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Dream Park Runebound


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#1 David Spangler

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:56 AM

OK, this is a second off-topic post (sorry  ), but I'm also a huge fan of the Dream Park novels by Larry NIven and Steven Barnes.  If you're not familiar with them, don't walk but run to a library or book store to get them and read them; they are among the best fantasy novels ever, with more than a touch of sci-fi. There are three books in the series, and I've read each of them at least three times.  I have a number of friends in the computer gaming industry who have been inspired by these novels and say the creation of real-life "Dream Parks" of live fantasy role-playing is their Holy Grail.

Anyway, playing Runebound often has a Dream Park feel to me.  In the novels ordinary individuals enter this futuristic amusement part where they take part in live role-playing adventures moderated by dungeon masters using advanced holographic and computer techniques (think the holodeck in Star Trek) to create a fantasy world in which the adventure takes place.  The adventure is recorded and later sold for home use and  entertainment.  Players are seeded like tennis stars, and the top fantasy players are like rock stars or movie stars with millions of people tuning in to watch their adventures.  So it's not too far-fretched to imagine the heroes of Runequest being players in a Dream Park world going through a quest.

Midnight was an attempt to graft the Runequest game system to a particular fantasy setting, and it wasn't the best fit in the world.  But I could see a Dream Park game where players are operating at two levels:  as Players in a Game trying to get points for fame, money, etc. based on their accomplishments in the Game, and as the actual Characters in the fantasy world of the Game itself, trying to fulfill a particular quest.  Runebound, it seems to me, could fit this kind of game world excellently.  The fantasy part is already in place. What it would need is a meta-game in which players are also competing at another level as "game stars."  In the novels, there are also a number of mysteries in the real world that intersect with the gaming world (in the first novel, a murderer is hiding out as a participant in the Game, and the Director of Security of Dream Park has to enter the game in a game persona to find out who the murderer is).  Thus there could be objectives in the metagame that affect the fantasy game and vice versa, rather like in the new game Android links on the conspiracy puzzle affect the detectives and things the detectives do on the board affect the conspiracy puzzle.

Anyway, this is just a suggestion that Runebound could not only expand as the excellent fantasy game it is but also expand in a different and new direction into a Dream Park like metagame in which players are both the Personas--the Runebound heros--in the fantasy world and Players in the "real world."



#2 David Spangler

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:38 AM

Gee, no Dream Park fans here?  Must be my age showing! 



#3 Torbal

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:00 AM

If you had said "South Park Runebound" I bet the young 'uns woulda come running.



#4 David Spangler

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:58 PM

OK...

 

South Park Runebound!

 



#5 Indy

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:59 AM

...did someone say South Park???

Oh my god, they knocked out Kenny!



#6 jasonk

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:59 AM

amusement park? so the new character cards would have to include hank, eric, diana, sheila, bobby, and presto..






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