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Expanding the Setting Is Not Just Tech Articles

Discussion in 'Setting Discussion' started by Wes, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    I saw an interesting post today on Twitter: "How much does your game provide tools for things people do vs. provide things to do?"

    Most NTSE submissions are the former - they're tools for PCs (and mostly weapons). But I think we've lacked focus on the latter. If you look at the wiki updates most of the articles are tech items. I would like to start concentrating more on providing story hooks and opportunities to inspire both GMs and players that want to RP outside of the plot forums in their own threads.
     
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  2. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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    I support this, full on. It has long been my plan for Origin to build ten stations that are like its headquarters, Dawn Station, all over space. As well, Dawn Station itself is always open and welcome for anybody, plot or not, to go to if they need it.

    I have plans to expand the available information about Origin's retail arm, which is another way to give players something to do, pretty much regardless of where they are.

    On top of this, I do enjoy thinking up planets and the local colonies or governments or what have you, and would like to see if i can expand a few of the existing articles so that players have more than a paragraph to go off of.

    Any help, any others that would like to do the same, is more than appreciated. We have all this stuff in SARP, but not nearly enough places to use it in. Despite the vastness of our space, there's so very little to do. I don't think it's impossible to fix that, we just need to work together to make more places more interesting.
     
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  3. Ira

    Ira Ser Spit
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    On one hand I have to agree with you Wes. Most of the technology submissions in the NTSE are weapon submissions. But this is not by sheer accident. This is a result of the over all theme and appeal of Star Army.com

    The forum it self is a military RP. But even then the reason for the weapon submissions is fairly simple. Combat and blowing stuff up is the plot focus for the the RP that occurs.

    But You are right we need less weapon submissions. We need more setting elements, planets, cities, vehicles and Antagonist(not just factions, but like cults of personality) Tool that he GMs can use to forge a good story.

    If we have none of these things, but controlled toothless sparing partners, then the player will not be able to get involved in their character. There will be no rush or emotional feeling of threat or of potential loss or gain. With out any of the aforementioned tools...then all we have is a humble text based petting zoo(I feel that is a bit harsh....=/ sorry for sounding like a jerk) .
     
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  4. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    Another RP I was looking at actually has a "rumors" section in their character pages where the player (or other players) can post rumors about the character. I think that this would work great for locations, where people could post rumors and plot hooks in them.

    Here's some quick examples:
    These could be all kinds of things.
     
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  5. Abwehran Commander

    Abwehran Commander Well-Known Member

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    Sounds interesting.

    That would work well in independent and civilian plots.
     
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  6. Nashoba

    Nashoba SARPaholic & Admin
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    I like the idea of rumors, but would like to have a requirement that Rumor A is linked to a thread in the GM area which provides the details. That way if someone wants to use the rumor, they have the actual details, and what is at the end of the rainbow so to speak.

    As for the later, I have already been working on this, such as spaceport sections that could be used in a generator to create more detailed space places for folks to visit. And Tamahagane is building stations and other facilities across the sector.
     
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  7. Kyle

    FM of Neshaten

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    I agree with Nash; by makin it so the rumor has to be connected to a thread in the GM area, it would prevent some players who has a bias toward another faction from creating rumours that could be potentially disasterious. While rumours can be good, we have to keep in mind that they shouldn't be done in such a way as to destroy another faction.
     
  8. Gabriel

    Game Master

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    But that assumes that all rumors are true. Some rumors are made for the sole purpose of hurting another person or group.
     
  9. Nashoba

    Nashoba SARPaholic & Admin
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    Which is fine, as long as there is something in the GM area that says, this is a false rumor.

    Technically depending on the person there can be multiple rumors, in the same thread.
     
  10. Ametheliana

    Ametheliana Ame Ame Ame
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    The only example I found in this thread that isn't a tech article was for a HQ. Are there any other good examples of plot devices or otherwise that can be made up in the wiki for GM's and players to use?
     
