Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  thematthew on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:08 am

It would probably need it's own board space, with each storyline being a thread to itself. Whenever two groups interact it would either be a 'make a thread for this crossover' or 'one group just joins the other group's thread for awhile' as a first thought.

As for the ideas specifically, it could work to make a medieval ponies setting but I still think we should shy away from any actual "This is My Little Pony: Friendship is Warcraft" ideas.

EDIT: Since some people prefer skype games, you could also have some games going on over skype just so long as the GMs know what is going on in it.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Dusk Raven on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:37 am

I'm just spamming the crud out of this thread, aren't I? That's what happens when I'm encouraged to throw out any and all ideas...

Greywander wrote:First, as far as settings go, how about a pre Hearthswarming Eve setting? The three pony tribes exist as separate political entities, each with a certain amount of tension with one another. There's an awful lot less canon there, but the basics are all in place, so hammering out what headcanon you're going to use should be easier. For those less interested in steampunk (which seems to be roughly the technology level in the show), this setting ought to be much more medieval fantasy.

Alternatively, a recently unified Equestria. All pony tribes have banded together, but the kingdom is still fairly young, and they're having to deal with external threats like griffons and diamond dogs. Likely a pre Celestia, Luna, and Discord setting, but you could set it later so as to be under the reign of Discord or Celly and Luna, or just Celestia.

Can't believe I didn't remember this earlier! The period of Equestrian history I like to call the "Dark History" (not the first or last reference to Mobile Suit Gundam that I'll make, heh) ...I've been meaning to play in a campaign in that time period or something close to it. Quite a few possibilities to be had there...
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:08 am

Belley has a game in that setting. As for spamming.... uh.... yeah.... I'm not even apologizing. It's not a bad idea but, GMs will be tempted to try to make the PCs play out the events that lead up to the history we know of the show. Which is frustrating as a player, since it'll feel more like you can't really make any real impact on how things turn out since, in the end, the show and all the events that happen in it would still happen. This isn't a huge issue for just one campaign but, it'd get kinda annoying for this kind of project where the point is that we're influencing things.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Greywander on Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:17 pm

That's why I'd advise setting it far enough before or after known events. Say one or two hundred years before the windego incident for a pre Equestria game, or one or two hundred years after for a unified Equestria, but still several hundred years before the rise of Discord. If you pad out the timeline enough, you can make sure that whatever is supposed to happen in the future, from a canonical standpoint, is sufficiently far off that you don't have to worry about those events effecting your current game. And hey, if you set it before some event that happened, or was referred to, in the show, your players might just subvert it, creating a continuity distinct from the show. Maybe they manage to stop the war and unite the pony tribes to dispel the windegos instead of them all traveling to future Equestria?

In general, I'd advise DMs not to base a campaign around something that happened in the show. It's okay to take something that happened and expand on it, for example, say the mane six were unable to defeat Nightmare Moon, and now you have Equestria languishing under eternal night, or Discord reneged on his agreement not to cause trouble, and has staged a coup. But you should NOT have a campaign be basically the same thing that happened in the show, but with OC ponies. Let the player write their own story, don't make them write a story that already exists.

Another advantage of setting the campaign in the far past is that you don't have to worry about the Elements of Harmony; just say they don't exist yet. Otherwise, there will always be the question of why Twilight and co. can't save the day themselves. Or, you could run a campaign that isn't about saving the world, so that the Elements of Harmony are pretty much moot.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:30 pm

I'm not even aware of any games where the Elements of Harmony have actually come up except the evil game where the point was to steal them from the Mane 6. I guess they're kinda like the Hand of Vecna that way. Most of the time your players aren't really concerned with them being around but, sure, if you mentioned them, they'll bother trying to get them.

I do agree with you about distancing yourself from show events but, I feel like games in the future are better. At the end of the day you can say what your character did mattered and had repercussions that carried into the future.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  SilentBelle on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:49 pm

Ramsus wrote:Belley has a game in that setting. As for spamming.... uh.... yeah.... I'm not even apologizing. It's not a bad idea but, GMs will be tempted to try to make the PCs play out the events that lead up to the history we know of the show. Which is frustrating as a player, since it'll feel more like you can't really make any real impact on how things turn out since, in the end, the show and all the events that happen in it would still happen. This isn't a huge issue for just one campaign but, it'd get kinda annoying for this kind of project where the point is that we're influencing things.

