Opinions Needed

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Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:01 pm

Guys, can I ask your opinion? Now that's I'm ten years older, I've revisting the roleplay game I wrote a decade ago. The basic idea of the initial setting is that the USA has split into three distinct bodies, the NCAS (most of the South, the bottom third of California, part of Mexico); the UAS (top-2/3 of Cali, most of the northern states excluding the New England states) and the Free State of New York (New York, most of New England, their description of themselves as a "Free" state is highly questionable).

The basic idea is that the South has regressed into something akin to the conditions of the Great Depression; widespread deprivation, starvation and disease. Free speech and religion are gone. However, people are entirely free otherwise, leading to something akin to a more technologically advanced Old West society. The north, by contrast, the citizens are well cared and provided for but freedoms are much restricted and art and innovation have slowed to a near-stop. Neither has free elections anymore. NCAS is ruled by a coalition of ultra-rich corporations, the UAS picks it's ruler at random from among it's citizens. New York still holds free election but the only people who stand are those judged acceptable by the technorati who hold the real power. New York is closest to the traditional cyberpunk setting. Flitting around the shadows of all three are the creatures of high fantasy and horror (ogres, elves, vampires and were-creatures).

Now, forget whether it's a plausable future. It's fiction, I can write it however I like. Does that sound like a setting teh roleplayers here would be interested in playing in?
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:11 pm

I sounds interesting. I'm not much of a role player, but hell, they play silly little card games now.

What method of play, rules etc do you have?
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:13 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote: What method of play, rules etc do you have?

Well, the ones I've used for testing the idea is based on White-Wolf WoD system but if I actually write this up, I'll be using either the GURPS system or creating my own.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:19 pm

Ok, I'm going to plead ignorance on that one.

My recommendation though would be to pick something that allows the players to upgrade, preferably through buying new things.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:29 pm

WoD rules are used for Vampire: the Reqiuem and WW's other games. GURPS was designed to be usable with any system or setting. The problem is that makes it unbelievably complicated. Personally, I'm tinkering with a D6 based system of my own devising.

Not sure what you mean by "upgrading". If you mean in-game, I already thought of that and there's a range of options including a fairly comprehensive cyberwear section.

If you mean out-of-game, in exchange for currency ('cos let's be honest, I wouldn't object to making a living of some kind), the idea is that the main book would be the American landmass and the rules system. Then you can do books for the other parts of the world (such as the alliance of China/Russia/Japan and the powerhouse of India), expanded cyberwear catalogues, etc.

EDIT: Oh, and since I'm sympathetic to cash-strapped gamers, I'd also opt to put out cheaper PDF versions through drivethrurpg.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:33 pm

Okay, while I'm not denying you can write it however you like, I'd nevertheless quibble with your geographical divisions.

Culturally speaking, it would be more believable to break off the NCAS at the western Texas line or perhaps just west of Dallas-Fort Worth since the states west of there have relatively little in common with the southern states east of Texas. There are still definite temperamental remnants of the feisty pioneers and "Wild West" types among those of us living west of the Mississippi River that seem quite foreign to people in the original Midwest (Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) and Northeast or the Deep South (everything south of the Mason-Dixon Line and west to Texas.)

Maybe you mean the contrasts for interest and potential conflict, but the South is the least likely part of the U.S. to abandon religion so having it do so is pretty farfetched. (Not including Southern California which is a whole 'nother country in that regard)

Actually, dividing the continental U.S. into rough quadrants, say the upper third or half of California with Oregon and states east to Minnesota for the northwestern one. SoCal, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and those south and west of the Mississiippi for the Southwest. Deep South possibly including east Texas but otherwise everything east of the Mississippi and south of the M-D Line (which you may not know ran along the southern border of Pennsylvania).

The final quadrant would include Minnesota and generally everything east of the Mississippi and north of Kentucky and the Mason-Dixon.

Makes more cultural sense both historically as well as what people are generally like in the various areas to this day, but you're certainly entitled to differ.

Otherwise, I'd be game. < grin >
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by MaineCaptain on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:38 pm

Dot that was a very good summery of the Cultural differences the USA has. I think that is one of the things that confuses the rest of the world.
The USA is so very different depending on what part you are in.

It is like you have travelled to a different country on a different continent sometimes.

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:42 pm

Eek, didn\'t make the religion thing entirely clear. I mean that freedom of religion is gone in the NCAS. You can be one of several varieties of Christian but that\'s it. And yeah, parts of all three bodies have little in common with other parts. Some have been siezed during the civil war which led to the split, others have been peacefully annexed.

