Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?)


  • Pitcrew

    I've been in this game "for srs" since maybe 2011, I suppose? A stint in the 90s and then a little in the mid-aughts, but mostly since 2011.

    And I know a constant question people ask, is: What is GAME X going to do differently. What CAN be done differently? What SHOULD be done differently?

    So the first part of this post, is going to be me spitballing some ideas as to what I feel could and should be done differently, and then asking for others ideas.

    • Grid Design - Part of me feels that a pre-made, pre-described grid is... a waste. Many players eschew the room descriptions, and many prefer to use +temprooms, RP rooms or private builds. How much is a minimum necessary grid design for a city? The sprawling layouts of DM or even HM are, imo, dead.

    • An End to Bar-P - I have long ranted against random social banter RP, slice of life stuff, when that is all I can find. It is something I personally feel should be used as a downtime thing between active story

    • Homework - Some games thrive on this, some entirely balk at the idea. But in general, how much effort is fair to ask of your players? Is background too much? Scene tracking? How can we streamline this process as well. Clearly automatic logging is not something most people, or anyone, wants.

    • Making things matter - How do you make what happens logical, consistent, and important without dedicating a small team to it? How do you ensure that the firefight that happens in one neighborhood actually impact the lives of the characters who live there but were not logged in at the time? How can we establish continuity of Non-Player characters between stories, characters, players, and scenes?



  • @tragedyjones

    It's a constant question because everyone has a different opinion, and there is no 'one size fits all' answer for all games. Your answers depend on your staff, your players, your goals with the game, and everything in between. It has to be tailored to the experience you want out of the game.

    Here are my thoughts, and what I like to see and anecdotes from my game history.

    • Grid Design: I come from a history of games where huge grids were the norm, whether that be an entire Earth/planet grid built out like a RISK board (Transformers, Megaman), or large cities (superhero MU*s) or a combination of both (Multiverse Crisis). We used those things as guidelines. I feel like a mixture of easy to make (and destroy, or permanently add to the grid) temp rooms plus a minimalistic 'here are expectations' grid is the best option.
      This has to be tailored for your expectations of the game but also, what the staff plans to provide as utility. Myself, I'm a fan of a) minimalistic 'overworld' grids, which have 'here is what's going on' and b) more descriptive 'internal' grids, like inside of a mansion.
    • An End to Bar-P: That requires 1) staff oversight and 2) player buy-in. Your problem with this is going to be 'who is going to constantly run the things that are not bar RP'? And where do you find things to run? Again, this requires tailoring to the genre and the game itself, and having staff willing to a) run things for the playerbase, and b) trust the playerbase to run things. This is where some of the massive overhead being bitched about in the random bitching thread comes from.
      When I ran Megaman X MUSH, we (both players and staff) ran stuff like 'random robots go out of control' or 'Mavericks need <X> resources, let's go steal it' alongside bigger things (Repliforce coup, revival of Sigma, etc.). Beast Wars: Transmetals had a steady stream of 'resources are needed, let's go find the thing' or 'new character introduction sparks RP by dint of being a fight between the factions for the new Transformer (even if the application dictated the faction)'.
      You have to be able to find something within the genre to run, and have people willing to run it.
    • Homework: Again, tailored to the game. I come from a background where none of that was required, but we did it because it was fun to share logs. We did IC reports posts because, well, the other Maximals deserved to know the Predacons blew up the minitank prototype, but you got a sweet new flying Maximal out of the deal. We did... stuff... because we felt it added to the game based on the genre. I think if you can't get effort out of your players for OOC aspects of the game, you're going to have apathetic players who don't really care about the IC area. But I am weird, in that I view the players of a game often as more family/community, and try to treat it as such.
      Making Things Matter: This is the difficult one. This ties into the 'homework' issue above, and to be honest, this is one of those 'you need to trust the players' aspects, especially if you have a small staff. Perhaps, in the case of a WoD game, make sure people get a bennie for helping to report that stuff?
      Having records submitted was one thing we did at MMXMUSH; factions submitted AAR reports as part of something the players just... did... in that circle of MU*s. And we updated grid descs, room holders, etc. from the info there. But we also made it very clear to the players that 'hey, we are staff and not omniscient. Did you do a cool thing? Send us a log and alert and let us know so we can update stuff'. Treating players as part of the game, and asking them to help (not requiring, but asking) goes a long way to fostering community.

