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Old 07-04-2006, 10:05 PM   #1
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Sample prospectus

On the "Real-world religions in rpgs" thread, cadia asked if I would post a sample prospectus. Here is the last one I circulated. I'm putting it on a new thread because it's kinda long . . .

There are 10 proposals. You have a total of 20 points to bid for the proposals you want. Bids can be zero or any positive integer up to 20. If you bid zero, I won't assign you to that campaign, even if it means you don't play at all; so don't bid zero unless you really mean it. If you think a campaign is better than not playing for a couple of years, bid at least one point on it. I expect to run two campaigns, so it's perfectly safe to bid zero on one proposal; doing it on two or more is taking a chance. If you like everything equally, bid 2 points on everything.

I’ll pick out campaigns to run that a lot of people rate highly. I’ll try to produce a set in which everyone can be in one of their favorites. If several different sets are close together, I may not pick the flat out highest total scores, but consider intangible factors such as an interesting variety of things to run. But I won’t run something that not much of anyone likes and cram people into it anyway.

If there are people you’d rather not game with, let me know when you turn in your questionnaire.

Here are the campaign ideas, with brief descriptions:

___Beyond the Mountains of Madness: A new expedition goes to Antarctica, following up the ill-fated Miskatonic University expedition. Emphasis on investigation and character interaction. Rules system: Call of Cthulhu.

___Boca del Infierno: In the days when Spain ruled Alta California, a Slayer and her companions battle demons, vampires, and other mysterious horrors. Lots of combat, and lots of supernatural elements, with emphasis more on narrative than on mechanics. Rules system: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

___Dying Mars: On the ancient, dying planet Mars, scientist-priests keep alive memories of advanced technology and city-states struggle for power. Play will tend to be cinematic, with a mixture of archaic weapons and superscience in combat. Rules system: GURPS.

___Heartland: During the era of Prohibition, the United States sees a secret war between two factions: the Mafia, covertly allied with the Roman Catholic Church, and the vampire-dominated nativists of the Ku Klux Klan. Player characters will be anti-vampire agents of the Mafia. High combat with lots of blood shed, in more senses than one. Rules system: GURPS, Big Eyes Small Mouth, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

___Manse: A huge, ancient building in a vast wasteland is occupied by several groups of people, some with unusual abilities. Play will focus on factional conflicts, schemes, and the uncovering of ancient secrets. Each player will have characters from different social strata within the household and the attached village, using a form of “troupe-style play.” Emphasis on intrigue and mysteries. Rules system: World of Darkness, Big Eyes Small Mouth, or Fudge.

___Mentat: Immediately after World War II, but with a historical divergence: effective mind-control drugs were developed before and during the war, making possible most of the effects attributed to hypnosis, telepathy, and brainwashing in popular fiction. Induced autism drugs made digital computers unnecessary for codebreaking and no one has them. Can the United States use this technology to preserve world freedom, or will it be corrupted by the use of these methods? And how long can they be kept secret, or is the secret already out? Agents of the United States’s most secret organization confront these issues. Rules system: GURPS.

___Second Dawn: In a world of the mythic past, members of the Solar Exalted are reborn and need to use their godlike powers to struggle against the rule of the Dragon-Blooded, who murdered their previous incarnations. Play will be cinematic, with superhuman powers and amazing feats. Rules system: Exalted.

___Sovereignty: Set in the present-day world, but with superhuman beings, including some powerful enough to wage war against a major nation. Since these beings have been around and openly recognized for decades, international law has evolved to take them into account, and the major powers have military forces able to do something about them, or reliable alliances with other superhumans. Player characters will be a voluntary superhuman force devoted to policing the superhuman community by restraining its rogue members. Play will emphasize both combat and legal issues. Rules system: Fudge.

___Whispers: At the end of the 21st century, agents of a small private investigative agency deal with informational crimes, from old-fashioned copyright violation and identity theft to unlicensed cloning, nanosocialist sabotage, and mind piracy. Setting will be technologically advanced, with most of the solar system colonized or explored. Characters may be humans, enhanced humans, uplifted animals, or artificial intelligences in robotic or biological shells. Play will be realistic with limited but deadly combat. Rules system: Transhuman Space ("powered by GURPS").

