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What do you think of a living universe?

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  • What do you think of a living universe?

    I have been a long time roleplayer, but I was turned onto SWADE when I started working for the publisher that makes Suzerain. I wanted to get some honest feedback on this concept, and of course the community feels like the right place to turn. We are working on fleshing out something called the Legends Awaken Initiative. Essentially, your actions have an effect on not just your playgroup, but playgroups around the world, and can even change the landscape of the setting by changing our cannon lore.

    What do you guys think of something like that? Are there any other settings that you know of that do something like this? How often would updates need to come out to you to make something like this feel alive?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sirfuzz View Post
    Essentially, your actions have an effect on not just your playgroup, but playgroups around the world, and can even change the landscape of the setting by changing our cannon lore.

    What do you guys think of something like that? Are there any other settings that you know of that do something like this? How often would updates need to come out to you to make something like this feel alive?
    I'll just leave this here....

    About the Savage Rifts® Setting

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    • #3
      West End Games tried something similar with TORG back in the '90s. It failed pretty quickly.

      It has also been tried numerous times in miniature gaming. One notable attempt was with WizKid's Mechwarrior organized play series. While it didn't actually fail, nobody really cared about the storyline.

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      • Sirfuzz
        Sirfuzz commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you think if it was impactful enough of a story line that something like that could work?

      • mikeZekim
        mikeZekim commented
        Editing a comment
        A living universe is one of the concepts that everyone thinks is really cool, wants to read about, but will never participate in.

        It is like a metaplot expect that the PCs actions might be inexplicably negated at a random time in the future (when the next update is published).

        For example, an adventure calls for the group to save the king's life. Most groups fail and the king dies. The in game cannon is changed to "the king died in year 1234" in the next setting book.

        But, what about the groups that saved the king and earned his favor? Suddenly, the king is dead despite their succeeding in saving him.

      • paladin2019
        paladin2019 commented
        Editing a comment
        The thing is, going into a living campaign, like WizBro's Living City or the current Adventurers League, you understand and accept what mikeZekim and I talk about. However, those campaigns DON"T impact the base setting of the game. The Time of Troubles/Godswar does. The Spellplague does. And on and on. If you want to have a module series that builds on assumptions of outcomes, that's your prerogative, but it WILL invalidate your players' own experiences and achievements in your setting.

    • #4
      The only game I can think of where this was very successful was L5R, and it was done in a very specific way. The Card Game influenced the storyline, with tournament winners choosing who ascended to the throne, for example, then the RPG made adventures and modules taking these elements into account.

      As far as I'm aware, the RPG players never had any input in any major story decision.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by dentris View Post
        The only game I can think of where this was very successful was L5R, and it was done in a very specific way. The Card Game influenced the storyline, with tournament winners choosing who ascended to the throne, for example, then the RPG made adventures and modules taking these elements into account.
        That's not the definition of successful....

        Originally posted by dentris View Post
        As far as I'm aware, the RPG players never had any input in any major story decision.
        Yep, the RPG was basically an afterthought. If you only play the RPG you are not contributing to the continual revenue stream and so are not the company's target. A defensible business decision and it keeps the light on, but ultimately you have an entirely different situation. And it doesn't solve the core problem; if your group foils scheme X at the winter court but scheme X's sponsors win in TCG play, the scheme succeeds and your game now diverges from the metastory. New material is not useful to you, so you don't buy new material while the TCG'ers do. And you get more marginalized by the publisher. Rinse and repeat.

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        • #6
          its not a bad idea but i think it could be executed in a better manner. i think you can get some ideas form creepypasta quiz aswell
          Last edited by creeppy; 08-31-2020, 12:50 PM.

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          • #7
            It's one of these things that would be made of pure awesome if implemented well, but which would be extremely hard to implement well. Especially when we're talking about small communities like RPG ones outside of the most popular titles like D&D (although, on the plus side, you'd have less data to centralise and work with). I'd leave it to someone experienced.

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