Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game» Forums » General

Subject: Doing more with this game or system. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Trevor Bush
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
So, the way I see it, much of the work surrounding this game has been dead for a few years now. Which I honestly see as a bit of a shame given how much fun this game is, and all the possibilities the system allows for. Not only with telling stories in the Doctor Who-verse, but possibly other settings as well (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc)

I've been spending a lot of my time working on a hack of the game, though with a more cosmic horror spin as you play an investigator going to various accursed lands to solve mysteries and uncover eldritch beings. So, essentially Call of Cthulhu the Solitaire Story RPG.

I've been having a lot of fun with the process, and would love to work with others on other projects using this system. Whether it be a continuation of the Doctor Who game itself, or something else using a different setting/genre entirely.

Doubt anyone will actually stumble upon this forum post, but on the off chance someone does and you'd like to work on some homebrews, feel free to respond or shoot me a message.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Booth
United Kingdom
Bicester
Oxfordshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think I'd have the spare time that would be necessary to work on a repurposing of this, but I love the system and the idea of a Star Wars or Star Trek reworking sounds amazing!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trevor Bush
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
Surprised to get a response so fast! (And from one of the designers of Agents of SMERSH no less!)

I honestly don't know too much about Star Trek, so I don't know if I'd ever be able to make something myself in the system, but the Star Wars idea I've been tweaking a bit with.
One thing I'd like to do was implement some sort of "role" system for the player character, where each role would change the flow of the game/adventures. So that a smuggler/bounty hunter PC would have a much different experience than a Jedi on the run from the Empire. But I've been trying to figure out a way to make that work without making the game too linear.

I assume you are pretty busy with other projects, but you wouldn't happen to have any tips for an amateur game designer/modifier?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Franco
United States
Maplewood
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wasn't Sherlock Holmes Detective Story Game already a spin-off of this system?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Booth
United Kingdom
Bicester
Oxfordshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My role on Agents of SMERSH was purely as a writer. I did contribute a couple of minor mechanical aspects to the expansions, but I don't think that qualifies me to offer advice on game design to anyone else!

From what you describe, it's almost as though you'd need different sets of encounters for each of your character types, which would be getting away from the original game a bit (or creating several different versions of the game). Obviously each of the character types would have different traits and qualities, but it sounds like you want them to be more differentiated than that?

I suppose you could write different versions of each individual encounter:

E421.
"You meet a stormtrooper. If you are a Jedi, role on table E421a; if you are a smuggler, rolw on table E421b..."

and so on. But that could become huge!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trevor Bush
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
logopolys wrote:
Wasn't Sherlock Holmes Detective Story Game already a spin-off of this system?

Yeah, If I recall it was actually made by one or maybe more of the designers of the Doctor Who SSG. I played a bit of it before, and thought it was alright. Bit too light though, and the rules for Event Encounters involving specifically Holmes or Watson got a little repetitive.

drb1004 wrote:
My role on Agents of SMERSH was purely as a writer. I did contribute a couple of minor mechanical aspects to the expansions, but I don't think that qualifies me to offer advice on game design to anyone else!

From what you describe, it's almost as though you'd need different sets of encounters for each of your character types, which would be getting away from the original game a bit (or creating several different versions of the game). Obviously each of the character types would have different traits and qualities, but it sounds like you want them to be more differentiated than that?

I suppose you could write different versions of each individual encounter:

E421.
"You meet a stormtrooper. If you are a Jedi, role on table E421a; if you are a smuggler, rolw on table E421b..."

and so on. But that could become huge!

Yeah, that's what I'm a little worried about. One idea I had was to just use something similar to what's used in the Infinite Quests expansion, or maybe just have certain things like force sensitivity be a Trait. But, I'm really not sure. If it ends up being too clunky, I might end up scrapping the idea. But, I really do want to allow for players to have a fair amount of customization.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate K
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually started work on a game based on this system, in a setting based loosely on the 24 television series. It was a fun project while it lasted, but I eventually gave it up because GOOD LORD, building the base game is a lot of work.

It'd be interesting to see your Lovecraftian take on this system.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Taylor
United States
Marysville
Washington
flag msg tools
mb
GhoulCatLenny wrote:
Yeah, If I recall it was actually made by one or maybe more of the designers of the Doctor Who SSG. I played a bit of it before, and thought it was alright. Bit too light though, and the rules for Event Encounters involving specifically Holmes or Watson got a little repetitive.


