View Full Version : Getting the game you want....

2007-09-03, 02:42 PM
I was googling reviews for Alien 9, which I heard was good from a friend. After finding one link (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/alien-9/manga"here,[/URL] I noticed something in the review that could be used as a great world-building tool. See the below quote and note the bolded areas.

The world development is where Alien Nine runs into a few problems. Whenever anyone is explaining the world around them, it comes across as being lazy and expository. People sit around and tell each other things they already know, just for the sake of the audience. This aspect of the writing style is highly annoying and one couldn't help but think that Alien Nine would have benefited greatly from a short prologue explaining what the current situation in Japan is.

Notice that last part, where they talk about a hypothetical prologue summing up the background fluff of the setting and how its better than just having the audience "filled in" by other characters. Now, I could talk about how this "annoying writing aspect" seems to be popping up everywhere, but I'd like to start a thought-experiment instead.

If your ideal campaign world had an introduction, what would it be? I mean...gah, this is hard to explain; Its really a two or three part question, but it might depend on how's being asked: (The Spoiler will give an example of a setting introduction and how it might appeal to a certain player)

1) If a campaign world is a place where adventure can happen, what sort of adventures do you want-what do you want to do, and what do you think would disrupt playing that type of character? 2) What elements or tones (I.E. Insanity points are around every corner in Call of C'thulu, Warhammer Fantasy roleplay is built around the idea of "an uphill battle," and Kobolds Ate my Baby! is just silly.) in a campaign story do you hate? 3) And, what would such a world look like that would allow those elements that encourage your play style/in-game plans, but retain the correct feel you want for the game?

.....I remembered halfway through typing this that I was supposed to write at the top of the spoiler message what I wanted to accomplish with making this setting, to set a standard for anyone who posts their Idea, but my minds drawing a back, and I gotta be somewhere soon.

-Mage King-
Fluff: In a world where wizards are rare yet powerful, where humanity is a small but powerful minority amongst overpopulated humanoid monster tribes, one king has made a call for all the arcanists in his land to serve him in exchange for land, authority, as well as the resources and secrecy they need to perform ....certain experiments and rituals (diabolists and necromancers would so vote for this guy.....) Join lead the highest order of sorcerers in the land, kill barbaric monsters, tax the poor, play internal power struggles, expand the field of magical knowledge, and help the Mage King build a safer world for humanity! Just don't abuse your authority.....too much.:belkar:

Practical stuff: Mage King was created from a thought: for those who don't know why the inbalance between fighters and wizards is a problem, this is an experiment in which we ask the question: Would a king of a high-magic kingdom, with plenty of wizards to spare, ever complain about a lack of fighters? For any reason? The best way to test this out is actually make the PCs all casters in said king's court and see if they ever get into a situation need any fighters/rogues/barbarians/etc. that a mob of warriors half their level couldn't pull off. However, it also is a simple task to turn this setting in a political hellscape, or an evil/power fantasy campaign (given the amount of exploiting and robbing of peasant that is possible when the players are nigh well above the law), but it really shines as a pseudo-historical campaign. The nature of the system is much like the dark ages feudal era, and there could easily be a huge power struggle between fledgling or impoverished human and monster city-states (or roaming hordes, think the Mongols or the Huns), making the campaign resemble a combination of a simulation of building a kingdom from almost scratch with the help of magic, and therefore trying to eventually (years and years forward) simulate what a developed iron age society would look like with magic as a serious part of it.

Therefore, this campaign, is ironically suitibly fitted for flippant, criminally-inclined power freaks, or role-players that like to immerse themselves into a deep and exciting game world-but probably not both. Also, the players will have to like using magic. I actually think this might very work well with the Elements of Magic system (no I'm not posting a link this time, I've advertised it too many times in the past, send me a private message if your interested......on second thought, here's a yourself hiring some adventurers to take care of some pesky Ogres (that've harassing your serfs) for you....so you yourself can focus on helping the party fight off that army of pesky Trolls the king has seen heading towards his castle.....feudal obligation and all that, secretly running a forbidden magic traffiking operation under the society of wizards' nose, Playing a family line of noblemen, etc.

Tell me what you like in a game. What tone and flavor do your prefer? What do you want to do when you go looking for a new group? Whats the kind of game you want, and how does the type of setting effect your enjoyment (One thing I meant to touch on was settings that are almost cool, but turns off certain people. For instance, Shadowrun looks like a cool, kinda balanced system that mixes technology, magic, and running someone through with a katana, but the dystopic tone of the setting turns me off.) This thread is meant to be both Survey and cooperative Homebrewing. I'd like to here some ideas.