Rusalka's Bad Idea: Single(ish) Sphere oWoD



  • P.S - Lancea et Sanctum Foreva! Burn the Heretics! Purge the Unclean! Stick the Stickers! #SkateboardKidDeath4Ever



  • I wish you luck. Hasn't every one of the last three single-sphere WoD games failed due to not having ALL THE THINGS? What are you going to do that makes this worth people checking out? I am meaning this in the vein of 'is it going to be a single sphere sandbox' or 'is it going to be staff-run metaplot focused game' or what?


  • Coder

    @Bobotron

    As I said in the original post, it's not going to be a sandbox. I'd be (or would be attempting, in any case) running longer plots and trying to keep a cohesive theme.



  • @Bobotron Fallen World added Werewolf, but was fairly active with just Mage. Because there was PLOT. Also: story xp and rewarding people being active, more than just normal xp.

    @Rusalka is planning on having PLOT, which most of the failed single sphere games that I saw lacked, so we shall see.


  • Pitcrew

    Also, whatever you do, please get rid of scaled XP costs. That oWoD throwback is really, really bad design and makes CG a slog that forces you to game the system!


  • Admin

    @Jennkryst said in Rusalka's Bad Idea: Single(ish) Sphere oWoD:

    @Bobotron Fallen World added Werewolf, but was fairly active with just Mage. Because there was PLOT. Also: story xp and rewarding people being active, more than just normal xp.

    I think that's the key above all else.

    Look, there's a tendency here to think success in a CoD MU* somehow has something to do with selecting the right city, or the right spheres, or maybe just slap the right wiki on it. And I mean all those things play into it, sure... they are still pretty important parts of the puzzle.

    But what matters more than everything else put together is that people can log on and have shit to do. If you don't have shit to do, you won't be sticking around for long, which creates a catch-22 as the next person to come along doesn't find you waiting there, so they don't stick around either.

    I know it's tempting for staff to just come up with the perfect fusion of cinematic, fanfic and grimdark elements, put them into their dankest prose and flesh out this awesome, brooding mindscape they've been hoping to find in a game forever and then sit back and watch it all play out... but it doesn't end well when done like that. It fizzles, almost entirely due to the reasons described above.

    Game-runners need to accommodate plot, to get it happening somehow. If it means that for the first several weeks they're the ones doing that, too, on top of their other responsibilities then so be it... if it means bribing good players to come along and shoulder some of that burden either through PrP or just on-grid RP then that's probably even better... but it needs to happen one way or the other, or the MU* won't go far.

    With most games I don't care - some are obviously just put online because their owner knows how to install a stock CoD base and has $5/month to spare for the hosting. But it's frustrating to see sometimes projects I can recognise have had real creativity and passion put in them fail just because their staff is overwhelmed for the first weeks trying to come up with equipment lists or similar distractions as they become disillusioned at seeing their playerbase dwindle; but they made the equipment lists! Look, all sorts of vehicles are on it, along with how many dots of Resources it takes to afford them!


  • Coder

    @Bobotron @SunnyJ and I have been strongly if single sphere games can work at all. I'm leaning towards "no", unless it's Vampire.

    There's just a certain level of self propulsion that doesn't exist in single sphere games. There's also the reality that more players = more play = more players = more play.

    I think a single sphere game can continue ruining if there's a story that's being followed and STs that are committed to telling the story. You may end up with a just a few players that are regularly logging in, but so long as you can be happy with that? You'll be ok.

    Though, as a note, the game ends up playing a little bit like a tabletop, just way, way slower. I'm probably getting off into a whole new rant, but when players take 5-10 minutes to get out a pose, and you have 5 of them, a fairly simple scene can end up taking hours. If you are doing single sphere, story intensive, I'd suggest you keep in mind that you may well end up in the "basically a tabletop" situation, and plan accordingly, and finds way to keep things moving.


  • Admin

    @skew said in Rusalka's Bad Idea: Single(ish) Sphere oWoD:

    @Bobotron @SunnyJ and I have been strongly if single sphere games can work at all. I'm leaning towards "no", unless it's Vampire.

    There's just a certain level of self propulsion that doesn't exist in single sphere games. There's also the reality that more players = more play = more players = more play.

    I agree on the matter of self propulsion - but I don't think that's a sphere thing rather than politics. I believe that's the driver behind characters being able to generate their own momentum without external stimuli.

    The problem here is probably caked into the splats themselves; Werewolf for example suffers from it greatly because it's so fundamentally built around the Hunt, and interactions with NPCs (the Pure, spirits), both of which require a ST.

    Vampire gets away with it because - at least when done right - due to politics; they can be other's foils occasionally on an individual basis. To use the same example Werewolf typically doesn't because the emphasis is less on the individual and more on packs which there are rarely enough of for everyone to fit in, and bickering over turfs, resources etc is typically kept to a minimum.

    So I'd say the deciding factor is how externally-facing a sphere is. But that's something that can be adjusted by theme and sphere design. If a Werewolf game was done from scratch it might work.


  • Pitcrew

    Build settings with conflict inherent in them. If you just build a city, it will be another bland-by-night. If you build a city ravaged by war, supernatural catastrophe, large-scale historical events, natural catastrophe, people will have built-in reasons to RP around.

    Don't build a city. Build a setting that you could drop a character in and they could RP immediately without someone handing them a plot.


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