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Author Topic: [Cycles] - new design for setting/plot  (Read 503 times)


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[Cycles] - new design for setting/plot
« on: January 08, 2007, 09:26:36 AM »
I'm quite new to this community and I have been looking around for a couple of weeks now. By the way, I've tried to participate in a couple of threads, but my posts don't appear. Well, anyway, I'll try to give a shot by starting my own.

What is this about ?
My current project, Cycles (aka Avalanche for the name of the first scenario), is not about rules, mechanics. It is about a new design for structuring pre written plots. Also, Cycles never tell you how to play the campaign. As there is no mechanics, you can use wichever you want (ie there is no good nor wrong way to play the prewritten scenarios).

Why a new design for pre written plots ?
One important thing : I do believe many people still use pre written plots, be it homebrew campaigns or magazine/pdf/book ones. Now, if you don't believe at all about pre written scenarios, this is another story (at least in the context of my product). So, Cycles is meant for people who uses pre written plots and are looking for an alternative.
So, why a new design ? I truly believe that in the last twenty years, many new designs has been provided (created) concerning the mechanics of rpg. But, as far as pre written plots are concerned, I believe the same old model is still in place. That said, I find it inappropriate, dull to read, too much informative.

What's the difference ?
Cycles throws away the old model of plot structuring. I would defined this model as linear mono story chapters based, PCs centered. Cycles is build around three main concepts : multi plots, calendar based and being not about the PCs. Cycles also avoid the description of many details in the scenarios. It is structured as a backbone, upon which the DM (with the PCs, of course) builds the final story for the session as the group plays. So, by definition, Cycles is an unfinished product.
Given this new structure, the game play is more about who the PCs are, what they believe in, which side they choose, their place in the world. It is about what do you do with the time you have been imparted ? It is not about following a predefined path nor filling a predefined hole/role in the world.

What does it look like ?
Cycles is still a work in progress. I really wish to be able to released it in the current year. That said, we have a teaser available.
About that teaser, there are good things, but bad things too :
- I can defend its look, its structure : it isn't a typical scenario, nor a novel, nor a comics. It has its own specific structure, which looks more like a storyboard.
- I can defend the use of illustrations : each and everyone of them is useful, embodied into the setting/plot, meant to be used by the DM as he plays.
- I can't defend the mutli plots aspect : you'll be able to guess it. Some characters enter the story from somewhere else, others finish the subplot at the crossroaod of other stories. But, the multi plots is not there.
- I can't defend its playability : the main problem with the teaser. It isn't easy to see how to transpose it into a session of play. When I built it, the only illustrations I had at hand where the ones covering an entire subplot of a main plot. Not the one the easier to play.
- There are no characters sheets : not in the teaser, but they will be coming, using d20, TSoY and fudge.

Why this community and what do I seek from this post ?
Taking a look here, I discovered that this community seems more oriented toward campaign playing than short games. Also, it has the advantage, from my point of view, of being a somehow "small" community.
So, about responses to this post :
- Do you agree with me about the old model of pre written plots (that it did not really evolved) ?
- Do you think that the structure of Cycles provides a more enjoyable reading ?
- Do you like the idea of an "open" (ie less details) scenario, leaving the details to the DM ?
- Is that the kind of product you'd like to see produce ?
- What do you think of the use of illustrations ?
- Any questions/comments ?

I also have a little theory about the design of such a product. Would like me to produce it here ?

Well, anyway, thanks for your time. And, I'm a native french speaker, so sorry for the errors that might be present !!
S├ębastien Pelletier
Avalanche: an epic campaign for TT rpg coming on KickStarter March 28th.