  • Admin

    @tragedyjones said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    • Grid Design - Part of me feels that a pre-made, pre-described grid is... a waste. Many players eschew the room descriptions, and many prefer to use +temprooms, RP rooms or private builds. How much is a minimum necessary grid design for a city? The sprawling layouts of DM or even HM are, imo, dead.

    I quite agree. But then again I don't really think grids in general are necessary - hangouts are. As long as a few prexisting rooms are in place (parks, bars, hospitals, etc of different styles) and the ability to create temprooms or whatever, that's more than enough.

    • An End to Bar-P - I have long ranted against random social banter RP, slice of life stuff, when that is all I can find. It is something I personally feel should be used as a downtime thing between active story

    +1. Personally I hate bar RP PrPs even more, but some do like it so... mileage, I guess. The idea of a 'birthday party PrP' makes me wince though!

    • Homework - Some games thrive on this, some entirely balk at the idea. But in general, how much effort is fair to ask of your players? Is background too much? Scene tracking? How can we streamline this process as well. Clearly automatic logging is not something most people, or anyone, wants.

    I prefer attracting players to forcing them to do things. So while a very simple background could be required (I don't think even that should be), letting players fill out short/long term aspirations for example leads to XPs, so they have a reason to do it. Or... you could match STs to them if they fill out some 'wanted' sections on what kinds of things they want ran for them - completely voluntary but there's a payoff for it. Or they can file a weekly report - like KD did, which was a good idea - instead of automatic XP... which lets staff know what's going on on their own grid.

    Such things have a payoff without being chores. If a player doesn't want them, if it's too much, so be it.

    • Making things matter - How do you make what happens logical, consistent, and important without dedicating a small team to it? How do you ensure that the firefight that happens in one neighborhood actually impact the lives of the characters who live there but were not logged in at the time? How can we establish continuity of Non-Player characters between stories, characters, players, and scenes?

    I think this requires the expenditure of a resource staff hasn't traditionally spent on players - trust. But for example allowing any character to change the description to any room temporarily - with an easy way to restore them to the default - could help.

    Yielding some control over staff resources like sphere NPCs to players can also help; so many characters are born on a staffer's mind, get put on a wiki page and then stay there because there's never enough time to flesh them out or give the leverage they ought to have in the actual game so they can enrich PCs' RP. Allowing players to control them in a limited fashion as a hybrid between roster characters and NPCs for example might be fun.

    Finally, making sure plot reaches your players in different ways and through a variety of venues is important. You know what I see a lot of? Either gigantic staff-ran scenes where a lot is on rails, or small pockets of activity centered around pocket STs where most of the MUSH has no such access to PrPs - or worse, they're limited to the aforementioned "PrP" bar scenes. To do this there has to be part of the game's design - matching STs to characters, lettering the latter give hooks to the former so they can concoct plots where they can thrive.

    For instance it's really hard start an openly accessible public +event where I may know X, Y, Z are coming but hardly anything about what X Y or Z actually want; what motivates their characters, what their players would like, something. Anything. So it's common to end up with a necessarily more generic plot hoping to hit the right notes enough to engage people - but if those players are encouraged to provide this information upfront, and keep it up to date, it's a much more efficient process.

    I hope that helped some.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel The idea about possibly allowing players to alter descriptions, and of allowing them to be STs in general, is appealing to me.

    Maybe even just have a policy where, in any scene of X or more players, they may designate (or just agree on a volunteer) to act as a Storyteller/GM for the scene?