That reminds me... We should really get that campaign back into gear. I'll post something in it before the night is over. As for setting it in the Past vs Future. I think it's a matter of perspective. I for one love the idea that I'm playing as a character that's influencing the events that cause the Equestria as we see it. If handled well enough by a DM, it can make you feel like you character is pretty much of (head)canon importance, and a thread of the tapestry that makes up Equestria's history.

While with the future you don't really know where you are headed, I suppose that's part of it's charm. And your characters will feel more like they are on the tip of the mountain and carving a new path for the world, rather than a boulder helping hold it up at it's base giving a certain location or time-frame a rich bit of historical importance. The future campaign certainly gives your character more of a limelight.

I prefer the past settings, but only marginally, not enough to complain if it turns out that people prefer a future setting. So long as there are meaningful adventures to be had, then I am happy Smile
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Zarhon on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:26 pm

In regards to vampires/Lycans: This stuff needs some hard facts everyone needs to agree on, since there are a LOT of iterations of vampires and lycans respectively.

Vampries: Reaction to sunlight (instadeath, weakness, glitter, ignition/combustion), extra weakness (flowing water, being invited, crosses, garlic, silver, stakes-to-heart), blood-requirements (addiction vs power-gaining alternative), affliction virulence, degree of shapeshifting, mental powers, control over vermin (rats, bats, crows, wolves), appearance (grotesque or pale vs "normal", or with built-in natural disguise to shift into), relation to lycans (at war or not), morality (always evil/soulless vs per person basis)...

Lycans: Degree of mental control over shifts and state of mind whilst shifted, type of shapeshifting (type of animal, ratio of humanoid/ponynoid-animal, moon reactions, wolfsbane and silver reaction, curability, method of transferring it, relation to vampires (at war or not)...
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:50 pm

I think pre-founded Equestria would work pretty well. It technically takes place outside of Equestria's geographic location, so we can have a brand new map, with all the ridiculous physics defying landmarks we want. It provides a firm three faction (+ extras for any other races) system, so everyone can join a team they like and play the roles that come along with it. That also means foundation for intraparty and interparty conflicts, depending on who is playing what. The show hints at a middle ages type setting, but it also leaves out a lot of things, so there's plenty of room to maneuver. There are also large gaps of history where plenty of big things could have happened, and who says all of this stuff didn't happen? Twilight probably just hasn't gotten around to that book yet. We don't have to worry about the Alicorns, and whether or not they're gods, or benevolent rulers or tyrants, if DiscordxCelestia is a valid ship, or any other headcanon issue they bring up.

And yeah, there can be vampires and werewolves. We might as well go with Underworld versions of those, since that's fairly accurate and incorporates both of those. I can't say I'm a fan of behind the scenes supernatural puppetmasters; I think lonely, cursed and mysterious individuals add to the terror and melancholy of the situation.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:22 pm

Well, I still favor future over past because if we go with past at some point we have to choose between it not effecting the show cannon or doing so. And if it does, why bother having it take place in the show cannon universe anyway? And if it doesn't... meh, we might as well have not done anything. Especially on that scale.

As far as vampires, either past or future, sunlight isn't currently a problem due to lack of Celestia. (Not to say there isn't sun but, having PC characters who can't act during the day would just be annoying and not add anything.) None of the weird weaknesses (the world would just basically be hostile to them if we did an archipelago if we went with such things). They just drink blood. In the same way Changelings feed on love. It's not an addiction and doesn't grant them super powers. It's just what they eat. As for powers, looks, morality, that stuff should all be up to the individual. There's no need to tell two people who want to play vampires that they have to do so in the exactly same way.

As for Lycanthropes, my idea here would be to have a modified version of True Shifter that only costs 1 Racial point and only does a single form. That leaves lots of room for all sorts of different types of lycanthropes and individual differences but, also keeps the shape-shifting aspect without having to add on weird templates and stuff. Obviously this means it'd be controllable and not forced by lunar changes (in this instance, a lack of Luna helps explain this), though they may still have some instinctual desire to do so on a full moon. I think we might as well rule out silver as a weakness since we'd be doing away with a lot of the weird vampire weaknesses too.

