Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reincarnated PCs

I’ve only just now watched the latest Star Trek movie and it set some gears in motion (I haven’t been to a movie theater in six years!)… I’ve some mixed feelings about it, but it helped re-kindle the idea of running a game of classic Traveller for only one or two players.

In most RPGs I've played, when someone’s character dies, they’re pretty much born back into the game in the same time and space as their last character, or close to it. With only one or two players in a classic sci-fi setting though, the chance that they’ll die in a fantastic inter-planetary mishap or space-battle TPK is fairly high, in addition to the typical high mortality rate of an old school game. I’d like to try to run a campaign where the players experience the advance of history intuitively but directly through the advance of technology. So if they die, their next character won’t be born until their previous one might have lived out the potentially long life they would have had, this span being determined randomly by dice. When they “come back” the campaign world will have advanced slightly. They’ll be on their toes a bit more, not wanting to make assumptions about the current state of technology or extraterrestrial relations, and curious about the new options this state of affairs affords them and the impact, if any, that their previous lives might have had. I’d love to be able to guide the player(s) through a future history where their own planet first achieved interplanetary travel, had their first interplanetary war, and came to grips with the fact that various extraterrestrial species might have genetically interfered with their species evolution.

Taking a longer view of things, this might also mean that a player wouldn’t mind his character’s death so much. Campaign development would be more interesting and dynamic for everyone.

This was my first music purchase, the 45rpm b-side to "Whip It".


Loquacious said...

What on earth is it with frackin' gamer dudes and Devo? Arg?! It's bad enough I have the biggest Freak of Ohio in my home, now it's on the webbernetz too? Hack.

I'd be interested to see how that would pan out. What would happen to the other PCs in the interim? Would play continue on and the dead player sit by until the GM decides 'enough time' has passed to sufficiently make a new character feasible? Just trying to wrap my head around it.

ze bulette said...

Yeah, Christian got me thinking about DEVO. I think they're coming out with a new album.

To answer your question, I'd only want do this in a game with only one or two players, and with two players I'd only use it in the event of a TPK.

christian said...

Give the past the slip and stand tall before the ninnies and twits!

Loquacious said...

ze: They just DID a new album (we have it, and it's been played no less than 4698 times). I honestly cannot tolerate it-it's everything I hate about Devo, cranked to eleventy.

A 2 person game makes way more sense.

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