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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56363 times)

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Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1025 on: June 10, 2014, 05:32:15 PM »
Actually, I have been pointed at a game system that is designed almost specifically for bondage games (or so it seems), by our friend Aurelie, who invited me to do the spider scenario with her and my co-gm...

http://adventure.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Into_My_Parlor

And I think the system could be adapted very well to work with the Drall. It needs tweaking of course, but it could definitely work.

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1026 on: June 14, 2014, 07:53:15 AM »
Hello, everyone! :)

I hope this is the right area to be inquiring for advice/help with development & presentation of an idea. :)

Ok.

So, in an effort to continue sluffing off the crypt-dust of my extensive inactivity, I have been working on a massive overhaul of a rather complicated roleplay idea I never had the chance to launch before.  Even though I am consolidating and paring down a lot, however, it is still a very complicated idea.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love the complicated aspect of it, and I hope there are other roleplayers as attracted to brain-busting scenario concepts as I am.  I have been in love with the idea of shaping a world, down to even having unique language terminology, since I was first introduced to scifi/fantasy via Anne McCaffrey (may she rest in peace).

So my main "insecurity" (if you will), is how best to present this so that it's more generally appealing versus overwhelming.

And, any advice on the overall presentation would be awesome, too, of course. :)

--

If anyone is willing to help me out with this, please shoot me a PM, and I'll copypaste what I have so far.  Thanks! <3

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1027 on: June 14, 2014, 08:10:19 AM »
The trick with that is that everyone is different.  Some people want a sexy romp where you don't have to do any thinking, and others want a complex intrigue.  Yet others want different things at different times.

I will say, though, that in my experience, games of this caliber tend to work best when people have a decent degree of openness to make what they want.  If you already have a great deal of the world settled, sometimes it's best to just use that as a novel or to design your own system or setting.  New eyes can give a new perspective, but sometimes that isn't going to completely fit what you want, especially if so much of the idea is already solid in your brain.

That said, that's only totally me.  Other people write up extensive settings and throw them up on the wiki, and people construct elaborate stories using those worlds.  If that's how you want to go for things, I'd say go for it.  Rather than setting it up for everyone, I'd focus on trying to attract the kinds of people that would be interested in learning your world and playing there.

Going to be out for most of the day so I won't be able to reply for quite some time, but I hope that gives some perspective.  Not 100% I didn't just ramble this out in the few minutes I had before leaving, and if this makes no sense at all, apologies.

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1028 on: June 14, 2014, 08:18:56 AM »
Quote
Rather than setting it up for everyone, I'd focus on trying to attract the kinds of people that would be interested in learning your world and playing there.

^ That's exactly what I'm trying to aim for... though I really have no idea how to go about that.  Am I able to blame that on the length of time I've been gone? :P

Thank you for your reply.  It made quite a bit of sense. :)

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1029 on: June 14, 2014, 08:26:09 AM »
Hello, everyone! :)

Hi. *waves*

Quote
I hope this is the right area to be inquiring for advice/help with development & presentation of an idea. :)

Yep.


Quote
So, in an effort to continue sluffing off the crypt-dust of my extensive inactivity, I have been working on a massive overhaul of a rather complicated roleplay idea I never had the chance to launch before.  Even though I am consolidating and paring down a lot, however, it is still a very complicated idea.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love the complicated aspect of it, and I hope there are other roleplayers as attracted to brain-busting scenario concepts as I am.  I have been in love with the idea of shaping a world, down to even having unique language terminology, since I was first introduced to scifi/fantasy via Anne McCaffrey (may she rest in peace).

Count me in! Anne McCaffrey Fan here! And I love a complex plot.

Andy Z has it pretty much spot on. It really depends on what you want to acheive. If you want to run a sandbox, you need to get people interested in the concept, then allow them to create their own stories. If you want to run a game where the players can win or loose, you probably need a system.

If you want to tell a specific tail you would be better off writing the whole thing yourself as other players rarely co-operate!

But putting a group if characters in a setting and giving them a mystery to solve does actually work, as long as they don't get bored and drift away.

