Scavenger World - Does this hack already exist?

  • 2 Replies
  • 2782 Views
Scavenger World - Does this hack already exist?
« on: January 02, 2016, 08:32:06 PM »
The most fun I've had on the player-facing end of RPGs has very rarely been in combat; it's almost always in the exploration and verbal conflict resolution. I've also always loved fiction and games about scrappy little folk digging around in the (literal or metaphorical) ruins of fantastical civilizations (The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit, Perdido Street Station, Mega Man Legends, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Castle in the Sky, Ico, Dark Souls, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Apocalypse World and Dungeon World already deal with these themes, to a degree, but I'm thinking of writing a game that puts exploration and puzzle based basic and MC moves at the forefront, pushing violence and PvP conflicts of interest to the wayside. My goal would be, in play, to recapture some of the aesthetic experience of reading the part in The Hobbit where Bilbo emerges from the forest canopy and sees the butterflies above Mirkwood, or in The Wind Waker when you see the entirety of old Hyrule on the ocean floor.

The default mode of play would be scraping out a living by delving into (here largely uninhabited to cultivate a sense of relative desolation) for valuable scraps while facts about the characters relationships (and the death of the old world) emerge organically.

(For even more isolated play, I've been brainstorming a Murderous Ghosts hack inspired by Shadow of the Colossus and Dark Souls)

Re: Scavenger World - Does this hack already exist?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 05:47:47 PM »
Sounds interesting. You'll have to rewrite the fronts, and most classes. I'm curious how you will handle multiple classes doing similar things while having a niche for each one of them.

You'll may want to rewrite the bonds mechanic to a degree, if the party is supposed to stay together.

Re: Scavenger World - Does this hack already exist?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 06:01:24 AM »
I'm intrigued. I'd like this to be a thing, but I'm not quite sure how it would work (if it can work). It seems like one of the primary structures would be about the MC revealing the world to the players. But that seems to suggest an MC either pre-preparing a world or being insanely good at improvising this stuff. The first seems to be against the standard AW model, the second eliminates a lot of MCs who don't have what it takes. So a third path seems to be to make a system that can support an MC in coming up with coherent exploration material as the players move along. This is what intrigues me.

So there might be two primary game structures, one player-facing and one MC-facing, with the players primarily interacting with a system that handles their scavenging and moving through the world, while the MC uses a system to find out what they'll encounter during that time.

Fronts would probably not be a part of the system, since active opposition isn't a part of the game, instead being replaced by the areas that the players can explore. These areas might have their own Fronts-style structure with moves and stuff that influence the locations and situations the players could encounter in that kind of area.

We might still want one or more combat moves, for when Bilbo runs into the spiders of Mirkwood, or the scavenger-astronauts activates the space station's security droids. But make it a fast system, with a strictly defined structure for speed. Failure might result in capture, rather than death, though that would have to be balanced so the players still feel risk. Depending on the tone we want to set, success might be default simply mean escaping/evading the hostile forces, with an outright fight being extremely unlikely to win.

Or something. I'm just brain-storming.