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Beyond the Edge: Pre-campaign thread

#1
Welcome to the REKT: Beyond the Edge pre-mission thread.
Note: Don't post character sheets yet.

What'll we talk about here? Well... just about anything related to the next campaign, before I post the main thread. After that, I'll probably let this one die, and we'll stick to the main thread instead. This keeps things neat and uncluttered, and lets me talk about the next mission before we actually need to get started.

First, to make sure we're all on the same page, I'm going to talk about why I can't continue the old REKT campaign, and why I'm only taking on ten players this time. If you already know why, and are okay with it, then great! Feel free to skip over.


Why not REKT: God Throws Dice?
In the previous REKT campaign, I managed a large roleplaying group that maxed at twenty people. This simply wasn't feasible to maintain for a lengthy period of time because of all the work involved. How much work? Well... Let me throw a bullet list at you, for those interested. I'll stick it in a spoiler to avoid cluttering the place up, and then we can move on.
Spoiler:      SHOW
Things I have to mentally keep track of. Almost everything here increases in difficulty as character count increases.
  • All REKT rules - or at the very least, the knowledge of when a specific rule is needed and where to find it
  • I need to remember all players, obviously
  • A decent portion of the armory must be at least partially in working memory - preferably everything players have
  • I need to remember what most of the most common weapons roll, to aid in faster roll calculations
  • A rough working knowledge of all player stats. Stats used frequently are kept in memory to aid in faster roll calculation
  • It's extremely useful to remember character backstories so I don't have to recheck them constantly. It's impossible to remember everyone's backstory perfectly - that's too much information over twenty characters, so I typically "brushed up" every now and then
  • In addition to backstories, I need to remember personalities for each character
  • Also very useful to have a good understanding of the players themselves, because whether the player realizes it or not, their personality heavily influences their character
  • It's important to remember what each character's goals are, if any
  • Players typically have goals too, and these need to be kept in memory to make things fun. If they don't have ultimate goals, I'm not doing a good enough job
  • In between missions, I absolutely need to keep track of creds. The wiki is helpful, but a lot of times it's inefficient compared to simply remembering things. This introduces a larger chance for error, of course (and I've made errors in the past), but I typically had so much else to do that it was basically impossible to get everything done without committing large amounts of data to memory.
  • I need to keep track of character loadout as well.
  • In missions, I need to keep track of where each character is, what they're doing, and what they plan to do. The map helps, but a lot of it is kept in working memory. I don't have time to put everything in notes.
  • I also need to keep track of each character's damage - both ship- and body-related
  • In addition to all this, I need to keep adequate track of the mission setting and environment. without giving away too many secrets, I can only say that missions are [very] carefully balanced and crafted
  • Am I making art? Have to keep track of that too
  • Have to keep track of all enemies. Enemies were often "dumbed down" somewhat, not because I wanted to make it easier entirely, but because I simply couldn't handle doing all this.
  • During mission writing, I have to keep track of the actions of everyone in the same general area, so that I can figure out who does what first. For a while I did this in memory, then I tried to do it in spreadsheets - one huge spreadsheet for each turn. A hybrid approach turned out to be the most efficient.
  • If characters have any specific quirks to their personality, I have to keep track of these too.
  • I also need to keep track of weapon loadout for each person at all times (I typically keep this in mental working memory unless people start switching weapons around, at which point it simply becomes too confusing and my brain blanks over such a large amount of detail)
  • It's useful to keep track of whether or not someone is wearing a helmet.
  • Did they leave something behind? Have to keep track of that too
  • Any other "status effects" need to be remembered, such as panic, shock, etc.
  • If a character is dreaming, I have to keep track of the dreamworld. This isn't as difficult as it sounds - dreams are fairly fluid
  • At all times, I must keep track of the larger plot - this is significantly more complex than it sounds, for the following reasons
  • I need to remember exactly what I have, and have not told the players yet - exactly - no exceptions - and keeping them in anything other than a mental list simply does not work
  • I need to remember exactly what I plan to tell characters in the future in a particular mission
  • I need to remember to drop little hints about the future - foreshadowing - here and there so that players can look back and say, "Oh, cool, neato, this makes sense now"
  • I must keep track of the history of the entire universe, but not as cleanly as the plot - I don't want to say anything that doesn't match up with the canon history
  • That's probably not everything, but it's all I can think of at the moment
So, in summary: REKT is a LOT to deal with. I absolutely am not able to pick up where I left off last time. I've been informed by other GMs that it would be impressive to pick up a 5-player campaign after a month, if no notes were kept. Six months is absolutely not something I'm capable of for a twenty-person game - I could barely manage it after a month myself. This is also part of why I'm paring it down to ten members, with no NPCs on missions. It's easier for me to deal with. 20-man REKT consumed all my time, and I need some free time now to deal with other things.