  • @tragedyjones
    I'm not sure why that ISN'T a default policy. IMO, that should be. Is it that endemic of 'OH I DON'T TRUST ANYONE OOC' of the WoD MU* that 'hey we need an ST/Narrator, you know the rules, you wanna help?' is verboten?


  • Pitcrew

    @Bobotron

    Part a history of long term OOC distrust of other players, and part a long term OOC distrust of players from staff.


  • Admin

    @tragedyjones said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    @Arkandel The idea about possibly allowing players to alter descriptions, and of allowing them to be STs in general, is appealing to me.

    Maybe even just have a policy where, in any scene of X or more players, they may designate (or just agree on a volunteer) to act as a Storyteller/GM for the scene?

    Well, my reasoning here is simple: A common issue with MU* is we need to make tasks 'scale up' {tm} so staff doesn't burn out from the upkeep. To do this there are just three approaches:

    1. Remove the tasks

    2. Automate the tasks

    3. Crowdsource the tasks

    Since 1) can only be done too much before the game is poorer for it, and 2) can only be done with things which can be automated, the only remaining resource to tap is players, right? So let's invest in those fuckers, see if they can contribute a little. :)

    I like the idea of designating STs - make it be an actual command ("Arkandel volunteers to ST for this scene! Are you okay with this?") and if more than half the characters are okay he gets some sort of funky set of abilities such as limited viewing of current aspirations for those present.

    Another thing I'll never get tired of promoting is encouraging IC rivalries. Making characters provide each other's challenges is a good thing - it's just that we've traditionally been going the wrong way about it. If the only way I'm challenging your character results in either a win for you or loss of your character/position ("I stab you in the heart/remove you from Sheriff") then of course it comes down to negative OOC feelings, but if the very fact we're opposing each other long-termly regardless of who wins is becoming a primary source of XP and status then damn, suddenly we're not obstacles to each other... we're source of precious RP and character advancement.


  • Pitcrew

    Re, PC Rivalries:

    Perhaps a board or wiki or something announcing people, uh, looking for rivals? Maybe even make it a semi-official thing, where as someone is designated as your OOC nemesis, and you get reward X for thwarting them, and that reward is milkable (including more RP) but if you just, idk, KILL them, the flow is cut off.

    Especially for a Vampire game, having a nemesis is fun.

    @Thenomain, requesting one (1) +ST command that does what Ark suggested!


  • Admin

    @tragedyjones said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    Re, PC Rivalries:

    Perhaps a board or wiki or something announcing people, uh, looking for rivals? Maybe even make it a semi-official thing, where as someone is designated as your OOC nemesis, and you get reward X for thwarting them, and that reward is milkable (including more RP) but if you just, idk, KILL them, the flow is cut off.

    Especially for a Vampire game, having a nemesis is fun.

    @Thenomain, requesting one (1) +ST command that does what Ark suggested!

    Although a forum or something can absolutely work, what I was talking with @Gingerlily about a few days ago was trying to automate this stuff so that it seems organic and seemless.

    For example:

    Ark and TJ meet at a bar. TJ rolls manipulation on Ark; if it succeeds they both get a tiny bit of XPs on the spot, along with a cooldown for a few RL hours so they can't just spam it. It also increments the rivalry counter between them.

    Next time Ark and TJ roll between them the same thing happens but the amount of XP ramps up slightly based on that counter. And then the same thing happens, again and again - until the rivalry between us is a constant, primary source of XPs (obviously there should be diminishing returns at some point, but you know where I'm going with it).

    What does this shit do?

    1. It means we actually like the rivalry. Sure, IC one of us probably wins or loses or whatever, but it's advancing us both dammit. It's not just fun for the winner - hell, you can give slightly more XPs to the loser as a sweetener.

    2. It makes social skills relevant and wanted. You know how we rarely roll stuff on each other because it's such a sigmatised practice? Well, this makes it actually part of the game on an everyday basis.

