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A game of survival, trade and exploration in the universe of Fallen London

Pen & Paper Campaign based on S.S. - Story Mode? Messages in this topic - RSS

psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 7

7/14/2019
I would like to set up a p&p game where I, as game master, use and control the Sunless Sea engine to drive the storyline for my player group (who actually don't need to see the actual game at all).


My main concern was that this would require me to use various cheat mechanics for money, hull damage etc., as the game should fit the narrative of our common storyline more than the other way round. (If one player comes up with a cool idea that can't be realized within the limits of the game engine, I intend to reward them anyway, and the lives of my party shouldn't depend on my arcade-style sea battle proficiency etc.)


And I guess, after some initial research, this is where my plan will fail, because the creaters, adhering to their rogue-like game concept, seemingly don't intend to add anything like a story mode to Sunless Sea. While I understand the reasoning behind it, I don't see the issue with offering two clearly separate game modes, one where you can die and one where you simply can't. (I know many games offering a so-called "story mode", and I have never even tried these story modes so far, because the idea of not being able to lose at all didn't sound appealing to me. Yet for this very specific p&p project, it might probably be just the thing.)
edited by psyclog on 7/14/2019
+1 link
Luminen Walker
Luminen Walker
Posts: 171

7/14/2019
Sunless Sea has been out for years and debuted as a rogue-like. While some people may be interested in a story mode as you put it, it wasn't made for that audience in mind.

In alot of ways. I see Sunless Sea as a survival horror game where you will fail, you will fail alot, and the idea of anyone succeeding at the set goals is the epic level equivalent of fallen london adventures.

--
Cpt. Martin Walker, a sagacious and magnanimous gentleman.
For Faith! For Temperance! For a Future without Monsters!
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Emain Ablach
Emain Ablach
Posts: 334

7/14/2019
Did you take a look at the Sunless Sea mods ? You can probably find something close to that among these mods.

--
Went NORTH. Got salted. Never came back. We won't remember him.

http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Emain%20Ablach
+1 link
psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 7

7/14/2019
Luminen Walker wrote:
Sunless Sea has been out for years and debuted as a rogue-like. While some people may be interested in a story mode as you put it, it wasn't made for that audience in mind.

In alot of ways. I see Sunless Sea as a survival horror game where you will fail, you will fail alot, and the idea of anyone succeeding at the set goals is the epic level equivalent of fallen london adventures.

Well there is no arguing about that. It is meant as a survival horror game where you will die. And that is cool.

But now, and if only to promote their new game, they might think about adding an additional story mod, shouldnt be too complicated.


Emain Ablach wrote:
Did you take a look at the Sunless Sea mods ? You can probably find something close to that among these mods.


True, I will have a look at the mods..
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psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 7

7/14/2019
"The Easier Mod v2" seems indeed useful, as it contains some modified values that can easily be compared to the original values in any text editor, and (hopefully) further tweaked according to one's liking. I will look into that, and hopefully soon embark to a Lovecraftian adventure with some friends. wink
+1 link
Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3493

7/14/2019
One practical concern in the way of a story mode is that it's possible to die within various stories, not just while sailing. Making it impossible for the player to die would require writing and programming alternate versions of a bunch of events, which would be a ton of work.

In any case, you could try just using save files. If you die away from port, you can reload the autosave instead of clicking through the event, reverting you to the last time you left port. You might need to make manual saves too for potential deaths in port, but that doesn't come up as much.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
+2 link
psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 7

7/15/2019
This is all good advice, thank you folks!

I have now set the monsters to largely passive if not provoked (so players, or me as game master, can decide when an engagement should happen).

And I have tripled ship speed to 24 - and doubled terror/hunger/fuel gain/loss accordingly. So in effect, the players now have 50% more "exploration range" compared to vanilla, and there won't be much waiting time while the ship steers through the ocean.
Entirely unsure how this decreased difficulty will turn out in this p&p scenario, but I can later report my findings in here. smile
0 link
psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 7

7/15/2019
Oh and concerning death in story mode: Well yeah, I guess that can happen. I should market it to them as an integral part of the scenario, that they will die at some point and then be able to trace back their story as their pupil or somesuch..
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MrCandles
MrCandles
Posts: 111

7/16/2019
psyclog wrote:
I would like to set up a p&p game where I, as game master, use and control the Sunless Sea engine to drive the storyline for my player group (who actually don't need to see the actual game at all).


