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Jemal
12-12-2014, 04:31 AM
So I'd like to know how much interest there would be in a Pro-active, sandboxy style game.
What do I mean, you ask? I mean a game wherein the players aren't following a structured quest/dungeon/etc that the GM has pre-made, but rather have a broad/loose goal (Survive the apocalypse, explore the mysterious land, gain political power/become the president, etc) and an open world in which to do it, and they decide how to go about it, with the GM reacting to their actions rather than telling them what to do/where to go.

I know there's a lot of times when Game's end up working a lot like this anyways, but I'm looking at a game where that's the point, and everybody involved WANTS it like that.


I have a couple Ideas I've been working up to GM for, and I think that this style would be the best way to approach them, but in addition to that, I would love the chance to PLAY in such a game as well, so I decided to open up an interest thread to see if A) there's enough interest for ME to run a game like this, and B) There's anybody else interested in GMing a game like this.


NOTE: This is not a recruitment thread, it is simply to check how many people would like to play in a more sandbox/player driven environment. Please do not ask for Setting/character creation details. If you do, you shall be mocked. :p

ClassDunce
12-12-2014, 04:46 AM
I would be game to give it a try as long as I found the setting remotely interesting the problem would be conflict. The GM would be setting up the antagonists on the fly. The problem would be keeping those antagonists interesting when you can't really have any long term plans for them since you don't know even along what lines the players are going to take the game. There's no way that it doesn't turn into a huge group writing exercise and that's kind of what the players and the GM have to know that they're signing up for from the get-go.

Glitter
12-12-2014, 04:53 AM
I love the idea of this, but one thread wouldn't do this idea justice. It's would need it's own subforum if not it's own site.

ClassDunce
12-12-2014, 05:16 AM
I love the idea of this, but one thread wouldn't do this idea justice. It's would need it's own subforum if not it's own site.

No, you could do it in one thread. Actually you would be better off doing it in one thread in order to keep everyone active and apprised of what everyone else is doing and hopefully the players would actually interact with each other. If the players all decided to run off and do their own things all the time it would be impossible for the GM to keep up.

Glitter
12-12-2014, 05:37 AM
Yeah, the more and more I think about it, sandbox is probably not what I'm thinking about (open world, maybe?). Sorry for the interruption, carry on!

levinwurth
12-12-2014, 09:31 AM
I would be game to give it a try as long as I found the setting remotely interesting the problem would be conflict. The GM would be setting up the antagonists on the fly. The problem would be keeping those antagonists interesting when you can't really have any long term plans for them since you don't know even along what lines the players are going to take the game. There's no way that it doesn't turn into a huge group writing exercise and that's kind of what the players and the GM have to know that they're signing up for from the get-go.

I'd second this - I'm tentatively interested providing I'm interested in the setting - I usually lean towards more gritty 'realistic' settings in the vein of Heroes, Misfits and the Aberrant RPG line.

dream
12-12-2014, 09:46 AM
I would be game to give it a try as long as I found the setting remotely interesting the problem would be conflict. The GM would be setting up the antagonists on the fly. The problem would be keeping those antagonists interesting when you can't really have any long term plans for them since you don't know even along what lines the players are going to take the game. There's no way that it doesn't turn into a huge group writing exercise and that's kind of what the players and the GM have to know that they're signing up for from the get-go.

This.

Sandbox is truly "The Wide World of Role-playing." Takes a dedicated group who'd probably enjoy the art of writing and character exploration. I'd think (and this's just me) that players would need deep PCs, meaning PCs with their own motivations and goals to work within the setting. Goals that should slide ever so gently towards whatever plot/story the GM has planned.

It's a delicate, but once complete, beautiful thing to behold. Sand makes pearls.

Yeah, I'm in. As player primarily. As GM, I'd have demands.

Rokoran
12-12-2014, 10:16 AM
I'd certainly be interested in something like this.

XeroKhan
12-12-2014, 11:43 AM
I will also throw by lot into this as well.

Seeing a game in which the main goal is character development AND world development is a grand idea (to myself personally). I would love to see this get even further than it is.

