Was fun to try running through Badass Space trying to take (mostly) nonviolent missions. Ideally that meant shipping or escorting, but I had to be flexible in my morals to include non-attack missions, excepting in the final round.
-tip to @daneel for advising me to engage zero drones when I thought I had to shoot at something.
Hey guys, I know it’s been a while, but tonight I started re-reading the old Badass Dragons of the Wasteland threads. For some reason, I started with the Round Three Thread, and I gotta say, it was a hoot and a half reliving those crazy days of our mutually misspent youths, and I read for three hours straight before I looked up and realized my back was killing me and that we really, really, REALLY need to start up another of these things.
Did we ever get an answer to this query? That was the single element of BDW that I think we got most right. It was a shit-ton of work, but even if it only resulted in a few minutes’ amusement for the players, it was a lot of fun to make all the puzzles and maps and things.
I have the enthusiasm to run another of these games (having learned many valuable, if occasionally hard, lessons last time), but I am unsure if I can handle the time commitment just yet. My wife and I just bought a slightly bigger house, and we’re nearly done moving into it, but I also gotta find a new job post haste, so… who knows? Anyway, I miss playing Badass with all you other badasses. Anyone wanna gin up a game?
For that matter, anyone got any clever ideas how to gin up a Badass game that is even lighter and nimbler to run than @patrace’s games have been? His look like sleek marvels of minimalist elegance and efficiency compared to my own raw tonnage of fictive verbosity, but I know his games are no easier a time commitment for him than BDW was for me and @penguinchris and @JonasEggeater.
Whaddaya think? Can we discuss further how to optimize the Badassery?
I think that would work. I didn’t delve (ahem) too deep but it looks like it’s so flexible it could be set up to keep track of everything, taking away the hard work, but we’d still be telling the story here in text rather than on that platform. The game master would still keep track and post stuff here, and all of the narrative takes place here, but all the actual work is done on that platform.
It would have been perfect for Delvers, which I’m still hoping will pick up again…
Yeah, I checked it out when @gwwar recommended it, and it certainly looks like it would handle all the stats and rolls and such, but since I’m such a n00b to RPGs of that sort, I’d have no idea which template to use as a starting point, or whether it might just be advantageous to build the whole thing from scratch. I wonder if @patrace had any specific pre-existing game template in mind for BSD1, since what we used for BDW was just a modification of that. When I look at all the templates they have, with all the character sheets and attributes and stats and such, it kinda makes my eyes glaze over and my head spin. I’m reminded of why I desperately needed Chris and Jonas to help with that stuff!
Heh, just had a closer look and yeah, it’s a bit dense. It is unclear how you define how the game actually works once you create it. Since we don’t need anywhere near that much complexity, it seems like maybe it’d be nearly as much work to wrangle that as just creating a simpler solution from scratch - in theory, anyway. You would have to be a reasonably knowledgable developer Developing a moderately complex web app like this is something I would like to learn, but it’d probably take me months and then not be that great. Gotta start somewhere I suppose.
edit: The thing is that what we need is not actually that complex… it only was complex for us because we were running everything manually out of our spreadsheet, doing almost everything that computers are supposed to make easy for us ourselves because a spreadsheet is not the proper tool.
As a lifelong RPGer and a late addition to the happy mutant door game club, I’ll say that BSD2 brought an outsized amount of joy to early 2015 for me personally. The fundamental gating mechanisms seemed straightforward in retrospect, but the spit and polish added by the players made it something so much more than that. Having missed the BDW era (sadly!), I can’t speak to the best elements of those games. What I felt worked really well with the BSD2 universe of @patrace was:
well defined and enforced turn deadlines, along with communication as to if/when they changed
a clear set of mechanics, which allowed for each player to take risks and explore their own personal play style (mostly)
what felt like a clear narrative arc that was influenced but not necessarily driven by player interaction
Like @penguinchris , I’m also hoping Delvers makes a return. Failing that, I’m eagerly anticipating the next iteration of Badass Mumbles of the Mumble, whatever it looks like.
I just found (rediscovered) the actual GM Toolkit Development thread where some progess was being made, particularly in the last dozen posts or so. I wonder if we could see if @gwwar and @awjt (is he still around? That old thread has him identified by some @anon34812172 ID for some reason) and @bizmail_public and @Felipe_Budinich maybe want to help us get back into figuring out a Discourse plug-in again. Discbot sure has proved handy (thanks once again to @gwwar!), and it seems to me (a guy who knows pretty much nothing at all about coding) that @awjt had zeroed in on an excellent way forward right here:
Hear, hear. I found through experience that players lose enthusiasm (and the game subsequently loses players) when they have to sit around too long, wondering what’s holding things up. My logorrhea makes for delays simply because I paint myself into a corner of wanting to tell a great story, and I get bogged down in an overwhelming mass of details. I like to think that my world-building generates vividness, but really it just results in walls of text and an overly-engineered narrative that (in BDW, at least) ran too much on rails. And it slowed us down, too. Pat’s approach is much more elegant, and not nearly so hard on the casual players who don’t have the time or inclination to wade through some GM’s third-rate genre novella each week just to see if his character survived or not.
That’s another priority. I kept fiddling with the mechanics, sometimes clinging to certain ones that I thought made the game have more dramatic tension, but most of the players just found tedious.
One thing that I’m curious about is the best approach to inter-player interaction. The BSD games were mostly PvE games, with a certain amount of cooperation allowed (and encouraged) on some engagements. Anything that strayed into PvP territory was rare, and not well-received (I am reminded of what happened with Jason W and the Bad Penny).
