Errant Story Role Play?

Home of Viking's Infamous "Three Things" Challenge and some other games likely to make the baby Lord Naughtius cry.
Post Reply
User avatar
Sareth
RPG All-Star
Posts: 2604
Joined: August 23rd, 2007, 8:54 pm

Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Sareth »

(Impy mentioned something in the Mafia Game that I thought could be worth discussion, so I'm bringing it to a new topic for clarity.)
Imp-Chan wrote:I'm actually wondering if a long-term RPG campaign might be a good addition to the boards. I know that I personally am unlikely to have time to participate, but a wistful little part of me wishes I did and suggests that others here might.

It's not like we don't have several universes at our disposal, although I'd have to double-check about whether or not we could actually run in-universe games without legal repercussions down the road.

^-^'
The webcomic MegaTokyo has an RP associated with it, one that has pretty much zero involvement on the part of creator Fred Gallagher. It demonstrates a way that a webcomic can inspire a game without requiring involvement on the part of the creator that takes away from the time he needs to produce the comic itself. (For example, Fred has, I believe, posted exactly once in response to the MegaTokyo: the Clans game, and I believe that post was "You people scare me.")

The way that game operates is to establish a few basic assumptions and standards that aren't quite the rule of law, but still have a great deal of force behind them. For clarity, I'll apply them to a theoretical Errant Story game.

1) Don't mess with the main Characters.

So in the case of ES, players might reference Ian, but they don't get to do anything that really effects him. So your character, for amusement sake, might accidentally get chucked through a building by Ian's rampage in Saus, but they can't in any way deflect him.

2) If the game and the comic end up contradicting one another, the comic is right.

So you introduce something into the game, and later it proves incompatible because of a later reveal in the comic. If you can't find a good explanation for why it still works, you find a way to write it out.

3) cooperative effort.

The MegaTokyo game has no GMs to drive plot or resolve disputes, nor does it have a system it uses. As such it's important that players work together. That doesn't mean conflict doesn't exist. It just means players have to work together for the enjoyment of all. As an example, say one player in the ES game played a Gewehr Wraith, and another played an Enisgerium Monk. The plot they were playing called for them to fight. Rather than it being a competition between the two players, they would instead get together on the side and determine how the fight should go, and how it should end, then work together to Make It So.

4) Plots are what the players create.

Basically the players themselves, rather than a GM, create the plots and stories. They can range from such minor things as "I Need A Widget, who wants to help?" all the way up to "The Church of Luminosita has Invaded! This Means War!" The two big restrictions to that being the first two rules. So kidnapping Meji is right out the window, but launching a (doomed to failure) attempt to rescue her from the elves is fine. All it takes is players willing to use their characters to create the plots, and players willing to play along.

The plusses of such a concept are that it would involve little to no involvement on the part of those In The Know (such as Poe and Impy) unless they wanted to be in, there wouldn't have to be an agreed upon game system that somehow needed to be adapted, and it wouldn't require GMing.

The negatives are that, without a GM, there's no one to resolve disputes or help ensure everyone is on the same page. It also requires some degree of drive and skill on the part of the players, both in terms of writing and creation of capabilities.

Anyway, just a thought, and of course it depends heavily on whether Impy can find out of such a game is even legally acceptable. And there are certainly other ways to approach a forum ES RP. I'd love to hear other ideas.
User avatar
Vavrek
Errant Scholar
Posts: 100
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 3:06 am

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Vavrek »

Sareth wrote:(For example, Fred has, I believe, posted exactly once in response to the MegaTokyo: the Clans game, and I believe that post was "You people scare me.")
And that was before people started posting in character. I think he's had other responses to the game, merely not online.


As for an Errant Story RP... I have to say, I kind of like the idea. I'm always hesitant about joining other RPs, because I tend to drop out fast from a lack of motivation or idea of purpose. I have a number of concerns with regards to an Errant Story RP and I think they all come from my headspace being very firmly rooted in the MegaTokyo: the Clans ideology and knowledge of how it came about. Since roughly everything is different in this circumstance, I'm not sure how much my concerns apply...

My concerns are mostly that Errant Story presents a very strong, cohesive story, which actually develops and goes places. This means there's more burden on the players to author the world, they have to carve their own stories out almost entirely. (This can likewise be quite freeing, as the world Poe has put together is quite detailed, and would allow for people to come up with a lot of stuff.) What's more of a concern to me is the idea of how quickly things in the game may be invalidated by events of the comic...

Bleh. I think I'm worrying over nothing. I'll wait and see who else expresses interest, and what Impy discovers about the legality of all this.
User avatar
Shteven
Forum Regular
Posts: 77
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:27 pm

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Shteven »

When she mentioned the legal issues I thought that was talking about making an RPG based on a well known universe, other than ES. Like hosting a D&D campaign or something. If it was ES themed, I would think the only permission we'd need would be impy/poe's. That said, I'm not too much of an RPG player myself, except for computer ones. I like the stat building/game mechanic side, watching my power grow. Not so much into forum ones, but don't let me stop anyone from having fun!
User avatar
Viking-Sensei
Evil Admin Overlord
Posts: 1193
Joined: August 14th, 2007, 12:18 pm
Twitter @: Kallisti_x
Location: Vikingopolis, USA
Contact:

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Viking-Sensei »

I am completely willing to participate in this. In addition, I'll throw my "extended" cast from FwF (Rokku, Locke, and Kureji) into the mix as characters we can impact, effect, torture, etc. Since their story predates ES by a good couple years and there's no documentable evidence as to where they went afterwards, their inclusion should be fairly easy.

