process.
QuoteI believe so: if you make a System, you will invariably make that System serve a particular Agenda (or will make an abashed System); that's what drives the whole notion of System as subsumed under Agenda in The Big Model. But I believe the strength of your product is the afrementioned method of content-creation. You are selling a "versatile" product, not a "targetted" one, yes? If you provide a System, you will probably cut out 2/3 of the possible Agendas.Further, I would not be eager to enter the competative space of System products: there are a LOT of solid Systems already out there, with big marketing and big followings. You want to leverage that by providing a product that is non-System-specific, and basically be able to use all that marketing and following to your advantage. That means a product that is System-independant and, yet, which has content available to support any Agenda (and, thus, any System).
QuoteI couldn't hurt to have a sample module, perhaps--even the outline for one--to begin to give concrete examples of where each Agenda is served by your method of content creation. Bring it on....