Spot-on analysis, Bush. As someone who has played a lot of the SHDSG, I agree that a big problem was the game's lightness. In DWSSG, you always had a variety of options available to you at all times, but in SHDSG there was only one strategy, as you linearly moved from one action to the other until the end of the game. Choice or lack thereof is what makes or breaks these games. Well, that and proper theme/fluff. These are story games after all, and if the player's ability to form a narrative as they play is hindered, then so is the player's enjoyment. DWSSG was amazing at giving the player choice and narrative freedom, and SHDSG really lacked in both of these areas.

I was fairly invested in SHDSG at one point, and I even began to write my own version of it called "Before Baker Street" (in tribute to Steve Mackenzie and his latest game "Beyond Baker Street"); where you played as Sherlock Holmes before he met Watson and moved to 221B Baker Street; to fix some of its flaws. However, I was never able to get anything really post-worthy, and since I am not personally a great fan of Sherlock Holmes, my passion for it died out fairly quickly (not to mention the fact that making these sort of Story Games is very time consuming and quite arduous). There were though, a couple of breakthroughs that I made in developing it that I wish I could share, but unfortunately I do not currently have access to the files. That being said though, there are a few things I can recall from the top of my head.

In Before Baker Street, you started every Case/Adventure by rolling up a list of 3 possible Villains called the Suspect Pool. Sherlock Holmes knows that one of three suspects is the culprit, but not who, and over the course of the game, by using the "Examine" action to look at clues and build a profile, you deduce who committed the crime. For example, if you found the "Footprints" Clue, and you had the correct Traits, you could examine the footprints to determine the 'length of the stride', thus determining what the true Villain's Brawn rating is. By having higher levels of Traits, you could further examine the Footprints clue to determine additional aspects of the Villain, such as Traits or Qualities, until you were at that Holmesian level we see in the books, of being able to deduce an incredible amount of information from what would otherwise be small clues.

Of course, it was possible to get conflicting data on the Villain profile, and that was remedied with a "Eliminate the Impossible" action, where you eliminated contradictions until your profile was a perfect match with one of the suspects. This was very important because, until the profile was a perfect match, it was essentially the Villain you were facing, and that's a big deal if the profile somehow combines the best attributes of each suspect. In a quick example, if the profile has the Tracking trait, then the Villain is smart enough to erase their footprints, so you won't find any footprint clues from then-on, unless Holmes has a higher Tracking trait or there is an greater inconsistency with the Tracking trait and you 'eliminate the impossible' to remove it. And narratively, eliminating the impossible in this case would represent discovering that the Villain's footprints being erased was simply a fluke, such as rain or the Villain only having the foresight to do it once or twice.

But anyway, I'm just raving at this point.

GhoulCatLenny wrote:
Yeah, that's what I'm a little worried about. One idea I had was to just use something similar to what's used in the Infinite Quests expansion, or maybe just have certain things like force sensitivity be a Trait. But, I'm really not sure. If it ends up being too clunky, I might end up scrapping the idea. But, I really do want to allow for players to have a fair amount of customization.


I think customization is great, but it needs to be sacrificed in this case in order to establish a solid story. The game and the player character's goals change dramatically based on whether they're a bounty hunter, rebel, former jedi, and so on. I would recommend looking inward and deciding what kind of game you really want to make (e.g. where you're a bounty hunter, etc.) and expand the customizability from there. For example, Jedi could get a choice of which lightsaber form and Force powers to use, while a Bounty Hunter game would involve lots of different kinds of equipment.

Speaking of settings and theme, I've always been of the mind that it'd be an awesome idea to do a Batman Detective Story Game. Based off of Batman Year One, you'd play as Bruce Wayne at the beginning of his vigilante career. As the game goes on and you fight crime and solve cases, you not only obtain different gadgets and meet new allies, but supervillains begin to crop up as well. At the start it's common criminals and crime families, and later on it's more Two-Face, Penguin and the Joker. Eventually, things would get even more epic if you survive long enough to help form the Justice League, as other heroes and their rogue galleries appear.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Purdy
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I would love to see a community collab on a new story game!

I think Batman is a fun idea, and fits well with the format set up in DWSSG: a single hyper-competent main character, supporting allies, a cast of interchangeable villains, and crazy plots. I love superheroes.

If it was a star wars game I think having the player be a Jedi makes the most sense. We see in the prequels that Jedi are being sent out to planets to deal with various problems there, and then you can keep a base power-level in mind as you make up stories.

