A multi-media fantasy RPG
By Mike Holmes
With help from Shreyas Sampat, Kirk, JB Bell, Charlotte Irrgang
Fair Play is a work in progress, currently. Generally the design is meant to create role-playing in a fantasy world that grows from nothing at the start but our commonly held memetic notions of what fantasy worlds are like. As play proceeds, various extant bits of media (likely mostly pictures) are added to text play to create information about the world. This new information, then, creates routs for further investigation, and growth of the world.
Design Goals and Constraints
Below are the goals that have been identified, reflecting Mike Holmes' vision for the game, and constraints on what the design will attempt and how. These may change over time.
The game is an “RPG” in the traditional sense that there will be players playing characters through events in a fictional world.
The world will be designed by all of the participants of the game. This distribution will likely be inequal, but hopefully done in a way that makes the players all feel ownership of the evolving game world (at least enough to obtain greater feelings of interest and engagement with said world).
The game will have a GM, but their role is mostly as facilitator of play, and player of all characters who are not the responsibilities of the other players.
Invention of information regarding the world will be primarily textual or verbal as usual (we're envisioning play on the RPG Refuge Discord server and the like), but will seek to incorporate a lot of stationary visual media (mostly art from the internet).
To avoid analysis paralysis of selection of such media, there will be collections put together so as to create limits on what can be perused, allowing (hopefully) faster selection. (Currently I have Pinterest boards set up to accomplish creation of collections of pictures).
It is understood that the nature of the media placed into the collections will impact what tends to exist in play (may even constrain it significantly). This is hopefully a feature, not a bug. (Yes, the author in inflicting his collections in the playtest will selfishly be having greater control of the environment, but hopefully the players will be OK with this, or even enjoy working within these constraints).
Character definition in terms of their expertise in certain things will result in the player of said character having additional control of world-building of elements related to that expertise. The notion being that the exclamations of such experts are likely to be factually correct, from an in-game perspective.
Character definition will revolve significantly around the character's relationships with entities in the game world. This does constitute “expertise” per the above bullet, but exists also to link the character solidly into the game world, and hopefully as the world evolves, so to will the plot as the characters deal with these relationships.
Character definition will also be about ranking in terms of “fictional positioning.” Inspired by Game of Thrones (even moreso by ASOIAF), this means that we will at times know which character is the best in the world (or thought to be), and who challengers to that title might be. This is a relatively tentative goal.
Travel, or some other themes, should exist in play to encourage world growth. This is a relatively tentative goal, and may be found to be unecessary, or just optional.
Structure of Play
Concept Creation Phase
During this phase players will create certain basic concepts about the nature of play, and then main characters that fit that concept.
General Play Phase
Play is conducted using the usual scene-setting procedures and so forth. Ongoing with this normal play, players are compelling each other to add things to the setting, and/or doing so voluntarily.