NZRaG
New Zealand Roleplaying and Gaming forums
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Conan
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    NZRaG Forum Index -> Descarte
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did something very like that when I started my CoC campaign Ben. I got a grand total of zero responses. It was very disappointing because I really did want player generated NPCs and sub-plots. But if we can get any sort of response this time then I think it is worth doing.

What might work is if we give players a handful "free NPCs" each to either create at the start of the game or to create during play. Some people (you and Angus I suspect) might "spend" your free NPCs up front and this will hopefully generate stories and adventures and that will inspire the others to create NPCs once they get the hang of how this thing works.

The only thing I am umming and ahhhing about this is how to stop players from then creating boring variations of "my mate Hodgie" in every single town we come across.

Having read some Howard now I have one thought. His writing is very sparse and packs a huge amount of action into a very short number of words. Perhaps we could make a house-rule that characters should have a backstory which is one paragraph long. They can write this at any point during the game. Any NPCs they would like to introduce must appear in that backstory.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Angus



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I yearn for in an RPG campaign, is to have a really difficult goal to accomplish over a long time period. Like wreaking revenge on some hugely powerful magician who cannot be tackled until the characters are much more experienced.

I'd really like to have a party with some sort of personal goal to be accomplished other than collecting gold or magical items. And I'd really like the party to have an actively "Good" alignment. I guess you do something of the sort in Cthulu.

I'd be quite happy for this sort of goal to be specified by the GM - like making us all members of a secret society which aims to guard against some eveil being wrought

I'd also be keen for the GM to pluck suprises from the characters background on the players. "Guess what Eccles - you're not an orphan. You're the bastard son of the late king, who had no other issue.' Or such like.

I'm not sure my barbarian back story is a big enough story for my taste, but it would be a good sub-plot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the long-term goal thing can be managed Angus. I have had some thoughts in that direction already.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Angus



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watching Rome last night it occurred to me that it might be cool for some of the PCs to be slaves of another PC. As long as the slave-owner is more like Caesar or Sevillia than Atia or Octavian.

So my barbarian could be the body slave of your noble Ben.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeythorn wrote:
I did something very like that when I started my CoC campaign Ben. I got a grand total of zero responses.


Maybe everyone was just happy with the way you were running the game.

Realistically speaking, even though I have brought up the idea of player feedback, I wouldn't be surprised if my contribution is underwhelming. I am full of good itentions at the moment though.

Quote:
What might work is if we give players a handful "free NPCs" each to either create at the start of the game or to create during play.


Would these be NPCs you would be obliged to use? I was kind of thinking we could come up with NPCs continuously, but that you would only use them if you thought they worked with the story.

Quote:
The only thing I am umming and ahhhing about this is how to stop players from then creating boring variations of "my mate Hodgie" in every single town we come across.


I don't have any answers to how to stop us coming up with boring characters. However, given the responsibility of contributing to the story, I doubt we'd end up just making up mates of our character and will come up with NPCs whose existance is not beneficial to our own character.

We could establish a principle that whenever you suggest something that benefits your character, you should also suggest something that could potentially cause your character difficulties.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angus wrote:
What I yearn for in an RPG campaign, is to have a really difficult goal to accomplish over a long time period. Like wreaking revenge on some hugely powerful magician who cannot be tackled until the characters are much more experienced.


I agree. And with most of the rest of your post. (Pretty ambivalent about the 'good' idea however.) Preferably, success in the overall goal would involve a whole lot of minor victories that build towards the final confrontation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angus wrote:
Watching Rome last night it occurred to me that it might be cool for some of the PCs to be slaves of another PC.


Something that I think is sometimes forgotten is that slave owners and slaves have a complex relationship. It isn't always about the owner bossing the slave around. For example (though not really relevant), in a novel I read based in Africa, the slaves were almost not worth having because they were so demanding and whiny and often got their way because it wasn't like the owner could just order them to shut up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And you have the concern about how other players will interact with the slave. Angus' PC may be Ben's slave - but how should Geoff treat him? I imagine Angus' PC won't get an awful lot of respect.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeythorn wrote:
And you have the concern about how other players will interact with the slave. Angus' PC may be Ben's slave - but how should Geoff treat him? I imagine Angus' PC won't get an awful lot of respect.


