Another style of RPG - Cozy
In the last few years there have been several tabletop RPGs created in the cozy genre. If you havent run across that term, it usually features small town settings, a slower pace of life, and the importance and consequences of relationships in such a small area. Usually there is little to no violence. Think Stardew Valley, or look at the extension from Urban Fantasy to Cozy Magical Mystery in fiction.
It reminded me of the basic formulae for a Lords & Ladies type game, towards the more peaceful end.
I wondered if a Cozy Cottagecore game could work as a MU*
There are what you might call L&L RPGs out, where the more popular tropes and activities have focus. Something like the Jane Austen MMO, or Houses of the Blooded, perhaps merged with a more rural and or less socially desperate setup.
Since MU* players tend to not care about actual rules, the question really is about the setting and vibe. Would it be viable?
Gratuitous ETA: example current Kickstarter mixing cottagecore and monster hunting, using spoons: Cottages and Cerberus
Free preview: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1USypiA_-mfOd6MvVizrbRp9_1OvSDcQ7/view
@Misadventure I'd like to think this would work. I know several people who would be interested in something like this. For my group, it would come down to the final setting and whether or not it was Ares, but I think, in general, this type of theme could work. So long as there's something for players to do and plots to engage with, I'm sure players would come.
I find myself curious about NPC relationships. My first thought was of course it would be all about PCs, but the games often make NPC relationships important sources of plots and tasks.
Would be be able to work with building friendships, allyships, romances, etc with NPCs and if so what would be the best forms for this?
@Misadventure I run a private modern horror game right now with a very small group of people. We make liberal use of NPCs for plots and RP. Ares has a good system for NPC characters(either pcreated or just something people can list in their relationships tab) and we've used it to great effect. I'm a big advocate for NPCs on games.
@ZombieGenesis Could I ask how the players interact with NPCs? Like is it like scene based rolls, +jobs, working on NPC agendas, getting quests/jobs, swaying the NPCs approach or thinking on topics of contention, dealing with personal or societal politics etc?
EG the simplest model from games is give them items they want, and do a few threshold quests to initiate big changes in the relationship and or resolve an issue they have. Typically there is no negative responses, its all progress but with flavor from PC choices.
An L&L example might be an elder off a family who opposes a marriage, so the PCs can do various actions, scenes, challanges to change the elders mind more one way or another. Frequent NPC portrayal isnt the goal, the NPC embodies setting attitudes, culture, etc. Like negotiatinng with part of a voting block. Do it well enough and you remove or reduce the opposition.
@Misadventure It depends on the situation and the NPC. I'm fortunate that the players take a lot of initiative for their RP and handle a lot internally. They may just ask, "So is it okay if we created <NPC X> and do <SOME THING> with them?" Then they'll spoof the NPC in their scenes.
Another time we created a host of NPCs for a slasher plot and players adopted the NPC to play in scenes up until they were killed.
Other times staff might step in and portray the NPC in a scene. Finally, yeah, there are +jobs to handle how some things might be done.
I think if you're playing with the right people, there is no real wrong way to handle it. Your example of using NPCs to represent an obstacle to overcome is fantastic.
The FS3 system is great for all of this because you can include rolls in the +jobs themselves for +job interactions.
Devrex last edited by
@Misadventure You might also get some traction by asking PCs to set some goals. Phrased like: "What are three goals your PC wants to achieve that they will need other PCs for?"
Thus PCs will generate "quests" for other PCs as well, and will have the basis for some story and relationship building. Even if it's simple as: "The blackberries for my special blackberry jelly are up in the hills where all the bears are, and I'm scared of bears and need someone to go with me."
Which is my over-coffee stab at a Stardew Valley example.
Some could be one-offs, but at least one should be a reusable schtick.
@Devrex I love that. I think if I ever open a game again(and I probably will) I'm also going to include an "RP Hooks/Ideas" board where people can post things like that. Things for people to bite on and say, "Heck ya, let's go play that!"
@Devrex However folks want to handle it.
My focus there was affffecting a non player controlled element of the setting, and I doubt players would want to have their PC swayed by +jobs. I could see them calling out some tasks as sort of requirements to meet, or advance socially or what have you, but since interaction with another live player is the best part off involving human players, I could easily see people skipping it.