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Old 06-18-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default Are you afraid of GMing THS?

Greetings, all!

A question to all of you. Are you scared of GMing THS? Because I certainly am. Main reasons are that THS GMings requires knowing about a lot of different stuff, requires a mindset quite different from the modern one (I take the transhumanism easily, but fail at the techno aspect, many others are vice-versa), and one can very easily be left as a fool by a tech specialist (someone geekier than me, e.g.). All in all, THS is a cool setting, but I know of nobody who would be willing to GM it in my gaming group. Just wondering about you sentients.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

When I first picked it up, kinda. Then I started thinking about running a Total Recall-esque action campaign on Mars with the PCs playing tourists suckered into smuggling antimatter for Negative Growth cells taking another whack at the Space Elevator. And I realized if I can bend THS to run a Cliffhanger style action adventure, I can make it run pretty much anything else. After all, it's not like Mr. Pulver is going to show up at my door and beat me up for playing his setting "wrong."
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
Kyle Aaron
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

Yep, pretty much.

Everyone says it's cool, I don't know anyone who'll GM it, though. It's "there's too much to remember," and "but what do you do?" and so on.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

I would love to. Problem is that as a GM, I have almost no experience with anything other dungeons (Jungles, caves, mazes, spaceships, swords or guns). This makes me feel out of my depth in a setting that would likely involve much more social aspects than I have even delt with. I've never even participated in a game that didn't boil down to "Go here, kill them, come back." And a pure run and gun game seems like it would be a disservice to the setting.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

I've done it twice.

The first one was brilliant, but our group ran out of time, as people moved away to university. The second one was terrifying, and I gave the players too much control over the plot ... which they rapidly broke.

Now I'm kind of afraid of GMing again for a while, but generally - not just with regards to THS.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras
I would love to. Problem is that as a GM, I have almost no experience with anything other dungeons (Jungles, caves, mazes, spaceships, swords or guns). This makes me feel out of my depth in a setting that would likely involve much more social aspects than I have even delt with. I've never even participated in a game that didn't boil down to "Go here, kill them, come back." And a pure run and gun game seems like it would be a disservice to the setting.
Then run a "dungeon" in Transhuman Space. When I started my campaign, my media consumption at the time was Alias and Miami Vice, so I wanted to run spies and high action. Do what you're comfortable with.

I recommend cyberswarms. Very appropriate for moving around on the hex grids.

I also laid out Mall of the Dead with "memetic traps": advertisements that forced you to make a Will roll to avoid buying something you didn't need.

Related question: are people afraid to write adventures for Transhuman Space? It seems like there could be more than two on e23. Of course, I'm not one to talk.

-Grant
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

I was just thinking that there's a terrible irony here. There are recurring calls for SJ Games to go the route of a well-supported campaign world, with adventures and sourcebooks and everything. Well, they did. THS has five main books detailing the politics, military, economy, technology, culture, and daily life of a huge, sprawling setting in vast detail, followed it up with suppliments containing additional detail (Toxic Memes, Personnel Files, etc.) and a handful of adventures (Polyhymnia, Orbital Decay...). It's even supported by a stack of Pyramid articles (I stopped counting at twenty). It's a pile of documentation to go up against just about anything else short of, say, Harn or Greyhawk, and probably better thought-out than anything else.

And what do we (and by "we," I most certainly do mean me) do with this marvel? Stare at it in wonder and say "I wish I could figure out what to do with that..."
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh
A question to all of you. Are you scared of GMing THS?
No. It took me a while to come up with a suitable premise to generate a theme that fit the setting. But once I did, and my players signed up for it, I never had a moment's trouble working with the setting. Fortunately, I had players who were able to adapt to the exotic worldview it was based on.

About half a year in, we had a scene where one of the PCs, a ghost riding a computer in a bioshell cloned from his former body, did some undercover work that involved his getting intimate with a young woman who had given her virtual implant the ability to puppet master her body, so that it could perform tasks requiring skills such as acrobatics, dancing, and sex, while she rode along as an observer. He got up in the middle of the night to visit her bathroom, and while there, linked to a teammate and asked her advice on checking out the house's datasystems. She asked him to try to link with them, and when his attempt to do so caused countermeasures that alarmed him, he asked for help and his teammate got his permission to take over his body and telepresence it. There followed a short fight and a longer discussion between the young woman's AI and the telepresent PC. And after the plot point was resolved, it occurred to me that a roomfull of players had followed the entire interaction of four people in two bodies without blinking, and I knew they'd adapted to the milieu.

I've been giving my players exotic settings for a long time now; I feel pretty confident about being able to do it. What makes me nervous and uncertain is trying to run comedic campaigns.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company
And what do we (and by "we," I most certainly do mean me) do with this marvel? Stare at it in wonder and say "I wish I could figure out what to do with that..."
I will send my campaign logs to anyone who would like to read them. PM me with your preferred e-mail address and a request.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are you afraid of GMing THS?

I think that GMs who run THS should narrow in on the part of the THS universe that they find the most interesting and run adventures in that part. Interested in the criminal possibilities of the campaign then run a crime game. Don't worry about things like the space ships or the political stuff in won't matter to the characters.
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