I also have finely tuned my own setting with a couple of friends of mine, and would be willing to set it up if others like the idea I have in mind (just in case that there is not enough for the Jemal vote). I have all sorts of ideas in line with this world, and many mysteries to be solved.

kanly
12-15-2014, 06:59 AM
Don't have a lot of time right now, but depending on how things go after the holidays, I might have a bit more. My experience with a few sandboxy type games in PBP has not been terribly positive, as they often disintegrate into a variety of separate stories or have players who are at a loss for what to do. Hopefully going into this one with the intention of working together for a common goal (at least among the players if not necessarily the characters) will help to mitigate that.

Jemal
12-17-2014, 10:33 PM
First: apologies for any sloppy editing/typos. Sending from phone is a pain.


I have a few wildly different ideas that ill go into detail about when i form up an actual recruiting thread, and allow the players to decide which they prefer.

There's not actually a big problem with the 'antagonist' side of things.. NPCs can and should still have their own goals, its just that the gm doesn't always shove those plans to the forefront requiring constant reaction from the PC'S. That's how most games tendto work.
In my vision, the NPCS are just as important - more so in some cases - as in a regular game. The GM should have many figured out ahead of time.
There are a few easy ways about this.
First, one must flesh out those characters that will almost certainly be involved with the campaign, as well as ones made important by PC'S backgrounds.
Second, have at least partial information on some you think could become important/involved.
Finally, prepare several templates - character outlines for unspecified characters.Then when the PCs decide to start interacting with a random person in the town, you can - if you wish - apply a set of preset traits so that npc instantly becomes fleshed out.


The major problem I've had whenever I've tried games like this in the past has been player stagnation due to a sort of paralysis of choice. Many players are so used to being led around on the gms story that they tend think that the equivalent of saying "i look for plot hooks" is being 'active'.

Of course the GM has to provide input as well, but at some point the only thing to do is realize you don't have the proper group and convert to a regular, 'GM as driving force' game.

But when the players DO manage to get plans of their own going - ah good times transform into great ones.

Rokoran
12-18-2014, 08:20 AM
First: apologies for any sloppy editing/typos. Sending from phone is a pain.


I have a few wildly different ideas that ill go into detail about when i form up an actual recruiting thread, and allow the players to decide which they prefer.

There's not actually a big problem with the 'antagonist' side of things.. NPCs can and should still have their own goals, its just that the gm doesn't always shove those plans to the forefront requiring constant reaction from the PC'S. That's how most games tendto work.
In my vision, the NPCS are just as important - more so in some cases - as in a regular game. The GM should have many figured out ahead of time.
There are a few easy ways about this.
First, one must flesh out those characters that will almost certainly be involved with the campaign, as well as ones made important by PC'S backgrounds.
Second, have at least partial information on some you think could become important/involved.
Finally, prepare several templates - character outlines for unspecified characters.Then when the PCs decide to start interacting with a random person in the town, you can - if you wish - apply a set of preset traits so that npc instantly becomes fleshed out.


The major problem I've had whenever I've tried games like this in the past has been player stagnation due to a sort of paralysis of choice. Many players are so used to being led around on the gms story that they tend think that the equivalent of saying "i look for plot hooks" is being 'active'.

Of course the GM has to provide input as well, but at some point the only thing to do is realize you don't have the proper group and convert to a regular, 'GM as driving force' game.

But when the players DO manage to get plans of their own going - ah good times transform into great ones.

I think the main issue here is finding proactive players. I, personally, already have some plans for this if it gets off the ground, and I can always shift my 'grey' a little more towards the 'black' if things start to stagnate so that I can serve as an antagonist to drive the plot.

Something to consider is whether you want to have public character sheets. If this is a sandbox game, it's far more likely that our characters don't know each other and thus don't know each others' powers - the character I'm planning certainly hasn't told anyone at all what he can do. If that were the case, it would be better for us to post outlines only and then send you the full sheets by PM.

levinwurth
12-18-2014, 09:38 AM
I think the main issue here is finding proactive players. I, personally, already have some plans for this if it gets off the ground, and I can always shift my 'grey' a little more towards the 'black' if things start to stagnate so that I can serve as an antagonist to drive the plot.

