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Author Topic: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)  (Read 1291 times)

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Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

There are plenty of RPs out there that center around heroes doing hero-y things. This RP isn't about those guys. It's about the other guys. The wash-ups and has-beens. The misfits and the malcontents. The strays. The vagrants. This is street-level. The nitty-gritty.

What I'm looking for are three or four good writers for a city-based RP with long-term ambitions. This is a dramedy (with a focus on the drama) with bits of authentic heroism mixed in for good measure.

This is small-time. The 'heroes' don't live in a vacuum. They have parents and jobs. They have responsibilities. Delving, adventuring...that's what they do in their off-time.

To make this work, we need to break the standard 'player vs GM' mindset. Content will be created and shared equally among all writers. You will take part in scenes involving your main character, but in scenes not involving your 'main' you will be cast in an auxiliary role. In other words, I can't play all the NPCs...it's a load we will share as a group.

In one scene you might be your main. The the next, the irate mother of the group's wizard. In the next, the whore the Paladin secretly visits when he's feeling lonely.

Get the picture?

Scene creation will be a group effort. I will moderate, and my character will assume a secondary role in the party, filling in whatever gaps the party needs. (Essentially, she is a busy little halfling connector, a plot-generator with legs.)

The idea is to create a story with a lot more meat than the standard dungeon crawl.

The story will be set in a seriously toned-down re-imagining of the Ptolus campaign setting. You can check out the pdf player's guide here.

Magic will be much more subtle, and the Church of Lothian will exert a much greater influence over the morality of the city. Sex between members of the same gender, or members of different species, will be seriously frowned upon. As will adultery and prostitution. In other words, you bunch of deviants will have to practice your vices in secret and pray the inquisitors don't come sniffing around or you'll spend a night in the stocks...or worse!

Offline Riveda

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 04:06:53 PM »
What system? Or freeform?

Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 04:22:34 PM »
I'm thinking something very light...like True20. But I'm open to suggestions.

Offline Chreestafer

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 06:10:57 PM »
definitely interested in this one, but id be in for a free form style game, never done a system based via E yet.

Offline Kyrsa

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 08:50:05 PM »
I am interested. What kind of pace are you looking for?

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 09:13:52 PM »
This sounds like fun. Never played True20, but if the basic rules are online, it shouldn't be a problem for me to learn it. I've been playing D&D and World of Darkness games for about thirteen years, and have tinkered with my own homebrews on and off again.

About the only thing I'll say in regards to my playing auxiliaries is that I'm not comfortable writing sex from a female perspective.

The only questions I have, really, building off of that, is what's the level of smuttiness you're expecting for the game? What section do you see this being under?

Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 08:34:57 AM »
Quote
definitely interested in this one, but id be in for a free form style game, never done a system based via E yet.
Any system we include will be light and rarely used. What I am thinking is that at such times as rolls are need--and this would be a group decision--is that for each scene, rather than each round, a roll would be made that would set the tone for each character's level of success.

The purpose would be to include an element of randomness but not bog the story down with a bunch of incremental rolls.

Quote
I am interested. What kind of pace are you looking for?
A good meaty post every other day? Once a day when the mood strikes? Twice a week minimum? Something along those lines.

One good thing about this being a collaborative effort is the players will have more freedom to pair-up in side-scenes that sprout off the main storyline. So if you wanted to write a scene involving YC and an auxiliary character of yours, you could choose a partner that matches your pace.

Quote
This sounds like fun. Never played True20, but if the basic rules are online, it shouldn't be a problem for me to learn it. I've been playing D&D and World of Darkness games for about thirteen years, and have tinkered with my own homebrews on and off again.

The basic rules are here. I'm also considering Savage Worlds. Whichever is more popular.

Quote
About the only thing I'll say in regards to my playing auxiliaries is that I'm not comfortable writing sex from a female perspective

That won't be a problem.

Quote
The only questions I have, really, building off of that, is what's the level of smuttiness you're expecting for the game? What section do you see this being under?
Hmm, well this is a bit more serious of a game. No tentacle monsters getting rapey in the dungeons, no 'sex fights' or any of that. Generally, the monsters you encounter will want to kill you, eat you, and take your stuff.

The general tone is that the Church of Lothian, and people in general, are quite morally conservative. Sex should take place between married folks...that's men and women of the same race. Anything else is degenerate. Homosexuality and inter-species relationships is not talked about. Prostitution is illegal.

This isn't to suggest that these things don't happen, or that they won't happen in the story. Of course they will. It's just that there will be consequences...

I hope for quite a bit of sexual tension, but this is not a smut-centric RP.

Offline Etherealgirl

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 10:13:46 AM »
This seems kinda fun to play. Can't decide what to play. A secret lesbian, or a prostitute. *looks thoughtful*

Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 10:26:31 AM »
Why not secret lesbian prostitute?

Who was forced into a marriage with a no-conservative Lothianite Priest who only does missionary?

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 10:34:52 AM »
Ooh, hey there Ethereal.  :-)

Offline Etherealgirl

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 10:37:28 AM »
Why not secret lesbian prostitute?

