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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Question Idea for a convention based rpg

    People have done rpgs at conventions, but it's usually just a lot of regular tables of some home rpg game. What if there was a rpg specifically made for conventions. My thought was a RPG that unfolded over the entire show floor, over multiple tables. A game that functioned not only as a unfolding narrative, but also functioned as a meet and greet.

    So how would such a game function? My thought here is that at the beginning, everyone would be given some small "character sheet" and a writing implement, and is assigned a table. Table size I'm uncertain of, 4 seems like a good size, but I could imagine having up to 6 or down to 3. The game at this point would be divided into rounds. Not sure how many or how long each round should be, but dividing it should add some diversity both to who you're playing with and what is happening in each round.

    Each round would involve taking place in some sort of group activity/mini-game. These activities should be mechanically simple and quick to pick up, but should be tied to your character and tied to the ongoing narrative. This could either be directed by trained volunteers/gms at the table, or run by the participants themselves. Whatever happens, there should (ideally) be envelopes to open and read, stickers and things to pass out, things to write on your sheet, etc. At the end of each activity, players would be reassigned a new table either based on the results of the activity, their character sheet, or semi-randomly.

    I like the idea of there being some sort of mystery woven through all of the tables, or converging towards more and more collective activities, but I'm unsure of where to take it and it'd depend deeply on implementation(what kind of story it is and how it ties together).

    Does anyone have thoughts on this concept? Does anyone have questions? Is this a good idea? If it is a good idea, is there any suggestions on people or groups of people to talk to/work with on such an idea?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Idea for a convention based rpg

    I've played two RPGs made for specifically for conventions, though more on "one table with multiple groups going successively" that "huge thing were everyone participate". Both were engineered around the fact that the table interact with the world that have been build and modified by the previous tables.

    The first one was an exploration-oriented RPG, where successive groups were going somewhere "nobody come backs from", and ... didn't come back. Not because of deadly traps or anything, but because their life-force were depleted before they had the time to fully understand what happened to this place. But progressively paved the way for the next groups to go further and further, until maybe one of them manage to understand the situation, and either solve it and/or find a way to communicate to the exterior "stop sending peoples here, there is no hope". That one was very beginner friendly.

    The second one was a narration-based RPG. While it was very fun, it didn't felt very beginner friendly. That one had no DM, only an archivist which has the notes about the current state of the universe, makes a sum up to the players, and explains the rules to the players. Players would play someone (or anything with a will) that want to change the world. Players takes turns at explaining how their character is changing the world through his actions, and unless another PC oppose (or the archivist object for consistency reasons), the story unfold as stated. (There was a very simple mechanics for conflict resolution for when two PCs are in opposition). After 4-5 round like that, most of the plot-lines were resolved (death, success, ...), and the archivist just needed to update the state of the universe for the next group.

    I also had one student convention where there was a big game which was essentially a "simpler Mario Party" but with real life boardgames/activities as "mini-games". There was 4 teams, one for each of the four universities the students came from, and only 1 players per team at a time. The "champion" of each team changed at each "mini-game". At the end of the convention, the team with the most point "won". While this big game was not a failure (some peoples loved it), it wasn't really a success (most peoples didn't care), and it was not redone during the latter conventions.

    Though during the latter conventions, they did instead some "big events" like a giant RPG that was essentially the re-enactment of the 1960s Congo Crisis (with 45 players, 8 DMs and 2 super-DMs), with initial situation quite near from historical accuracy (the final situation was not, for obvious reasons), and players incarnating great politicians, diplomats and advisors of the time. Though only a fraction of the students participate to this event (200-300 students come to this convention, and only can ~50 participate).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Idea for a convention based rpg

    In Pathfinder Society, several modules exist which are designed to be played at conventions. Story-wise, they are the first and the final module of each season, and either introduce this season's theme and enemy, or bring the story to a conclusion.

    Mechanically, they are played by several groups on multiple tables in parallel. Each table's actions contibute successes to the overall mission, e.g. securing parts of the city or exploring a huge dungeon. Once a certain number of successes is collected over all tables, the overall mission proceeds to the next stage. Encounters are available for different character levels, so e.g. a low-level group may battle a group of minions while the high-level group faces the demon lord boss. However, success of the low-level group gives extra resources to the high-level group (e.g. damage or healing, or strip the boss of some defenses).

    If you are willing to shell out a few dollars, you can download these scenarios from Paizo's website (e.g. scenario 7-00).

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    in front of a keyboard

    Default Re: Idea for a convention based rpg

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    The first one was an exploration-oriented RPG, where successive groups were going somewhere "nobody come backs from", and ... didn't come back. Not because of deadly traps or anything, but because their life-force were depleted before they had the time to fully understand what happened to this place. But progressively paved the way for the next groups to go further and further, until maybe one of them manage to understand the situation, and either solve it and/or find a way to communicate to the exterior "stop sending peoples here, there is no hope". That one was very beginner friendly.

    The second one was a narration-based RPG. While it was very fun, it didn't felt very beginner friendly. That one had no DM, only an archivist which has the notes about the current state of the universe, makes a sum up to the players, and explains the rules to the players. Players would play someone (or anything with a will) that want to change the world. Players takes turns at explaining how their character is changing the world through his actions, and unless another PC oppose (or the archivist object for consistency reasons), the story unfold as stated. (There was a very simple mechanics for conflict resolution for when two PCs are in opposition). After 4-5 round like that, most of the plot-lines were resolved (death, success, ...), and the archivist just needed to update the state of the universe for the next group.
    That sounds interesting. Do you have any notes / documentation about this?

    There is a module for Call of Cthulhu, "Gatsby and the Great Race" which plays out at several tables simultaneously (up to 5, I believe) and players would be switched between tables during the game. We tried it and it's great fun. We did two more variations of this theme later on, one also Cthulhu-based and one in a "spies against super villain" setting.
    Signatures are for losers.

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