Community centric campaign with rotating cast?

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Community centric campaign with rotating cast?
« on: May 26, 2015, 10:29:01 AM »
I was thinking about an idea I had of having a campaign centred around a community, but having the cast of PCs change every so often. The community centric focus is to tie various PCs together while at the same time allowing them to have their own stories. You'd have a short story line that lasts a handful of sessions, the switch out a couple PCs for different players and characters, then pursue a different storyline in the same community. I was thinking Apocalypse World for this since it is fairly community centric and handles PvP conflict well. It could give players who can't commit to a normal campaign but want more continuity than a one shot exactly what they need. It could also give noob GMs a chance to try out the role in a setting everyone is familiar with, AND possibly let Forever GMs take a break.

Has anyone ever tried something like this? Or had a large enough player base for it? Or just any thoughts on how this might work?

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Ebok

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Re: Community centric campaign with rotating cast?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 02:17:22 AM »
It is very easy to have the narrative anchored to a location. The narrative can even handle players joining and leaving, because each player is pushing on a world, and the world is pushing back. You dont have to worry about plots being disrupted or plans being ruined. It would be very easy to run a game like you hint at.

However, the limited number of playbooks and the idea that the community cant be destroyed might become problematic if you've got people coming and going all the time. I would consider looking online / making your own playbooks to add the number to avoid lots of repetition in the characters.

How many players are you expecting?

Re: Community centric campaign with rotating cast?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 10:05:32 AM »
I'd definitely add more playbooks than just what is in the core. I'd include most of the limited release playbooks (not macaluso, Marmet, or Dolphin) plus this site has some pretty spiffy playbooks. For the number of players I think I can safely expect a core group of 5 players who will swap in and out of groups with supporting players likely numbering around the same amount.

The destruction of the community is definitely an occurrence I hadn't considered but certainly doesn't sound impossible. I imagine if that happens my juggling of characters/setting is going to get even more tricky.

Another issue I just thought of is who to include in the first story arc. I suppose the decision should be based on the playbooks (if someone is hardholder they should probably be there at the start) and the setting.

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Ebok

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Re: Community centric campaign with rotating cast?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 03:01:23 PM »
Yeah, do not attempt to format a pre-planned story for an apocalypse world game. This system is built around mutual creation and group empowerment. It does not handle the DM centric command structures that D&D and other such games rely on. All the MC does is facilitate the players actions in interesting ways with fictionally appropriate realism. That is why most attempts like this will get confusing, because you'll see players flesh out certain npc groups, only to have that player leave another enter and maybe never talk to those seemingly important npcs with story and characteristics that excite you. This game builds up from around the players, and that webbing and networking of personalities clashing into each other over what they want, need, and have gives the game it's center. You must be ready to destroy everything you've built at a moments notice, if the action calls for it.

I was a bit nervous at first with your explanation, due to the fact that this focus seems to need to make the world interesting first, and the players interesting second. I dunno, but if I were to make a story about a place, I would avoid using any of the AW books. I would have the players create characters and give them moves based on their roles within that overall community. The AW books assume that basically everything is going to die, and the players are just trying to hold out against that inevitable (seemingly) failure. Their struggle and the hardships they endure help to make them worth playing.

If this is your first real AW game, then you should be very careful not following the game's design. Changing things before you realize why they're important can become problematic. Another thing you might want to keep in mind is that in such a dynamic world as AW, the players will find themselves (as the primary forces PUSHING things) often grinding against each others needs and wants. Basically this game is designed with competition as its central focus, and as such, it fully opens the doors to some serious PvP. Those types of events are best when they rise and fall, build up, change course, and backfire. I

f you've got too many different people just playing for a single session, or if they ever intend to come back, you may find yourself starved for time. It will be hard to endear them all to the world, because the world will be shaped by so many before they even got there. What if another players destroys the npcs that someone else found themselves playing for? Will the other person want to come back? Do you limit players by only exposing them all to the GOOD side of the GOOD npcs and the BAD side of the bad? I mean taht makes sure the players all like the same people, but makes everyone there less human. I dunno, I find that due to the level of aggression and the ease of killing things, most everything gets blown up by the end of many week long sessions. Definitely depends on the players, who really should be in charge of the stories. The story is their character after all. Just things to keep mind.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 03:06:54 PM by Ebok »