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Misspent Youth leads you through the creation of a dark science fiction setting, including themes and "ratings" (stuff you don't want to see for whatever reason), including the opposition (The Authority) and useful NPCs, and a coherent group of characters. I typically can do it in 30 minutes with a focused group. By prepping a little and limiting choices, I've done it in 10-15 minutes.Fiasco. Enough said!Coming at this sideways, The Quiet Year and Microscope are games that are entirely about collaborating to create a world and genre, etc., right?I have an unfinished, broken cyberpunk game rotting on a shelf, and it has super slick setting-creation rules, but I won't plug it here.
In A Wicked Age!
John S. ("jenskot") had a "make your own movie" game for a while, which supposedly had a brilliant way of zeroing in on this stuff. I never played it, but I understand that he would lay out cards with labels of genres on the table, and you'd gradually whittle away at them until you were left with three. I think there were also questions for the players, to identify why they were interested in a particular genre or why they wanted to avoid another, helping to set the general vibe at the table.This meant that you would end with a fairly unique combination each time. Perhaps "Western"+"Science Fiction"+"Conspiracy Thriller", or "Horror"+"Family Drama"+"Historical" or something like that.
Intrepid:http://www.rpgnow.com/product/121044/Intrepid-A-Storytelling-AdventureSets up a world by having characters create linked elements on a flowchart. The elements need to be specific - eg a faction - each with its own box shape. There are rules about the order in which players add elements to the chart and their linkages. It works incredibly well.Then you roleplay an adventure in that world. I've played it once and it easily created a world worthy of its own TV series. Much better, however, is the fact that - for an experiment - someone once used Intrepid to create a Steampunk world with the specific intent of using it as a background to run games based on my Steampunk rules. He and a group of friends created the world in a single session of Intrepid but he's been using it - "The Victorian Colony of Mars" - as a background for scenarios ever since. Scenarios so good that I "acquire" copies every time I meet him.So, if you're looking to start a new campaign for any system, but need some ideas, I'd recommend running a game of Intrepid first to see if you can't get a world you'll love.(Not my game. Nothing to do with me.)
I'd love to see the world-builder for Inconceivable.- yochaigal
Thanks, Jeff!I appreciate it. The questions I'm dealing with are procedural - not about content, but about the design of the game. Humour in RPG design is always an interesting problem; I'm not sure the tools for it really exist. Usually the players have to bring it themselves, although certain types of setup can encourage the right tone (like your example of Fiasco's playsets).
Sets up a world by having characters create linked elements on a flowchart. The elements need to be specific - eg a faction - each with its own box shape. There are rules about the order in which players add elements to the chart and their linkages. It works incredibly well.