So, auditions? Want to hear about auditions next? because we can totally talk about auditions next.

Auditions!

Wait... why auditions?
Simple, really. I'm only taking on ten players this time, but I want everyone to have a chance at being in the campaign. A first-come first-served system is not appealing to me at all. All that does is bring a rush of people at the front, and then a long line of disappointed people afterwards. I want everyone to have a chance, and everyone to have some fun having that chance.

Okay, cool! So how does it work?

Step one: Make a character
Everyone is going to make a character using the REKT Character Sheet I wrote. I've modified it in a lot of ways from the old one.
  • For starters, the character sheet will give you some neat suggestions for your personality traits based on your character's stats and skills. You can pay attention to those if you like, or ignore them completely - but if you're having trouble giving your character personality, it could really help.
  • Another notable modification is the fact that now it shows character classes. This does little more than help me decide who would fit well in what group - but it can be interesting to see! This is based entirely on your character's stats and skills.
  • The modification that is by far the most notable is the addition of ten questions that ask you things about your character. You can fill out as many or as few of these as you like, but I recommend answering at least five of them. This helps ensure that you actually "know" your character, and don't feel "lost" after the game starts as to who your character actually is.
After you fill out your character sheet, simply copy the bbcode at the bottom and paste it in the armory thread - AFTER I post the main thread.
Step two: Team battles
These will be 2vX PvE battles - I'll semi-randomly pair two of you from the list and send you off to fight monsters in a non-canon mission that your characters won't remember in the actual campaign. Each team's mission will be completely unique from all the others - this will ensure you can't "cheat off someone else's answers", so to speak, and to make sure everyone has fun doing their own thing. You'll be able to choose from a fully-randomized list of three different "mission types" - although there will be a lot of different mission types, you only get to select from three of them. You'll have to get your other team member to agree with you on the one you choose.

Here's the kicker, though: I will be judging both of you with very carefully-defined methods somewhat similar to how LTFC works. My current panel of judges remains anonymous, but we can call them T, V, and E. You will not be judged on whether you survive, or even whether you complete the mission successfully. That's all I can tell you, though, to avoid people trying to cheat the system. My ultimate goal is to gather a group of ten characters that will allow each other (and me) to have the most fun possible with the new campaign, and let everyone have fun in the process of gathering these together. Joke characters will probably not make the cut - nor will ones designed to annoy other players or harm their characters.


And that's it! :) After all players have "finished" their mission (it may not actually be "finished"), I'll get everyone judged, tally up the points, and we can start on the campaign proper.
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Re: Beyond the Edge: Pre-mission thread

#15
Talvieno wrote:Oh, yeah, that'd be great! No problems with that whatsoever. Teamkillers like Aegagrus and Goatman, though... not so much. Or characters like isssss-hh or Karen. Your redneck character would be just fine. :D
This is plain racism against the ^kö species.
Is there not a law against this? There should be a law.

[Issss'hh sulks while slurping a bar of Barium anions. When frustrated, he has the bad habit to eat too many anions and therefore take on weight (all those extra electrons)]
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