^ That's exactly what I'm trying to aim for... though I really have no idea how to go about that.  Am I able to blame that on the length of time I've been gone? :P

Thank you for your reply.  It made quite a bit of sense. :)

Best way is to get the world designed, put it on the wiki and/or on the world-building forum, and then link to that (those) in an interest check thread. Be specifivc. Use Moraline's checklist. And make your character sheet complicated, like BP's current one, to discourage the people who make characters with no intention of ever playing them...

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1030 on: June 14, 2014, 08:58:09 AM »
Oh, aren't you a delightful darling, Chrystal!

This is wonderful advice.

So, here's the twist:  Even though I am going to great lengths to shape the world, and the environment... the species & language terminology, and so forth (I have a lot that I created before, so it's mostly modification and paring down, in that regard), I do want a sandbox environment.  Despite the complicated scenario, I have a lot that I feel I am leaving open for input.  I would, in fact, be tickled beyond pink if I had players volunteering anything from additional terminology that fits the language base, to additional continents (at some point much further on), or other, alternate dimensions/worlds, even...

Maybe someday I would have enough material to consider putting a novel (or a few) together, but 1. it's no fun (for me), without the feedback and constructive criticism, and contributions of others, and 2. the hard truth is that I lack the individual focus & organization to truly pull that off.  As much as I love the details, I tend to get lost in them, too! :P

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1031 on: June 14, 2014, 11:55:53 AM »
Oh, aren't you a delightful darling, Chrystal!

This is wonderful advice.

So, here's the twist:  Even though I am going to great lengths to shape the world, and the environment... the species & language terminology, and so forth (I have a lot that I created before, so it's mostly modification and paring down, in that regard), I do want a sandbox environment.  Despite the complicated scenario, I have a lot that I feel I am leaving open for input.  I would, in fact, be tickled beyond pink if I had players volunteering anything from additional terminology that fits the language base, to additional continents (at some point much further on), or other, alternate dimensions/worlds, even...

Maybe someday I would have enough material to consider putting a novel (or a few) together, but 1. it's no fun (for me), without the feedback and constructive criticism, and contributions of others, and 2. the hard truth is that I lack the individual focus & organization to truly pull that off.  As much as I love the details, I tend to get lost in them, too! :P

Sandbox RPs are probably the hardest to set up, easiest to start, and hardest to keep going... In my opinion!

Setting up the world needs planning and careful structuring, it also requires rules for world-building by players - a discussion earlier in this thread talked about how some GMs are okay with players defining the smaller aspects of the world such as whether there is a fire extinguisher in the room, but prefer to define the larger aspects themselves - how many rooms there are, for example. Other GMs want to define every little detail and others are okay to let players define even major aspects of the world.

I personally think that if one is creating a sandbox game, then one needs to define the world andlay down these principals at the start. A story based game, by contrast, can have the world unfolding as it is explored...

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1032 on: June 14, 2014, 12:15:00 PM »
Barkeep! *hick* another one of these... whatever it is, please. *hick*

A concern that I would have is with the desire to introduce additional words, phrases and colorful language elements into a game. While this works well in a book, any of the Anne MacCaffree books demenstrates this with skill, trying to get the language used in a role-playing game, story driven situation, etc is a different matter. Having played a number of games that include it's own slang and terms to replace commonly used ones doesn't neccessarily lead to the players using them. Depending on what concepts you're wanting to alter in your world may make the game a little too difficult for some good players. If you've decided to mess with swear words, as MacCaffrey did, you'll probably get away fairly easy. If you've changed the identification of measurements (as Jordan did) or time, you may end up throwing too much information at players who may, or may not actually use it. You shouldn't be too wedded to that factor, although it may work out well for you in the end, it could als backfire on you.

I'm reminded of the first Battlestar Galactica and the fact that while almost everyone knew what frag, feltercarb, daggit and drek meant, they kept getting tripped up by the time terms and the stories suffered overall. That was, of course, a scripted TV series, but the principle still applies. I just thought that I would comment on that particular facet.

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1033 on: June 14, 2014, 12:55:53 PM »
I appreciate your input, Blinkin, and you have a lot of sound reasoning to consider, there.  Thank you.