    And the best part? Other than the coders having to code this crap in, it takes 0 work from staff and 0 work from players. No +jobs need to be filed, no justifications, nada. It just works based on stuff you'd want to be doing anyway - using your sheet abilities to do what they're made to do.



  • Grid Design: I like old-school sprawl grids, so my preference is opposite here. I think you can split the difference somewhat, however, by: instead of building a traditional grid grid, and a temproom nexus, build a very small grid where the 'grid rooms' describe a very large area, and allow people to spawn temprooms from there that would be locations in that area. I considered doing this for a multi-planet grid: 'planet' would have been a single grid room, and people could spawn locations from there as needed. Now, granted, it's a little more relevant to know what planet someone is on than what major area they're in, this can be relevant if some major staff-led event goes down. Having a few built and stable-ish sphere locs as needed can also be a benefit. You can basically split the difference here, is what I'm saying: strip the actual 'grid' down even further, then temp it from there. (Strip, burbs, desert, mountains, whatever, done, for example.)

    Social RP: I think it has value and gives context to things. It's good for downtime. I don't think you need to treat every birthday party as a major plot (because that is silly), but you also do not want to bash the shit out of it to the extent that people feel ashamed to be seen RPing something casual or social ever, or like the game view of that RP is wrongfun. That's a quick recipe for people doing more nothing in their downtime than many already do.

    Homework: I don't consider a minor background a big deal. I think a general character overview that mentions anything extraordinary is maybe better than the standard 'tell me more about your mother... ' that always sounds like a first appointment with a novice shrink. Depending on how much you're cool with having public, I may be able to help with a log form, and may be able to do some other submission stuff like that as well. People are iffy about that, but some stuff is possible. I was able to figure out how to get a log submission form set up that'd calculate XP per player based on the metrics I was using, which also included some of the CoD stuff like breaking points and aspirations filled in scene. It makes it more time and effort to submit the log, but it did all the calculations for you and could spit out a script for staff to just paste into the game after looking it over with a total for the ST and an individualized breakdown per player. If you're sticking with just the basics of CoD and maybe some kind of <time period> or theme incentive, that can be reproduced pretty easily if it sounds like it would help out on the homework front.

    Making things matter: Mrr. I'll get back to you on this one. My ideas in this vein are weird and trended toward a different sort of game model lately so I'd have to get back to you about it.



  • @Arkandel
    Re: Player STs
    Yeah, but how do you break the cycle of trust that @surreality and I were talking about briefly? The players need to have some sort of buy in, and not just some tangible reward benefit.

    • Automation of some of this can be achieved. For example, Megaman MUSH had a 'restat yourself temporarily' as an enemy setup, as does/did Multiverse Crisis. When you made changes to your stats, it told the room, so you couldn't do it in the middle of combat without being VERY blatant about the cheating. And at that point, you have no real compunction of 'cheating' on rules since the system is automated, and you have simply 'the scene' to be run. NPCs that are grabbable, logins, however you want to do it. Lists like game rosters. Stuff like that can add to the trust of a scene runner.

    Re: PC Rivalries
    What do you do to incentivize a PC rivalry so that it doesn't turn into killytime? Having rivals is great and awesome, but it seems like people have no conception of escalation and process other than 'you insulted me, I'm going to blow you up now!' This also becomes harder in a non-factionalized game, where your rivals/enemies may be within the same group as you, and doubly hard in a game where PK is fairly trivial. Perhaps...


  • Pitcrew

    I think maybe if staff gives players a little more trust, it could help. Or it could destroy a game, but there will always be new games, eh?



  • @Bobotron In fairness, this is partly why I'm just writing up something new with a quickie method of preset rolls and whatnot rather than using CoD. There's a lot of material and corner cases to learn in CoD, and that can be daunting for a novice ST, which gets a lot of people antsy about starting to run scenes or taking on that responsibility. I am the worst person to ask on this front, pretty much. I've staffed CoD and I still don't always feel totally comfy running stuff in it. (And I've purged so much from my brain at this point to make room for new stuff I would say I am totally not qualified for it, to give you some idea.)