My main concern was that this would require me to use various cheat mechanics for money, hull damage etc., as the game should fit the narrative of our common storyline more than the other way round. (If one player comes up with a cool idea that can't be realized within the limits of the game engine, I intend to reward them anyway, and the lives of my party shouldn't depend on my arcade-style sea battle proficiency etc.)


And I guess, after some initial research, this is where my plan will fail, because the creaters, adhering to their rogue-like game concept, seemingly don't intend to add anything like a story mode to Sunless Sea. While I understand the reasoning behind it, I don't see the issue with offering two clearly separate game modes, one where you can die and one where you simply can't. (I know many games offering a so-called "story mode", and I have never even tried these story modes so far, because the idea of not being able to lose at all didn't sound appealing to me. Yet for this very specific p&p project, it might probably be just the thing.)
edited by psyclog on 7/14/2019

Can you add stories and items from Fallen London to Sunless Sea?
  • -2 link
    psyclog
    psyclog
    Posts: 7

    7/19/2019
    I don't own Fallen London, so can't say.

    Anyway, I've had my first session yesterday. All they did was milling about in London for quite some time, including futile attempts to ask the Admiralty about actual direction for their first mission (like, you want us to go and meet your agent on Gaider's Mourn, but you won't tell us where this island is, not even a general direction?).

    They then discussed for quite some time whether to spend their money on a firkin of prisoner's honey, but ended up buying one candle instead.
    Eventually, they made a trip north to Vanderbight; as soon as they had left the safety of London harbor, they tried to light the candle to fight the rising terror.

    Refusing to leave one of their mascots behind, they opted to take both the Ferret and that strange Blemmigan creature on board, even though the two were obviously fighting with each other.
    It will be a sad realization when they learn that their ferret somehow went overboard during the journey north, but we will tackle Vanderbight on the next evening.

    So, Sunless Sea offers a surprising amount of inspiration for rich p&p roleplaying, but also requires good improvisation skills from the game master. (f.e. explaining that the Admiralty won't share their priced sea charts with just anyone, and if they don't even know where Gaider's Mourn is, then maybe they are not suited for the task etc.)

    These are the difficulty setting I currently use. (In effect, they spent one barrel and one crate for the trip to Vanderbight with lights off).


    {
    HungerUpdatePeriod: 10,
    FuelUpdatePeriod: 1,
    SomethingAwaitsYouPeriod: 20,
    BaseHungerIncrease: 1,
    BaseShipSpeed: 24,
    BaseShipSpeedLimit: 0.0005,
    ShipReversePenalty: 1,
    EnginePowerModifier: 4.5,
    BaseShipAcceleration: 5,
    BaseShipTurningSpeed: 2,
    EngineFuelDecrementUnit: 0.1,
    LightFuelDecrementUnit: 400,
    SkeletonCrewDivision: 2,
    CrewLonelinessDivision: 4,
    TerrorLonelinessMultiplier: 2,
    TurboSpeedMultiplier: 2,
    TurboFuelCostMultiplier: 3,
    TurboPeculiarNoiseIncrease: 1,
    GloomUpdatePeriod: 2,
    GloomUpdatePeriodInLight: 5,
    GloomThreshold: 10,
    BaseGloomIncrease: 1,
    GleamCheckRadius: 60,
    BaseTerrorIncrease: 2.5,
    BaseGleamIncrease: 1,
    DimAmbientThreshold: 1,
    BrightAmbientThreshold: 10000,
    HeadlightGleamBonus: 2,
    PortGleamBonus: 2,
    RepairMinHullPercent: 1,
    RepairUpdatePeriod: 3,
    RepairSuppliesConsumed: 0.1,
    RepairHullIncreased: 10,
    FleeTerrorBumpMax: 10,
    SomethingAwaitsDateTimeIncrease: 24,
    LegacyDateTimeIncrease: 730,
    DefaultTileMappingRules: "Default",
    MaxTradeEntityPopulation: 6,
    WeatherDurationInDays: 3,
    AllowCameraRotation: false
    }
    edited by psyclog on 7/19/2019
    0 link
    MrCandles
    MrCandles
    Posts: 111

    7/20/2019
    psyclog wrote:
    I don't own Fallen London, so can't say.