You, as well, Chrystal.  When I finish the inital revisions to my original idea, perhaps you wouldn't mind combing over it for constructive criticism input? :)

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1034 on: June 14, 2014, 01:43:29 PM »
So, here's the twist:  Even though I am going to great lengths to shape the world, and the environment... the species & language terminology, and so forth (I have a lot that I created before, so it's mostly modification and paring down, in that regard), I do want a sandbox environment.
Sandbox is totally unrelated to what the setting is.  I can use the Dragonlance saga to run a sandbox, and the campaign that usually goes with it is known as one of the strictest railroads ever.
Do you want to run that sandbox yourself? Just use the setting and run it. Sandbox set-up works with freeform and system games, with pre-defined events and without them, whether said events can be thwarted or not, with a narrative approach or a sim one... If I know a set-up that's close to universal, it's the sandbox one. Oh yes, in case it's not obvious: It's also my preferred approach to games >:)!
It's also an approach you can't impose on others, if you want to define the setting for use from other GMs as well. So just write info that would be useful to sandbox GMs and they'll be more likely to gravitate towards using it-given time.
It's also the approach that needs the most contribution from players. So you need a pool of players that a) love the setting, b) are ready to read a lot of setting info, and c) are ready to have their characters acting proactively, which is the number one requirement to sandbox games IME ;D!
It's not impossible, but you need to pimp your game :P. First, write your opening post as described in Moraline's advice. Include a clear warning that it's going to assume some reading.
Then it's time you do some hard work. Distill the setting info down to what a non-educated member of a non-travelling caste would know. Put it in quote in the starting post, titled EVERYTHING YOU *NEED* TO KNOW (assuming it's a system game, the basic info on system goes there, too.
Then add an "you might want to know this, too, but it's not necessary" spoilerblock with links to the setting wiki (or whatever format you've chosen).
Sure, you can dump the setting and just write about it. This just lessens the entry barrier, doesn't eliminate it-and ultimately, you need people that aren't scared of doing some reading.

But, most importantly, when doing your opening post, tell me about your setting! Why would I want to devote time and energy to your world and not to Generic Fantasy Game #1234567890? Don't make me read your setting to find out, that's a common mistake (hint: I won't read it, there are enough other settings I can read sitting on my drive, and I doubt I'm the only one).
You obviouisly love the setting. Tell me why. You want me to feel the same way. Tell me what it gives me and how and improves the game. Make me want to play in it. Share the love ;D!

I'll send you by PM a couple links explaining how to run a sandbox game with a plot and with a minimum of effort, just in case you need them (mostly, because these are links to forum discussions where people more experienced than me explain how they run sandbox games).
Now, running a sandbox is anything but hard. The tricks are in minimising the amount of work you need to do!

Sandbox RPs are probably the hardest to set up, easiest to start, and hardest to keep going... In my opinion!
It's easiest, easiest, easiest in my opinion. Guess we can agree to disagree :P?

Quote
Setting up the world needs planning and careful structuring, it also requires rules for world-building by players - a discussion earlier in this thread talked about how some GMs are okay with players defining the smaller aspects of the world such as whether there is a fire extinguisher in the room, but prefer to define the larger aspects themselves - how many rooms there are, for example. Other GMs want to define every little detail and others are okay to let players define even major aspects of the world.
Yes, although I wouldn't call that "rules". I'd say that you just need to let the players know how much you're fine with them defining.

Quote
I personally think that if one is creating a sandbox game, then one needs to define the world andlay down these principals at the start. A story based game, by contrast, can have the world unfolding as it is explored...
Actually, the "original" (read: the first definition I'm aware of) definition of sandbox includes the world unfolding as it is explored. In it, you start at X and know enough to get by. What else is beyond the hills, other than what you've heard about (and 90% of it is wrong anyway)? Go and see for yourself!
You can have the world laid out, sure. It's just not the only, or dare I say, even the expected mode of playing.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 01:47:04 PM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1035 on: June 14, 2014, 02:23:46 PM »
<devours information>

Online Blinkin

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1036 on: June 14, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »
*burps the baby after a healthy meal*

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1037 on: June 14, 2014, 02:33:00 PM »
Ok... that made me half-giggle/headtilt-in-confusion/ew-face... :P

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1038 on: June 14, 2014, 02:59:46 PM »
Information was devoured, but does that help set it free, as the information wants :P?

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1039 on: June 14, 2014, 03:19:58 PM »
I hope so!  It's all a work-in-progress!   :P

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1040 on: June 14, 2014, 03:51:16 PM »
Devoured information coming out? Eeeeeewwwwwwwwwww! Someone better pass out haz-mat suits!