___Xenophobia: Humanity has gone to the stars, encountered new life and new civilizations, and set up trade with some of them—but it’s neither easy nor safe. Aliens in this setting are really alien. At one of the main ports, the personnel of a special agency work to facilitate trade, resolve conflicts, and limit humanity’s exposure to unknown dangers. Characters will be human but may have unusual abilities. Play will be realistic, with emphasis on mysteries and negotiations. Rules system: GURPS.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

So long as we're sharing, here is my most recent prospectus:


The follow campaign choices will all be in GURPS 4th edition. Please rate these from 0 to 5. A rating of 0 means that you would rather sit a campaign out than play a certain game. A rating of 1 means you think the campaign is a marginal choice, a bit better than not playing at all. A rating of 2 indicates an acceptable choice. Ratings of 3-5 indicate superior choices.



Title: Templa Mentis

Genre: Low Fantasy, Conspiracy

Setting: Yrth[1] (GURPS Banestorm)

Description: At the Templar College in Azer, magic, intrigue and mystery await students training to be the best battle mages in Ytarria. As a Templar squire or legionary recruit player characters learn the secrets of Templar magic, duel with rival students, and uncover conspiracies.

Rating: __



Title: Vintage Spirits

Genre: Light Fantasy

Setting: Modern day California

Description: The spirits vinted in the quaint California town of San Armando are world famous, thanks in part to the town's Spirits and the mortals who interact with them. The player characters will be spirits such as genius loci, ghosts, native Indian spirits, faeries, nature and elemental spirits. In the course of this low combat campaign they will deal with an external force that invades and disrupts the town’s mojo.

Rating: __



Title: Xieh of the Empire of Heaven
Genre: Wuxia Space Opera
Setting: The Celestial Kingdom; a far-future Confucist interstellar state.
Description:For a thousand years the Chan Dynasty has ruled the Celestial Kingdom with the divine aid of the AI Dragons. Now the last Chan Emperor has died without heirs. The Dragons war among themselves and refuse to return the Emperor's ghost to life. Worlds have risen in rebellion led by ambitious warlords and strange inhuman barbarians have returned from beyond known space. No one helps the common people or fights for justice, save a few wandering Xieh (the PCs) armed with chi amplifying QG implants, nanotech assembler wizardry, ancient kung-fu and the Tao. Combat will match the crazy cinematic action of wuxia films.

Rating: __



Title: The New World

Genre: Low Fantasy

Setting: Thallassia[2] or Yrth (GURPS Banestorm)

Description: A new land is open for colonization and ambitious free booting adventurers (the PCs) have an official charter. This will be a resource management game, with some exploration, politics, and swashbuckling adventure.

Thallassia Version:

Rating: __

Yrth Version:

Rating: __



Title: Stone, Sword and Chivalry

Genre: Low Fantasy with High Fantasy Elements

Setting: Yrth (GURPS Banestorm)

Description: The backbone of Caithnesser chivalry are it's landless knights. Despite the romantic image, the day to day life of a knight errant and his followers is hard. A single lost tournament can mean the end of your career and a life of poverty but a brave and lucky knight can win glory, honor, wealth and even land. Now that the realm is split by Civil war, and Caithness is surrounded by enemies, it is duty of her knights to defend her, and her people. The PCs will be the landless knights or their entourage, combat will be deadly and this campaign will emphasize the knife’s edge lifestyle of a knight errant.

Source Material: The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin

Rating: __



Title: Blood and Fire

Genre: High Fantasy

Setting: Thallassia

Description: At the dawn of history the great draconic patriarchs of Trell mingled their blood with that of humans, and formed the clans. Every few thousand years the dragon demigod Krossos sends a dream to each of the great clan wyrms, who must then send one of their human descendants on a quest to determine the fate of the world. This campaign will be troupe style. Each player will play one of the great clan wyrms of Trell, first as hatchlings, and then aging through each subsequent era. They will also play the human heroes that are called on in each epoch to undertake the Dream of Krossos. This campaign will combine a mythic quest story arc with a resource management game as the players will make the decisions that shape clan history. Combat will be cinematic.