Should PvP play always be discouraged in this venue? I had kinda wanted to encourage some competition between players in BDW, and I’d thought it might go over okay since I had removed the factor of permadeath by allowing “killed” players to continue in new cars with start-over stats… but the BDW players really didn’t want to compete with each other, and always preferred to cooperate. I made repair parts scarce, so they pooled resources rather than undercut each other. I thought a healthy dose of paranoia and uneasy alliances would make the game more fun, but the players didn’t think so. Was I wrong altogether, or was that just the attitudinal makeup of that particular group of players? And if the latter, would that generally be the attitude among players in this BBS?
If you think about the classic D&D style game (which I don’t think either of us have actually played), the players don’t compete - they don’t necessarily have to work together all the time, but it helps. This is actually a TV show cliche!
I don’t know how we missed that, but, it seems like everyone else figured out long ago that players don’t like to fight each other in this type of game
I think having one of our NPCs secretly working with the enemy was great, and a reasonable solution to adding conflict without alienating players.
I personally enjoyed the hell out of all of the games, and really appreciated the work you guys put into BDW and all the games, but what I think I really liked about @patrace’s games was that they demanded so little as a base effort. Pick repairs, pick a mission, go.
All the other stuff was awesome but you didn’t need to do it. People could pick their level of involvement. I liked the idea of Delvers, but it seemed we needed to do a lot of cooperating, repeated rolling etc. The base level of involvement was high. Maybe not if you were sitting around a table of an evening, but on here…?
PvP? Needs buy-in from everyone. Did you see this?
I want people to play heels. We sort of need that. But we’re a bunch of Marxists who want to play nice. Incompetent banking aside. And I quit BDW for a bit because I thought it was getting personal, so maybe I don’t want people to play heels really…
I’ve actually played one single brief-ish campaign of D&D, about 15 years ago, but it honestly never occurred to me that there actually wasn’t any PvP. Of course you’re right, but somehow I never realized it. Somehow I always thought there might be the potential for… well, not just betrayals and such (I’m sure that does happen from time to time), but out-and-out PvP combat, even between friends. It is, after all, only a game, and certainly best pals can duke it out in any number of FPS and fighting games with no harm done to the friendship.
Personally, I’d love to play an iteration of Badass that allowed for PvP when the circumstances were right, but of course any such version of Badass would have to make explicitly clear upfront that such a thing would be allowed, if indeed most people are used to collaborative RPGs rather than competitive ones.
That certainly made the whole thing painless to play. What fluff content Pat did inject was always hugely entertaining, but as a player you didn’t have to invest more than five or ten minutes a day to play well, though you could blow hours at a time making goofy MSPaint illustrations and typing up outrageous rants about cloacas if you really wanted to.
I myself lean toward a preference for meaty content, rather than simplicity, but that probably makes me a better player than game designer.
But you’re right: everyone needs to be on-board if PvP is to be included.
I did not. Now that I’ve read it, my first thought is that some editor needs to take a whack at it, since it takes about four times as many words as it needs to say what it has to say. And that’s coming from me, of all people.
But it does reinforce the point. Still and all, there is a market for PvP. I guess it makes sense that most of those games (like Halo and Destiny and such) don’t have anything like permadeath, since it’s a pain to lose something that you’ve invested lots of time and effort in creating.
But remember that Dark Zone section of The Division that @codinghorror mentioned? That’s exactly the vibe I was hoping people would embrace in the darker rounds of BDW. Too bad nobody was into it. I certainly would have indulged my dark side there. I have zero interest in The Division as it’s been described to me, but that Dark Zone bit sounds intriguing, if translated into the context of a more interesting genre.
I wonder if we can increase interest in such a thing for people like you (and me, honestly) with a two-pronged approach: a substantial lowering of the stakes by making the consequences of death and defeat relatively trivial to overcome so the vanquished can easily respawn into the game to begin plotting revenge; and also by more heavily advertising the potential for such shenanigans to be part of the fun?
I wonder. I think we beat up on him a bit too much last time. A couple of moments in the game got a trifle querulous. I surely hope he’ll do another one, but it wouldn’t shock me if it felt like a bit more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve walked a couple of yards in his shoes before, and yet even I have been known to complain about the free ice cream before.
Between you, me, and the lamppost, though… even though I’d never expect or ask anyone to follow suit, I personally would PayPal the guy $50 to run another BSD for a couple of weeks. It’s that much fun, and so worth it!
I didn’t mean to suggest that the BSDs didn’t take a lot of effort, just that I liked that people could put a few minutes in and stay involved, although they could also spend hours digging around in it - heavens knows I put a lot of time in on those games. I love having lots of people in the game.
One thing I really liked in the first one (admittedly, maybe it helped that I ended up on what seemed to be the the ‘better’ side of it) was when we were split into two groups, and offered differing mission/repair/upgrade experiences. I really liked the asymmetry of it - and it led to PvP in a way that worked and was late enough that nobody lost out. Also like the vehicle class thing in BDW - stuff that gives people a different experience and rewards a few different ways of playing.
Especially during BSD 1 I expected some betrayal from somewhere, but then it just didn’t happen.
The Elite article isn’t really that relevant, just I’d read it yesterday and it was about PvP so it was in my head. Not owning a PC, I’ve never played E:D, but I’ve read a fair bit about it and watched some videoes and the main complaint seems to be around the flatness and inability of players to meaningfully affect the game. I think that sort of game probably benefits from PvP - isn’t the danger part of the fun if you’re living out Han Solo-esque adventures? (sounds like it needs a player driven economy too - the Badass games seem to have ended up with those lot ) That said, griefers who go out of their way to ruin the games of people specifically trying to avoid that are just arseholes.
Maybe we should try a game of Subterfuge or Neptune’s Pride?
(although those sound like they can end up quite stressful)
You know that now you’ve revived this thread we’re going to have to start a new game soon.