Something to consider is whether you want to have public character sheets. If this is a sandbox game, it's far more likely that our characters don't know each other and thus don't know each others' powers - the character I'm planning certainly hasn't told anyone at all what he can do. If that were the case, it would be better for us to post outlines only and then send you the full sheets by PM.

Oooh, private character sheets! Sounds like an interesting idea - that way, like a TV show or movie our characters have the opportunity for an interesting 'reveal'!

Jemal
12-18-2014, 09:59 PM
Actually for most of the ideas im working on, it would be odd if the players didn't know each other

ClassDunce
12-18-2014, 10:04 PM
It would also really hurt any kind of niche protection for the proposed characters. It would suck if half the players submitted Cyborg Ninja Millionaires who wanted to clean up the streets with nothing but his heat seeking nunchaku.

I would propose that we also make a requirement of having a goal in with the complications. It would be crazy helpful to a GM.

Jemal
12-21-2014, 12:21 AM
Well that looks like 7 interested so far. I'll put up a list of ideas for people to vote for soon, and probably leave it open til after the holidays before starting recruiting

Jemal
12-22-2014, 07:23 AM
Alright, so I've got several Ideas - please voice opinions on which one(s) you would prefer. You don't need to vote for just one, if you like them all say so, if you have preferences just list them in order of preference. Whichever seems to have the most interest after the holidays is what I'll start recruiting for.

Idea 1: Villains
You've got goals and ambitions. You've also got the means to achieve those goals. Unfortunately, they aren't exactly socially accepted.. So they call you villain.
You don't have to be 'Evil' (Though you can be). Just someone who's goals can't be achieved within the normal boundaries of the Law.
PC's might find themselves working in small groups, individually, or even opposed to each other, depending on how their aims and methods align.

Idea 2: supernatural
loosely based on the 'world of darkness' style games, there are lots of supernaturally powered beings in the world - Vampires, werewolves, Angels, Demons, witches, Faeries, etc. You're among them - maybe you're new maybe you're ancient.
The supernatural is kept hidden, the masquerade (for lack of a better term) enforced by the most powerful elders.
This would be a supernatural Political drama style game, though with supernatural beings, flat out killing people who get in your way can be considered a 'valid political tactic', so Combat's still important.

Idea 3: Super Lost
Remember Lost? Buncha people crash on an island? Imagine that, but you all gain super powers, and the island's filled with dangerous monsters - not to mention the possible motives of the others who crashed with you!
Survival/exploration/Mystery.

Idea 4: Zombies.
You knew it was coming.
This would be a combination survival/exploration/world building game, with the PC's deciding how to go about surviving. I would be randomly (for the most part) determining what happens with Zombies, and would also run any other NPCs the PCs take up with.

There are three forms this game could take:
A) Normal - PL 4-5, no super powers - Regular people trying to survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
B) Super - PL 8-10. The Zombie virus gives people super-powers, but 99% of the time it also turns them into Ravenous Undead (Super-powered zombies!). The PC's would all be people who survived the virus - the lucky 1%. They still have to deal with the other 99 super-zombies, though, and assuming they're generally good guys, probably try to keep the 'norms' travelling with them (family/friends) safe.
C) Amnesia - This is more an alteration to one of the others. Whatever caused the zombie apocalypse also whiped all the survivors memories of life before - How terrifying is that?!? (Also helps explain how zombies ever got a foothold in a society that watches the Walking Dead every week)

Idea 5: Amnesia
Yes, that's part of one of the zombie ideas, but it's also an Idea unto it's own:
One day everybody wakes up and nobody can remember everything. All digital and recorded data has likewise been erased. Only writing remains.
Aside from that, people also quickly discover that everybody now has super powers! Some big, some small, but everybody's got something.
This amnesia is a general 'Hollywood' amnesia - nobody remembers details or specifics, but you all know basics - what a car is, how to speak, and that 'super powers' didn't exist BEFORE the amnesia. You also find yourself still capable of doing things you were good at before - An ex military man being able to field strip an AK 47 without remembering what he's doing, etc. Though you may not know you can do it before it comes up.
There are two forms this game could take:
A) Immediate - The game starts with you waking up, and the beginning would be the 'holy crap what's going on' scenario.
B) Down the road - People have had a couple months to come to grips with what's going on. Most people have figured out who they were and some of their past (Drivers licenses and public records are very useful!) but still nobody remembers their former lives or what caused this. Infrastructure has been restored in many places, but Government has broken down, with some of those who've gained great power having taken over as 'warlords' of certain areas. Perhaps you're one of them, or opposed to one?
Combat/Politics/World (Re?)Building

