Hi there. Maybe you played the Badass Space Dragon forum game I setup and maybe not. There’s been a lot of interest in continuing it in some form or another so I thought we should start a new thread.
First, let’s get this out of the way, I officially release the galaxy of Charybdis and related game system stuffs into to the public domain. I played the helllll out of Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D and this is a tiny way of giving something back… even though it’s kind of derivative
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The Badass Space Dragon game allowed for a lot of world building and storytelling. The writing can be time consuming but it’s very creative and satisfying work for a storyteller and I want to keep that intact while eliminating the burden of copying data from a forum post into a spreadsheet and running scenarios. It will be much easier to GM with a true helper app in place of a hamfisted spreadsheet.
Helper-app or plug-in?
I think a plug-in to Discourse would be nice but it limits the game-play to Discourse and probably locks us into Ruby. On the other hand, a helper-app takes us away from the BBS and means a GM needs to do a bunch of copy/pasting. Trade-offs for both sides. If we can get support from the Discourse team and if people are generally happy with the state of the BBS, I’m leaning the direction of plug-in.
What does it do?
I think it makes the most sense to start with what we have and develop a GM helper for Badass Space Dragon but it would be incredibly cool if, down the road, it could become a more generic template for any personalized storytelling RPG. Werewolf Western!
The app/plug would track a player’s ship and captain stats, allow them to shop for repairs and upgrades and make selections of missions either right in the BBS or by using an easily parsed text format. The GM would have control over the story, items available to each ship and the mission setup. The system would run the scenarios and allow the GM to add comments or “flavor text” before publicly updating the results of a turn.
I felt like a two-day window worked best for turns because it allowed people in different time zones to get moves into the system. We probably wouldn’t want to restrict the frequency but I’d recommend creating something that works really well on a MWF, MTWThF or a Weekly schedule.
I had several types of missions and it would be fun to allow the GM to setup their own parameters. Combat missions, group combat missions, smuggling/commerce missions, stealth/hacking missions. Some missions had a bar to entry, like species or alignment.
Space isn’t just for dudes.
I don’t think my writing passed the Bechdel test on its own but thankfully there were some players who pushed it in the right direction. Whatever we create, I’d like to see it become a not-just-for-boys kind of game. I know it’s largely up to the GM and community to tell the story so maybe the best thing we can do is just leave gender and sexual orientation out of the stats and let the players develop their identities through their own writing.
I think it would work to have many different types of games using the same system I used. A GM could focus on resource/smuggling missions only and have a Catan type game with a set number of turns where money or GRIT are the stated objectives. Or a GM could have a PvP situation where the goal is to be the last ship alive. Or a GM could have a game where people are in different factions playing as teams… Coalition/Resistance… Gang A / Gang B.
Ok… that’s enough for my initial thoughts…
Let’s hear some of your ideas! We can get as pie in the sky as we want at this stage and then work to dial it back to something manageable and realistic.