Also, for some GM-without-an-actual-GM-ly Guidance, I might suggest we attempt to draft Weirdonian (AKA Russ) into service. He "GM"d a long-running (10+ years) free-form forum-based online role-playing game of which I am a long-standing member. It was a very rules-light-story-heavy game, which sounds about what you're looking for. The game more-or-less disbanded when the old forums... our fourth or fifth set... died. We tried moving it to Vikingspace, but the atrophy had already cost us most of the members... but you can see the remnants over at my ghost-town of a forum if you'd like.
How could a plan this awesome possibly fail?
Image
User avatar
DarkIntruder
Mage/Priest War Veteran
Posts: 433
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 8:29 am
Location: Frigid wastes of Southern Ontario

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by DarkIntruder »

I would be interested in an ES roleplay, though I probably have less experience at it then anyone else here. I think I've done, maybe, 3 forum roleplays total. All were somewhat amaturish attempts, all were historically based on various conflicts (Romans vs. Thracians 96AD, Warring Samurai Clans c.1675, Scots with French allies vs. English c.1400) and I died in all of them.

But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to try. I can write creatively when I actually try.
User avatar
Weirdonian
Team Captain
Posts: 62
Joined: August 19th, 2007, 7:17 pm
Location: Hubbardston, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Weirdonian »

You rang, Jim? :mrgreen:

I'm happy to pitch in if you all are.
User avatar
Vavrek
Errant Scholar
Posts: 100
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 3:06 am

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Vavrek »

Ah, Weirdonian, the guy with the avatar. (Seriously, man, that's a cool avatar.)

Well, I'm glad to see that there's other interested (and willing!) parties. I look forward to this actually getting off the ground, though I regret to say that I don't have the mental resources to do any kind of leading groundwork for the RP. What resources I do have, however, are at the disposal of whoever manages to grab me and put me in front of something that needs work. (It's... really not hard to do.)
BloodHenge
Mage/Priest War Veteran
Posts: 927
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 3:09 am
Contact:

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by BloodHenge »

I haven't really done much freeform RPing for quite a while (about ten years), so I'll probably sit back and watch for a while before joining (if I ever do join).
User avatar
Sareth
RPG All-Star
Posts: 2604
Joined: August 23rd, 2007, 8:54 pm

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Sareth »

Huh.

I was expecting at least one person to make an alternate suggestion. But it looks like what interest there is in this likes the sound of a freeform.

That being the case... How would this thing start? Would someone like to step forward to suggest a plot, take rough control initially to get things started?

Also, Impy, any word on if this is even reasonable, legally?
User avatar
Viking-Sensei
Evil Admin Overlord
Posts: 1193
Joined: August 14th, 2007, 12:18 pm
Twitter @: Kallisti_x
Location: Vikingopolis, USA
Contact:

Re: Errant Story Role Play?

Post by Viking-Sensei »

I think the biggest concern of legality would be that RPGers would be creating characters, writing stories and such based on Poe's works... which could have a couple possible ramifications. While those playing would be the creators of the characters and stories, the actual rights to use them would be in a quagmire - Poe wouldn't be able to use your characters or ideas without your permission, however you wouldn't be able to "export" any of them directly to use as your own without significantly changing names, locations, backstories, etc. sufficiently to disconnect them from their ES-rooted origins.

Also, the question comes up about what would happen if the ES RPG covered a plot with it's characters that was later echoed in Errant Story - would people get upset, claim that Poe stole their ideas, etc? We deal with this sort of question from time to time with speculation on the ES Board, but not to this degree, as there's a wide divide between "Ooooh, I bet he's going to do that next" and it happening and a three-month RPG campaign that is suddenly echoed in the comics. Not that Poe would do anything like that... of course... but if great minds (thinking of the same setting in the same world and all that) would happen to think alike, it could cause problems. We wouldn't want Poe to choose to not make a comic or follow a story arc he'd intended to do from the very beginning just because we already did a similar thing in the RPG, after all. That'd be harmful to the integrity of the story, and it wouldn't be fair to Poe.

So... my thinking is that with a little prodding from me, Impy will draft up some sort of Contracty-Goodness that I can throw in a special RPG-Forum-Rules section basically stating what rights you do and don't have, participating in a semi-sanctioned RPG being hosted by blah blah blah. (That's why Impy would write it up... I get about ten words into "legalese" and they all start becoming blah to me.) Then it's one of those "Before you play, you must consent that you've read the rules, etc" deals... then we can actually play.

Or, I may be wrong. (Awaits the hand of Impy to correct him)

In the meantime, while we're awaiting approval, I think we've basically decided on free-form, which I'm wholly in support of, and I'm generally in agreement with all the rules and guidelines lifted gingerly from Megatokyo. Do we want to establish any other limiters? Number of "avatar" characters each person can have, some sort of veto system (should one character go seriously off map and we need to stop them), a death/dying rule (what to do if a character snuffs it), a this-person-who-was-integral-to-the-plot-hasn't-been-online-in-two-weeks contingency... stuff like that.
How could a plan this awesome possibly fail?
Image
Post Reply