Shadow Mask
12-22-2014, 07:55 AM
The problem with Idea 3 is that if one could fly the first thing they would do is escape without trying to do anything.

Idea 5 is... clunky.

Rokoran
12-22-2014, 08:35 AM
I would definitely be up for number one. Number two also looks cool.

levinwurth
12-22-2014, 10:11 AM
Sorry, not really a fan of any of those.

kanly
12-22-2014, 12:44 PM
2 or 3 sound the most interesting.


The problem with Idea 3 is that if one could fly the first thing they would do is escape without trying to do anything..

That goes for any number of movement powers (Swimming, teleport, dimension shifting, running on water, summoning animals to carry you away). You could make it so that all powers peter out about 1 mile off the island implying, much like in Lost, that the island itself is actually the source of the weirdness and meaning that using powers to escape is very dangerous.

Jemal
12-22-2014, 05:14 PM
With the island there will of course be a few example NPCs who try such things so the PCs see why they shouldn't.. Also movement modes will be limited in speed to make exploring take more than a minute. :p

Jemal
12-25-2014, 03:17 AM
Doesn't seem to be an abundance of interest, mind if I ask what type of game you guys were hoping for?

levinwurth
12-25-2014, 10:42 AM
I was hoping for a 'shades of grey, near-normal' setting like Heroes or Misfits, to be honest.

kanly
12-25-2014, 03:09 PM
Well, like I said, I'm interested in 2 & 3. I think 2 might be more interesting based on the Dresden files instead of the world of darkness. It has less built-in antagonism among the different types of supernatural and a structure built to allow association among them. Might makes right has little appeal to me.
Villain games tend to be about unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. Not my idea of a fun time.
Zombie games tend to be massive combat slogs, which don't work very well in play by post games, since it's so easy to get bogged down.
Amnesia as a starting point doesn't allow people to invest in their characters like would be necessary for a game like this to succeed.
There are currently at least two games on the board about wholesale power endowment, one of which I'm part of, so that has less appeal to me. I prefer to be a unique snowflake.

ClassDunce
12-25-2014, 04:09 PM
I'm fine with 1 or 3. I would probably pitch a character to either.

Shadow Mask
12-26-2014, 06:29 PM
2 or 3 sound the most interesting.



That goes for any number of movement powers (Swimming, teleport, dimension shifting, running on water, summoning animals to carry you away). You could make it so that all powers peter out about 1 mile off the island implying, much like in Lost, that the island itself is actually the source of the weirdness and meaning that using powers to escape is very dangerous.

Then why call it an sandbox at all?

Jemal
12-26-2014, 06:47 PM
Because sandbox doesn't mean "no limits on anything ever". I'm sorry if that was the impression you had.

dream
12-26-2014, 08:20 PM
Because sandbox doesn't mean "no limits on anything ever". I'm sorry if that was the impression you had.
Yeah. "Sandbox" is more story-centric, if I recall. Player-centered adventures vs. Plot-centered. Debating an entry here, since it might be deeper than the GM might like (I can put a plot point on each Complication).

Jemal
12-26-2014, 08:24 PM
No such thing as too much. I love it when PCs do work for me. :p

dream
12-28-2014, 04:51 AM
No such thing as too much. I love it when PCs do work for me. :p
Super! I'll get to work on it.

Jemal
12-28-2014, 07:15 AM
Don't work too hard just yet, there's only been three votes and only 2 for any particular setting. Doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for these ideas.

dream
12-28-2014, 07:35 AM
Don't work too hard just yet, there's only been three votes and only 2 for any particular setting. Doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for these ideas.
oh okay. Standing-by then.