Started by hoefer, September 25, 2008, 11:02:16 PM
Quote from: opsneakie on October 15, 2008, 08:02:54 AMAnyways, long post short, I think the trick is in detailed characters + detailed setting + knowing how to tug on those characters --> perfect game. I'm still working on making it all come together, but it's been getting closer and closer.
Quote from: Vulpinoid on October 16, 2008, 07:20:56 PMGood sandbox play seems possible from a number of sources.1. A very well detailed and mutually understood setting.2. Players who are willing to take some initiative for themselves.3. A GM who isn't too precious about where they want the plot to go.4. Fully realised NPCs with their own agendas that could easily change based on the actions of the players.Having more than one of these present seems to increase the potential and quality of the session. Having all of them would epitomise the concept.Unless people think I'm missing something. V
QuoteSo now, what we want when we play is a sort of thrill-ride of plot, character development, and suspense found in good books and movies. In the same breathe we absolutely hate games where it's all about the "real-life" of your character, or GMs who just want to "wing it" and leave it to the players/characters to get things going. Again, we want "story," we want foreshadowing, development of NPCs and interplay with the PCs, and a plot that cycles up the further the PCs play into the story.
QuoteI did not write the adventure until after character creation was done . . . (though if I want to figure out how to publish sandbox adventures I have to break the code of how to do it irrespective of the characters that might go on it). . . . This was the 3rd adventure for these particular characters.
QuoteIf you take a fictional character, and put him into an untenable situation that demands his action, and he deals with the situation in a way that stems from who he is (whether that means falling in line with who he is or breaking from it, or any combination thereof), and the situation ends up with some manner of resolution due in some extent to the character's actions, you will create a plot. Furthermore, that plot will express a theme which could not have been anticipated or expressed in the fiction until that moment of resolution. Whether you meant to or not.
QuoteOn the point of it being "all about what is going on with one's character and their drive," I don't think my players and I would agree. "The Story" is our goal. Developing its rise, climax, and resolution with the reactions, interactions, and personalities of our players is what makes it enjoyable. Just wondering around being in-character and seeking out our own interests isn't enough for us. "The Story" is that unifying force that makes it a shared experience and keeps the pacing and tension in tandem for all the players. To try to make it clearer (by using a lame example) -it is not interesting to us to be "Luke Skywalker" and experiment with all his feelings, whimsies, abilities, and reactions within and open-ended and far stretching world that happens to have a Death Star in it. What is interesting to us is being Luke and applying his personna to the menace of the "Death Star" through a series of defined conflicts and situations that both the player and GM know are moving the story clock forward toward that point (I know this is a gut-wrenching example, but replace "Luke Skywalker" and the such with any PC in any story and it holds). Now, that doesn't mean the path to the Death Star should be narrow (we equally hate playing games where the PC's choices have no real effect). But there is a great medium out there where the players realize a plot and are able to act within a large swath to get to its climax and figure a way to resolve it. Without this, adventures seem to take too damn long or players feel they are in separate "cubicles" of play instead of on the same swath together...
QuoteI kinda think I used your screwdown model. I had several events going on, many underlying plots and self-motivated (yet flexible) NPCs. The PCs dabbled in a given area and those actions led to new problems or the revelations of new plots/encounters. As the plots were followed or time was invested in any given one, the intensity would increase -some were increasing whether the players involved themselves in them or not (all these things were the "Bangs"). The problem was, the players never got to the point of having to "leave their fence." I originally wrote the adventure so that the player's interests, motives, and convictions would be the force that drove any given plot into a final climax. But they all just wondered about involving themselves in plots to the point it was boiling up -but do all they could to keep them from boiling over. Eventually I had to tag the whole "large-scale event" on to the experience to bring it to an end.
Quote... some of what you suggest will produce "real stories" such as the "commitment to the fiction-so-far and mindfulness to character breaking points" always leads to the split up of the PCs and the dreadful lag of running in-depth parallel stories for each PC. This has been my experience anyhow. You focus in too tightly on developing the character, the character's responsiveness to the environment/NPCs, and their interests and goals and pretty soon each player is waiting 30 minutes for their turn to "interact" with the story. It seems to wind up as simultaneous bits of fiction instead of a shared work.
QuoteI'm not sure if it is the same thing as the HeroQuest Goal system, but in Century's Edge each character has a pressing goal they are trying to achieve so that the player may advance the character to the next Rank. These goals are set up by the Narrator and the Player individually so as to facilitate a plot-driven game while giving a nod to the player's interests in their character's development. In this particular case we used the generic goals offered up in the main rule book -which definitely added to the issue of characters' being "climax-shy." These generic goals should have helped push the climax (for instance one character's goal was to obtain a new piece of technology which he could have more than easily done within Quisquis's lab), but still the players would explorer to the point of realizing how these goals could be accomplished but not attempt to accomplish them (i.e. find a nifty new technology, decide how it might be removed from the sultan's workshop, but then not actually attempt to remove it).