An FRP of my own!

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Alaric B. Williams

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Nov 12, 1994, 7:42:37 PM11/12/94
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Hi, I'm researching for writing an FRP. I wrote one a while back, but it
evolved as it was written, making the result an arcane mess. It was OK to
play, but with some niggling inconstencies and a structure that made looking
anything up a pain.

So, after several minor experiments, I've cobbled myself together a nice
document structuring program, and began researching to write The Ultimate
Game To Surpass All Others :-)

Here's the basic scenario:

Humanity in the future ascended to immense levels of technology over
several thousand years, only to be dashed down to barbarianism in a
horrible war of attrition between at first two then thousands of rival
countries/factions.

As the war progressed, the overall technology level dropped and dropped,
until the war petered out due to lack of population.

Which brings us to the point in time where the PCs come in.

They will have grown up in a farming settlement or small trading town
somewhere; the local technology level is up to the GM, but should range from
medieval to a Mad Max II/III type scenario.

The less advanced a technology is, the more common it'll be, coz it'll have
been used in the War more recently.

Anyway, the group decides to leave it's existing boring life to explore the
world and get rich quick. So they spend their life savings on either swords
and crossbows or souped-up custom cars and shotguns. Personally, I think
medieval is a better starting point, coz then the game'll last longer.

Anyway, they explore and fight their way around, while the GM slowly brings
them to higher and higher tech places, making them more and more
powerful. There is a kind of 'technology gradient', ie the South
is low-tech, and as one progresses North, things pick up. Just
the GM would make it a little more complex, so the players don't
just beeline North.

You may think that after a while, the group will have anti-city laser
cannons and nuclear missiles, but not so. Such large scale weapons were
destroyed in the first few centuries of the war, so what we have is a huge
variety of weapons - an interesting variety!

The top technology level will be about that of the Shadowrun
universe, ie early 21st century.

GMs will not simply let characters collect equipment; items will
get lost, and maybe from time to time, the characters have to
escape from a prison or something and leave all their stuff
behind - this may seem a calamity, but remember that the
characters still have their knowledge and maybe some cyberware.

Knowledge will be a major commodity, the difference between life
and death. Skills will improve as they are used, and there will
be a seperate Knowledge section on the character sheet, not just
rolling it in with Skills, like most RPGs. I hope to make the
skills/knowledge system a major force in the game.

Which brings me on to a fundamental aspect of the game: only the GM gets to
read the manual and character sheets! The players have a smallish booklet
describing what their characters would know, and NEVER get to see any kind
of 'equipment list'. So when they see some new kind of gun, it's effects
will be completely new to them. They have to try it and see.
This adds a whole new dimension to the game.

Also included to spice it up a bit is a large level of genetic mutation due
to postnuclear badlands, with the result that some characters may be
psychic. As the characters are made by the GM and only limited summaries
shown to the players, that character will not know of this until it
manifests itself in some stressful situation.

Anyway, some minor characteristics of the game are:

Rules for all kinds of madness

Cyberware later on in the game

No money - it's all haggling and bartering

Internal strife - players are encouraged to plot against each other in the
group as an option, so you'd better watch your back!

Secrecy - the GM will often exchange information with a player using written
text, so other players cannot see. This makes the characters much more
individual, rather than one superbly integrated (=boring) group.

Immense range of technology - and the same technology will have different
names in different places, and problems such as incompatibility (yeah, it's
like MSDOS <G>) to liven things up.

Lots of fringe equipment - crowd control weapons, drugs, gimmicks, 'bad'
traders with faulty equipment, etc

Of course, a major need in all RPGs is balance, ie there must
never be a 'best' piece of equipment or anything, as all will
have pros and cons. This stops characters all zooming towards
the same 'best' state, which is boring to say the least.

Which brings me to my reason for posting this. What would you, the players
of the world, want in a game like this? What rule have you craved for all
your life?

Coz if you lot give me loads of useful ideas, I'll GZip/UUEncode the entire
finished product and either post it here or upload it to an FTP
site somewhere (just not UUed, of course), for all to play. I
hope to distribute it on a 'freeware/donations'. All
contributers, of course, will be mentioned in the text.

Response by E-Mail, please! If nobody is interested, I'll leave
you all alone, but otherwise, I'll post progress reports here.

Thanx & BFN,

Alaric Williams

--
Alaric B. Williams <ala...@abwillms.demon.co.uk>
| 4 degrees, 2 doctorates, 2 PhDs |
| Compulsive liar (see above) |

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