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 Post subject: Roleplaying Kickstarter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:14 am 
Shelled Plebeian

Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:35 pm
Posts: 15
Divine Blood is an urban fantasy set in an Earth with an alternate history. The main RPG book was printed last year around October and now I'm working on a kickstarter for the first campaign book.
The foreword and list of influences from the current draft of this book.
Normally when one plays a roleplaying game, the expected content involves action, adventure and people with amazing skills taking on incredible tasks. When the setting involves a hefty dose of the supernatural this seems almost guaranteed. The average player sits down to the table expecting to play a superhero of one sort or another. That’s been the standard sort of play as far back as Dungeons and Dragons, where characters can eventually reach the status of such mythical demigods and heroes as Theseus, Beowulf, Merlin or even Old Monkey in extreme cases.
The Divine Blood setting is certainly no stranger to this sort of storyline. Between the stories that have been published so far in the fiction, there have been evil empires, nameless abominations, battles between secret societies, mecha combat, espionage, dealings with ghosts and a death or two. If you want to run a campaign of heroes with powers and skills beyond the normal, that’s perfectly within the capability of the game. Most of the rules that we dealt with in playtesting are focused on that sort of playstyle.
However, battle and the supernatural is not the limit of what the Divine Blood setting is about. Alongside the more fantastical story elements standard to an adventure setting given above, the published fiction has also included high school debates, trying out new restaurants, job interviews, dealing with bad family situations, parenting foibles, tolerating sibling stupidity, teasing close friends, drunk drivers, school discipline, dealing with strange fandoms and plenty of casual conversations about random stuff. This is not the usual sort of fare a gaming campaign is about, and most game rules aren’t designed to focus much on such day to day concerns. They’re usually the sort of things that just get role-played out with little to no dice-rolling going on. The Fate systems rules make it possible to focus on these elements of a story and, indeed, build entire scenarios around something as simple as a school fundraising fair.
To put it simply, as much as Divine Blood is about the myths, sci-fi and fantasy that I have enjoyed, and still do enjoy, it is also about the sitcoms that I grew up with and those ludicrous day-to-day situations that still pop up in my regular life.
Now there comes an obvious question, “if this sort of story element is stuff that is usually roleplayed out, why bother making rules to simulate it?” This is a very good question and if the focus of your campaign is around action, danger and fighting evil, then really there isn’t much need for mechanics to represent the difficulty of studying for a chemistry final or trying to land a sweet job. If anything, those are complications to the more pressing concerns of trying to avoid getting turned into a sacrifice by the Disciples of the Evil Eye. However, if the focus of your campaign is a Divine Blood version of High School Musical, then those systems can provide both structure and the element of chance.
Rules give our brains something to base the boundaries of expectation around. Things like statistics and odds allow us to identify when a task is difficult or easy and when we accomplish that task within the framework of the rules, there is a feeling of accomplishment. In the Fate system especially, the Aspects work as road-signs indicating the sort of elements each player wants included in their game experience. They thus can be used as seeds for the GM or another player to add to the story in a way that appeals to everybody.
Then there is the element of chance. Granted, this game is built using the Fate systems which reduces the influence of the dice significantly as compared to games like Dungeons and Dragons. In a game where it is possible to build up bonuses that can more than triple the maximum result of any die roll, one wonders just why anybody bothers rolling the dice at all. It seems like whether or not the character succeeds is up to the whim of the player and to an extent you are correct. It is possible to simply blow all of his resources on achieving one amazingly awesome result on a die roll. However, those deliberately awesome results require either several rounds of preparation to create temporary Aspects with free tags or else blowing large amounts of Fate Points all at once. The second also requires the attempted task to align favorably with multiple Aspects of the character, his opponent and the environment. However, the dice do have an influence. A bad roll may necessitate the expenditure of a Fate Point, or simply be allowed to pass. A good roll may turn a humdrum event into something impressive and noteworthy. For a character working outside his comfort zone, outside the purview of his Advantages and Aspects, that random chance is the only thing they’ve got going for them.
To further describe what I mean, let us take the example of a fight scene. It is possible for a group of people to sit down and work out just how a fight scene will happen without the need for any sort of rules at all. This happens all the time with writing teams for various movies and television series. It is also quite fun when done well. However, in a gamer setting you run the risk of someone coming in and saying “my character beats up all the bad guys, problem solved” and refusing to back down or share the glory with anybody else. Granted, something like that is unlikely to occur, and the individual in question is unlikely to be invited to another freeform gaming table, but smaller scale disagreements are more likely and more prone to be initially overlooked. In addition, the sense of accomplishment that will come out of freeforming the scene is one of “look at this great story we told” rather than “wow, that was a tough fight.” I enjoy both types of accomplishment, but they are different and sometimes you want one more than the other.
Whether you use systems or not, roleplaying a bunch of high schoolers building a booth event for a fundraising fair can be quite fun. However, once you add systems to building and running the booth, it becomes a challenge in and of itself rather than simply being an amusing side-element to the story.
As a reminder, you do not have to use rules to roleplay. I was part of a freeform roleplaying group for close to four years which was exceedingly fun and still gives me plenty of fond memories. If you choose to use rules, you do not have to use the rules I created for the Divine Blood game. There are plenty of other systems that can fit just as well.
Lists of Influences
Comic Books and Manga

Archie Comics
Azumanga Daioh
Lucky Star
Oh My Goddess!


The Sims franchise


The Incredibles
My Best Friend is a Vampire
Sky High
Teen Wolf
Zoom: Academy for Superheroes


The Addams Family
The Adventures of Pete and Pete
Clarissa Explains it All
Full House
Happy Days
I Dream of Genie
Mad About You
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Mork and Mindy
The Munsters
News Radio
Red Dwarf
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Saved by the Bell
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
The Secret World of Alex Mack
Third Rock From the Sun
X-Men Evolution


Atomic Laundromat
Eerie Cuties/Magic Chicks/Dangerously Chloe
El Goonish Shive
The Hero Business
Sandra and Woo
Vampire Cheerleaders
Waspi Square ... -next-door

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 Post subject: Re: Roleplaying Kickstarter
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:21 pm 
Dangerously Sane
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Posts: 1265
Location: Nowhere-land
Is this yours? If so, good luck!

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