As for a vampire vs lycanthrope war... that always seemed stupid to me. If there were that many of them being that organized and doing such large scale actions, they would be publicly known. As mysterious rare creatures of myth and legend, they most likely don't even know for sure the other type exists, let alone have the organization and numbers to have an inexplicably secret war. Again, just kind of kills the horror and mystery.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Dusk Raven on Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:58 pm

There probably could and should be multiple types of vampires and lycanequines (neither werewolf nor lycanthrope are accurate terms in this case since they both basically mean wolf-man), some of which may not even exist. That way anyone who wants to play one can style it according to their own personal canon of what they "should" be.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:02 pm

Right, as long as the GMs approve it, there shouldn't be any issue. Variety is a good thing.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Greywander on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:49 pm

Just so we're all on the same page, I should, perhaps, remind everyone of the difference between Canon and Cannon.

So I had an idea for vampires. Vampires are supposed to be significantly stronger than normal humans/ponies, right? But they have to drink blood. So, blood charges.

Blood charges work similarly to magic points (but are not equivalent). A blood charge can be expended to grant a +5 bonus to a skill check, and vampires gain access to a number of vampire specific utility talents that require blood charges to use. When feeding on someone, you gain 5 blood charges if you drain them dry, killing them. You can sustain yourself without killing them if you drain less, but you won't get as many blood charges. At the end of each day, you lose a blood charge (maybe more than one?); if you don't have one, then you gain some sort of debuff that requires a blood charge to dispel. Maybe put a cap on blood charges so they can't be stockpiled (or maybe, at the end of each day, you lose all blood charges over a certain amount, so you can still stack up charges for a day, but they won't all carry over).

Not feeding could have any number of effect. Going crazy, starting to decay like a corpse, becoming lethargic and eventually falling into a coma, etc. Not feeding for several days would worsen the effect.

As for sunlight, it can be avoided by use of hats, hoods, or parasols. It might cause damage, consume a blood charge, or it may just power a vampire down to normal (blocking all their vampire abilities and allowing them to be "killed", at least, until the sun goes down).

Silver could also drain blood charges, maybe.

Special vampire talents might include things like: ability to shapeshift into bat or other creature, flying, resistance to weaknesses like sunlight or silver, dominate minds, read minds, telepathy, persuasion, teleportation, illusions, super strength or speed, black magic, etc. Exactly which abilities a character gains would depend on the vampire that turned them.

Not sure I want to play a vampire setting, but I thought I'd throw some ideas out there.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  thematthew on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:50 am

Alright, many things to respond to.

First: the whole idea of making Vampires and Shapeshifters operate on different systems than basic characters is downright inane unless players cannot be either, which kinda makes it silly to even think of them as major players if it is impossible for one of them to be a PC (you know, the guys the story revolves around?)

Second: Underworld was a terrible storyline, and the idea of a shadow war between actual armies going unnoticed is downright ludicrous. The point of having the mysterious creatures of the night is to make them mysterious, not have them wave guns/claws/fangs/swords/ect in your face.

Third: As has been discussed previously, making a world that uses elements from Equestria is fine but there is too much headcanon baggage that comes with actually being Equestria to use it as a setting without limiting ourselves drastically. Seriously, the whole reason the ice age bullshit even happened was because none of the ponies could cooperate cross species because the pegasi were jerks, the unicorns were aloof, and the earth ponies had enough. Do you honestly want a setting where each group is made up of either just one type of pony or a group of ponies who interact with each other like cold-war era superpowers? That doesn't sound like a fun game, either to run or to play.

One of the whole ideas is to make a world that people want to explore, and learn about. If you just use a cookie cutter Equestria, even on a new map or in a different time, you end up with people wanting to go to Manehatten, or Found Canterlot, or do other things in the show canon. If you give them something new, however, you give them a world where they will never know what is on the other side of that next mountain range unless they actually explore it (or I suppose read/ask someone about it, but where's the fun in that?) Worldbuilding is a creative art, which when done properly can create a background for anything that the DM and players can agree on is a good story.

I personally don't want Equestria because it isn't interesting for me as a DM. I don't care what time period you set it in, Equestria's history is pretty dull for stories that it can give.

Now, for tacks of brass. Who else actually wants to DM something like this? I ask, because as it stands I'm the only one who has given a solid 'wants to be a DM.' Also, as it wouldn't be necessary for DMs to all work on the worldbuilding, and worldbuilders to all be DMs, who wants to actually form a quick worldbuilding team? We could make a skype group or google doc and hash out ideas, then divide up the world into various sectors which each builder would be responsible to flesh out. Give one person a job as worldbuilding overseer, and have them help others make their ideas fit together instead of building their own sector. Basically an OverDM for the worldbuilding aspect, could be the same person or a different person.

If we approach this in a manner like this we can have it ready by May, or possibly earlier.