The ramping up of danger from round 1 on would work well for a lovecraft game - but ultimately I would worry that the villains might all start to feel same-y?

Star trek might be fun, too. But I think there would need to be some innovation in how to play a team of characters where no one excels above the others.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Purdy
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been thinking a lot about a Batman game since reading this thread. Here are some ideas I have already.

There is a set of districts that are fairly set for areas of Gotham: East End/Crime Alley, Old Gotham, Diamond District etc. These have specific actions that can be taken there.

There is an event book and a villain book.

And then there is a crime book. This will detail the crime/mission that Batman has to investigate. This book might list which of the districts are available for investigation, may introduce new locations or alter location options, may include a specific villain behind the case, or will include a random table for which villain is behind the crime.

I think having more weight carried by the crime/mission entry and fairly concrete Gotham districts might give the game a very different feel than the doctor who game where locations are the prime randomizer and then the villain carries most of the weight in determining success.

Thoughts?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Taylor
United States
Marysville
Washington
flag msg tools
mb
Sounds like a decent start! Keep us up to date with your progress.

There's a lot to consider with a Batman game, but two things that all Story Games need to focus on is actions and narrative. Remember, DWSSG is as popular as it is because you have a wide variety to options while playing the game, and those options work seamlessly with the game's events and encounters to form a cohesive narrative as you play. SHDSG never rose to fame because of its limited action choice (especially in the second edition) and failure to establish a narrative during play. For example, you're playing Sherlock Holmes investigating a case but you don't even know what said case is as you're playing.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Purdy
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That is some excellent insight, kidradd.

I'm hoping to have a little draft posted soon with a single location, crime, and villain for people to take a look at to see where I'm heading.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Purdy
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
So I wrote up a bit less than I had planned, but I think it shows off some of the structure I was thinking of.

Here's a link to my first ideas and write-ups. Take a peek if you are interested and leave lots of feedback!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ffM5HLqiyl42LXogGfrCyryS...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Taylor
United States
Marysville
Washington
flag msg tools
mb
NYpurdy wrote:
So I wrote up a bit less than I had planned, but I think it shows off some of the structure I was thinking of.

Here's a link to my first ideas and write-ups. Take a peek if you are interested and leave lots of feedback!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ffM5HLqiyl42LXogGfrCyryS...


Hmm. There are a lot of interesting pieces there, but I'm having trouble seeing what the full game will be like. Keep up the good work. I'll probably give some feedback once it's a little further down the road.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate K
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yikes. A Jetpack Crook. No thank you, Imma get some Baticecream instead.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Taylor
United States
Marysville
Washington
flag msg tools
mb
kurthl33t wrote:
Yikes. A Jetpack Crook. No thank you, Imma get some Baticecream instead.


Oh man, can you imagine a Crook Crook?

"Sorry to get your goat, Baaaatman *trips Batman with a shepherds's crook and runs away* But I've got a whole city to fleece!"
"You swindling shepherd! *throws a batarang* This should shear off your escape!
"*hit just below the knee, falls over* Ow! My lamb shank!"
"Someone must have pulled the wool over your eyes if you thought you could outwit me *Batman stands triumphantly* Now I'll herd you back to the rest of your flock... In Jail!"
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bate
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't forget a Judge Dredd crossover.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Himes
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When I was working on the html version of the game, I had toyed with the idea of a Stargate SG-1 version of the game. It would work quite well. In addition the the off world adventures, there would also be personel at the base and some Earthside events that would happen, based on a score on how well you were doing against whatever main enemy you were fighting against.

Never got around to developing it further though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate K
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
catwhowalksbyhimself wrote:
When I was working on the html version of the game, I had toyed with the idea of a Stargate SG-1 version of the game. It would work quite well. In addition the the off world adventures, there would also be personel at the base and some Earthside events that would happen, based on a score on how well you were doing against whatever main enemy you were fighting against.

Never got around to developing it further though.


It's never too late
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Himes
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kurthl33t wrote:
catwhowalksbyhimself wrote:
When I was working on the html version of the game, I had toyed with the idea of a Stargate SG-1 version of the game. It would work quite well. In addition the the off world adventures, there would also be personel at the base and some Earthside events that would happen, based on a score on how well you were doing against whatever main enemy you were fighting against.

Never got around to developing it further though.


It's never too late


Well, I ain't going to do it. My attention wanders after a couple of weeks, so I'd never finish it anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.