    If you could do something similar -- set up some roll presets, that is -- I think it could help in a pinch for the basics. That strikes me as being... not so easy, either, though.



  • @surreality
    Yeah, I just edited my post a bit. But automation definitely helps with some of the trust issues, since, unless a player has the capability to silently change their stats (and wiz-restricted attributes make that much more difficult), particularly when it comes to combat/conflict, and so you can just be like 'code's doing it's thing, let's play'.

    @tragedyjones
    In an ideal world, this wouldn't need to be something that has to be said. Trust should go both ways, and the default should be to trust, unless someone has proven themselves untrustworthy.


  • Pitcrew

    @tragedyjones said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    • Grid Design

    I feel like every room on the grid should have an explicit purpose--and an appropriate purpose is not "to expand the distance between here and there." In my opinion, if there aren't at least 1-2 hooks in the description to explain why someone might be RPing in the room, the room shouldn't be there. I've also seen several systems that allow PCs to add on gridrooms and give them temp-descs ("Need an alleyway for a scene? Add one!"), which I think is a great step between a grid and a roleplay room.

    • An End to Bar-P

    I don't see a problem with Bar-P... so long as it's just there to re-establish status quo or to discuss how crazily the status quo has been shifted. I feel like slice of life RP is how you make sure that Going Out And Saving The World (or whatever you do on your MUSH) feels different, and not like... Tuesday. But if there aren't enough things going on that the characters have new things to talk about ("Holy crap, did you see the kaiju eat the schoolbus the other day?" "No, that was last week, this week the Cylons attacked, and I'm scared of them!"), then yes, Bar-P gets boring as heck. This ties into Making Things Matter below, however, because it needs a metaplot to constantly reset the status quo, and that, as you and @Arkandel mentioned, requires player buy-in.

    • Homework

    I've been loving on Fires of Hope's +goals system, and I always think that it's good to have some background approved to make sure that the player understands the theme, current situation, and general power-level of the game. So I'm pro-some-homework. I also rather liked Arx's journal system, because it encouraged providing Staff with general ideas on what your character was up to, which is always nice, and it did so by rewarding you for putting in those reports. (Making some of these +goals public would really help with the PC Storyteller problem @Arkandel mentioned too.)

    I think that logging objects are a nice addition to assist with making sure that all of the logs make it up onto the wiki (or at least all of the logs that anyone wants to see), I wonder about tossing in a tiny advancement bonus for consistent logging? An XP every 5-10 logs posted on an FS3 scale, 50-odd XP per log posted on a Saga Edition scale, that sort of thing.

    As many people here have said, you have to incentivize the things that you want people to do. If player-homework is helpful to you, give them a reason to do it (besides "you have to").

    • Making things matter

    This right here is the biggest one for me. If the scene from two weeks ago doesn't matter for what's going on right now... what was the point of the scene from two weeks ago? This also ties in to the reason I MUSH--I want to see the game world react to me and to be forced to react to the game world. Continuity has to be maintained if you want players to buy in to your metaplot/stories, and if you want to have something pushing the game forward and keeping it from disintegrating into a morass of sexy sandboxes.

    So I think there are a couple of vitally important points to this:

    1. Active bboards. If something happens in a neighborhood, you really have to either mail everyone living/working/whatever in that neighborhood, or (more easily) you have to be sure to post something on a bboard to let people know it happened. Just a summary and a link to the log should be fine--some people will read the log, some won't, but at least the summary will give them something new to talk about next time they're at the bar.

