[personal profile] singerinthedark
I have this FABulous idea for an RPG game integrating the Wod 2.0 Mortals system and the rules for "A Penny for My Thoughts." The players are amnesiacs who wake up in a mental asylum. On day one of gameplay the players are given a basic , nearly blank WoD character sheet. Players will have a few dots to spend to start on basic stats, but since they don't remember anything, these will be very, very basic characters. Characters spend the first evening of game in "therapy," which will be pure "A Penny for My Thoughts" to get them started. After that, the characters will spend games alternating between group therapy (the Penny system) to remember who they are, and exploring the asylum, its inmates, and its secrets. Or perceived secrets. Who knows what psychoses the characters have? Perhaps they are just regaining memories in waking dreams by projecting them onto their situation. Perhaps not.

Players are awarded dots to spend in appropriate skills and stats, rather than experience, as they remember who they are. This simulates the rapid regaining of skills and basic knowledge about themselves at first (since they are starting at ground zero). Once the campaign has gone significantly forward, i.e. they have reached just beyond a beginning hero's stats, we'll switch to an experience points system. This simulates the slowdown of knowledge gain as they reach the limits of what they have already learned (even if they couldn't access it) and start having to learn new things.

The whole idea is that the players start out knowing as little about their characters as their characters do. I think that with the right group of players, this could add a creepy, but all together wonderful dimension to gameplay, rather than just having them as fully-formed inmates of the asylum.

So, to all my GMs and gamers out there: What do you think? Any thoughts, tips, ideas? Any potential playtesters before I unleash this monster on a gaming group?

Anyone? Bueller?

Date: 2009-07-24 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyahdan.livejournal.com
a. That sounds awesome and fun.

b. damn, wish you lived closer

c. For playtesting, I could likely make it out if it's a night I'm free.

d. Wondering if a short version could work for a convention game.

e. I think I really need to pick up Penny..

Date: 2009-07-24 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
b. Wish I did, too, sometimes. I miss hanging out and gaming with you. We need to make that happen some weekend.

c. Sweet! Heck, I'd take the playtest out to Davis/Sac if most of the testers are out there and someone were willing to host. I'll let you know once I've got this fleshed out a bit more.

d. Been kicking that around, too. Since a game of "Penny" lasts about 3 hours with four players, I've been brooding over ways to streamline, shorten, or even break up the sessons of "Penny" to allow for in-character time where the players can explore the world outside of storytelling.

e. I have totally fallen in love with this game. Just by itself it makes a wonderful evening.

Date: 2009-07-24 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyahdan.livejournal.com
b. Yesh. Let's get into that after I'm back from GenCon

c. I'd be willing to host if that's the case. Note that I'm not in town for a chunk of August though.

d. With a 6 or 8 hour game, I could see that working then.

And just generally...glee!

Date: 2009-07-24 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brazenleo.livejournal.com
You should consider unlocking this particular entry so that others can read it. If you do I can point a bunch of my bay area gamer friends your way. If you feel like doing that let me know.

Date: 2009-07-24 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
Thanks! That sounds good. The post is unlocked.

Date: 2009-07-24 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brazenleo.livejournal.com
This is a kick ass idea for a game. You really need to do it.

Date: 2009-07-24 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] barnabas-truman.livejournal.com
I know nothing about Penny or new WoD, but the core concept sounds awesome and I'd love to give it a try. I've long liked the idea of an RPG where the PC(s) have amnesia and don't know their own character sheet. I once ran a single-player game with my cousin in which she started out waking up, sans any memories or possessions, by the side of the highway in the desert outside of Flagstaff, AZ. Five minutes later the Men in Black showed up, hauled her off to a secret base, and attempted unsuccessfully to interrogate her. The hidden backstory was that she was a secret agent who had, just before the game began, dosed herself with amnesia serum because she knew the MiB were catching up and didn't want them to get any information out of her. After she escaped it was fun watching her follow the trail of clues her past self had left her.

Also, I found a copy of an updated edition of the Baron Munchausen game!

Date: 2009-07-24 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
Oooh! I love Baron... It's such a fun game.

Date: 2009-07-24 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unkyrich.livejournal.com
Allow me to introduce myself . . . (crap, now I have to change to one of my devil icons. Hang on. brb.)

(Okay, back.)

I'm one of the Bay Area gamers that [livejournal.com profile] brazenleo mentioned. While I haven't played Penny yet, I've been thinking of a very similar idea.

This idea sounds very awesome (and different from the idea I had) and I would LOVE to play in it. And help you get it going, if you would like.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head (if you don't mind, otherwise feel free to skip the next few things):

* Do you have the World of Darkness: Asylum book? It might help flesh out the setting.

* Would there be plans for the characters to eventually get out of the asylum?

* You may want to award a lesser amount of XP during the "regaining your memories" time to reflect that even an amnesiac can learn new things.

* Would there be safeguards or rules in place to prevent someone from learning (for example) "You're a serial killer who preyed upon children and their puppies" if the player had no interest in going that direction? (I have no idea how Penny works, but it sounded like this could be dumped on someone. If not, completely ignore this part.)

Anyway, just reading this post made me think "Oh, yeah!" And now I want to hear more. So I would count that as a good idea.

Date: 2009-07-25 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] battymaiden.livejournal.com
*I've looked at the Asylum book. It's part of what got me thinking about this campaign. I'm not sure if I'm going to pick it up yet. I'm going to do a little research on real institutions on my own and then decide from there.

*There is always an option for the characters to get out into the "real" world if they so choose. I never limit my players in terms of what they want to explore. This has made me very good at making stuff up on the spot if they get somewhere I hadn't thought to work out.

*Fabulous idea for XP growth... I'm filing that one in my brain for further consideration.

*I'm working on safeguards right now as part of meshing these two systems together. One idea I have is that, instead of the player always having to answer "Yes, and" when they get a suggestion from another player, letting them spend a penny to say "No, but." This makes the rules a little more like Baron Munchausen, but gives the players more freedom to keep their characters something they would be willing to play and explore. Spending a penny means they don't get as fleshed out a story/memory from the session, but if someone is being a douche and trying to make a serial killer out of someone, it would be worth having the control.

I think the key thing here is going to be getting people together who want to tell good stories as a group, not people who want to tell good stories at the expense of other players. But yeah, definitely working on safeguards.

OooOOH! Any yey! that you're interested in being a player. It'll be at least until Sept. before I a)have an idea what my fall schedule is for the year (I'm a teacher) and b)have fleshed out and tested this idea enough to be comfortable running for a group. (I do a lot of world-building. I want to have the asylum and surrounding areas fleshed out a lot before the game even starts.)

So yeah, stay tuned and keep in touch. You can contact me at my LJ name at hotmail dot com.

Date: 2009-07-25 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unkyrich.livejournal.com
I will definitely stay tuned. And my offer of any assistance you need (down to even capturing people and forcing them to play - - - okay, maybe not that - - - yet - - -) stands.




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