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Fuchs
I GM exclusively in my pen and paper Shadowrun campaign, and I think there are a few more like me on these forums who are looking forward to play as well even though we could run games.

Further, given the workload running a game requires, and given how many people want to play, it’s a „GM’s market“, so to speak. This can lead to people playing what „class“ is needed by a group, which, together with the campaign theme, style and rules itself, may not be what they really want to play if they were in a perfect world.

Now, here’s an idea to answer this. It’s not perfect, not by far, and may not suit everyone, but it might be what some seek:

Quid pro Quo, or „GM for your GM“.

The basic idea is that two people team up, and each runs a single-player campaign for the other, parallel. Ideally, for each post as a player, there would be one as a GM as well. While this means that if one player can’t post for a bit two campaigns are frozen, it also may result in a faster gameplay (only one player to coordinate with/ask details from, two chances to find the motivation to post) and may also see campaigns that are tailored to the player in question (As in (hypothetical example) „You run a „Gritty Seattle Ork Underground“ campaign for me, I run a „Corporate Court Trouble Consultant 005“ for you“).

What do you think?
WinterRat1
FYI - This has basically been done already. LITS was built around this concept (among others) and has been doing it for the last four years.

Every GM also has a PC (if they choose to), GMed for them by another GM. Since the flexibility is there to create nearly any kind of character that you want (background wise at least, we still have limits on the numbers, to prevent people from doing things like creating dracoforms as PCs), you pretty much have the potential for nearly any kind of game.

A quick perusal of our PCs and their storylines will reveal we've run the gamut of character types and campaign 'themes', particularly since we emphasize the one-to-one GM-player interaction, for the most part.

If you are interested in how it works feel free to take a look. smile.gif
Tabula Rasa
I like this idea, but I’ve seen lots of pitfalls before in games with low player counts (one or two players). Stuff like GMs juggling too many finely detailed NPCs because they wanted to have the players run with a “full? group which they supplemented with their own NPCs, or just an inability to break away from the standard run scenario and tailor it instead to one or two individuals.

How would you do this game? Would you GM with the typical mission based objectives or do something more character driven since there is only one PC to pay attention to?

@WinterRat1: What is LITS?
WinterRat1
LITS = Living in the Shadows. Our threads are all over the Welcome to the Shadows forums. You can’t miss us. smile.gif
WinterRat1
LITS = Living in the Shadows. Our threads are all over the Welcome to the Shadows forums. You can’t miss us. smile.gif
Fuchs
Well, from what I understand, LitS is a shared world, with set rules for all characters. This proposal is more about getting the campaign (not just the character) you want to play in, in exchange of providing the campaign your GM wants to play in. The campaigns would not have to be set in the same world, or use the same optional/house rules, or same BP level at all.

While I would expect that the games would have mostly the same premises as LitS - character-focused, less mission, more life based, and so on - just from the set up of 1-1, the theme, power level and flavor is not limited by anything but the willingness of a GM to run it for you - from gritty street punk to dragon PC, from black as it can get to screaming neon pink mohawk, from drama to sitcom.
Tabula Rasa
I think this is a pretty cool idea, and definitely something I'd be interested in pursuing. If you are interested in discussing this further feel free to let me know. This is the sort of thing that I would think requires a lot of discussion before it starts and it'd go a bit faster through email (gotta love instant mobile email notification). If you are interested drop me a PM, or I guess if you prefer we could continue on the forum.
crizh
Dang, that was some outage...

Right now I'd do just about anything for a decent game of SR....

I haven't GM'd SR since Queen Euphoria was published tho' so my skills may be a bit rusty.

[That was the best scenario I ever had the pleasure of running btw, blew my mind, but I was exhausted by the time I was done.]

I looked at LIT's myself a few weeks ago, on the surface it seems to be just what I was looking for, particularly playing every day even when you ain't on a run.

However, correct me if I'm wrong, in 4 years they've managed about three weeks of gameplay. Not being an IE I don't think I have time for that....

Chaos Theory looks like it could be fun. Building a character that could operate without backup is certainly a challenge.

Anyway, I'm willing to break out the GM'ing hat for a chance to play something fun. It would be nice to be able to use all the SR4 sourcebooks to build a character, for example....
Tabula Rasa
Well, I'd definitely be interested in getting this going. Considering I'm doing pbp because of my schedule restrictions and also as practice for my writing skills, I'd love to have a game where there'd be more posting and quicker play.

Let me just make sure I got this straight. Each player comes up with a type of campaign (theme, powerlevels, campaign focus, etc...) they'd like to play in and designs their pc accordingly. Each GM obliges the player and designs a campaign world tailored around the respective player's wishes.

There'd perhaps be a little back-and-forth discussion to settle on house-rules, or any points of contention.

Then when the game starts, each time you post, you post one post for the game in which you are a player and one post in the game you are a GM.

Does that sum it up?
crizh
QUOTE (Tabula Rasa @ Apr 9 2008, 07:54 PM) *
Well, I'd definitely be interested in getting this going. Considering I'm doing pbp because of my schedule restrictions and also as practice for my writing skills, I'd love to have a game where there'd be more posting and quicker play.


Ditto. I'm starting to wear out this refresh button...
Tabula Rasa
Since there are three of us interested, maybe the idea could be reworked for 3 players/gms. Too much work right now to suggest good setups for it right now though. Maybe in a couple hours when I'm in class...
Fuchs
The advantage a 1-1 set up has is that it's a true "quid pro quo". In a 3 way set up, you're depending on X to provide your campaign while GMing for Y who is GMing for X. I think 1-1 would work better.
BlackHat
This goes a little against the original idea, but with 3 people, you could arrange something where you each get to make two characters.

So, you are simultaneously GMing for X & Y, and also getting to play under X & Y (giving you twice as much play time, for your GMing effort)... of course, then no game would be custom-tailored to the interests of any one player - which was one of the things I think was core to the idea of a quid-pro-quo game.
crizh
Or X could GM for Y and Z while Y GM's for X and Z and Z for X and Y.

Lots of work perhaps. On the other hand I'm doing at least that much refreshing this board every five minutes waiting for Abbandon to resurface....

edit: Ninja'd. Or with a fourth several rotating 1 on 1's would be possible..
BlackHat
Ha, beat you to the idea by microseconds!
Tabula Rasa
It's like we are in math class. I'd be down with any variation really. But it does seem that you want to keep the GM/Player thing one on one. Maybe if we have three and one person has more time than others they could play with two of the players in separate games.

GM/Player:

P1/P2
P2/P1

and

P2/P3
P3/P2
Fuchs
Yes.
Tabula Rasa
So the question becomes, if we want to keep it a 2 person game (GM and player), do we have a fourth interested person, or can one of us three participate in two games?
crizh
I'll participate in as many games as you like....
Tabula Rasa
Kinky.
Fuchs
So, then, what kind of campaigns do you want?
Tabula Rasa
I'm going to have to give this a little bit of thought. So many ideas... mostly from books.
crizh
It's hard to say. I'm fine with normal BP's and the Rules as Written. I don't think there is anything in the rules I've seen that really annoys me so much I would ask for it to be house-ruled. What's good for the Goose etc.

I really like the idea of playing out every day even when you're not running. I think that would be a much more satisfying experience narratively speaking. Too often I think people alter the rules to achieve a 'balance' that doesn't exist in Real Life ™. While that has a place in a multi-player game it destroys the realism of the thing for me. I like the way the 'rules' cause certain tactics to be very effective and the evolution of tactic and counter-tactic that can spawn in a long running game.

Have you ever read 'Hardwired'? I really enjoy that element of the story, how Cowboy is the last of the original 'jocks' railing against the newer, more effective, smuggling tactics that just aren't as 'pure' in his mind as the 'old fashioned' way.

When you really think about it the possibilities of the sixth world are incredible, there are so many things you could do with magic or nanotech, or both...

Actually, now that I think about it there is one thing that really bugs me. Mana Static. WTF, just cast a spell and jack the background count up? Back in the day background count was something special, now it just gets wheeled out by everybody and their dog at the drop of a hat. Not that I'm saying I would necessarily ask for that spell to be removed, just that I really don't like the flavour, like the teleporting in the SR CRPG....

I suppose I've seen Magic hit with the Nerf-bat so many times since SR1 that I'm a bit grumpy about the whole thing...

The proliferation of Background Counts, Wards, Focus addiction, random encounters with psychotic spirits, etc, etc, just to prevent Mages using the spells in the Grimoire strikes me as ridiculous. If certain spells are problematic, remove or nerf the spell in question. Increase Reflexes has been an SR spell since the very first printing and yet it has barely changed at all despite the repeated rewrites of the entire magic system to prevent mages from having the temerity to acually use it.

[/rant]

Sorry, off-topic, what was I talking about?
Cthulhudreams
I'm tempted to offer to run something, maybe, depending on what a willing participant would like to do?
Tabula Rasa
A solo game I could see wanting to play would be a story like Snow Crash. Not so much in the specific content of it. More the way the story progresses and the protagonist.

Basically have a big story that catches the PC seemingly by chance and takes the character to different cities around the world, meeting all kinds of interesting characters and end up saving the world. Erm... or something like that. Not sure how possible that seems though.
Cthulhudreams
haha. If I was to run something, things I'd want to do

A) Use franktrollman's matrix rules

B) Mix up the scenery up a fair bit

C) Run a game that verges towards 'high powered' (So, say, franks rules for char gen with 1 BP =7k yens and 400 BP)

Happy to compromise on all other aspects, would like to hear some proposed key themes and settings.



crizh
Aha, Running Target = 1000 posts...

Can you post a link to Frank's Matrix rules?
Cthulhudreams
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...=19657&st=0

Seeing as I'm being made to look like an unreasonable saltwater douche in the general forum, I'll say here that I'm not a total bastard, but in any game I play the players are still expected to be 'good guys' but not 'robin hood'

Rape is for example, never okay, and I will not go near topics like sex, slavery or anything else potentially extremely distasteful, except in a pretty black and white way (ie the slavers stole my daughter, go get her back). Ruthless sociopathic mass murder is also not on.

Fuchs
As a player:

General theme:
What I am looking for to play in is a more action movie/TV series feeling than gritty realism. Focus on playing day to day, with a wide spectrum, ranging from runs to dealing with the neighbour's escaped para-pet that's stuck on the tree in the yard and won't come down. No "Make a mistake? You're dead" stance, I am looking to play a character with faults and mishaps, so the campaign shouldn't be that lethal.
More emphasis on interaction and infiltration than action. Less focus on planning, more focus on twists and turns and unexpected situations. Shouldn't be a sitcom where all bad things are laughed off and no one gets really hurt, but especially not a dramatic tragedy where every wound ends up hurting the character's soul, and every day sees another loved one dead. More like Indiana Jones or Kelly's Heroes (where the action is concerned) than deep, soul searching melodrama. The character should be able to get back on his/her feet after a bad turn, not be scarred for life.
Mature topics (sex, slavery, racism, etc.) are ok, but shouldn't be graphic or detailed. No page-long torture sessions to gain information. I like my campaigns with shades of grey, and staying in the middle there. No working for blood mages/toxics/insect shamans/mass-murderers etc. but also no "Humanis is bad, so you'll kill them every run!" hammered down my throat.
I do not hate clichees or tropes, they are part of that movie feeling. Not to the extent of "We'll lock you in this deathtrap and leave you while we go to execute our master plan, Mr. Bond", but rather that than "double tap to the head, we'll not take any chances".
Runners shouldn't be king of the hill, but not at the bottom of the food chain either. Aiming for the point where they can take on some complicated runs, but still get captured/forced to surrender by that pirate or go-gang. No Dragons, Immortal Elves, or other such uber-super-NPCs directing the character in their plots, but no "struggle for your next meal, punk" feeling either. Middle of the road.
Lasting and developping NPCs by preference, part of the focus on the character's life.

Rules:
I would prefer a rules-lite version - I post what the character wants to do, the GM tells me what happens, rolling for me in most cases if needed (or use one roll, then judge the fight/scene from that roll). It speeds up the scenes, and puts the focus on characterisation, away from mechanics.

Setting:
The setting should be somewhat consistent, no jarring, sudden changes. It shouldn't start in Seattle, then suddenly turn into "Lost in Space in another dimension" before revealing it was actually a "matrix world" in space in another dimension (actual example that happened to me once). I like Magic being mysterious, even if the rules do not support it - a mundane character might not know how most spells work.
I have a preference for a caribbean campaign. South-East Asia would work too, maybe parts of africa. Mysterious magic, pirates/mercenaries playing important parts, and a looser/more corrupt government than in the UCAS would be the keys.


As a GM:

I don't like to get too graphic with torture, sex and the like. For rules, I am used to a more loose approach, and I have some blank spots (We haven't used quickening or spell locks every since we stopped using either back in SR1 days, for example).
What I am definetly not used to is the "GM vs. Player" style. If you're looking for a GM that challenges you I am not your man. I focus on providing plots, npcs, and twists and turns, but I assume that the PCs will, if not always succeeding, generally survive, and I don't really plan out elaborate security systems.
I am very open for settings and themes. High-powered "recover dangerous artifacts for the draco foundation all over the world", "Slowly discover that you are more (or something else) than you thought you were", "Your Johnson is the local master vampire" "your rent is due, and you've hooked your gun to pay for your last bottle, what do you do?" are all ok.
Tabula Rasa
As a GM:

Theme: I would be willing to GM almost any theme really. I like games from the blackest to the chromest and full on dystopian misery to dark comedy. Really, whatever the GM that GMs for me wants. Only thing I would stress is that not everything should be a walk over. It'd be a bit boring to run a game where the player never gets challenged. Mind you, I don't mean I want the players to be splattered if they make a mistake, I just don't want a game where you never feel your life is in danger.

NPCs: I tend to like to pick out NPCs in a game and play them up and into the plot. Like secondary characters in a book who are more detailed than the average NPC by far but not as important to the story as the PC. These can be anyone, from Contacts, to enemies, to random NPCs that the PC seems to enjoy interacting with. I think in something like a solo run, you'd need good NPCs to be able to run a good game that maintains the player and GM's interest.

Rules: I would take suggestions from the player as to how they want their game run. I’ve run games from DnD RAW to Amber (where players have vague attributes and resolution is done by comparison of stats and description of action). So any level of crunch or lack thereof is fine with me. I’d be happy to listen to house rule ideas too but I’d cut it off if I have to read like 20+ pages of house rules for the game or if any rules seems really ridiculous.

As a player:

Theme: I want a pretty balanced game. Realism but not to the point where I have to spend hours thinking every move through less I get turned to wall decor. I want the dystopia themes in the game but not to the point where I can't ever come up with a reason to smile and I might just as well blow my head off. I like flash and chrome but not to the point where it gets ridiculous.

PC: I would like to have a solo player be more capable than a starting PC. I want to play a character that is capable of doing various aspects of a job himself. He would have an area of specialization but should have enough resources and capabilities to do other aspects of the job himself that would be handled by other PCs in a traditional game. Mind you, I don’t mean I want him to be as good at combat as a regular sammy and just at good at hacking as a full time hacker. But he should be able to have the BP to be able to do a decent job at complimentary aspects of his specialization.

Story: I always wanted to do a bigger story in Shadowrun than I’ve done. Typically I play in the mission oriented games where we are doing runs to get more money so we can get more powers so we can do better runs so we can get better powers so we can do even better runs, etc. I’d love to play in a game where I get involved in a globetrotting plot. Something like that Gibson story where they end up in an orbital station, or Snow Crash.

Rules: I’d prefer a less crunchy game where I’m required to die roll less to just keep the game going. Or I guess the GM could roll for me so they don’t have to wait for me to just post a die roll. House rules and such, I have a few pet peeves against certain rules, but that’s just not that important to me. We could work out what you like for rules as a GM and just do a little discussion and probably just go with whatever the GM is used to.
Fuchs
Some addition:

As a player, I don't expect a game where the PC is invulnerable, and unbeatable, but I don't want to worry about my character - the character generally worries enough, and won't do suicidal stuff anyway. I also am not too fond of micro-management - my character has skills so I don't have to know how to defeat a security system, or that the two wires the GM says my PC spotted shouldn't be cut.

As a GM, I feel that if a player has a detailed plan for something, good, if he hasn't, and just says "I try to weaken the structure" I take it and roll with it according to the PCs skill.
Tabula Rasa
That'd be really helpful in skipping past the boring parts of a game that would drag on too long in a pbp game and get to the good stuff anyway.
crizh
Fuchs, you said you prefer to play a game without quickening or sustaining foci. What sort of house rules to you prefer in that area and how have you found they impact the games you've used them in?
Fuchs
We just never used them in my pen and paper campaign after their introduction with the first grimoire led to all our mages being faster, stronger and tougher than samurais. So, there's no house rule, just an agreement not to use them.

As a GM, I'll roll with what is needed, as a player it depends on the campaign. In my current campaign, there's not much in the way of magic defenses (we have fewer mages around), so the mage fares well with lesser IPs since his spells genereally have a stronger impact.
Fuchs
Something to consider: In a 1-1 campaign, it's much easier to balance things by tailoring the campaign to the character in question, since there's no "collateral damage" among other PCs to worry about. A Mage with 4 IPs might be overpowered in a game where the samurai has 3 IPS and everyone else 1, since anyone able to counter the mage might kill the rest, but in a game with just the mage there are no such concerns.

In the same way, there are no concerns about a character dominating a campaign by virtue of an exotic race, background, or item - there are no other players to worry about. It's easy to have the PC supported by NPCs, as in some novels.
Tabula Rasa
Do we want to get this thing started? I'm pretty much ready to get something started here. Only so much you can do with general preferences. Since we have 4 intersted parties want to just team up, split the thread and try to get this going?
Fuchs
Well, from what you posted, I think we have a number of overlapping preferences, so I think we should start going over the details. I'll send you a PM.
Tabula Rasa
Okay, cool.
Cthulhudreams
I'm bumping this because I have time on my hands. Takers?
crizh
Still interested. The page count of the other game seems real healthy.
Fuchs
Part of the reason for that is that we do not need an ooc thread to clear many questions before ic posting, we can handle that by email (which is faster), or by simply making a shorter post, and waiting for an ic response (if we need to know how an NPC reacts during a talk, for example).
The wikis also help, serving as campaign notes and easily accessible character notes.
Cthulhudreams
Yeah, there is just less 'decision time' when there is 1 agreement as to what the plan has to be rather than 6 factorial.
Cthulhudreams
@crizh Tabula rasa has expressed intrest too. I can probably handle 4 more games, so do you want to PM me your email address and/or your IM handles for MSN, Google talk, yahoo or aim and we can discuss?
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