By The Stars — Working. Working. — Week Twenty-Five

05Feb07

What? No confession?

I’ve nothing to confess but being re-invigorated about designing my game.

By The Stars? Didn’t you pull the plug on that thing a month ago?

Some games just don’t know when to stay dead. Running a By The Stars scenario powered by WGP… at Dreamation last week really re-invigorated my interest in developing the game. I’ve got fresh ideas, and renewed confidence in the game’s reception.

Fresh ideas? How can you say you have fresh ideas in a genre as done-to-death as space opera?

The same way I had fresh ideas about the genre of superheroes. In fact, I’ll be stealing liberally from With Great Power… and drawing on the patterns I’ve seen it produce in play.

For instance, the best Strife aspects I get at conventions are Motivations: The aspects that describe why a character does what he does. In By The Stars, Oaths will, of course, privledge motivation above other parts of the character. Each character will have three Oaths:

  • An Oath that describes a goal the character wants for himself.
  • An Oath that describes a goal the character wants for another PC or NPC.
  • An Oath that describes how that character wants to rewrite another character’s first or second Oath.
    That last one makes Oaths into a fusion of WGP…’s Motivation Aspects and Villian’s Plans. Cool, eh?

    One of the differences between superheroic fiction and the variety of space opera I’m emulating with BTS is the way the whole good vs. evil struggle is portrayed. In the types of superhero stories WGP… is set up to do, you know who the heroes and the villains are from the first page, and they never change. Star Wars is rife with changing sides. Han shoots Greedo, but then saves the day in the end. Lando seems trustworthy, betrays them, then rescues them. Vader kills the Emperor. Those things don’t work under a bipolar setup like WGP… This new Oath structure will support multi-polar play in BTS.

    It will take more than Oaths, and I’ve got some cool ideas about how the card system will work. Plus, Bill has suggested ways to morph the Story Arc into a template for the Campbellian Hero’s Journey that could prove fruitful. And, I’ve contacted my local game store about possibly running in-store demoes of WGP… and possibly using that as a vector to meet new players. We’ll see what they say.

    But that’s all grist for next week’s mill. See you then!

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  • 4 Responses to “By The Stars — Working. Working. — Week Twenty-Five”

    1. YAY!
      BtS is so exciting!
      I can’t wait to playtest this too!

    2. Let me know when you are available and ready to talk. I’ve got AIM up and running at home and we can flesh out some of these ideas. 🙂


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