    2. An NPC Dramatis Personae with updates. This is actually one of my favorite parts of starting up a game--creating all the NPCs that fill out the ranks of the PCs' unit/ship/whatever. Not all of them, of course, but the Captain, the XO, the heads of the departments, that sort of thing. A name, a rank, a gender, a species, a general personality--that's usually all that's needed. But when I was last doing this regularly, the game I was doing it on didn't have a wiki. Now we can have a wiki page for NPCs, and provide updates as to what they've been doing on the grid. And they should definitely be doing things on the grid, because you should trust your players to use them in scenes (even if it's just griping or raving about something they're doing off-screen) to enrich the world. Seeing NPC1 get shot down in a scene doesn't have nearly as much impact as seeing Natalya "Sweetpea" Latuni, the hardass pilot who chewed out my character for screwing up a landing, and who saved my character's ass three dogfights ago, get shot down.

    3. An evolving grid. I forget which codebase I saw it in, but there was a commonly-used-codebase that allowed tempdescs to be added to rooms. It didn't change the description of the room itself, but any player could add a temporary desc to the end of the description. So... having a party? Desc up what's happening and in what areas. Had a firefight? Desc up the bullet holes, cops patrolling, crime scene tape. Big fire? Desc up that one of the buildings is burned down. I think these reset automatically after two midnights, but they could be submitted for addition to the permanent desc if players wanted. Obviously, Staff has to trust players not to go overboard (don't burn down the Elysium every week), but that's part of what all of these require:

    4. Trust each other. Players have to trust Staff and go all-in on what they're doing. Staff has to trust Players and support what they're doing, let them do (some of) what they want to, tie it in, make it part of the story. Without both of those, you get stagnation.


  • Admin

    @Bobotron said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    @Arkandel
    Re: Player STs
    Yeah, but how do you break the cycle of trust that @surreality and I were talking about briefly? The players need to have some sort of buy in, and not just some tangible reward benefit.

    Concessions have to be made from both sides. If you're staff and I'm a player and we both go in thinking he's out to get me then of course it won't work!

    So for example I don't like the idea of PCs holding high ranks in game-wide factions; it generates drama and often unthematically high turnover ('the Prince has changed for the sixth time this year'). So what if we opened up NPC positions like that in a roster-like fashion as unchangable, static playable NPCs instead? So for example I'd be playing my Crone PC as normal but I also get 'custody' of the Invictus Primogen under certain conditions - can't use him for PvP or to favor my alt, etc.

    My understanding is at least... Fear and Loathing is already doing something similar and it hasn't blown up on their faces, and it lets such characters be used for PrPs both as antagonists and quest givers. Do you know how many times I wanted to use a random Vampire NPC just to kick off a storyline by having them task PCs with something, and staff said they alone have to play such characters, so I had to basically create a new NPC out of nowhere from scratch who has no ties to the game outside of my specific arc? Why? How is the game served? Give your players a bit of leeway and let them play with your toys.

    Re: PC Rivalries
    What do you do to incentivize a PC rivalry so that it doesn't turn into killytime? Having rivals is great and awesome, but it seems like people have no conception of escalation and process other than 'you insulted me, I'm going to blow you up now!' This also becomes harder in a non-factionalized game, where your rivals/enemies may be within the same group as you, and doubly hard in a game where PK is fairly trivial.

    Escalation is an issue. My hope is that if your PC, as my rival, is personally responsible for 60% of my XP and it's taken us six months to ramp it up there, then I really won't want to kill him in some meaningless spat - there goes my meal ticket! Coincidentally it also gives us an incentive to actually play more often - tying status to it makes sense, too. We're defined by our enemies in many ways so why not socially as well?

    But of course this has to be thematic, which isn't too hard. Vampires aren't supposed to just destroy each other, there's a Tradition about this; Uratha, the same. Outside the WoD... say, Arx offers duels as a way to settle dispites, or a MU* based on something like @surreality's beloved Black Sails, a show which had a high turnover at times, could still take advantage of the realization every pirate they killed was one less abled person around to fight the Brits.

    Whatever it is, I think unless your game is meant to have dead PCs as a core trope then you need to make sure it's not the go-to for conflict resolution. But there are many ways to do this.



