Umbral Shards: Original Theme seeks Creative Types


  • Coder

    Hey,

    I thought I'd post here, since MU_Gateway seems to be light-weight on the WHO nowadays, and MudConnect seems to be...well, MUDs. I'm building/coding an original-theme game that I would love some prodding/inspiring conversation on. Whether people are looking to contribute ideas or actual building/thematic work, I'd love to have help.

    The goal is to build a game that is using a very lightweight WoD-ish sort of system, but something that is easy to use and work with (without the heavy requirements of books). This is a project that a few people were helping me with a few years back that got some traction, but then life stole everyone away. I've restarted the project with the hope of just making it a personal project, but if others are interested, hey, give me a shout. You can check that part out at myriadRPG.org.

    As for the game, I am looking to do a modern Chicago as the 'real world' of the setting. Then, there are other Realms/dimensions/planes/shards that are reachable by people with Talents/Powers/Magic/Technology of whatever levels to be able to do so. The first Realm that I am striving to build is a "shadow/dark/hellish/post-apocalyptic" version of Chicago. It is war-torn, overrun by nasties, abandoned and very dark, dangerous and deadly. You get the idea.

    The goal is to allow groups of players to band together, go on adventures/excursions for whatever reasons they choose, and we game out what happens. The actions of the first characters and groups will alter the grid, the storyline, the theme, whatever needs to happen to account for what they have accomplished/discovered/created. I am looking to build a game that is expandable, both thematically and physically, as new ideas are introduced, new players carve new areas, and things happen ICly.

    Yes, this sounds <whatever>. But, I still want to give it a try. Others that I've talked to over time have liked the idea, and I get that this post doesn't cover it all. I can't just post "Hey, oWoD set in Paris, no Mages" and everyone knows where I am going with it.

    So, if interested, fastest/bestest way to contact me is at umbralshards.mush@gmail.com. If you want to connect as a guest and read the news files so far, hit: silvren.com 6900. I tend to be around during weekday, US days, if you wanna chat.


  • Politics

    So would "Supernatural Sliders" sort of work as a soft-pitch short concept for the game? With the caveat that the characters can come back to the "prime" reality at the end of each plot and aren't stuck in an alternate realm or skipping between alternate realms?


  • Coder

    I figure that characters, in the beginning, will be 'real people' sorts of characters and be from the reality side of things. THey would traipse through the Barrier and do things, then come back (provided that their method of sidestepping hasn't been lost/destroyed).

    Ideally, if the game grew, we could have a small group of nasties characters who do the opposite and act as antagonists.


  • Politics

    @Rook
    Yes, what I meant was more in the thematic sense. i.e. Sliders-but-with-supernatural-elements.


  • Coder

    From what I remember from Sliders, it was a-world-an-episode sort of series, but aside from that I think you're onto something there.

    EDIT: In thinking about it more - I'd not see multiple realms cropping up willy-nilly, of course. But, I could see players developing out Theme and Grid to support new realities that made sense in the game.


  • Politics

    @Rook

    The way I am imagining what you are presenting is:

    The PCs find a way to travel between Realms that are separated from the "prime" Realm (the one the PCs are from, the "normal" Realm) supernaturally, and each adjacent Realm is different in its own way. They go to these new Realms and have adventures there. Some of them get changed by those adventures, maybe they bring people back from those Realms, whatever. But an organization of people who can travel to these Realms starts to grow, giving your MU license to have more players, more groups.

    So really, it's not so much "Supernatural Sliders" as it is "Supernatural Stargate".


  • Coder

    Not a bad analogy, I think. However, I don't think that an organization would be needed. Wild talents could emerge (Heroes), people could stumble onto technology (Fringe), magic (Heroes, Constantine, etc) and whatever could be used by new characters. I'd not want one monolithic Organization to rule everything. I'd rather have it more WoDesque in the sense that new characters can slip through, freak the fuck out, get trapped and need rescued, or slip back and have no idea how they did it.

    There is also the flip side of the coin sort of character approach. Someone who has been aware of the other Realm for a long time, and has forever made strides to break through because They See Dead People. Demon possessions could be Crossover-to-Real sidesteps gone wrong, or how that nasty had to do it, for their method to work. Ghost sightings could simply be thin Barrier areas. Mythical creatures could be Crossover denizens that had slipped through in the past. All sorts of ideas could be played off of by creative people.

    My goal/vision is to let creativity expand the game, so as to let player creativity have reasonable impacts to the storyline and how the game is played. What I'm looking for are people who want to expand the idea, and then build it with me. I can do all the coding.