Offline ClockworkShadow

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1041 on: June 14, 2014, 04:06:41 PM »
 :o ...  ??? ...

 XD

Medic!  Resuscitation needed! ... Ow, belly cramps  ???

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1042 on: June 14, 2014, 05:01:47 PM »
Devoured information coming out? Eeeeeewwwwwwwwwww! Someone better pass out haz-mat suits!
Devouring information might make it free. Information has an interesting life cycle.
Hazardous materials suits are unnecessary, citizen, please proceed to the check points for evaluation!

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1043 on: June 15, 2014, 01:26:59 PM »
So, new topic.

Any have good ideas on how to run a horror/thriller game in a play-by-post environment? All the tricks and secrets for creating a psychologically unsettling experience for players...mood lighting, music and sound effects, tone, descriptions, etc. - are all geared towards messing with the players in an OOC level in a real-life game, and not through the insulating layer of a computer screen. I'm planning to run a thriller/horror-esque game here on E - and looking for a co-GM to do it, see Here - but it'll fall flat if the creep factor can't be effectively maintained.

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1044 on: June 16, 2014, 12:24:10 PM »
Glyph, if I wasn't so busy, I would have volunteered as your Co-GM.

My best advice is to do what a friend of mine, Tad, is doing in a sexy girls-only horror/mystery. When a player or group of players encounter a part of the mystery, they are sent a PM with the details, with instructions about how this affects them and what they can reveal or not reveal in their next IC post. The obvious thing, though, is to make sure that when the characters are together, they need to have some excuse to talk about their part of the secret, share and compare notes. If they don't have such an excuse, they shouldn't volunteer the inmformation.

That's really all I have to offer.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1045 on: June 17, 2014, 08:56:15 AM »
What kind of horror are you looking to run?

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1046 on: June 17, 2014, 09:05:40 AM »
What kind of horror are you looking to run?

I think it's this one...
https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=132072.msg10126469#msg10126469

As long as it's LGBTQIA friendly, I might actually join. I just can't spare the time to help run.

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1047 on: June 17, 2014, 10:25:11 AM »
I had to read that twice and arrow over the word, for some reason, I swore that it read, "What kind of whore do you want to run." Can you tell that I'm low on sleep?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1048 on: June 17, 2014, 07:36:45 PM »
What kind of horror are you looking to run?

More suspenseful, psychological/mind-screw type horror, not so much jump-and-scream gore-slashy-monster-horror. Like I'd mentioned in the Co-Gm thread, it'd be about a group of characters who find themselves in scenarios that seem to be drawn/built out of their own subconscious minds. Seeing as how the best way to creep out characters is to creep out the players controlling them, mood becomes real important.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1049 on: June 17, 2014, 07:37:18 PM »
The supposedly mood-setting tricks about a horror game...never worked for me anyway.
I'd suggest taking your own premise and then applying enough twists to make a twister seem like a straight line. But do so gradually. Not every post should contain a hint. At least a couple should contain only info on their surroundings.
In fact, it would be more efficient if you can present only the answers to their questions, without even hinting at questions. Just make the answers weird. Let them speculate.
If the players are anything like a normal group, giving them rope is a better way to hang them than attacking them with Thuggee cultists >:)!
There's a bunch of ordinary people, unconnected, waking up as apparently the only people left in existence...or are they the only ones? Who's moving things they left around? Cleaning? Making repairs? Where's John :P?
It's a metropolitan city. But it's not the one you remember when going asleep...although it seems close enough to fool at first. And there seem to be too much surveillance cameras even for a city that big. And why are they still working? Where is the recorded data going? And is there laughter you just heard? Or chips?
Are things really going on because of our subconscious? Who's thinking up of the danger? Can we find him? Does thinking about measures to counteract any danger make the danger manifest itself? How do you not think of the yellow elephant? Why are there disturbing sights if it's us that's making it all up ;D?
So, present them with the description, and a couple things each that seem out of place. Then wait and just answer them. The post after that one should contain more complications. And then one after that. Then go for a string of mundane posts.
Thing is, you play in a broken rhythm. And the danger never has a face, at least not at first. It's just accidents.
And then you find its face, and it's your face!

Well, that's how I would run it, at least ;D!