18/07/2016 at 23:25 #13867
OK, so in the thread in the Command Centre, we have been discussion the idea of having an RP system for characters and rules to follow in order to play out the stuff inbetween shifts.18/07/2016 at 23:33 #13873
You brought up FUDGE earlier. I’m a pretty big fan of both it and FATE, it’s evolved form (especially the Dresden Files RPG). I’d still say it’s too rules heavy for what we want to accomplish here. The things I can see us needing:
-A simple character sheet, which denotes what each of us can do/are good at
-A quick resolution mechanic (do you unlock the door, or not?)
-Something quick enough that anyone new who wants to join in isn’t overwhelmed18/07/2016 at 23:47 #13875Blaze StrifeParticipant
I’ve no idea what the rule settings you speak of are, but we need the ability to work/write without waiting for everyone or anyone specific to post.18/07/2016 at 23:48 #13877
The diceless system I have experience with is Amber. Basically you establish some background and areas of capability for the character. The GM explains what the character’s senses and history tell them. The player says what they want the character to attempt and the GM describes the result based on a) the character’s abilities, especially in relation to other characters, b) established canon in the story c) what makes the most satisfying story for the greatest number of players.
This requires TOTAL trust in the GM and like most RPGs requires the GM to adjudicate most of what happens. The useful rider we have discovered is that players can interact on their own if they respect the canon and are doing things that don’t affect the overall story for other people.
The trick is knowing when you absolutely have to get the input rom the GMs.
This is why in the bar etc. I try to keep all the things I make up on the fly a) reasonable for the character b) low or no impact to the overall game c) try to offer the GM hooks and veto over anything based on anything the character does not know for sure.
That is why I would say “maybe” I know a guy. And then let the GM tell me if the person I am thinking of could do that or not, or perhaps a better way within the story to achieve what I was after. I try to create texture for the character that could be expanded or left alone.
System wise, this works pretty well using any character generation system. I happen to like GURPS. Not necessary the rules mechanics, but you can create cool and very varied characters and then just play diceless.
How do you decide if a character succeeds at doing something? You look at his capabilities. If it seems reasonable, you allow it. If their is a reason they cannot, then a cunning plan or careful approach, or gathering the right resource or shifting the field of conflict, can help to overcome the deficit.18/07/2016 at 23:51 #13879
This may need a Teamspeak conference outside of shift time. I would certainly like to make this work. Blaze’s point about needing adjudication is always the crimp on email games for me. But you alleviate that as much as possible by taking small steps and playing with the texture of interactions more than the big actions – like getting stabbed 🙂19/07/2016 at 00:42 #13885
Well, after reading over FUDGE and the diceless addendum, it looks like a possible system to use (and I have some ideas already about traits, skills, gifts and faults). I have tried looking at GURPS, but it isn’t a free download, so have gone no further at the moment. I might also take a look at a local store which sells RP rule sets to see if there is anything “generic” in there too.19/07/2016 at 00:49 #13887
Thinking about it more, the way to level up skills can be linked to the examinations that Jemel designed. We could link some to ranks as well, so some kind of “Command” trait, which defines whether you can order the launch of a ship, or need to first seek authorisation from someone with the required command level. It would help to define things more clearly. As well as this, we could keep track of things using a spreadsheet, and even link it in with the badge system that we have on the forums.19/07/2016 at 00:52 #13889John van LeighParticipant
I think that the Command trait has the potential to be too rigid. For example, Verok could potentially have the Command trait for Viper. Nonetheless, if Verok is away, the next in line (me) who doesn’t have the Command trait can’t use Viper at all.
Rather than a trait, I’d recommend it to be just a property that can be turned on and off.19/07/2016 at 00:53 #13891
GURPS is, by definition, the Generic Universal Role Playing System. Famous for being able to be used for any game imaginable, as long as you’re willing to put the work into making the aspects you want. I’m not sure I’d use it here. Once again, worries about overwhelming folks with rules. But it does have a free-to-download Abridged Version.19/07/2016 at 01:09 #13893
We really do want something very lightweight. GURPS has too much detail for casual users unless we draft our own Ultralite version. A lot of what we do is defined by our training, role, and access by virtue of our rank and specializations as officers of the competent and ethical TSN.