EDIT: The civil war never officially ended, btw. Although it\'s now settled down into something akin to the Irish Troubles, the NCAS and UAS don\'t recognise each other\'s right to exist and neither recognises New York\'s independence (independence maintained largely through support from India). The borders between the three bodies are big strips of land which are a mixture of bombed-out wasteland, ruined townsteads and the occasional pack of inbred mutants. That's the best area for those who want to do a mainline dungeon crawl.


Last edited by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:43 pm

Here is how old school I am. When I think of role playing games I think of things like D&D, the original Mechwarrior, and things like Magic the gathering. I didn't even think computers.

I sounds interesting though. The only recommendation I would have would be to have a completely anarchistic wasteland somewhere that the inhabitants would just go raiding or something. A common foe for all sections.

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:50 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote: I sounds interesting though. The only recommendation I would have would be to have a completely anarchistic wasteland somewhere that the inhabitants would just go raiding or something. A common foe for all sections.

Along teh borders between the three bodies, the "badlands" areas where life is short, cheap and desperate. Also, the Underdown sections of the blocs in the UAS (giant self-contained cities, enclosed and roofed over, teh Underdown is the sections deep underground where state control was never re-established after a series of rebellions).
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:52 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:Dot that was a very good summery of the Cultural differences the USA has.

Thanks, MC, glad you think so. I've traveled most of the continental U.S., and the differences are profound sometimes, as you indicate. Oddly, I think people in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are temperamentally and culturally rather like the prairie farmer stock of my ancestry. Massachusetts tends to more factory-worker and urban types than I'm accustomed to, but the folk of rural New England are quite similar in some respects to those of the Plains States, I found.

The USA is so very different depending on what part you are in. It is like you have travelled to a different country on a different continent sometimes.

Yep, definitely so.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:55 pm

Ok, that makes sense. Ya can't just have it all warm and fuzzy out there.

That is the area I'm most interested in, of course. Wink

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:59 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:
The USA is so very different depending on what part you are in.

Very true. For example, the midwest is so often overlooked by the rest of the country (or at least we feel that we are) that we would be ideal settings for Ebons badlands.

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:01 pm

Ebon wrote:Eek, didn\'t make the religion thing entirely clear. I mean that freedom of religion is gone in the NCAS. You can be one of several varieties of Christian but that\'s it.

Ahhh...gotcha. Then, that REALLY doesn't make sense for much of anything west of Texas since religious freedom is almost a religion in and of itself in the Southwest U.S. and particularly Southern California.

EDIT: The civil war never officially ended, btw. Although it\'s now settled down into something akin to the Irish Troubles, the NCAS and UAS don\'t recognise each other\'s right to exist and neither recognises New York\'s independence (independence maintained largely through support from India).

Okay, well since you seem to be dividing more strictly geographically than anything else, do what you will. I still don't think it makes any sense at all to include Southern Cal as part of your Christian South. Simply too unbelievable.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:04 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:Ok, that makes sense. Ya can't just have it all warm and fuzzy out there.

That is the area I'm most interested in, of course.

Oh gods, nowhere near warm and fuzzy. In the UAS, the government is wildly opressive and monitoring everything you say (outside Underdown).; for your own good, naturally. In the NCAS, they just don't care; people are cheap. And New York measures citizen wellbeing in terms of GDP and has re-established indentured servitude (aided by the importation of a twisted caste system from India). The badlands are anarchistic but you can't really build a society there because you still have a low-grade war going on around you. It's a bit difficult to establish a peaceful township when tanks come rolling through your fields on occasion. Underdown is anarchistic with the shortcoming of absolutlely no law whatsoever. An Underdown market will sell everything from bootlegged software to moonshine to street-grade heroin to a small child (think a cross between B5's "Down Below" and teh sewer sections of "Demolition Man"). Oh, and every couple of years, the corporations that own the blocs try to re-take control of Underdown and in the really deep levels, there's... things that you really don't want to know about.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:06 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:
MaineCaptain wrote:
The USA is so very different depending on what part you are in.

Very true. For example, the midwest is so often overlooked by the rest of the country (or at least we feel that we are) that we would be ideal settings for Ebons badlands.

all

Yeah, agreed, All. Make the game's thirds everything from Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico west, the "Badlands" from the Dakotas south through Texas and east to the Mississippi including Minnesota maybe, and everything east of that the other rough third and you'd have a more believable general division of the country, I think.

