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Thread: SF Gaming: 'Worlds' as Characters -- clever or over-engineered?

  1. #1
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    Default SF Gaming: 'Worlds' as Characters -- clever or over-engineered?

    I had an idea last evening that I am enamored with, but I suspect will be unwieldy in practice: treat worlds (a la Traveller or Star Trek or Burning Empires) as characters.

    Burn them up. Have lifepaths which lay out possible historical or environmental events with trait points and 'skills' representing capabilities of the civilization(s) which live there or features of the landscape like corrosive atmosphere or rare minerals.

    Use Resources to represent the relative presence or absence of natural resources and/or as the relative strength of the local economy when interacting off-world.

    Circles could be used to represent the locals, allowing you to work out tests for 'circling up' a mechanic who can fix the jump-drive or a bot that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

    Dunno. It's probably an idea that could be made to work, but I'm not sure the work would be worth it. Still, it might make sense to noodle out a simplified system that might work this way that's distinct from a full character burn.

    Shrug. What do you think?
    Dana Johnson -- BWC #314..MonBu #211..BWR #054..MaBu #031

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    I was mulling over something similar for Burning Grunweld, except in my case it was to represent the ghostly community of 'ancestors' that accreted around fantasy city states. Though, it would just have been GM masturbation unless the players were going to be involved.

    It would be interesting as a shared world- or campaign-burning exercise, though, with the same goals as character burning - making sure that following your goals come with interesting side effects. Stages (lifepaths) like 'Golden Age', for instance, coming with traits like 'Stifling Nostalgia'.

    I don't see any reason to keep the stats the same as for characters, though.
    Michael Prescott - I'm making free adventures!

  3. #3
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    I came up with a similar idea for building military units and magical artifacts:

    Peasant Levy -> Garrison -> Won Decisive Victory -> Honor Guard

    Forged by Dwarves -> Used for Murder -> Lost for a Thousand Years
    -Mike

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    The one thing that treating a whole world as one character suffers is that it continues the treatment of a world as a "room/encounter in a dungeon". This is a bit problematic in that it is very reductionist.

    This is less of a problem if you are goi9ng to run a star trek kind of campaign - "what problem will we encounter this week?"

    Have you read Diaspora? You might want to. It has a treatment of this kind of activity that involves the players explicitly. You can have a sticky beak here: http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora/
    Inspired by Bobo's Sig
    Rule 6 of Kurt Vonnegut's Rules on Short Stories
    Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
    from Bagombo Snuff Box.

  5. #5
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    I like the idea. Maybe a Nation Burner, and every player has a nation and they collaborate or compete for glory and resources. We need a Duel of Nations mechanic or something.
    - Alejandro

    Sorry my english.

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    One of the best times playing was creating worlds for Diaspora. I highly recommend. It got everyone on the same page and created lots of interesting plot hooks.

    We started out thinking that we'd make a Starship Troopers type game and wound up playing Miami Vice in Space. It was wild.
    -Ken.

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