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Doughnut

Distinct gameplay?

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I have been thinking in my brain meat what settings to run in Genesys. I've been working on a bunch of disparate setting projects. And I've been wondering, how to make different settings *feel* different? One of the problems I've encountered in the past with universal toolkit systems is that they end up feeling like the same game over and over. I had this problem when playing and then running Fate, after a while it didn't matter what setting we were playing, it just felt like Fate. Genesys I think has an advantage in this case in that the heavy focus of the narrative over everything coming down to a pass/fail roll.

I am working on a cyberpunk setting, a weird west setting, and a fantasyland setting, and I can't shake the feeling that these games will end up feeling the same in play even though they have different settings, and tones.

Also, I was considering an idea I've seen around a lot: a Cyberpunk world, and Fantasy MMORPG like //.hack or Sword Art Online. I endeavor to run this type of game one day, but over time I have considered running different systems for the different worlds. A more narrative, and deadly real world analog system for the Cyberpunk world, and a high fantasy rpg system for the MMORPG video game. The only thing I can think is to run a horror tone using fear mechanics in the real world with more social encounters. And run the MMORPG as more high fantasy hack and slash lots of combat, encounters.

But again, if I wish to use Genesys for both the real world and the video game world of this setting how to make the different game modes feel distinct from one another? 

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2 minutes ago, Doughnut said:

I have been thinking in my brain meat what settings to run in Genesys. I've been working on a bunch of disparate setting projects. And I've been wondering, how to make different settings *feel* different? One of the problems I've encountered in the past with universal toolkit systems is that they end up feeling like the same game over and over. I had this problem when playing and then running Fate, after a while it didn't matter what setting we were playing, it just felt like Fate. Genesys I think has an advantage in this case in that the heavy focus of the narrative over everything coming down to a pass/fail roll.

Terminology change will help immensely IMO. I don't have any specific examples, but changing the symbol names to setting specific substitutes would help (although it may complicate gameplay unnecessarily by causing the players to forget the names used in any given setting ,particularly if the same group of players are involved in each setting).

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You have to just decide to do things differently and put some elbow grease into it if you don't want it to feel generic.

In my fantasy version magic is not 'do whatever you want' for increased Difficulty.  I've made Talent trees with OggDudes app that lay out shortened trees for specific spells with a number of elements in those trees that expand as the PC invests the xp.

You could have a fantasy setting where no one is inherently magical  and it's all item based.  Then the PC wanting to be magical would need to focus their efforts on Lore or whatever Knowledge focus.

You could make magic ritually focused where a PC would have to perform a 'double, double, toil and trouble' sorta thing to lay the ground work to only be able to do something specifically each session.

In other settings you might tie how a PC can develop directly to what they are for an archetype. 

You might only introduce an Obligation meta mechanic in some settings, and not all of them, or a unique one for each setting.

You might have a resource gathering focus in one setting, with sessions RPG elements based around that, and then an end session roll based on the results of game play determining some kind of campaign marker/currency.

Bottom line is if you want it to feel different, you're going to have to create some custom elements for each.

 

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To echo a bit of what JoArns mentioned, world building and vocabulary go a long way. I've run in to the same problem from time to time but at the end of the day rolling dice is mostly rolling dice. If you can get yourself and your players really in to the setting and doing some good in character roll play I don't think it will be much of an issue.

Mechanically speaking JoArns and 2P51 both have great suggestions. Only thing I would add is that you know your players so if you do make any mechanical changes to the system to add flavor tailor it to the things you think your players will enjoy and will get them the most in to the game vs what makes the most sense for the setting.

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Storytelling and narrative consequence can really change the feel of a game without modifying the rules.  Small tweaks like increased damage or allowing damage overflow to increase the critical injury roll result can also have a significant impact.  You can also increase or decrease the narrative impact of triumphs and despairs as well.

Just make sure that you articulate the themes that you're trying to evoke and how you're doing so to your players.

 

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I am running a game that is a VR MMORPG setting.  The over all world is several MMORPG that "World Jumpers" can jump through Portals and be in another world inside of the game.

So while everything can feel the same, it is all about terminology and narrative that makes it different as they move between different worlds.  We are testing some house rules to make it a more Video Game feeling but very rough in our testing.  We have played 5 sessions so far and the players seem to be enjoying it. 

In terms of Magic I have taken bits and pieces from the community here.  Each type of magic (Arcane, Divine, Primal, Psion, Steam) has a unique Knowledge skill (Lore, Religion, Nature, Psionic, Science).  Rank 1 of any of those Knowledge Skills grant you the Utility + 1 other Magic Action, to get more Magic Actions you have to increase your ranks in said Knowledge.  We are debating on how we like the Magic system.  We have brought in a few unique spells that others have made, here or on the Discord server, or from Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition and use them for special spells.

All of this to say - when we play allot is vocabulary and the time we have spent in making the world together.  Sure we roll the dice the same for a D&D type world vs a Steampunk type world but how we describe the advantages and threats changes and makes the game fun for my group.

GMTron

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On 1/5/2018 at 3:08 PM, 2P51 said:

In my fantasy version magic is not 'do whatever you want' for increased Difficulty.  I've made Talent trees with OggDudes app that lay out shortened trees for specific spells with a number of elements in those trees that expand as the PC invests the xp.

 

Would you be willing to share those trees?

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Dialogue definitely.   If you are working on a particular setting that has an established world, really try to incorporate what they say in that world.  If you are making something up, try to figure out how the people sound like and what makes them distinct.  Ya know who does this really well with games is Blizzard.  Love them or hate them, they establish certain phrases as battle cries and right before an intense moment you will see main characters use those lines.  I swear every time they do that it suckers me in.

Determine if your characters have accents.

What is their education level and how does that influence how they speak?  I'm currently playing a "Mad" scientist in Star Wars.  My character is not prone to action, he stops and thinks about everything around him, drawing in as much info as he can before acting.  His speech is slightly arrogant, bc he feels his intelligence makes him better than others and he doesn't ever use contractions in speech.

Sometimes making something feel more real involves thinking of how the character you have interacting with the PC's is different from them.  Is he English?  Have him drop a "Cheers governor!"  Or a "There's a good chap."  Is he a reptile and the others are mammals?  Have him mention something subtly about that like "Wow, even new hatchlings handle that better than you."  Doesn't have to be every line, but once in awhile will rope them in.

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