To a greater extent than people may admit, we're still Wild West "badasses" in the middle of the country.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:08 pm

DotNotInOz wrote: Okay, well since you seem to be dividing more strictly geographically than anything else, do what you will. I still don't think it makes any sense at all to include Southern Cal as part of your Christian South. Simply too unbelievable.

Well, my choice with SoCal was to have the NCAS sieze them during teh war; have Mexico sieze them during the (later) struggle with Mexico; have the whole of Cali as part of the UAS (which I don't want to do for various reasons, some of which are my secret) or have them split off as another free state. In the end, I elected to have them siezed and occupied by NCAS with the intention of turning them into a modern Judea (opressive government, hotbed of wild but forbidden religious and spiritual ideas and constantly on the verge of rebellion).
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:09 pm

Hmmm, that's an interesting idea actually.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:18 pm

So, ok, is this going to be a game where you control territories, or are you an individual player in charge of their own mobility?

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:23 pm

Nope, individual character, in charge your own mobility. As well as the obvious modern options (cars, motorcycles, etc), horses have come back into fashion since they don't need gasoline (which has become much more expensive because the UAS and Canada control the oil coming in from what used to be Alaska (now a province of Canada)). You could try stealing gas but you'll probably be shot. You could try doing without but those who survive in the badlands form themselves into large groups so there's several people on guard at all times; otherwise the cannibalistic mutants might get hold of you and eat you. Or the were-creatures (mainly were-rats) might get hold of you, which would be even worse (you don't want to know).

Since the badlands have no organisation, the supernatural creatures can exist fairly openly there. In the cities, they have to be more covert but in the badlands, where communication is fractured and the nearest town might be a day's ride away, they can be fairly open.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:05 pm

Why have you done this as a rpg, rather than a series of novels?

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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Davelaw on Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:18 pm

It may not have place in this RPG; but there is a minority Western (Cowboy) culture that has pockets from Iowa down the Mississippi to Louisiana skip east to Florida goes West from Iowa to the Dakotas and Wyoming and Montana and back down South through Colorado and Four Corners to Texas with Isolated pockets in Nevada and California. and don't forget pockets in Canada as well

Back in the Midwest, the bigger cities are more like the east (via the Great Lakes?)-the rural area are more Western-my Iowan grandfather was equally at home in Texas, Calgary or the forgotten Western side of Las Vegas
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:08 am

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Why have you done this as a rpg, rather than a series of novels?

Because I like RPGs Really, it's that simple.

EDIT: OK, it's not quite that simple. The medication I'm currently on (massive doses of Effexor and Zyprexa) makes it incredibly difficult to sit down and just write like I used to. With an rpg, I can flit around different parts of it, doing the background when my mental state allows it and when my memory snaps, jumping to the rule mechanics until my memory returns. Doing it as an rpg allows me to accomodate my illness to some degree. Pity the poor madman.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by Ebon on Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:20 am

Davelaw wrote:It may not have place in this RPG; but there is a minority Western (Cowboy) culture that has pockets from Iowa down the Mississippi to Louisiana skip east to Florida goes West from Iowa to the Dakotas and Wyoming and Montana and back down South through Colorado and Four Corners to Texas with Isolated pockets in Nevada and California. and don't forget pockets in Canada as well

Back in the Midwest, the bigger cities are more like the east (via the Great Lakes?)-the rural area are more Western-my Iowan grandfather was equally at home in Texas, Calgary or the forgotten Western side of Las Vegas

Most of it is stuff that can be filled in as I "zoom down" on specific areas. I'm still at the "broad strokes" stage right now. I know there's pockets of cowboy culture up in Canada but I already have something in mind for the Commonwealth nations (essentially, a trading empire which takes the name of the British Empire but which Britain is very much the runt of. The trading empire is pretty much ruled by multination megacorporations and allows me to include pirates. Yarr!).
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Re: Opinions Needed

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:01 pm

Ebon wrote:
sacrificialgoddess wrote:Why have you done this as a rpg, rather than a series of novels?

Because I like RPGs Really, it's that simple.

EDIT: OK, it's not quite that simple. The medication I'm currently on (massive doses of Effexor and Zyprexa) makes it incredibly difficult to sit down and just write like I used to. With an rpg, I can flit around different parts of it, doing the background when my mental state allows it and when my memory snaps, jumping to the rule mechanics until my memory returns. Doing it as an rpg allows me to accomodate my illness to some degree. Pity the poor madman.

Can I try my hand at novels based on your game? After you would get it out and giving you credit for the idea of course, and only with your permission.

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