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Old 05-12-2011, 12:14 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Default Game within a Game

Hey SJ Forums, I running a GURPS game where the PCs each have 2 characters; one in a slightly futuristic (by only about 20 years) setting, where they've decided to play an MMO, and one that takes place inside the MMO (where there are basically 2 classes, mage and warriror, so a warrior can't have magic and a mage can't use any fighting ability besides smack random things with staff) with a TL of about 4. Any suggestions, since this is their first time playing GURPS?
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:17 AM   #2
Purple Haze
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Game within a Game

Don't play such complicated games with newbies.

One character by itself can be overwhelming.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:01 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Park, San Diego
Default Re: Game within a Game

If you are set on the two tier approach, limit each session to one or the other scenario. 'frontloading' all the stuff about a PC into a players brain is important and if you keep switching into and out of the different versinos of reality you will make the PLAYERS crazy by having them shift gears on what they can do, what they know about the world, what they can expect if they do X, etc.

That being said, it is a cool idea. If I were running it, I'd start with a good 5 or 6 sessions of DF, see how it went and then decide if the game would be more fun by having the players 'wake up' into their real lives and go do things in 2031. You can always make it more complicated later, make sure you have to basics down first before you frustrate yourself with the different rules required to run two very different worlds in two different styles.
Life has a funny way of making sure you decide to leave the party just a few minutes too late to avoid trouble.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Game within a Game

Recusion is forbidden!

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Old 05-12-2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Denmark
Default Re: Game within a Game

Its not that uncommon an idea and I don't think "don't do it" is a very good advice.

However, I think you should ask yourself how much play there is going to be outside The Game. If it is limited to social interaction, then I wouldn't bother statting up the real Persons skills and stats.
If there is going to be actual action-play in the real world, or maybe the character gets transferred into the game or some such in the future, then of course you need the actual stats on both.

Assuming you want stats on both the real character and the ingame one, I would do the following:

Create the player. The Real Person.
Using the normal guidelines. I would probably make them rather low points. Maybe 50 pts. remember to give them normal skills, such as job or study-skills.

Then I would not create a complete new character, to be the ingame PC. Instead I would give say 200 pts for creating their ingame abilitites. but with several special rules.

I would say the ingame char had it's own physical traits. ST, HP, DX and HT. These can be bought up as normal, as well as all skills based on them, and all physical advantages and disadvantages.
However I would say that mental abilities would be limited by the actual real character. So social skills and kowledge skills would all be limited to what the real character knows. This also goes for stuff like Will and Perception.
to represent stuff such as magic, you should get Magery, not IQ. for a fearless barbarian, you buy Fearlessness not Will. For resistance to mental magic in game, you buy Resistance, not Will.
some IQ-based skills might be appropriate to be good at ingame. But not in the real world. Stuff like First Aid or Hacking (if it was a sci-fi game).
But again, I would not allow people to increase their IQ for the ingame char, but instead let them buy Talents.

I would also allow a hefty Accessibility limitation on everything that only works "ingame". Depending on how much of the game would be played "ingame"
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
Gold & Appel Inc
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: Game within a Game

Originally Posted by Maz View Post
or maybe the character gets transferred into the game or some such in the future
IMHO you've pretty much got to do something like this to justify the exercise. If it doesn't go completely off the rails somehow, what's the point?

My own pet idea along these lines that I've been kicking around for a while involves a party of students who are slowly turning into the characters they play in the game, mentally at first and then (as they slide down that slippery slope) gaining their in-game powers/abilities. Hilarity ensues at first as the kids try to keep it a secret and find out what's happening and how to stop it, perhaps with heated debate over whether they even want to figure out how to stop it, until $#!% gets real when the shy, quiet Biochem major playing the Ogre Barbarian suddenly has to hide a body...
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:46 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: Game within a Game

I did the same thing in IOU, where players engaged in testing a new machine. Can't remember the backronym, but it abbreviated to LARP. :D

Also, I'm setting to run a similar idea for a THS con game, where characters engage in a LARP session that devolves into a murder mystery (so the LARP part is mostly for flavor).
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:58 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Game within a Game

Sounds kind of similar to the "Dreamlands" campaign idea I've got bumping around in my head. The characters themselves are fairly mundane (And heavily medicated, confined, and otherwise deprived and disadvantaged) teens, but the initial focus would be on the much more powerful selves they "play" in dreams. Specifically, other peoples' dreams that they pretty much invade. Haven't worked out many details, so I don't really have much to offer for help, there.

The main thing I can think of, is to make sure that both parts of the game-play are relevant. If "real-world" events have no importance on "in-game" events, and vice-versa, and especially if one of the two are less interesting than the other, then it becomes a question of why the second world is even being gamed out.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: earth....I think.
Default Re: Game within a Game

reminds me of a manga called yureka. I'd say have one story arc take place in one or the other world. then the next can be in either. but never have it happen in both at same time, you end up with less time to move the story along in both worlds.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 2008
Default Re: Game within a Game

Are you familair with any other gaming systems? One thing I've always wanted to try is having GURPS for the real world, and then some other system, such as D&D, for the virtual world. Then use the characters' GURPS skills for things like real knowledge and talking with real people, but use the virtual characters' scores for things like haggling an NPC down to a lower price or intimidating a monster.
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gurps, mmo, playercharacter, tl4, tl9

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