Annexing the Slums
Thursday morning we opened a discussion on the DR: Slums Facebook group about annexing the Slums back into NPC Land for May.
The current game population can support the shift without depriving players of sleep space. We can more efficiently use Hope's Edge, and we can provide an opportunity to bring the characters that already live there into a bigger group with economic and political connections.
We can also use the cabins and infrastructure in the slums to create more dynamic and interesting scenes in NPC Land because we have more than just an open field to work with. This will be important for May's story.
We're going to test-drive this in May and then revisit it in the summer to see if this will be a permanent move for next season or just a one-off.
Instancing NPC Land
We are going to instance modules that are staged in NPC Land (away-modules) more explicitly. Typically away modules get some number of PCs, but some time later every character and their cousin show up, which fundamentally makes it impossible to present a real threat and leaves a lot of players with a kind 'meh' experience. In some ways we tried to do this using Hot Zones but it didn't really land.. probably because we were not explicit in our game design intentions.
There will be two pathways to NPC Land. 1) Radio Tower Road and 2) Horse Corral (via Parking Lot). Aggieland rules apply here. Which means that while we may use the Horse path to get into Zuni to create the illusion of distance, we're not going to fight or do much of anything in the parking lot. We're just going to move with efficiency to the horse corral where we can make skill calls, fight, and the rest of it
We will have a physical barrier (saw horse or the like) in place at both gates with a ZOM or other Sheet to say that NPC Land is closed and you will need an NPC escort to go (but not to leave). The NPC Hook or a Marshal may 'close the gate' behind them. If they do, then while retreating is an option, back-up is not. If you leave the mod space, you are locked out.
It is also our ambition to include a quick reference ingredients list for some Away-Modules. These will reference the calibration patches the network uses. Emotional RP. No Quarter. Physical RP.
(Quick Note: Obviously physical rp is pretty broad and going on a module doesn't mean anybody can touch you any way they want to. That'd be pretty gross. It is a courtesy heads up that NPC's will try to hold your hand, cry on your shoulder, etc. If you don't want that, use the Check-in system to preemptively communicate this.. or consider that this module may not be for you.)
NPC Break (12-2pm)
Having a mid-day break from NPCs worked out very well at Uprise. We were really pleased with how well it was received by players, the roleplay opportunities it created during the day, and the increased activity we could implement at night as a result.
We're going to test-run this for our local game. From 12pm - 2pm there will be no NPCs. If you want to grab a nap, run off-site for supplies, or have an uninterrupted meeting then this is the time to do it.
We're working out a Work Day with Camp Kachina following our closer. Unfortunately between our schedule and theirs, the only real opportunity is the weekend after our event (May 18-19). We'll see what else we can do to support Kachina during their season, but also to hang out and play outside of the game together. We'll be posting details for the Work Day ASAP, but expect smores and card games on Friday, scrubbing down stuff on Saturday, and some AP by Sunday.
Lunch With Parker
General PSA that every event Ryan eats lunch in the Saloon as Judge Parker around 12 noon. If you want to ask research questions directly, other game questions, or if you need this particular NPC then we encourage you to use this time to your benefit.
We took a lot of pains to make sure that Uprise would have all the clothes, item cards, and props it would need. We also took a lot of effort to separate everything again at the end of the event with minimal losses. We were really successful at this.
Except for the Chop cards which were packed into OK supplies (apparently).
SO!.. We will have a little less chop this weekend. Also we're just going to put Basic Scrap into the field instead of the chop cards. Jury is still out on whether that will be on the NPCs directly or if you hit up a Marshal to the side for your chop.
We goofed and we're sorry for the inconvenience.