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  11. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    I saw that some FMs began adding Rumor and Events sections to their planet/location pages, but few finished. Example

    One of the things I've done to add "doable" content to the wiki is set up the Yamataian Jobs wiki page that offers missions to independent characters/plots.

    We should pick this up again, and basically start seeding the setting with plot hooks and quest opportunities.
     
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  12. Gabriel

    Game Master

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    I think an important thing is for each individual player to flesh out their characters beyond their IC military service. Most players make some of their first characters with little-to-no backstory. Throw together some in-depth descriptions of your character's family (if applicable), maybe a sub-page within your character page for their family. Write two paragraphs on what basic training was like, referencing the Training page and discussing which classes they excelled in or did poorly in.

    Look at Characters like Sune for example, where Brian had every aspect of that character fleshed out. Hell, Ramiro has mortgage. These are all small ways to flesh out the setting for your character, creates interesting content and setting elements for GMs to use (a mysterious package has shown up at Ramiro's condo; Side Quest!), but it also expands on your character's psyche, personality, and interests. It helps to remind a player, when they're writing their posts, that this character will some day have a life outside of the military and that each character needs to have goals beyond military service, even if none of us will be around long enough to RP those goals to fruition because they are 10 or 20 year goals.

    Maybe your character wants to be a Senator; they don't need to become a Senator while you're playing the character, but if it's a long-term aspiration it should affect how your character operates. When they're on leave they'll want to do certian things that other characters might not. Maybe it gives you an opportunity to write actual letters to your Senator, in-character, and post them to the forums. Does your character keep up on politics? Or maybe they're an engineer on a starship and want to retire from military service to open up a space-garage. If so, they should take an interest in learning about civilan personal crafts, maybe they spend their freetime on the ship browsing websites looking for that space version of a sports car they've always wanted, etc.

    Also, If you keep accurate records of your finances, you should find yourself with a growing pool of cash. What does your character do with it? Do they invest it? Do they donate it? Are they looking to open up a small business, buy their own starship to strike out on their own, or simply put the money away into a pension so they can retire early? Speaking of retirement, what is your character's retirement plan? Do they have a favorite place they want to live? Maybe they met people in military service that they plan to settle down with? It happens in real life all the time that you go through hell with some people, and you all agree that you're going to get out together, pool your money, and buy a house on a beach, and be roommates forever. If your character doesn't have these future plans, maybe they're scared of the idea of leaving military service because it's the only thing that's ever given their life meaning or made them feel at home, and they can't imagine life without the military. These are relatively simply things to think about, but putting them in writing, even if not on the wiki but just in your mind or on a scrap of paper, it makes them real and changes the way that you will see and play your character.

    A setting doesn't have to be the cool things that are in it. A setting can be expanded and made better simply by the characters in it, and the things that those characters own, believe, and do. And the best part is, that as long as what you're trying to do doesn't alter any character or location but your own and their home, you can do basically whatever. If you want your character to have a cool job smuggling cargo then buy a ship, throw it on the character's page, work out how much money your character would make, and work with another GM, FM, or Wes to throw some cool obstacles in your characters way that you may need some higher permission to use (police forces, military, gangs, etc.). The tools to creating a cool world with cool adventures are already available to every player without the need to take the time, effort, and energy to draw up lengthy wiki articles, as longs as it's something simple and doesn't mess with anyone else or the setting. I didn't get NTSE approval for Ramiro's condo and the loan, nor do I plan to get approval when Ramiro heads back off to military service to rent out his condo, nor do I believe that anything along those lines should require wiki articles and approval.

    EDIT: The best part of promoting this approach is that it's something I think most players could get behind because it's completely self-serving. You're making a bunch of cool stuff for your character, that nobody else gets without going through the amount of work that you did, gives your more things to RP about which equals more fun, and makes your characters look so much more fleshed out and just all-around better.
     
