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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Tactical Ops] enforcing the Setting  (Read 1490 times)
Hasimir0
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Posts: 38

Cogito Ergo Es


« on: February 29, 2012, 04:33:07 AM »

In Tactical Ops the world around the PCs is pretty much 100% produced by all the Players at the table.
I'm working on a way to allow for a "Canon Setting" to exist and be enforced through active play instead of old-fashioned pre-study of the source materials.

I'm thinking to use a little booklet and a deck of cards.

The booklet should be very tiny and slim... possibly A6 or even A7.
This should contain a one page introduction to the setting, and then a series of one page descriptions (verbose, no numerical stats) of stuff like Places, Organizations, NPCs, Creatures, Items, etc ... anything that should be iconic to this one Setting.

Each entry should have a matching Card.
Each card should only include the Name of the element presented, a page-number to quickly find the description in the booklet, and a big nice illustration of the element presented (using such image as reference could allow further trimming in the booklet's "physical description" of the element).

This way someone at the table will read the one-page-introduction to everyone, and then the game can start.
Players will be able to browse the deck for interesting Places to be or People to meet or Creatures to face or Organizations to interact with, or they can randomly draw cards to "be surprised".
The point is: by using the same iconic elements they WILL become familiar and recurring, thus enforcing the key elements of the Setting.

Now my problem is:

1) Is it sensible to attach a reward system to this? to give positive reinforcement every time a Player chooses to use Canon Material instead of generic/non-canon material?

2) Considering how Tactical Ops works, how could I do it?
An Influence reward?
Or some other special perk?

3) I also want for the Players to be able to PRODUCE "canon" ... by creating their own Cards and Booklet entries.
How should I handle this process?
Should they PAY for it, because they are shaping the world to their liking?
Or should they BE PAYED for it, because they are taking the hassle to enrich the game for everyone?
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Alessandro Piroddi
Tactical Ops RPG : Blogger / G+ / Facebook
Sp4m
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Posts: 61


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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 08:32:25 AM »

My opinion is that no matter what the rulebook says, players will play the game they want. And that's a good thing.

I love the idea of cards presenting locations, items, and characters. I think that takes away a lot of overhead, facilitates dynamic story telling, and allows a group to really breathe their own life into a setting. As you said, it also allows for a consistency of a setting. Different game groups can meet and talk about a location they've been to, NPC's they've met, and this gives them a crucial common language for building community.

That being said, I don't think players need a reward incentive for using the cards. If players find them a useful tool, they will use the cards. If they don't, they'll make their own cards, roll on a table, or do any number of things to play the way they want to.

If you put rules in place to encourage or discourage certain behavior, it may incidentally reduce your players freedom or willingness to implement new ideas.
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storyteller
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Posts: 11


« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 05:37:00 PM »

I like this a lot, interesting take on setting, very freeform. I had experimented with the idea of generated quests like this for another game. I would have booklets and packs of cards players pay for, with a point system they use to bbalance their own setting cards and entries.
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dindenver
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 12:13:35 PM »

Alessandro,
  This is a great idea. The way Fiasco handled this, is they provided a template for people to make their own playsets. Further, they included a "Playset of the Month" page to highlight newly created content (including player-generated content).
  I think if you can setup a wiki, then users can post, edit and admin new content themselves. So, there should not be a need for anyone to pay anyone.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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David Artman
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 08:01:45 AM »

(I think by "pay" he meant the in-game resource/reward mechanisms, not currency in the real world for produced content.)

Reminds me of Everway a bit. In fact... have you bought up any Everway boxes or boosters...? (A quick Google Shopping search reveals many still around.)
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Hasimir0
Member

Posts: 38

Cogito Ergo Es


« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 08:46:10 AM »

The wiki is a nice idea to gather all "unofficial" Settings ... I would love to have a conversion of Shadowrun4, SLA Industries, Dark Legacies, Dark Sun and the Iron Kingdoms :)

But I first need to develop the in-game mechanics.
In this regard it seems that, by the comments gathered so far, the popular choice would be to NOT use any kind of currency involved in the World-Building aspect of the game.
If you like the canon materials provided, you'll use them ... if you have cool new ideas, you'll make them into canon materials.

I'll set the basic game structure on this foundation.
Then playtesting will tell if it works or not :P

Thanks for the input!
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Alessandro Piroddi
Tactical Ops RPG : Blogger / G+ / Facebook
storyteller
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 11:16:16 AM »

(I think by "pay" he meant the in-game resource/reward mechanisms, not currency in the real world for produced content.)

Reminds me of Everway a bit. In fact... have you bought up any Everway boxes or boosters...? (A quick Google Shopping search reveals many still around.)

Everway was awesome, I had a set at one time just to brainstorm and such. one of the best freeform RPGs ever made. has influenced much of my work.
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tymotzues
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 12:31:43 PM »

Yep, my first thought in reading this was 'Everway' and it still is one of my favourite games, not so much to play but just to admire as a breakthrough in gaming conventions.
But to get back on topic

I agree with Sp4m, I think the way it sounds the cards will get used regardless of reward incentive, perhaps if you want to offer rewards they should be of a different nature? Like being able to modify an already established part of the canon.
At first this suggestion may sound chaotic - but if moderated it could mean a truly fluid and living world, think of a city that has been added to the canon, then someone comes along with the award to change something and decides that the city is beset by a 100 year plague or some such. Or think of a creature living in a certain part of the world, and then an award is used to cause those creatures to mass migrate
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dindenver
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 08:41:36 AM »

Alessandro,
  Sorry about the confusion.
  In a situation like this, I would suggest one of the following:
1) If a player creates content, they spend a resource. If another player engages that content, the creator gets a resource from the bank (not from the engaging player).
or
2) If a player makes content, they get a resource.
  One is more interactive, but can lead to resource bloat. Two is easier to manage, but doesn't really reward players if they make interesting content that other players want to engage.

  I have played games that focus on player-generated content and ones where there is feedback in the mechanics of the game tend to work best.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
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