We are looking for a way to represent a few things of colour outside that, not forgetting that we don’t want anything that will intrude too much on the actual shifts.
So hobbies, contacts, cultural background, maybe research specialties.
Already most characters are defined by their primary, secondary, rank, species, homeworld, family affiliations, career prior to joining up.19/07/2016 at 01:19 #13896
In terms of a command trait, I was thinking more along the lines of a level of authority when organising a crew or getting a ship prepped for launch. So for example a command officer has ultimate authority, but XOs and Lt. Commanders have a high enough level to go ahead and launch a ship if they deem it necessary. On the otherhand, command authorisation for an ensign would be very low.
I think we need to avoid that in the forums though as that is what actually goes on in the shift (though potentially we could have it as some kind of combat element between shifts, we need to consider how it impacts the game and actual missions though)19/07/2016 at 01:25 #13900
When it comes to a deployment by a lower ranking officer, you’d end up having to answer to the captain of the ship in some way or another. That could create an interesting situation for you if you jump on a ship and launch because someone left the toilet seat up! And of course,the GM could overrule somehow with some kind of malfunction or restriction of need be.19/07/2016 at 02:12 #13917John van LeighParticipant
Also, answering to the CO brings up another interesting thing: we can begin a court of inquiry after the loss of a ship in combat. It does allow for a possible demotion or punishment, but the loss could be perfectly justified.19/07/2016 at 04:05 #13929
I’m going to play Devil’s advocate in a minute but need to preface this with a statement. I absolutely love the RP that’s been springing to life here. This steadily increasing collection of interesting moments in the spaces between the big events that are the duty shifts. I love the fact that Eric, Adele, Conrad, Strife, John, and others are all evolving into their own characters, rather than just being our online “avatars”. I love the work that the GMs are doing to put our half-baked ideas into actual game play. I love that, because of all this, I’m getting to know folks from outside my assigned ship better than if it was just all talking in the Galley. I love that there’s pushing to incorporate systemic roleplaying (my primary Hobby) into the forums, which will allow us to do so much more.
With all this in mind, one thought is rearing its head. Are we taking the RP too far? Or at least adding more than is ultimately a good idea? My image of the TSN for a while now has been one that is very welcoming to newcomers. Even if they’ve never played Artemis before, we’re all more than happy to get them set up as painlessly as possible. This is an important thing, as coming into a new group with structure and traditions can be overwhelming. Even more so when you have to manually install a mod on top of the game you’re here to play.
Then if one of these newcomers jumps onto the forums, they’ll quickly run into our cast of characters hanging out, and speaking as both shipmates and friends. Ones that have effectively formed their own inner circle inside the TSN. A circle that would love for more to join in, but this newcomer may not be sure they can just walk in on the conversation without someone having a problem with it. Am I rambling? I think I’m rambling.
Ultimately, my worry is that by adding another bit of system, that’s one more hurdle to jump for anyone wanting to get involved with all the TSN has to offer. As well as those that have the time for all this suddenly become more dominant of characters in the story than those who only can spare the time to make it to shift each week.
I might be worrying unnecessarily, or the only one that thinks this way. If so, I will continue to jump into these changed wholeheartedly. Bit this feel like it’s worth seriously thinking about. I’m sure we all remember the excitement of when we first got the Dauntless. Now we don’t even have it in dry dock anymore…19/07/2016 at 05:13 #13931
You articulated very well, and more thoroughly, a similar thought I had when we started talking about rules systems. I went to look up GURPS Lite and instantly recoiled, because much as I like that system and am familiar with it, it is way too daunting for someone new.
I suggest that we come up with our own “three laws of storytelling” or something and keep the guidelines to a page or a half page.
Guideline: Make up an interesting background and personality for the character you want to play in the movie about the Terran Stellar Navy. Doesn’t have to be long or complex.
– Rich kid from Earth, loves good coffee and starship engineering, thinks military service is more important than running a corporation.
– Smart archivist from eccentric family on a remote high-tech colony, who joined up to atone for her rebel brother.
– Create cool stories for everyone else to enjoy
– Maintain the illusion, keep the continuity, stay consistent with known facts and what is reasonable with the canon (see the Encyclopaedia)
– Get agreement before seriously affecting another character (this means the GMs for any aspect of TSN operations outside the immediate authority of the characters present)
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