While waiting to become a full-fledged member of the site (wooohooo!!!!!
), I've browsed this section and have been majorly impressed by the time and detail that goes into outlining group / table top role plays. This is why I feel it necessary to start my own with a light apology: I have a lot going on in my life and don't have the time to design and set up so elaborate a post. That being said, it certainly doesn't mean my role play would be of lesser quality, so I hope all of you amazing writers can forgive me and look past this request's simplicity and operations. :)
I tried this idea through another forum board several years ago and had a LOT of fun with it. However, keeping up with the numbers became time consuming and I had a lot on my plate in real life even then. Thus, I sadly had to end it. I'd ADORE giving it another shot if writing partners were willing to (honestly)
help me keep track of numbers and such.
Basically, this rp is the most basic of table-toppers and would be ideal for casual AND advanced rp'ers. There are two ways it could originate, so I'd take a vote and go with the majority.
A. Typical shipwreck. Survivors build a community, explore the island, and get to know each other. Relationships of all kinds can develop and random events would be rolled to add some spice and challenge. This means that characters would need to come in with a background, or have sustained injuries that have them suffer amnesia. Obviously, some characters might want to be rescued while others can be perfectly comfortable making a living away from society. Introducing new characters would be a little trickier (natives on the island? Other shipwrecks? Explorers? etc.)
B. Ever played Cantr? Whether you have or not... basically, people 'spawn' into the world. This would just be an accepted fact and allows people to enter the story and start developing characters from scratch. No backgrounds would be needed and new writers could join at any time. Again, the goal would be to build a community on an island, and random events would be rolled. There'd be no "drive" to be rescued however, because arriving and living on the island would be a natural and 'normal' process.
Whichever plot is voted (I personally prefer the second because it allows for more opportunity), character strengths and weaknesses would be rolled by me, and everyone would start with very little inventory. Everyone would have a basic food, thirst, and health meter. Characters can die if any meters reach zero. Resources can be gathered from the island (which I or we would design), and amounts taken would be determined by the skill sets. Those resources can be used to build tools, create shelters, cook food..... etc... whatever you imagine up! We'll create the 'numbers' as we go along and keep a running tab. For example, if Character A wants to build a stone hammer and we decide that a stone hammer will 'cost' 3 pieces of wood and 1 rock, we'll add it to the list. From then on, a hammer will always cost 3 pieces of wood and 1 rock. It will also be assigned a life span so that it eventually deteriorates and another is needed. In this manner, progress can always be made.
((Additionally, I think it should be noted that a certain number of actions can be taken in a day, so that characters aren't exhausted. Maybe there can be an exhaustion meter, or various actions can take a certain amount of time to complete. In my previous efforts, we had projects take a certain amount of time, but that was difficult to monitor.))
When I ran this game on my own forum, as silly as it sounds, I used Excel to randomly generate most things. For example, I assigned a number of 1-5 for varying levels of skill, then rolled the generator for each character. If JANE DOE rolled a 3 for fishing, a 5 for melee fighting, and a 1 for building... then she'd be an average fisher, an excellent melee fighter, and a lousy builder. Thus, if JANE DOE wanted to fish, she'd gather a normal amount of fish. If she struck someone with a weapon, she'd do more damage than the normal person (say 1.25 times the damage); and if she wanted to build a shelter she'd require a bit more material or take longer to accomplish the task. ((Or her shelter simply would have 0.75 times the average shelter lifespan. Since time keeping might be an inconvenience, I'll probably adopt the idea of an exhaustion meter instead of monitoring time. If there's enough interest, I'll propose some ideas and go with the one people think will work the best.))
As for hunger and thirst meters, they would diminish by a certain amount each day. Previously, a fully healthy adult would start with 100% on each meter, and lose 5% for each day they didn't eat or drink. (So no eating or drinking in 20 days = a dead character.) Eating or drinking replenishes any loss, but the food and water has to be gathered and available, obviously.
Health meters can be diminished by random events generated (again, through Excel) or through attacks carried out by other characters.
Finally, character inventories would be kept up to date on character sheets. (This is why I'm hoping any players would keep track of their own numbers and be honest about it. The more people that join, the harder it is to update every day since I'm typically busy in real life.) Items can be acquired and lost through gathering, trading, gifting, using, building, etc etc.
[And for the random event generator, I have a huge list of things that can happen and their likelihoods of happening. Others can offer things to add to the list so that more fun and variety can ensue.]
The bulk of the game would be actual role playing. For example, a day between multiple players might look like this (a very very simplified summary of the day):
JANE DOE walks up and talks to JOHN SMITH and GRANNY APPLE. They discuss how crazy the waves have been, then settle on the decision that food for the town is running low. They glare at MACK JACK who keeps his own stash and refuses to share. They plot a way to lock him up. JANE DOE gets to work on creating a fish net and does this and that and bla bla bla. JOHN SMITH and GRANNY APPLE go into the trees and gather wood to create a jail. After role playing the creation and gathering in as much detail as the writers desire.. presto(!), a net is added to JANE DOE's inventory at the end of the day, and wood is added to the other two schemers' inventories. JANE DOE and JOHN SMITH ate, so their hunger meters look great, but GRANNY SMITH and MACK JACK did not eat, so their meters look a little worse off. The sun sets and a new day begins for more role playing, with all character sheets updated.
If I haven't made this clear enough, just ask questions and I'll try my best to make more sense. Again though... the big part of this is in needing help keeping track of the numbers.A few additional small notes:
--Mature and dark content is certainly allowed assuming all players are of age. In fact, such topics would make the character- and town- building a lot more fascinating.
--Even with one other player, the rp can get started if option B is chosen. The nature of option B allows the 'world' to progress unimpeded by the introduction of new characters. :) If a single person is truly interested in playing regardless of eventual group size, we could start whenever that person wanted. We'd just have to hope it grows and that new personalities are introduced.
--Once buildings/ shelters are constructed, events taking place inside can be done through pm. In this manner, there can be an element of surprise / secrets / mystery.