    Anyway, I've had my first session yesterday. All they did was milling about in London for quite some time, including futile attempts to ask the Admiralty about actual direction for their first mission (like, you want us to go and meet your agent on Gaider's Mourn, but you won't tell us where this island is, not even a general direction?).

    They then discussed for quite some time whether to spend their money on a firkin of prisoner's honey, but ended up buying one candle instead.
    Eventually, they made a trip north to Vanderbight; as soon as they had left the safety of London harbor, they tried to light the candle to fight the rising terror.

    Refusing to leave one of their mascots behind, they opted to take both the Ferret and that strange Blemmigan creature on board, even though the two were obviously fighting with each other.
    It will be a sad realization when they learn that their ferret somehow went overboard during the journey north, but we will tackle Vanderbight on the next evening.

    So, Sunless Sea offers a surprising amount of inspiration for rich p&p roleplaying, but also requires good improvisation skills from the game master. (f.e. explaining that the Admiralty won't share their priced sea charts with just anyone, and if they don't even know where Gaider's Mourn is, then maybe they are not suited for the task etc.)

    These are the difficulty setting I currently use. (In effect, they spent one barrel and one crate for the trip to Vanderbight with lights off).


    {
    HungerUpdatePeriod: 10,
    FuelUpdatePeriod: 1,
    SomethingAwaitsYouPeriod: 20,
    BaseHungerIncrease: 1,
    BaseShipSpeed: 24,
    BaseShipSpeedLimit: 0.0005,
    ShipReversePenalty: 1,
    EnginePowerModifier: 4.5,
    BaseShipAcceleration: 5,
    BaseShipTurningSpeed: 2,
    EngineFuelDecrementUnit: 0.1,
    LightFuelDecrementUnit: 400,
    SkeletonCrewDivision: 2,
    CrewLonelinessDivision: 4,
    TerrorLonelinessMultiplier: 2,
    TurboSpeedMultiplier: 2,
    TurboFuelCostMultiplier: 3,
    TurboPeculiarNoiseIncrease: 1,
    GloomUpdatePeriod: 2,
    GloomUpdatePeriodInLight: 5,
    GloomThreshold: 10,
    BaseGloomIncrease: 1,
    GleamCheckRadius: 60,
    BaseTerrorIncrease: 2.5,
    BaseGleamIncrease: 1,
    DimAmbientThreshold: 1,
    BrightAmbientThreshold: 10000,
    HeadlightGleamBonus: 2,
    PortGleamBonus: 2,
    RepairMinHullPercent: 1,
    RepairUpdatePeriod: 3,
    RepairSuppliesConsumed: 0.1,
    RepairHullIncreased: 10,
    FleeTerrorBumpMax: 10,
    SomethingAwaitsDateTimeIncrease: 24,
    LegacyDateTimeIncrease: 730,
    DefaultTileMappingRules: "Default",
    MaxTradeEntityPopulation: 6,
    WeatherDurationInDays: 3,
    AllowCameraRotation: false
    }
    edited by psyclog on 7/19/2019

    You can use wiki for adding items. I not need all stories, but FL ambitions is very good. Also you can make advanced past, based on ways to become PoSI. I have some ideas about this.
  • -1 link
    Jermaine Vendredi
    Jermaine Vendredi
    Posts: 528

    7/20/2019
    @ psychlog

    That sounds very interesting and reminds me of glorious evenings spent knee-deep in, um, yes, games with friends.
    Do keep posting. I'd love to know how things pan out. Funnily enough, it never crossed my mind to light a candle at zee...

    --
    No plant battles, please.
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Jermion
    +1 link
    psyclog
    psyclog
    Posts: 7

    7/23/2019
    Second game night:

    1) I edited the savefile to secretly add 100 echos to their account. As far as they know, their balance is still 10 echos, but it does give me as story-teller a degree of freedom in granting some extra echos here and there, which is extremely helpful. For example, at one point they would ferry a tomb-colonist to Venderbight, but then the game just had him disembark without giving them any payment (they just got a follow-up plot request instead), but they would have none of it. They were actually about to assault the cheapskate tomb-colonist, but I luckily could have him pay them 10 echos for the successful passage. It also allows them to start haggling at various shops and have flexible prices depending on their good or bad actions.
    Not being able to tell them in advance what a certain service will yield as a reward is actually very tricky for me - naturally, they want to agree in advance on what they will get for taking a passenger on board, but the game rarely (never?) tells you in advance what reward you will later get for your actions. Reading up on the wiki can help, but this takes some time and makes them get bored etc.

    2) They loved the atmosphere in Venderbight. The book of impossible colours works very well within the Lovecraftian p&p setting. The act of making them dizzy by describing page after page alone was great fun.

    3) Crew members all have names and do random things, so they build up a connection. It will be ever harder when they die, or, like, get eaten. The loss of their comatose ferret mascot during transit was already quite the tragedy, and they half-suspect the Blemmigan of having eaten the ferret.

    4) They invited some zailors in a Venderbight tavern to rounds of mushroom beer (I deducted some echos) to get information on where Gaider's Mourn is located. As I didn't know myself, the information they received (east of London) was actually false.

    5) A huge sheet of paper occupies the majority of the table. When they go seawards, they can occasionally "send out a bat", which will result in me sending the navigator player a snippet of the explored game map via whatsapp. They can then quickly scribble the image down onto their paper map before I will delete the whatsapp message. This makes for some very immersive exploring, but I never show them the actual game on my laptop. In my understanding, the more uncertainty they have about their adventure, the more thrilling it must be for them.

    6) They decided to leave Venderbight eastwards for a day before turning south for London. Fortunately enough, eastwards of Venderbight they stumbled into Corsair's Forest, then reached Gaider's Mourn by pure luck, where the evening concluded.
    edited by psyclog on 7/23/2019
    +1 link
    MrCandles
    MrCandles
    Posts: 111

    7/24/2019
    psyclog wrote:
    Second game night:

    1) I edited the savefile to secretly add 100 echos to their account. As far as they know, their balance is still 10 echos, but it does give me as story-teller a degree of freedom in granting some extra echos here and there, which is extremely helpful. For example, at one point they would ferry a tomb-colonist to Venderbight, but then the game just had him disembark without giving them any payment (they just got a follow-up plot request instead), but they would have none of it. They were actually about to assault the cheapskate tomb-colonist, but I luckily could have him pay them 10 echos for the successful passage. It also allows them to start haggling at various shops and have flexible prices depending on their good or bad actions.
    Not being able to tell them in advance what a certain service will yield as a reward is actually very tricky for me - naturally, they want to agree in advance on what they will get for taking a passenger on board, but the game rarely (never?) tells you in advance what reward you will later get for your actions. Reading up on the wiki can help, but this takes some time and makes them get bored etc.

    2) They loved the atmosphere in Venderbight. The book of impossible colours works very well within the Lovecraftian p&p setting. The act of making them dizzy by describing page after page alone was great fun.

    3) Crew members all have names and do random things, so they build up a connection. It will be ever harder when they die, or, like, get eaten. The loss of their comatose ferret mascot during transit was already quite the tragedy, and they half-suspect the Blemmigan of having eaten the ferret.

    4) They invited some zailors in a Venderbight tavern to rounds of mushroom beer (I deducted some echos) to get information on where Gaider's Mourn is located. As I didn't know myself, the information they received (east of London) was actually false.

    5) A huge sheet of paper occupies the majority of the table. When they go seawards, they can occasionally "send out a bat", which will result in me sending the navigator player a snippet of the explored game map via whatsapp. They can then quickly scribble the image down onto their paper map before I will delete the whatsapp message. This makes for some very immersive exploring, but I never show them the actual game on my laptop. In my understanding, the more uncertainty they have about their adventure, the more thrilling it must be for them.

    6) They decided to leave Venderbight eastwards for a day before turning south for London. Fortunately enough, eastwards of Venderbight they stumbled into Corsair's Forest, then reached Gaider's Mourn by pure luck, where the evening concluded.
    edited by psyclog on 7/23/2019

    You can add ranger, like in Skies. Not only one bat. You will add different bats - from small bat to Wing-of-Thunder. And not bats - falcon and owls from FL companions and one Skies owl ranger.
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