PS: in case it wasn't obvious, I would like to propose myself as the overDM. Trust me, I have a wealth of experience.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:17 am

I'm as stated previously interesting in worldbuilding and not GMing. I think it would be easiest if Matthew was both OverGM and OverWorldBuilder. And he's right, he most likely has more RP experience than everyone in this threat put together. Besides himself obviously. I hope.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  SilentBelle on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:34 am

Ramsus wrote:I'm as stated previously interesting in worldbuilding and not GMing. I think it would be easiest if Matthew was both OverGM and OverWorldBuilder. And he's right, he most likely has more RP experience than everyone in this threat put together. Besides himself obviously. I hope.

Yeah, it's a good idea to have him there to gather it all and organize it. Though I'm sure some of us have a pretty hefty amount of experience ourselves Smile Heck, I've been DMing for over 11 years now, and playing tabletop games for 15 years. It will be fun to play in these campaigns though Very Happy I look forward to playing in it and adding what small things I can.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  thematthew on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:36 am

I started playing when I was 5, and I started DMing around 8. I'm 29 now.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Dusk Raven on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:27 am

thematthew wrote:Second: Underworld was a terrible storyline, and the idea of a shadow war between actual armies going unnoticed is downright ludicrous. The point of having the mysterious creatures of the night is to make them mysterious, not have them wave guns/claws/fangs/swords/ect in your face.

Isn't there an entire genre of Cold-War era CIA versus KGB stories? Not that I particularly care for the idea in this particular venture, but if there was secret conflict between supernatural powers I think it'd take that form - and it's a LOT easier to go unnoticed given Equestria's tech level, present or past (magic notwithstanding).

Anyway, as for DMing... yeah, my role in world creation is likely to be regulated to "spewer of random ideas." Like the above idea which I simply had to throw out regardless of its irrelevance.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  thematthew on Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:30 am

Yes, but the KGB never turned into giant wolves, and they never had open warfare in populated areas unless they could easily play it off as something like gang violence.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Dusk Raven on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:31 pm

Case in point, I think a cold war between supernatural beings is more plausible than an overt war.

(Hasn't seen Underworld, by the way).
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:07 pm

Well, we could certainly do smaller scale versions of such conflict in specific areas. I just think it'd be a little weird if all vampires and lyncanthropes and other creatures somehow knew for sure the others existed and were fighting them for no specific reason. I mean, there are still brains in their skulls and everyone has opinions. Unless we invent silly Underworld style backstory (that btw still made no sense for why they were fighting in the modern age to me) or some rather poor and forced mechanics of their nature that'd make them do so, most of them would have nothing to actually gain by fighting. Unless lycanthropes, despite not being immortal creatures, were also trying to pull puppet master stunts. I'm sure there would be some here and there but, it's more a trait of vampires precisely because they're immortal.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:54 pm

Underworld was by no means a Cold War between vampires and werewolves. They were shooting each other in the streets, in the subway, in offices and residences...

I still think lonely and mysterious is better than supernatural factions. Vampires and Werewolves should be solo, or small tightly knit groups that are secluded from the rest of the world. If they were each big powerful organizations, then actually there's plenty of reason for them to know about each other- they certainly would have the resources and would have butted heads in some manor already. When I brought up Underworld, I meant we should use that format of physicalities and traits for each, as opposed to say, nighttime fairies that sparkle in the sunlight and abercrombie employees that turn into big fluffy dogs.

If we're voting on how they interact with society, I'd go with Morrowind/Bloodmoon. In Morrowind, the Vampires each belong to a number of bloodline clans (with a few outcasts), that are heavily secluded and separated (more or less at war with each other) and do not interact with the rest of society on a regular basis. In Bloodmoon, werewolves are social exiles who live completely alone out in the wilderness, and who during the day, while in human form, are considered raving lunatics. They keep far away from civilization or any other people to avoid killing them when they turn, or being hunted.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:08 pm

Honestly, there's enough space with multiple GMs and multiple locations to do both things on smaller scales that aren't near each other is fine. It's just large scale warfare between supernaturals I find silly.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Dusk Raven on Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:38 am

Bronymous wrote:Underworld was by no means a Cold War between vampires and werewolves. They were shooting each other in the streets, in the subway, in offices and residences...

I still think lonely and mysterious is better than supernatural factions. Vampires and Werewolves should be solo, or small tightly knit groups that are secluded from the rest of the world. If they were each big powerful organizations, then actually there's plenty of reason for them to know about each other- they certainly would have the resources and would have butted heads in some manor already. When I brought up Underworld, I meant we should use that format of physicalities and traits for each, as opposed to say, nighttime fairies that sparkle in the sunlight and abercrombie employees that turn into big fluffy dogs.

