12 August, 2015

Gradual worldbuilding

While I'm working on my rewrite of FUBAR, I've had quite a few thoughts about ways it needed to expand, improve, or just provide a better experience.

For a one off game, it works great. But the long term campaign play just doesn't hold up. It was never really meant to. The game is about a short shot at redemption, not about levelling up and gaining power. If it's cinematic, then it's "First Blood", "Commando", "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", and "Kill Bill". Once you've told the story, you move on.

It could be a "Die Hard", but the game suffers from the same syndrome that sequels and franchises tend to run into. After a game or two, the lowlifes need higher stakes, or different stakes that expand new sides of their character. But we don't go into an action movie to see psychological drama and romantic interest...if these things appear, they add depth and complexity to the story, but seeing the story focus on these when we're used to seeing the characters perform stunts and martial hijinx feels off.

My current thoughts for campaign play revolve more around the "cinematic universe model". Instead of a campaign following a few individuals as the grow over the course of many stories, we vuild a wider environment with multiple threads of story, and those characters who have achieved their storyline mKe cameo appearances when we tell the storoes of other groups. Perhaps a character goes dark at the end of their tale, they become the nemesis in the next story arc... maybe a character manages to achieve their redemption, and they becpme a useful ally or mentor to the next group of lowlifes. The new lowlifes visit new locations, have new agendas to follow and new regular people to meet, but they crossover with enough elements of the old story that a contiguous world starts to develop. 

I thought more about this when I tried to conceive a way incorporate +Jesse Morgan's Ronden Marr setting into a FUBAR style of game. Individual characters are the players link to the world, but it is the world that is important to long term campaign play rather than the individuls in it.

Just some food for thought.
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