    #12 Gabriel, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  13. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    Perhaps it would be helpful to include story hooks into some of the page templates.
     
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  14. raz

    raz A Princess of Yamatai
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    Yeah, that'd be really cool. I think it'd best work as an explicitly optional header line (just so there is no confusion during reviewing).

    Location pages especially already include story hooks that often go unused due to them not being labeled as such. It's a great idea, Wes!
     
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  15. FrostJaeger

    FrostJaeger o v o
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    While working, I realized something:

    Why not make it so that new faction tech articles - including those made by faction-run corporations such as Ketsurui Fleet Yards and Nepleslian Arms and Munitions, but not those made by independent corporations such as the Tamahagane Corporation and Zen Armaments - have to be submitted with new faction cultural articles?

    In my opinion, this would have the following benefits:
    • It would increase the quality of pre-existing factions by providing strong incentives for them to be fleshed out further.
    • It would force "corporate factions" - essentially, factions that, like corporations, have huge amounts of technology articles and nothing else - to detail themselves further (instead of, say, submitting another twenty weapon articles).
    • It would ensure that those wanting to make (or contribute) to a faction prioritize on the things that enable roleplaying (instead of the things that enable over-inflated personal egos).
    • It would increase the number of publicly-available technologies by providing strong incentives to make commercial corporations instead of private factions.
    • It would decrease the workload of submission reviewers by (mostly) eliminating the trend of spamming tech submissions. Granted, said tech submissions would be more lengthily due to the extra article(s) involved - but they'd also be less frequent, thus giving reviewers more time to focus on, well, reviewing.

    NOTE: To prevent the "bundling" of tech articles into one submission, each faction technology sub-article a faction tech submission has would require its own faction cultural article.

    (Apologies if I'm rambling - I typed this up at 1:30 in the morning after working a full eight-hour shift.)
     
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  16. Ametheliana

    Ametheliana Ame Ame Ame
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    This could lead to more independent corporation buildup rather than faction buildup.
     
  17. FrostJaeger

    FrostJaeger o v o
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    True, but in my humble opinion having more independent corporations is vastly preferable to having more corporations that pretend to be factions.
     
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  18. raz

    raz A Princess of Yamatai
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    It really promotes the growth of factions that have an established team and that's good. Factions with smaller groups behind them might get discouraged, though (I wouldn't, but still can admit that waiting to submit one article until a second entirely unrelated one is complete seems a bit silly). So while it's a cool idea, making anything mandatory on top of writing a whole article is kind of difficult to enforce.

    Isn't every warship supposed to come with a civilian ship?
     
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  19. Arieg

    Arieg DEFCON Everybody Dies
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    Heres the big question.... what is best for players and the GMs doing the roleplay and how can what is best for them be implemented in a way not to overstress or chase off your content creators. Tbh most of this will probably make the existing problems worse for both parties considering alot of existing faction material has been blocked from use in the site proper.
     
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  20. FrostJaeger

    FrostJaeger o v o
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    A good question, @Arieg - but wouldn't you agree that...
    • Five weapon articles
    • An article on a popular "holovision" series
    • An article on fashion
    • An article on cuisine
    • An article on a national sport
    • An article on a national holiday
    ...are "[better] for players and the GMs doing the roleplay[ing]" then:
    • Ten weapon articles

    How would asking content creators to switch things up a bit "overstress" them or "chase [them] off," @Arieg? I never said that the two submissions had to be submitted at the same time - rather, it'd be like the Jackdaw and the Terrene, where the latter was created due to the former requiring a civilian starship submission.

    Besides, if a content creator wants to create technology but not culture, then there's always the option of creating an independent corporation - as they (like I said in my original post) would be exempted from this requirement.

    Why are you presuming to speak on behalf of "both parties," @Arieg? The last time I checked, you were neither a submission reviewer nor the only content creator on this site.

    As I stated in my original post, @Arieg, that is one of the things this - in my humble opinion - would alleviate.
     
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