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Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

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  • Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

    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.

  • #2
    Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

    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.

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    • #3
      Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

      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.
      "She has trouble acting normal when she's nervous." - Round Here, Counting Crows

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      • #4
        Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

        Originally posted by Glitter View Post
        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.

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        • #5
          Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

          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!
          "She has trouble acting normal when she's nervous." - Round Here, Counting Crows

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          • #6
            Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

            Originally posted by imported_ClassDunce View Post
            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.
            Jack 'Frost' Keller - Boston's Wild

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            • #7
              Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

              Originally posted by imported_ClassDunce View Post
              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.
              Last edited by dream; 12-12-2014, 10:49 AM.
              [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1243-My-Dream-House"]My Dream House[/URL]

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              • #8
                Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                I'd certainly be interested in something like this.
                Old Favourites:

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                • #9
                  Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                    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.
                    ^( ;,; )^


                    My Builds

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                    • #11
                      Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                      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.
                      Last edited by Jemal; 12-17-2014, 11:37 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                        Originally posted by Jemal View Post
                        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.
                        Old Favourites:

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                        • #13
                          Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                          Originally posted by Rokoran View Post
                          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'!
                          Jack 'Frost' Keller - Boston's Wild

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                          • #14
                            Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                            Actually for most of the ideas im working on, it would be odd if the players didn't know each other

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                            • #15
                              Re: Interest Check: Pro-active Sandbox

                              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.

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