Who was forced into a marriage with a no-conservative Lothianite Priest who only does missionary?


Yus! Maybe not the marriage part, but lesbian prostitute could work. :D Sounds like fun!

Ooh, hey there Ethereal.  :-)


Hiiiii THM!

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 10:51:16 AM »
How have you been?

Offline Etherealgirl

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 11:00:06 AM »
Better, now that work has slowed down. you?

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 11:01:12 AM »
I'm still alive.  :-)

Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 01:44:47 PM »
I think there is enough interest for a recruitment thread.

The question is, how should we proceed? I'm considering creating a world building thread as a place to gather the differences between the standard Ptolus setting and what I have in mind.

As for recruitment, the norm is to post for character concepts, but that seems a little backward to me. I'd rather draw good players, and then once we've settled on a group move on to character creation.

What do you think?

Offline Etherealgirl

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 01:46:40 PM »
I'm fine with whatever. I tend to struggle with character backgrounds. (I like to flesh them out as I go along).

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 02:22:15 PM »
I'm a lot like Ethereal; like to flesh the characters out as I go along. I generally start with an archetype that takes shape as the game progresses.

World building thread seems like a good idea to me.

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 05:10:10 PM »
Tossing tentative interest in here for a village herbalist/healer who's been accused of witchcraft in the past, and so has a strained relationship with the town.

But
1) how big were you planning on this to be and
2) were you planning on it being a multiple-thread game?

I seem to have serious issues with keeping up on large group games, especially if there's a bunch of different threads going.

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2016, 08:03:35 PM »
I might play as a baker.

Offline Ontan

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 09:39:22 AM »
Definitely interested! Iíve always found the struggles of low-level characters to be more compelling, and definitely more relatable, than epic tales about some ridiculously overpowered hero facing off against an equally dramatic incarnation of absolute evil. I also really like that idea of a more collaborative approach, rather than having all the players bottlenecked at an overworked GM. If thereís still space in the roleplay, sign me up!

I seem to have serious issues with keeping up on large group games, especially if there's a bunch of different threads going.

Iíve also had some bad experiences involving a high number of concurrent threads, as it becomes a bit of a nightmare trying to hop back and forth over topics every time someone moves location. In its defence, though, it can be done really well. The best setup Iíve seen looked something like:
  • The Chapter 1 Thread, where the current Ďquestí takes place
  • An Elsewhere Thread, for scenes that occurÖ well, elsewhere.
  • An Out of Time Thread, for flashbacks (especially handy if someone wants to do a shorty story to flesh out their characterís background); and
  • An Intimate Encounters thread, because itís really jarring and slightly weird having a love scene awkwardly interspersed across the main thread.
Thatís just my 2 cents, though. It's probably a matter of personal taste as much as anything else.

The question is, how should we proceed? I'm considering creating a world building thread as a place to gather the differences between the standard Ptolus setting and what I have in mind.

As for recruitment, the norm is to post for character concepts, but that seems a little backward to me. I'd rather draw good players, and then once we've settled on a group move on to character creation.

What do you think?

I think it only seems backwards because thereís some unwritten convention that you canít go back and change your character once itís submitted. It puts players in a weird position where they have to try and post a finished product without actually knowing what the rest of the character roster will look like, or how the worldbuilding will develop. Besides, nobody ever does perfectly on a first draft.

My vote would be to have people post a character concept early on, but encourage them to go back and refine or alter it as the rest of the characters and worldbuilding are developed. If nothing else, it gives them a chance to reflect on their character and change things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but didnít pan out.

Online wigglebiscuitTopic starter

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 12:21:17 PM »
@Nowherewoman:
I am capping this at 4 or 5 players, myself included. I may go as low as three, it just depends. If everyone is willing to be more collaborative, we can go as high as 5, but absolutely no more.

I like Ontan's suggestion of how to break up the thread, keeping it as focused as possible. I'd also like to impose a round-robin type rule, especially in the 'main' thread, wherein no-one posts until everyone else has posted, with sensible exceptions, such as when a particular character isn't involved in the scene or a player has stated that they will be away for a time.

Another idea is that we have 'main's and 'alternates'. No one but you can play your main, but anyone can slip in and out of the role of an alternate. So, if you have an idea for a troublesome Priest that harasses you in your shop from time to time, that Priest can be played by me, but they can also be played by another player if I'm not available. This is what I mean by collaborative.

Take a look at the player's guide here.

Ptolus is a major metropolis, but your general idea will still work. For example, maybe she has a shop in one of the more neglected districts, like the Warrens, where she tends to the poor and downtrodden...a place where the Church declines to visit except to make trouble for her.

Or maybe her services are directed toward one of the many ethnic groups that makes its home in the city.

The idea is that, while Ptolus is large, it is also compartmentalized, not only in terms of the various districts, but also in terms of the ethnic groups and races that live within those districts. That way, we sort of have the best of both worlds.

@Ontan,

You have great ideas, and this isn't a first-come, first-invite game.

Another freedom we have is that since this a standard D&D romp, we don't need to worry about the typical wizard/fighter/rogue/priest situation.

