Chaosmeister
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 01:00

The Assembly

Wed 11 Feb 2015, 13:28

I Finsihed the book now, and wow, the best setting tied RPG with a laser focus. Teh Mechancis really support the setting, nothings seems to be there "Just cause". One thing I am unclear or unsure about though is the "meta" gaming of the arc projects. The players characters themselves are not the ones participating in the assembly. But who actually is part of the assembly? The Bosses? The Elder? Who has a say?

I am also toying with the idea of having "alternate" Characters for the assembly so it actually is also a roleplaying exercise. Maybe even have the players play competing bosses that link back to their main characters goals and backstory. But that might make it too antagonisitc. What do you guys think, how does it work in practice at your table?
 
User avatar
Peter
Posts: 581
Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 14:52

Re: The Assembly

Wed 11 Feb 2015, 15:40

I think its left intentionally vague. Is it everyone on the Ark (quite doable with such a small polity), the Bosses, the Bosses and Chroniclers?

There are a nbr of Projects that may introduce different government systems in the Ark. This should determine the composition of the Assembly - maybe it's just the one Big Boss and his advisors if an authoritarian regime is put in place?

Playing out the assembly meetings sounds like an excellent idea - why not? The Free League's previous big game, Svavelvinter, has a similar meta mechanic where each player controlls not only a pc but also the leader of a political faction - a Shadow Power. You could even develop something similar if you wish the political struggles in the ark to have a more direct impact on the exploration game.
Check out my BoL heroic migration period hack - Barbarians of the Dark Ages
Kolla mitt ny-klassika BRP-derivat - Monster och Människor
 
User avatar
Tomas
Site Admin
Posts: 4521
Joined: Fri 08 Apr 2011, 11:31

Re: The Assembly

Wed 11 Feb 2015, 18:15

Good suggestions.

The Assembly question is something that comes up quite often. It can be handled in many different ways.

The intent when writing the game was that the Assembly is not to be seen as an actual in-game event at all. We saw it as a completely meta event - the players step out of their characters for a while and make decisions for the entire People - in essence, the players can express what they think would be an interesting development for the Ark. Starting a Project doesn't require any official signoff or joint decison by the People (unless such Collective rule has been implemented, perhaps) - the Assembly is purely on the meta level. Who actually starts a Project in-game is up to the GM - it will most often be some Boss.

Again, this is purely how the Assembly was envisioned when writing the game. I certainly see many ways to turn it into an actual in-game event. So please do keep this thread rolling! :)
Fria Ligan
 
Chaosmeister
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 01:00

Re: The Assembly

Tue 17 Feb 2015, 16:12

Hello and thank you for your thoughts. Interesting, in the german translation the "Assembly" sounds like something really happening in game. I am not sure I would be comfortable to have it totally Meta. But I can see how playing out an assembly might be fun, but take an hour or more out of the game time. And that is always at a premium anyways.
 
User avatar
SCalvin
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue 03 Feb 2015, 19:06

Re: The Assembly

Mon 21 Dec 2015, 14:39

In-game, it could be any number of ways.

-A group of mutants just decide to start up this new thing. "We could distill this stuff into alcohol, large-scale. Let's build it and profit!" This interest group is the core of the project, with others adding to it. Either turning into a public service or a private enterprise.
-The Elder actually rouses to guide them in this. The project is built by the Ark, for the benefit of the Ark.
-One or more bosses decree the project. That gang works on it, and starts drafting other's labour as well. The project then runs as an extension of that gang. A boss decides to set up this high tower, or be the one to finally organise a market in her territory.
-There is an actual assembly. Enough mutants cry out for a need, and enough people decide that we need this thing right now. "Last night they came... And they will come again! Pallisade!"
-The "project" isn't a physical structure, but an idea. The different Ark civics for example. The right people have the right ideas at the right time. Or a concept, like the idea of shooting those rad-rats and eating.
 
Askold
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:57

Re: The Assembly

Wed 06 Jan 2016, 14:34

I think there is potential for actually roleplaying the assembly. Depending on the group, particularly if you get one that is a bit more on the passive side, you can use it to give them ideas on where to go next.

Besides, you can use the assembly to show the players the mood in the Ark, for example, are people arguing over the projects, are there only a few (or just one) bosses pulling the strings in the Ark. Particularly the first signs of incoming fighting between the bosses could probably be seen during the Assembly.
 
User avatar
SCalvin
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue 03 Feb 2015, 19:06

Re: The Assembly

Fri 08 Jan 2016, 04:12

The project is something to roleplay, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an actual assembly leading up to them.
 
User avatar
Cole Harris
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 14 Jan 2016, 04:32
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Contact:

Re: The Assembly

Thu 14 Jan 2016, 05:48

I've been running a group since August. Our first session we played out the Assembly as a high-level meta game as per the book's initial concept. However, this proved to be an exercise in mechanics (players picked projects based on their skills), was rather boring in so much as there was no role playing, provided little to the actual game, and never made sense as to how 'low level' PCs were running the show. It lacked conflict!

Leaving that session I realized a change was needed. I have a large group (7 players) and developed 8 NPCs -- The Elder (I play) and 7 leaders (4 Bosses, 2 Chroniclers, and 1 Slave*). Each leader came from the initial PC character / Ark development so had relevance to the players decisions. I fleshed each out further with a short Bio (no Stats) and let the Players decide which they wanted to play at the new Assembly. I also created a set of goals each NPC had for Player to complete, where the PC got +1 XP per goal completed. The Slave leader was special 'wild-card' as he only voted when breaking ties and 'usually' did so for the owning Boss (also a leader) - his Player's goals are often centered around either gaining freedom (via a vote) or setting up votes that ultimately sewed chaos.

Each time the Assembly comes together I hand out a set of new goals for each NPC leader (~2-3 each) that are invariably opposing the other NPC goals, and then... let the Players go. The Assembly has turned into a 'Game of Thrones' style event where alliances come and go. For example, the session where the PC's decided to send out an expedition for the first time, three of the leaders had their own separate goal of having a different PC leading the expedition -- only one Player could score the +1 XP and so created some of the fiercest ('best') role playing seen as each jockeyed with the other four players for the votes needed...

The change is awesome!!! Basically the players get two separate but connected role playing events in one night (we play ~4-5 hrs in total and I try to keep the Assembly running no longer than 30-45 min of that time).

Also, I think having a chance for players to complete directly opposing each other with (almost) throw-away characters, ultimately brings the group together when role playing the PC group as the group dynamics are really tight and friendly.

Mind you, it is a fair amount of extra work for me to prep each session, but in doing so I get the chance to craft a wonderful story with 14 remember-able & fleshed out characters (7 NPC + 7 PC).

... now to plan the Elder's death and the power-struggle that ensues!

Note: each leader is stat-less - which was intentional so as to allow the Player to play the NPC they way they wanted. After each Assembly, when the Players role for the various projects they still use their respective PC skills since they would be the actual workers...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest