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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: 11

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
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/17/2019
I know every storyteller works differently but to be honest, I would have allowed the players to work a peaceful resolution, seeing that they wanted it so much; trying to stick so close to another's (Failbetter's) narrative instead of your players' chosen narrative, might not work out very well. Of course they can't have everything but pre-determined outcomes tend to frustrate role-players.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/10/2019
I used the setting (FL and SS) in Changeling the Lost. When they finally visited Faerie, the maddening yet appealing fae dimension, I drew everything from these two games. The fact that the lore is fragmented and broken was immensely helpful, given that the land is supposed to be one of ancient mysteries, paradoxes, contradictions etc. They dashed in, got their sanity broken, played an accelerated version of the Seeking, got out, needed two sessions just recuperating. If they had to actually adventure in the Neath for a whole campaign, I am sure I would find it very difficult to get them answers as appealing as the mysteries themselves. Best of luck! I am looking forward to reading about your campaign.
By the way, the I am a Candle Tumblr was very helpful when I was researching both FL and info for the session.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3753

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.
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Jermaine Vendredi
Jermaine Vendredi
Posts: 606

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
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psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 11

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
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Emain Ablach
Emain Ablach
Posts: 348

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.

https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Emain%20Ablach
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psyclog
psyclog
Posts: 11

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: 11

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
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