Ah, for the days when a surprise polar bear was the biggest mystery


Robin Laws has some ponderings about the structure for a Lost-esque RPG.

Waaaay back in the mid-90s I tried running an X-Files inspired crazy forteana game. Each player brought their own angle on weirdness to the table and I desperately tried to weave them together and establish interconnections, all hung on the framework of a common NPC, at whose funeral all the PCs met, and a randomly chosen Nostradamus quatrain. It was too long ago for me to remember many of the specifics and the game fell apart over intra-party conflict issues after just a couple of sessions but dammit it would have worked. This is the sort of thing that’s always been my holy grail of gaming.

The basics are the foundation of any game I start – I have a very thin plot frame in mind when people make up their characters and background and much of the plot actually springs from the seeds and bangs they give me. But an entire game around that concept, along with some ability for the players to add depth and connections as they go, yeah, that’s really hitting my sweet spot. As I was reading Robin’s post my back leg started kicking, like when you scritch a dog’s belly.

Of  course if you wanted to preserve the mystery of Lost you’d have to stipulate that all characters have five dots in “Total Dick.” Otherwise they might, you know, actually TALK to each other and figure some of this stuff out at some point. And clearly, that would be madness.


One Response to “Ah, for the days when a surprise polar bear was the biggest mystery”

  1. Moth Says:

    “And clearly, that would be madness.”

    If you want to avoid the talking and figuring out:

    -Establish up front that all of the characters are supposed to work towards a goal that has different benefits to them depending on who they are, their motivations, and how the goal is achieved.

    -BUT that each one is a smooth talking conniving schemer who would lie through their teeth with a straight face with completely plausible explanations that appear to explain things but are complete fabrications meant to manipulate people so that the person reaps the maximum benefit when the goal is achieved.

    If you make a key point that the team is a bunch of Joe Izuzus that has to work together, using truth and lies with equal versitility, then even if it explains everything they would still distrust the truth in front of them.

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