  • Politics

    @Rook

    Sounds good to me, man. I would solidify how you plan on building the separate realms, if you're letting storytellers do it, the players, staff, etc. And pick a good system. The Cinematic Unisystem is a good system for this, IMO.


  • Coder

    @Rook I don't know if you've heard of this system, but I think the bill fits rather closely here: The Strange

    Cypher system is pretty awesome (also the basis of Numenera).


  • Coder

    @Coin
    For the realm building, I plan to make it something where players collaborate and come up with the theme, and the admin give them building rights in a zone. We check it over like a huge building project, and approve, link it, put up the NEWS/Theme files, etc, as well as coding up anything that it would need for support.

    @Glitch
    Interesting system. Much more simplistic than I was thinking, honestly, but makes me think. Thanks for the link on that, I'll read through it.

    EDIT after Reading: I want to read more, but wonder about the feasibility of getting players to purchase new books. In my first post, I talked about MyriadRPG which we wanted to develop out as a free RPG for MU*s (complete with all the code that new games would need to run on it). I think that, since a lot of the ideas in Myriad are familiar to D20 and *WoD players, that it is easily adoptable. I'm still putting the site together on this, but Strange had a few cool ideas like the side-stepping through realms. I see where you made the connection. Awesome pointer, by the way.


  • Politics

    Yeah, wow. The premise for The Strange is super cool.


  • Pitcrew

    I like the idea a lot more if the realms are all sort of versions of Chicago, but that might not scratch everyone's SG itch.

    Don't Rest Your Head has a cool take on this as well.


  • Coder

    @Rook There's a player's guide version that's eight bucks, but it's a valid enough point. If you want to build out your own system, your own game would probably make a better advertisement for it. I just really love The Strange and some of your ideas reminded me of it, hence the suggestion.

    Honestly though, anything not WoD or some other well-known IP is going to have more of an uphill struggle, particularly original games. Not that I don't think you should stick it out, just noting that original games always have a rougher time converting people who are "used" to other things.


  • Politics

    @Glitch said:

    Honestly though, anything not WoD or some other well-known IP is going to have more of an uphill struggle, particularly original games. Not that I don't think you should stick it out, just noting that original games always have a rougher time converting people who are "used" to other things.

    With this in mind, the simpler the system the better. Complex systems are hard to pitch to people who need to learn them just to play a new game.


  • Coder

    @Ide
    Not sure how well that would go, RP-wise, do you? It seems like you would have 4-5 players active in this 'version', a few more liking this 'version' a bit better, etc.



  • @Glitch said:

    Honestly though, anything not WoD or some other well-known IP is going to have more of an uphill struggle, particularly original games. Not that I don't think you should stick it out, just noting that original games always have a rougher time converting people who are "used" to other things.

    It depends on your expectations, and how you personally define a successful game.
    I prefer small-ish to mid-sized games (20/30 players on in a given night) as long as the playerbase is engaged. I find huge games like The Reach an active turn-off, only partially because I don't care for WoD. I think there's an audience for original themed games that's not necessarily being well-served, but it's always going to be a much smaller audience and the numbers who flock to the latest WoD thing. I agree that keeping things simple (both in terms of the system, but also in keeping the world relatively painless to enter for newbs) is the key to attracting players.


  • Coder

    20-30 players on any given night is a successful game. That's going to be anywhere from 30-50 active "connections" on a who list, which would put you in the top ten to twenty games on MUSH list. I wasn't using TR as a measure of success in this case, rather I suggest that even breaking in to that 20-30 average of players is no small feat.


  • Politics

    Yeah. A small-to-mid-sized game is more like 8-20 players on any given night, with 14-35 active connections. Depending on alt limitations.


  • Pitcrew

    @Rook said:

    @Ide
    Not sure how well that would go, RP-wise, do you? It seems like you would have 4-5 players active in this 'version', a few more liking this 'version' a bit better, etc.

    It's not different from the original idea, just that setting-wise all the planes/shards are a somewhat recognizable version of Chicago. Hell Chicago, Fairy Chicago, etc.


  • Admin

    @Coin said:

    Yeah. A small-to-mid-sized game is more like 8-20 players on any given night, with 14-35 active connections. Depending on alt limitations.

    With the caveat that population density matters. For example some games intentionally split and enforce a geographical separation of its playerbase due to different reasons - theme (race A and race B shall not mingle!, very long IC travel times from King's Landing to Winterfell, etc) which practically break their players into different camps.

    For them you'd need more people than usual to offer the same opportunities for scenes as smaller games.


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