Rating: __



[1] http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/banestorm/



[2] Thallassia is a high magic fantasy setting, where an ancient cataclysm left no land masses larger than large (Great Britain sized) islands. There are active gods who empower their followers, no nonhuman PC races (except maybe dragons), and renaissance technology (GURPS TL4) with some clockpunk elements.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

wow, thanks guys. Lots of good ideas there. I really like the idea of a prospectus. Seems like one of the better ways to get player input before starting a new game. Also some pretty cool games in there.
How well developed are the games listed in the prospectus?
How far in advace do you put the list out to the players? Does anybody do it a different way?
thanks again
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadia134
wow, thanks guys. Lots of good ideas there. I really like the idea of a prospectus. Seems like one of the better ways to get player input before starting a new game. Also some pretty cool games in there.
How well developed are the games listed in the prospectus?
How far in advace do you put the list out to the players? Does anybody do it a different way?
I give the prospectus out maybe half a year ahead of time. That gives me a month or so to nag the players to get them back to me, a month to analyze them, and then a couple of months to figure out further details and set up a time for a pre-session, which I hand out campaign protocols and do character building.

Because I'm working that far in advance, I don't know much more than what I've written down. When I start seeing that games are favorites, I start doing developmental work.

Oh, and I always fill out my own prospectus (though I never put a 0 on anything, obviously). How much I would enjoy a campaign is part of the proper scoring too.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadia134
How well developed are the games listed in the prospectus?
How far in advace do you put the list out to the players?
This is my first time using a Prospectus. Most of these campaigns were little more than the descriptions on the Prospectus and random ideas in the back of my head. I gave it to the players in Febuary, since I figured by September I would have a)finished my current campaign and b)time to flesh out whichever two campaigns were chosen.
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Old 07-05-2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

I play with one group, usually. The exceptions are when I go to conventions. A prospectus in our group is announced by the would-be GM something like this:
"I like to run a fantasy game. It's for 100 point characters with -40 in disads..."

I'm not knocking whswhs or anyone elses proposals. I actually like the idea myself.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

I pulled this format together recently, mostly by just using info from the campaign chapters of different GURPS books. Haven't used it yet...(maybe in Sept.).

Descriptive Paragraph
Genre: The genre.
Setting: Time and place.
• Tech. Level: See B511. Varies from 0: stone age to 12: unimaginable. May be split, divergent, or superscience.
Power Level: See B487. The number of CP the characters begin with. Varies from feeble (under 25 points) to godlike (over 1,000 points).
Tone: See GURPS Space p. 9, or GURPS Weird War II p. 130. The “feel” of the campaign; the mood invoked by the setting (e.g., horror, thriller, romance, action-adventure, camp, dark, silly).
Themes: The themes.
Violence Level: How much of the campaign will focus on action: chases, combat, etc. vs. mysteries, puzzles, social interaction, or political intrigue? Varies from thoughtful to action.
Scope: See GURPS Space p. 8. The size of the environment in which the characters operate. For a rough estimate see Area Class on B176-177; varies from 1: neighborhood to 8: galaxy.
Scale: See GURPS Space p. 8. The level at which the characters can affect the environment. At the prosaic scale, they struggle to get by day-to-day, at the epic scale the fate of the world hangs on their actions.
Austerity: See GURPS Horror p. 72. How strictly will the PCs be held accountable for their actions by the authorities in the game world.
Realism:
• of Characterization: See GURPS Fantasy p. 16. Do the characters have access to special powers, mystical abilities, etc? Are they detailed and complex fictional people, or stereotypes defined by the genre?
• of Action: See GURPS Fantasy p. 16. Varies from: gritty realism to over-the-top action.
• of Setting: See GURPS Fantasy p. 16. Does the existence of magic, superpowers, superscience etc. have a logical and realistic impact on the setting?
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

GURPS-head votes GURPS!

Some original ideas though---Heartland (too funny---redneck vamps vs. pious hitmen, especially intensify it to rednecks with gothic Angst and Sopranos-esque goodfellas with Catholic guilt), Mentat (cool idea a la Dune, but done completely original in a Cold War), & Xenophobia (Babylon 5 but maybe completely original full use of Space).

