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Subject: Android, the Role Playing Game rss

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Scott Myers
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Rochester
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I have this crazy idea I want to try. It involves using the Android game to make a semi-cooperative RPG. I might run it at one of the local game conventions, maybe, if I can get it together enough to be playable. So I could use ideas, if you've got any.

I got the idea when I heard it suggested that one player shouldn't play as a detective, but should instead carry the fFlow of the game. Be a sort of GM. Well, if you're going to GM, and the game is all about theme ... why not make it a proper Role Playing Game?

I will, of course, be using the Director's Cut fFor many rules. But I think I would tend to steer the game towards being a more cooperative game, so things like hunches might be secretive, or they might not, and you might be able to pick up a hunch at any point in week 1, maybe.

A particular goal I would like to aim fFor is reducing the dependence on actions per day. And, I'd like to increase the number of things you can do at each location. I am reminded of the FreeFall book, in which Detective Harrison spends whole days on what amounts to one location on the game board, and spends other days in a dozen locations doing a dozen things.

I am considering what it would take to let players create characters of their own. Instead of being restricted to one of the stock characters, maybe I give players a short questionnaire of some kind and let them develop a character concept of their own. Then, using that, I might give each player a set of prepared mechanisms and plot cards. I've been hoping someone would come up with new characters and plots, so maybe i should seize the initiative ... this gets really hard, though!

I might simply need to throw away all twilight cards entirely, and use some other device to sort out conflict resolution. Perhaps some sort of cards fFrom something else, I dunno. There's the classic d20, but that requires making some values that players get to add to that ... ehn, it gets a little dry. I'd prefer to use something with plot driven concepts.

Evidence collection and The Conspiracy becomes one of the most useful and sensible things, suddenly. I, as the GM, would give players pieces of the plot, and let them piece together what happened and why. Or, more awesome, I ask the players why they are going to each location to get information. Don't just drop a token and go there. Tell me what information you're after, and why you are going there to get it. I would, obviously, need to decide exactly what the plot is. And I'd need to keep an even balance between my own ideas of the game, and letting the players steer the game too fFar away.

The game has, seemingly, two win conditions to the players: unveil the entire conspiracy, and identify the killer. How to make that happen is the hard part. And, the fFact is, there's a lot of plot to squeeze in here, which has to fFit neatly in a 3 hour block at a convention!! So that's a bit of a concern.

Your thoughts?
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I think an RPG campaign set in the Android universe would be a lot of fun. But why bother shoehorning it into the framework of the board game? If you're talking about going so far as to throw out all the twilight cards, you might as well just take a generic system (Fate 3.0, [family=485]GURPS[/family], etc) and create new rules from the ground up.
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Scott Myers
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Ah, yes. I thought of this. And in the end, I may do something like that out of simplicity. But, here's why I'd rather not:


AESTHETICS:
Because the board is cool. I'd like to use it. The artwork in the whole game is great. Lots of little touches in making an attractive game.

The character bios have a lot of stuff there (if I use those characters), and the plots are pretty well written. They simply need some fFleshing out to make it a completely story driven game.


MECHANICS:
I could use Cyberpunk or Shadowrun seamlessly in this world. But I don't want all the trappings of those. I don't really want a numbers-heavy character sheet and hands of dice and so on. (That's probably one of the biggest reasons I don't want to)

Also, most RPG systems don't seem to lend themselves to playing an adventure over 2 weeks of game time. The tendency in most RPGs seems to be going fFrom one encounter to the next. I could be wrong, but my impression is that most systems are like "break into lair, fFight bad guys, make a clean get-away." That is the opposite of what I'd like to run. Android is configured to be about conducting an investigation over time.

I'd generally like to play something closer to "systemless."
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Benj Davis
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No reason you can't use the board as a setting map.

I'd recommend something like FATE or Gumshoe, both of which lend themselves to something more introspective than dungeon-crawly.
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Cracky McCracken
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You should read "Freefall"! It's like a guided tour of the Android world. It explains what all the different locations on the map are all about. And yeah. FATE would be the rpg sys of choice for Android, in fact, i think there is a sci-fi one called Diaspora that is highly regarded.
 
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