I don't know. I think the amount of respect Angus' PC gets would depend on how much respect my PC gets (so not much quite likely). The point of my last post was that the master–slave dynamic—or freeman–slave dynamic—is only one aspect to the relationship that a slave has with other people. In this example, if Geoff wants to get along with Angus, he won't be demanding he kow tow all the time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benedict wrote:
Would these be NPCs you would be obliged to use? I was kind of thinking we could come up with NPCs continuously, but that you would only use them if you thought they worked with the story.

...

I don't have any answers to how to stop us coming up with boring characters. However, given the responsibility of contributing to the story, I doubt we'd end up just making up mates of our character and will come up with NPCs whose existance is not beneficial to our own character.

We could establish a principle that whenever you suggest something that benefits your character, you should also suggest something that could potentially cause your character difficulties.


It wasn't boring characters I was worrying about too much, it was more that it could be easy to keep adding NPCs until it just gets silly. I just had an image in my head of player A announcing a back story and an NPC and players B, C and D suddenly adding their own and overwhelming the GM with competing plotlines and cries for attention.

I guess given my previous record with this kind of thing, that is very unlikely to happen.

Like I said earlier, I really like the way Howard just summarises an entire catalogue of adventures in one broad sweep which captures the essence of the story in a single paragraph. I would like to keep Conan similarly simple, razor sharp but full of glittering and exotic pearls. At the very start at least - like any good Howard story complications will always ensue.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Angus



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading an intro to the Hyborian Age, and it says that the decent, civilized Hyborian kingdoms don't allow slavery (literally it says that other nations do have slavery which implies that they don't). So if we're starting in Aquilonia or somewhere similar scratch the idea of having slaves in the party.

We could have different social classes though. I'd be happy to give it a go. How about Mike you decide where you want to start the campaign, and us players can discuss how to compose the party when we're ready to go.

If we were to have an Aquilonian party perhaps we could have two noble brothers, one strait-laced and the other wayward, a bodyguard, a tutor/priest, and the wayward brother's dodgy criminal buddy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angus wrote:
I'm reading an intro to the Hyborian Age, and it says that the decent, civilized Hyborian kingdoms don't allow slavery (literally it says that other nations do have slavery which implies that they don't). So if we're starting in Aquilonia or somewhere similar scratch the idea of having slaves in the party.


It seems that slavery was not practiced by the Hyborians, but some of the nations that preceded the Hyborian migration still practice slavery, such as Koth and Ophir. Aquilonia is feudal by the way, and is presumably a serfdom, and to my mind slavery isn't very compatible with serfery.

However, if we are to have slaves as party members we really need to know what we are letting ourselves in for, i.e. how will other people react.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have read that essay you are reading Angus (is it the one written by Howard himself?). As an aside I thought it was a bit bloody useless really.

As Ben notes slavery is not a Hyborian habit, but it certainly seems well established in other parts of the world. And to be honest Aquilonia and the other Hyborian nations seem a little, well, dull. So I was planning on having a campaign set on the fringes and outside of Hyboria - places where slavery is very much a part of life.

Anyway - if you are not starting as slaves then it is not really an issue. I do like the exiled noble idea though - and that gives a good wide scope to establish a cohesive party. As Ben has already noted, the noble might be accompanied by other exiles who are associated with him - foriegn mercenaries, a (possibly sorcerous) advisor, servants, loyal courtiers and subjects, spies and the like. It also sets up a possible long term plot - regaining the noble's rightful throne.

PS I take it Angus and Ben at least are reading some of the Conan stories. If you haven't already read "The Tower and the Elephant" please don't! I have ordered the adventure based on that story and while I am sure reading the story won't completely ruin the fun of the adventure, it might ruin some of the twists for you.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeythorn wrote:
I think I have read that essay you are reading Angus (is it the one written by Howard himself?). As an aside I thought it was a bit bloody useless really.


I think he is reading something else. 'The Hyborian Age' doesn't mention slavery. It is also pretty old. Most of the Conan stories were written after Howard wrote that essay.

What are you reading Angus?

Quote:
And to be honest Aquilonia and the other Hyborian nations seem a little, well, dull.


This occured to me too. I do think that Aquilonia is only as dull as you allow it to be, but places like Zamora, with its giant spiders, and decadent Stygia, with its evil sorcerors, are truly different. I hate to suggest it when we might be moving towards some consensus about the party, but another option is having a quite unconventional party from one of these places.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the Howard essay did mention slavery and Hyboria? Maybe I am wrong.

What are you reading Ben? I picked up the "Complete chronicles of Conan" at Dymocks last week and am really enjoying it. I am surprised at how good the writing is.
_________________
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    NZRaG Forum Index -> Descarte All times are GMT + 13 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group