Straight Dying Mars only if pulpfiction space opera with some WH40k/WHFB miniatures (Skinks, Lizardmen, Imperial guard, Tau (and their buddies).
Maybe Dreenoi (Reverisco insects that looks closer to Gurps Mars) and Spugs (another indie kind of like humanoid Aphids with guns) also.
Over-the-top PCs and NPCs (500 pts +) conspiring and fighting serial-style goons ending in final battles amongst a cast of 1000's ( of grunts).
The stakes--nothing less than the fate of two worlds---Earth and Mars.
Minimal spaceflight---near zero FTL, and everything else travels like a Spanish Armada, but there's no equivalent frigates, so a OSS-style invasion of Mars to incite rebellion amongst subject race might be the trick to pre-empt an invasion of Earth.

Whispers kind of just sounds like an expanded Blade Runner (more variety of targets). Cool but already read the books and seen the movie much. Care to elaborate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs
On the "Real-world religions in rpgs" thread, cadia asked if I would post a sample prospectus. Here is the last one I circulated. I'm putting it on a new thread because it's kinda long . . .

There are 10 proposals. You have a total of 20 points to bid for the proposals you want. Bids can be zero or any positive integer up to 20. If you bid zero, I won't assign you to that campaign, even if it means you don't play at all; so don't bid zero unless you really mean it. If you think a campaign is better than not playing for a couple of years, bid at least one point on it. I expect to run two campaigns, so it's perfectly safe to bid zero on one proposal; doing it on two or more is taking a chance. If you like everything equally, bid 2 points on everything.

I’ll pick out campaigns to run that a lot of people rate highly. I’ll try to produce a set in which everyone can be in one of their favorites. If several different sets are close together, I may not pick the flat out highest total scores, but consider intangible factors such as an interesting variety of things to run. But I won’t run something that not much of anyone likes and cram people into it anyway.

If there are people you’d rather not game with, let me know when you turn in your questionnaire.

Here are the campaign ideas, with brief descriptions:

_0__Beyond the Mountains of Madness: A new expedition goes to Antarctica, following up the ill-fated Miskatonic University expedition. Emphasis on investigation and character interaction. Rules system: Call of Cthulhu.

__0_Boca del Infierno: In the days when Spain ruled Alta California, a Slayer and her companions battle demons, vampires, and other mysterious horrors. Lots of combat, and lots of supernatural elements, with emphasis more on narrative than on mechanics. Rules system: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

__4_Dying Mars: On the ancient, dying planet Mars, scientist-priests keep alive memories of advanced technology and city-states struggle for power. Play will tend to be cinematic, with a mixture of archaic weapons and superscience in combat. Rules system: GURPS.

_4__Heartland: During the era of Prohibition, the United States sees a secret war between two factions: the Mafia, covertly allied with the Roman Catholic Church, and the vampire-dominated nativists of the Ku Klux Klan. Player characters will be anti-vampire agents of the Mafia. High combat with lots of blood shed, in more senses than one. Rules system: GURPS, Big Eyes Small Mouth, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

__0_Manse: A huge, ancient building in a vast wasteland is occupied by several groups of people, some with unusual abilities. Play will focus on factional conflicts, schemes, and the uncovering of ancient secrets. Each player will have characters from different social strata within the household and the attached village, using a form of “troupe-style play.” Emphasis on intrigue and mysteries. Rules system: World of Darkness, Big Eyes Small Mouth, or Fudge.

_6__Mentat: Immediately after World War II, but with a historical divergence: effective mind-control drugs were developed before and during the war, making possible most of the effects attributed to hypnosis, telepathy, and brainwashing in popular fiction. Induced autism drugs made digital computers unnecessary for codebreaking and no one has them. Can the United States use this technology to preserve world freedom, or will it be corrupted by the use of these methods? And how long can they be kept secret, or is the secret already out? Agents of the United States’s most secret organization confront these issues. Rules system: GURPS.

_0_Second Dawn: In a world of the mythic past, members of the Solar Exalted are reborn and need to use their godlike powers to struggle against the rule of the Dragon-Blooded, who murdered their previous incarnations. Play will be cinematic, with superhuman powers and amazing feats. Rules system: Exalted.

_0__Sovereignty: Set in the present-day world, but with superhuman beings, including some powerful enough to wage war against a major nation. Since these beings have been around and openly recognized for decades, international law has evolved to take them into account, and the major powers have military forces able to do something about them, or reliable alliances with other superhumans. Player characters will be a voluntary superhuman force devoted to policing the superhuman community by restraining its rogue members. Play will emphasize both combat and legal issues. Rules system: Fudge.

