Friday, July 24, 2009

The foundations are planted

Far more quickly than I expected, Steampunk Academy has a website. Please feel free to log on and look around; you can use the username guest and blank password. There's not much there yet at all, but I'm getting there, piece by piece. We're not quite to the point of accepting applications yet, so please don't submit one unless you'd like to help build the site; hopefully sometime during the weekend I'll have something a little more presentable. In the meantime, any advice or feedback on the site design is appreciated.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about some different approaches to character ownership. In a GM-less game (which this will be, by the way), the usual idea of NPCs doesn't really make sense -- if everyone's a player, every character is a player character. In other words, someone has to fill even the bit parts, so why not share the love? In the forum environment, it's particularly easy for one person to play multiple characters, since almost nothing is in realtime. So, this seems like a great opportunity to try giving everyone (or at least everyone who wants them) multiple roles.

I've been thinking of a sort of character auction system; when a new character comes up (someone's advisor, a rival club, the villain's flunky, a hall monitor), either the person who introduced the character can claim it, or it can be put up for grabs. Of course, we'd need some guidelines to prevent overloading and obvious conflicts of interest (you have first dibs on your family members, but not your mortal enemies), but in general I think it could be a lot of fun. Anyway, we'll see how it plays out; the odds that I'll have forgotten about this by next week are rapidly dropping. Stay tuned, and I hope to see you on campus soon!


  1. Looks fun!

    Here's the first thing that popped into my head about NPCs - instead of each being under the control of one player, NPCs become props in a scene that can be used by players.

    Basically, players have a resource they can spend to make an NPC do something (aside from what they might obviously or naturally do, such as a teacher lecturing during class).

    Unless I'm still missing something about what rules-light means...

  2. Heh. Yeah, I haven't quite decided yet whether I really mean "rules-light" or "rules-free". That's an interesting idea, though. The only quibble is how you decide whether or not an NPC would obviously do something. I mean, if the NPC is your best friend, do you need to spend a point to get him to guard you with his life? Still, there might be a happy medium between the two.

  3. Hehe.... I'm in! probably. I miss you.. when are you coming home?