If we're voting on how they interact with society, I'd go with Morrowind/Bloodmoon. In Morrowind, the Vampires each belong to a number of bloodline clans (with a few outcasts), that are heavily secluded and separated (more or less at war with each other) and do not interact with the rest of society on a regular basis. In Bloodmoon, werewolves are social exiles who live completely alone out in the wilderness, and who during the day, while in human form, are considered raving lunatics. They keep far away from civilization or any other people to avoid killing them when they turn, or being hunted.

*reiterates how he hasn't seen Underworld and thinks such an overt war is stupid*

Morrowind/Bloodmoon, huh? Yeah, I can see that as an example of supernatural organization. Of course, the werewolves in Bloodmoon do group together, at least when their god and creator orders them to.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Zarhon on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:47 am

Well, if we're going to have werewolves and vampires as a major focus, I think it's best to then make the setting entirely dark, much like the "vampire the masquerade" series: Almost everyone is evil or non-good (and those that are not are either clueless to this, or wont stay such forever due to corrupting influences, or are vastly outnumbered) in some fashion, and the secrecy is kept as a formality, due to it being present *everywhere* (as in, a typical town has a pretty much an equal, or even higher, population of supernaturals and normals, living in a resemblance of peace to keep things spiraling way out of control to the detriment of the evil forces, even if they *can* take everything over on a whim - for instance, vampires losing their food source, or one of the major factions becoming a threat to the others and forcing a united mass-scale war against them).

This can also work together with corrupted / discorded segments of the world, changeling-infested territories (and surrounding areas teeming with their agents and paranoia), Sombra's shadowy crystals reflecting misery all around a region, enslaving a populace into apathetic obedience, or something related to Nightmare Moon's corruption (if the IDW comics are any indication)...

Because, let's face it: Vamps and Werewolves will have trouble playing as good guys in a good world (due to bias, and being ostracized by everyone, and the likely immoral aspects of themselves they may be forced to work upon), and would not fit well as evil, or "uncontrollably evil" with a party of other good-aligned creatures.

Unless vamps and lycans would be off limits to PCs?

In regards to the bloodmoon lycans: I believe those were a curse inflected by the hunter god, who then made them into hunters (forced to kill each night as a wolf, or suffer) who cannot control their natures. So you'd end up with a pony who has a daily requirement to commit a form of murder/gratuitous bloody violence to keep itself from being brought to a near-death state afterwards, or dying outright. And in the game, they aren't all raving lunatics - the player can become one, and there are others that are werewolves in secret. The "lunatics" are most likely fanatics to their hunter god, or those who just decided to let their werewolf nature completely take over, rather than feign normalcy.

As for the vampires of morrowind, they took damage in sunlight, and would gradually gain an uncanny appearance and become weaker and weaker if they didn't drink blood - meaning that to blend in, they'd have to drink blood daily, or look like hideous obvious monsters.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:56 pm

*facepalm* Zarhon, the entire point is to create a world for people to have multiple games in right? We can't tell the GMs what every single game is about because then it's just one game. Vampires and Werewolves are prevalent enough to be a focus sure, but, they could also be a complete side element for a game deals with the two empires in a variety of ways, pirates, changelings, exploring an island they've been stranded on, etc. We can't set the tone universally. I imagine the setting will indeed be somewhat grim but, that doesn't mean disallowing people of playing heroic characters if they wish. They certainly wouldn't be the norm but, if it's meant to feel like a world, moralities, ethics, and motivations will still be all over the spectrum, if tilted somewhat more in a dark direction.

We don't really want vampires or lycanthropes being out in the open or even believed to be real by the majority of the populous. Maybe on some very few isolated places where the normal ponies are kept in check from spreading the word on that but, not overall. If the whole world knows about them, they're just another race basically, like changelings. And we already have changelings for that.

There's no point in including vampires and werewolves if they can't be PCs. And honestly, their having trouble being good guys makes that all the more interesting if they decide that's what they want to do. It's not like it's insurmountably difficult.

I believe I already expressed my views on how I feel the vampires and werewolves should work in general but, we've also pretty much all agreed that players and GMs should be free to come up with different types as well. As long as we're not making new weird templates or separate mechanics that don't match the system mechanics, we should be fine.
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Re: Open World Roleplay - MMO Style RP

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