__0_Whispers: At the end of the 21st century, agents of a small private investigative agency deal with informational crimes, from old-fashioned copyright violation and identity theft to unlicensed cloning, nanosocialist sabotage, and mind piracy. Setting will be technologically advanced, with most of the solar system colonized or explored. Characters may be humans, enhanced humans, uplifted animals, or artificial intelligences in robotic or biological shells. Play will be realistic with limited but deadly combat. Rules system: Transhuman Space ("powered by GURPS").

_6__Xenophobia: Humanity has gone to the stars, encountered new life and new civilizations, and set up trade with some of them—but it’s neither easy nor safe. Aliens in this setting are really alien. At one of the main ports, the personnel of a special agency work to facilitate trade, resolve conflicts, and limit humanity’s exposure to unknown dangers. Characters will be human but may have unusual abilities. Play will be realistic, with emphasis on mysteries and negotiations. Rules system: GURPS.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sample prospectus

If whswhs is running, I'll play anything. Put me down for a 2 on them all. Now I just need to get out there . . ..
Here was my last one (which went over like a lead balloon).

Rising Sun over Denver Deadlands+Steampunk+Mecha

Set in 187? it’s a cowboy vs demon roundup. Utilizing advanced spirit-based technology from an imported Japanese Koubu-Kai a group of heroes will be battling the Reckoners. Both sides in the civil war want this fascinating new technology that doesn’t suffer from the standard breakdowns that afflict normal mad science. Emphasis will be more on research, discovery and conflict and less on horror and hopelessness. Aiming for a 25/75 in/out of Koubu-Kai.

City of Light and Hope Supers (Occult)

In 1979, a richter 9.9 earthquake struck northern California. Toppling Sacremento, Oakland, San Franscisco and countless smaller cities the loss of life and money was inconcievable. Alexander Cain, a wealthy industrialist spent billions of dollars to buy up the devastated land to build his dream city. Now in 2006 Futura City is one of the most populous cities in the world. Countless technological inovations and implementations has made Futura City the most advanced city in the world.

What Price Wisdom Horror+Adult+Space

In the wake of a particularly nasty earthquake an instalation is discovered in the deserts of modern California. While the world’s attention is focused on the rebuilding of Los Angeles and its suburbs, secret military and government experts are sent to investigate the sealed facility. No one knows what they will find inside, if they can ever penetrate the unidentifiable material making up the walls. Maybe these anatomacally-correct statues have something to do with opening the doors . . ..

Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow Investigation+Psi+Stuff

Discovering they couldn’t have children, Thomas and Maria Rose (owners of Thorne Industries) adopted a beautiful infant girl. They named her Krystina and loved her as their own. The positive influence of the child catapulted the couple and Thorne Industries to the top of the technology industry. After an accident in Balboa Park, Maria Rose was killed and Krystina Rose has gone missing. Mourning the loss of his wife Thomas Rose will stop at nothing to get his daughter back.

One in a Million! Supers

Remember, if you’re a one in a million kinda guy, there’s a thousand people just like you in China! In 1974 an earthquate in Sacramento devastated the California Capital. The people temporarially moved the capital to San Diego (annoying SF and LA). After 30 years, the capital was permanantly moved. Now, San Diego is one of the Super Seven cities in the world (San Diego, New York, Berlin, Bombay, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Jeresulam) where super heroes congregate. Sure, every city has a couple of super heroes, but only the Super Seven can claim a population density of 1% or higher metahuman concentration (not all metahumans are “super”). And only San Diego can lay claim to having five of the most powerful supers on Earth living within their city (okay, three of them are Villains, but hey! (Heroes: Avalon and Defender; Villains: Blaklite, Gravatus, Mandrake)).

Hmm, why do most of my campaigns revolve around something bad happening in California?
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:42 PM   #10
Mark Skarr
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I clicked submit instead of preview on the last revision. What I didn't put in there was:

All of it is in GURPS.
My players were to give each entry a value of 1-5 (and try not to use the same number twice) depending on how much they liked it. (1 being not at all, 5 being they'd rather do that than sleep.)

It went over very badly, I think my players got together to screw with me. I had five gamers and had a running total of 15 in each campaign.
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