  • @Bobotron Even the basic rolls have so many modifiers based on character type and merits and environmental factors that it becomes hard, though. For instance, I'm looking at something that would just be, say, +roll/task punch=<target difficulty number> without much of a need for modifiers if circumstances were generally default. (You could mix/match components, too, with a more complex thing for corner cases, but the goal was to get all the basic tasks accounted for in a form that simple so almost anybody could run a thing on the fly without needing to know the ins and outs.) The system's designed to make things easier that way with the target difficulty number rather than, say, a stack of +/- mods, which are allll over WoD and nWoD and CoD, and that's before you get to things like defense or all the various merits and widgets it would need to check for. One or the other of those and it could be feasible (and it would super simplify things!), but for CoD... yeah, this is a big reason I meandered away from it.



  • @Seraphim73
    I will subscribe to your newsletter, but in particular...
    RE: Active BBoards - I think one thing that bboards could be set up for, is perhaps, 'area' bboards. We do factions, groups, etc. But what about area news/updates? Like, my game is set in NYC, and so I could do a bboard for each Borough... have characters who live/exist in that borough attach themselves to that bboard and get more detailed info than a general New York Times or Word on the Street/Rumor Mill bbpost.

    @Arkandel
    You actually touched on something I had been dancing around bringing up in my head. Rosters of 'setting NPCs'. Not just mooks and enemies, but (to use a vampire example), the Primogen, Prince, Seneschal, etc. Things you want to be consistent. But at that point, you'd have the same 'NO FCs!!!!!' people screaming about it, despite the good it would do to be like 'here are the guidelines, here's the process to GET this PC, you cna have normal PC and custody of this, just ensure you follow policy X on 'history and updates' or whatever.

    EDIT TO ADD: On Transformers 2k5, Transformers: Genesis and Beast Wars: Transmetals (to a lesser extent) facheads (and in this instance, this is what the above rosters/FCs would be, essentially) were sort of 'mini-staff' and involved more deeply in staff processes. I wonder how that would work on a WoD or WoD-esque game, where the players of those things are custodians of them and beholden to use that to support/advance the game, not their own OOC agenda.

    @surreality
    Correct. Which is why automation won't work with 99% of RPG systems. Big reason why I'm going a different direction with setup and code for HotB.


  • Admin

    @Bobotron said in Innovations to the form (Crowdsourcing?):

    You actually touched on something I had been dancing around bringing up in my head. Rosters of 'setting NPCs'. Not just mooks and enemies, but (to use a vampire example), the Primogen, Prince, Seneschal, etc. Things you want to be consistent. But at that point, you'd have the same 'NO FCs!!!!!' people screaming about it, despite the good it would do to be like 'here are the guidelines, here's the process to GET this PC, you cna have normal PC and custody of this, just ensure you follow policy X on 'history and updates' or whatever.

    Personally my concern is never "oh, players are going to ABUSE playing a PRIMOGEN TO favor their BUDDIES". I mean if they do then step in, it's not a big deal.

    I am a lot more concerned about NPCs being played consistently however; if I'm playing that 400 year old Elder like an angsty teenager today and you're playing them like a racist cranky old man the next then at some point it'll become an issue. That's the only reason I prefer granting specific players 'custody'; that, and continuity - then if I fall off the face of the earth due to RL next week the Primogen himself is still the same character, there's some continuity, and someone else can claim and use them for plots. It's not my NPC, I just... take care of them for a while.

    And there should be specific guidelines and restrictions so I'm not basically just using them as my PC. Fear and Loathing's guideline about Guest Stars covered it well, I thought, even though they weren't doing this exact thing.



  • @Arkandel
    I went back and reread and realized I misread. You're meaning 'as long as they're not in use, anyone can grab them for a scene and play them within the guidelines of the character' setup. I was looking at it from the concept of 'this player can get this for long-term off of a roster, and play within the guidelines of the character' angle. But yeah, the big concern is consistency of presentation.


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