I think character creation will start with looking at the setting, reading up on the various factions, and thinking of ways you'd like to interact with them.

For example, I'm thinking of creating a halfling. I'm weighing the possibility that she is relatively young (late teens), and new to the city. Her parents were forced to immigrate for whatever reason, and have settled in Midtown. She loves the big city. It is such a breath of fresh air from the close-confines and simple-mindedness of the village where she grew up.

Her parents, however, don't want her to forget her halfling roots. They expect her to marry a good halfling man and bear children, be a good housewife, and settle into domestic life.

Much of the drama of her life revolves around that central conflict.

So maybe that should be the start of character creation. Two lines: 1, this is who my character is. 2, this is their central conflict.

I'll get to work on a world-building thread up. Instead of rehashing the material in the player's guide, I want to focus on the changes I'd like to implement to make the city more 'street-level'.

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 12:34:44 PM »
I very much like the idea of having a 'stable' of NPCs available for anyone to write. It cvan streamline things a great deal. Possibly, during char creation, we should have one or two (or three) ideas for NPCs on the sheet? Just basic ideas- like your Paladin's hooker GF from earlier.


I'd almost prefer to see the threads pared down to 2, or at most three: "Real Life" "Questing Life" and, if folks think it needful "Sexxeh Times."  part of my issue comes from having to hop back and forth in multiple threads in the terror I'm missing something germane to my own post. I admit, it can make for very messy threads, but speaking only for myself, I find it much less daunting to read through stuff in a single thread and conforming than to look at my bookmarks and see 7 'new post' indicators.

Hell, even with a single thread, I still screw up, sometimes.


Round-robins work, so long as everyone is OK with hiccups in posting rate.  All it takes is for one person to get busy inreal (guilty as charged!), and then everyone is left sitting with their PERFECT one-liner that they can't post because it isn't their turn.

Sorry, a little out of it, so this post is kinda stream-of-unconsciousness.

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2016, 12:41:12 PM »
Hmm. Right now, I'm thinking of playing a 'pure' Half-elf (both his parents are half-elves, that is to say). His parents own a bakery in North Market (in direct competition with Tavoh's bakery), and they want to see him inherit the family business, because it's good, honest work. Plus, they've got a nice location, they've been in Ptolus for a long time, have a good reputation and steady clientele. But, my character is going through what is essentially a rebellious teen phase, and has heard one too many stories about the "Dungeon", and is far too curious for his own good.

That's my initial idea, at any rate, for a central character. Thoughts? Opinions?

As for multiple threads, having played in several group games that utilized it, we usually used linking to posts to give a better flow; so it might be "Blah blah blah [action continued in another thread; this is a link to that thread]", something to that effect. We might also want to use some sort of header system? Those seem pretty popular, and it does help keep things straight (especially if we'll be playing multiple characters).

Round robin sounds good to me. Are we going to go in a very specific order, like, 1,2,3,4,5... or is it just so long as everybody gets a post in? Like 1,4,2,5,3.

Offline Etherealgirl

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2016, 12:47:34 PM »
I like your idea THM!

Not sure for my character yet. Just a prostitute who is disenfranchised with the system, and trying to avoid being caught, or raped.

Offline Ontan

Re: The Other Guys...a sandboxy slice-of-life thingy (Interest Check)
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2016, 04:26:13 AM »
Regarding the round robin idea:
Itís a good system for when thereís a full set of characters in a scene, or for when it's a plot-critical point that everyone should have a voice in, but otherwise it can really slow things down. For the smaller, more trivial exchanges Ė say, two main characters arguing with a shopkeeper Ė I donít think thereís much to gain by enforcing the round robin system; itíd probably be easier for three writers (two PCs, and a third to Ďadoptí the shopkeeper NPC) sort it out between themselves.
 
That said, I'm naturally biased against it for one very big reason: Iím not in a US timezone. In fact, Iím +10 GMT, which is pretty much the worst possible alignment, as it virtually guarantees a one-day delay between someone in the USA saying something, and me replying even at the earliest opportunity. Just something to keep in mind with the round robin system (and, though I hate to say it, maybe player selection if you wanted to keep things fast paced).


As for character concepts:
First thing's first - I'm really liking the look of everyone else's  :-)

I've had an idea of what I'd like to play, but before pitching it, there's quick disclaimer I want to get out: while it's done with a bit of humour, itís still a fundamentally Ďrealí character with a serious side. So with that in mindÖ
The concept was a city lawman who, more importantly, is also a sibling to one of those heroes. While his brother is off slaying ogres and being worshipped by starry-eyed admirers, heís stuck in the Watch fighting an endless (and arguably pointless) battle to keep the streets decent. In the urbane district of Oldtown where he patrols, there are no serial murderers to track, no dramatic rooftop chases to corner notorious thieves: his stock in trade comprises of drunks fouling the streets, or abusive lordlings whoíll never even see the inside of a courtroom due to their family connections. Resentful but stubborn, his sole companions are his hound, the bottle... and, of course, the long shadow of his over-achieving adventurer brother. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 06:47:22 AM by Ontan »