Now unlike the ECR system I built for NFQ which was a more old style menu system complete with random corruptions and purposeful slow down this was supposed to be a more up to date web based system, we wanted multiple people to be able to use it and for information to be able to be added by the Refs in the run up to the event, so what we wanted was a pretty regular CMS, it was for a small fictional organisation of like 200 people and it needed to be able to support multiple accounts, various storage of text locked to groups and accounts, and also displaying video and calendaring. (TODO: I’ll hopefully post a few screenshots of the final thing and edit them into this post later) Continue reading
Okay so Room13 had me (often via the medium of my infamously sweary alterego that I created for British Haunts who’s lived on) onboard for another event, in this case Secure Facility Seven and unlike previous events I wasn’t Reffing this one, just being a crew runner on the day and making a single big prop (or kinda facilitating it) of a computer system for the players to interact with as an intranet for the underground bunker they found themselves in. I’ve broken up my writing about this into several shorter more manageable posts:
- The Intranet CMS: Underlying everything was the base intranet site that gave them useful information
- Central Control Room: The control room had a panel counting down to the end of the game and displaying various bits of information (who was trying to open the door for one)
- Door Control: A small handful of pages that integrated with the CMS and control room to grant access to the doors in-character by needing two correct codes entered within a time frame.
- The Hacking System: Which allowed a character with the right skill to break into accounts and get their passwords, simulated here by some technobabble and sudoku :) It was designed to be an alternative method to guessing passwords from clues in the environment and also to spur on roleplaying by use of looking kinda stereotypical.
- What Did We Learn: A short post about 5 useful things I think I learnt from helping make this system and seeing how the players interacted with it on the day.
For anyone who’s interested the relevant bits of little twiddly code is up here, some of it is extremely rough (I’m not even kidding, a lot of this is first draft good enough on the day kind of code) but built with a purpose: secure-facility-7-code.tar.bz2
Also I can’t recommend hosting your own stuff enough if you’ve the skills, the ability to have raw access to files and databases,as well as do tricks like bulk email redirects for setting up accounts for NPCs is invaluable.
Feed back and questions are as ever welcome :)
Yeah so basically I was expecting to be writing more about things I’d been preparing for the upcoming Room 13 game Secure Facility Seven at the minute but … yeah, well due to the epic weather that descended upon Lancaster that kind of fell by the wayside.
It was probably an interesting time to use the phrase. The centre of town took water levels pretty high, and a lot of Cumbria got pretty badly devastated, a lot of us were without power for a while, and even the phone network was down for parts of it, but it was heartening to see locals pulling together to check in on each other and keep supplies and news flowing by landline, by snatches of internet, by biking, driving, and walking to each others houses to hang out and chat.
So there were two awesome roleplaying games being run this weekend, one of which I was near enough to hear: WIIIITTTTNEEEESSS – the game of theological debate in the form of Mad Max, which was run by Weasel and seemed to feature epic quantities of post apocalyptic death cults.
The other was Mish’s JDT game featuring post rapture animal care charity workers, I wasn’t so close to this one but me and Lee heard it going on, because we were curled up in chairs reading when suddenly there was wolf howling coming out of the room :)
So today I was talking to Weasel about an idea he has for running a game, its taking what he considers the essential ideas and mechanics behind a system (in this case Unknown Armies), distilling them out, and fitting them to a new system and new background to shake new life into the old ideas.
It sounds kind of interesting, but got me thinking about things. Like for example what is the original concepts and drives and flavours behind stuff like R. Talsorians Cyberpunk 2020 (dystopia, what is humanity with tech , style before substance – maybe something else but these seem core) and what is the setting (Urban) and who are the factions that really matter (corps, edgerunners, – I kind of want to say criminals perhaps? Or futurist-techno-types? I always liked putting in the downtrodden and oppressed as contrast, but they’re not really core they’re flavour and background). So ask yourself, if you wanted to start with a clean sheet and run a game based on those flavours, that setting, those factions would it matter that none of it was in Night City? Would it matter that no one mentioned the Blood Razors? That Arasaka weren’t there?
I doubt it, it may be fun to try and shake it up and see what comes out.
So I was rambling recently to Jazz about politics and was talking about my politics (lefty socialist with anarchist tendencies) and then I sort of drifted sideways into talking about organising LARPs and actually they kind of tick my boxes in politics.
No really let me explain. I totally love running LARPs because it involves organising into a group voluntarily, you maybe have a hierarchy within the group but its volunteered and agreed. You delegate jobs out to people that they agree too, you can leave the group at any time that your sense of honour dictates you can (or should).
And you come together to create a work of art, an event, a thing that influences and gives people feelings, then you shake hands, part ways – perhaps to work together later, but perhaps not.
Okay, so I wrote a brief summary and waffle about the oneshot I was running, but I thought I’d write more about atmosphere. I was going for a very specific atmosphere in that game and I think I nailed it with the aid of a few cheap tricks. Continue reading