Mittwoch, 16. Juni 2021

Warum Indie-Rollenspiele spielen?

Obwohl die rollenspieltheoretischen Vorgärten der big dick game designer längst ausgetrocknet sind – haben sie je zu etwas anderem gedient als zu: Meine Spiele sind gut und eure scheiße? – wird allenthalben noch so getan als böten Indies keinen echten Mehrwert jenseits dieses verkopften Besserspielertums. Ich finde die Frage ob hier nun die Regeln besser zum Inhalt passen als anderswo (Stichwort: Ludonarrative Dissonanz) ja unspannend und was gute Geschichten sind interessiert mich auch nicht. Das liegt vielleicht mit daran, wie ich zum Indie-Rollenspiel gekommen bin. Bis 2012 kannte ich genau zwei publizierte Rollenspiele, DSA und Shadowrun. Indies habe ich kennengelernt, als ich anfing über den Tellerrand zu schauen, d.h. gleichzeitig mit Cthulhu, Traveller, Pathfinder, Fate – PbtA war zu dem Zeitpunkt noch gar nicht präsent. Los ging es mit den ersten großen Indie-Hits Fiasco und Microscope.

Warum die damals sofort Spaß gemacht haben? Traditionelles Rollenspiel hat eben immer einen Elefanten im Raum. Die Spielleitung, den Plot, die Abenteuergruppe. Pick your poison. Die spontane Fiasco-Runde auf der Brain and Dice war dagegen ganz unzeremoniell. Die Ausgangslage wird zufällig generiert und dann spiele ich einfach meine Figur. Die driftet hin und her zwischen den Figuren der Mitspielenden, üblicherweise übernehme ich aber Nebenrollen, wenn gerade jemand anders dran ist. Trotz des formelhaften Setups sind die Figuren hier tatsächlich loser verbunden – mit mehr Freiheit, eine eigene Richtung einzuschlagen – als im klassischen Rollenspiel. Diese Vereinzelung bis hin zu flüchtigen Figuren wie in Microscope trägt zu dem besonderen Realismus vieler Indie-Rollenspiele bei. Du spielst eben normale Leute, manchmal in außergewöhnlichen Situationen. Die Frauen in Kagematsu sind keine "super sexy rocket scientists or superheroes, [...] just normal women looking to get by." Es geht auch nicht darum, eine Show abzuliefern (außer die Figuren inszenieren eine wie in My Daughter, the Queen of France) oder irgendwelche story beats zu realisieren. Im Gegenteil stellst du dir vor, die Umstände wären anders "and the whole game wasn’t just a story" wie es Dog Eat Dog treffsicher formuliert. Indie-Rollenspiele richten sich, große Überraschung, an Leute, die Rollen spielen wollen.

Rollenspielschaffende, die ihre Indie-Spiele neuerdings vor allem auf itch.io veröffentlichen, sagen übrigens bestimmt: Spiel mein Spiel. Aber nicht: Spiel das mit meinem Spiel. Was ja analog wäre zu: Spiel das mit 5E, Fate, PbtA, SaWo et cetera. Was soll man auch mit Untitled Ghost Game anderes spielen als einen Geist, der ein Dorf heimsucht. Mit An Altogether Different River anderes als Menschen, die in ihrer Stadt geblieben sind oder nach langer Zeit dorthin zurückkehren. Mit Alienòr anderes als Kammerdienerinnen der berühmten Königin. Wer sich also abseits ausgetretener Abenteuerpfade begeben will, werfe einen Blick auf die Indies. Es ist bestimmt etwas dabei. Und wer das ja alles in D&D auch erlebt oder selbst besser macht, braucht sie halt nicht. Buhu.

Mittwoch, 26. Mai 2021

desert v1.61 generators

The game is found here: https://iam-scire.itch.io/desert


Montag, 5. April 2021

Demoing desert - part 2.

THE FACTIONS

desert

Hopes to leverage the killdolls for blackmail. The cyberattack demonstrates that desert is in the know.

  • Goal: ⚀ profit.
  • Resources: Killdolls’ identities, pts of computing power needed to jam the initial blocks, ⚂ personnel per player, ⚃ crates of molotov cocktails.

Shutting down the Killdoll's city block requires 7 points of computing power. 6 for the sensor systems plus 1 for communications. Below is the infrastructure desert has taken over for this attack.

(1) An office tower converted to apartments.

2pts computing power (tech level 5 pts minus 3 pts for using a building towards block scale action).

District: Tech level 6.

  • (ordered + people) > (prediction) = AI-managed office schedules. 
  • (low + ideas) > (prediction) = microtargeted tasks and assignments.
  • (vast + organizations)  > (post-device tech) = state of the art "brainscan" site access control.
  • (new machines) > (deep listen) = inflatables or bikes arrive on voice-order from everywhere in the district.
  • (busy nature) > (deep listen) = autogrown expensive skyscraper parks.
  • (inside machines) > (deep listen) = cleaning robots navigate by sound.

Section: Tech level 6 (surrounding streets: ⚂ maintenance, ⚅ special).
Architecture: Freestanding futurist.

-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
make organizations
-----------
connect organizations with nature
-----------
fix organizations
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
house stuff
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
power organizations

(2) A partly operational dollplant.

2pts computing power (tech level 5 pts minus 3 pts for using a building towards block scale action). 

District: Tech level 2.

  • (chaotic + nature) > (automation) = self-placing flood barriers.
  • (high + ideas) = big plans for development.
  • (individual + people) > (automation) = doll-supported single households.
  • (old + people) = old residents.
  • (busy + stuff) = ongoing construction.
  • (outside + people) = an influx of newcomers.

Section: Tech level 2 (surrounding streets: ⚂ maintenance, transit).
Architecture: Freestanding futurist.

-----------
make machines
 

(3) A residential section.

3pts computing power (tech level 4 pts minus 1 pt for using a section towards block scale action). 

 District: Tech level 1.

  • (chaotic + stuff) = run-down buildings.
  • (low + ideas) = tired people.
  • (vast + ideas) > ([brand]) = Oblivenchy reshaping the district.
  • (new + nature) = new green spaces.
  • (busy + stuff) = many demolitions.
  • (inside + people) = grounded local identity.

Section: Tech level 4 (surrounding streets: ⚄ storage, ⚅ special).
Architecture: Freestanding futurist.

Deploying faction   

Housing corporations and the assorted rich just before their expropriation.      

  • Faction: ⚅⚂ City-scale network.     
  • Goal: ⚅ repression.     
  • Resource: ⚃ space.  

City government

  • Goal: Keep city gov in power and from falling apart.     
  • Resources: Executive powers, an antiterrorism police unit (100 operators), unlimited funds.  

Corporations (Leuven, Rostock, Twój)

  • Goal: Gain influence.     
  • Resources: [brand], backdoors to soft- and     hardware across the city, unlimited computing     power, unlimited funds.

...continues with part 3.

Donnerstag, 1. April 2021

Demoing desert - part 1.

Here is a short solo demo of the current state of desert (https://iam-scire.itch.io/desert)

The game begins with a cyberattack on a city block. The single held character/killdoll lives in a building there. So prep has to start with that block. With multiple players, it would likely be more than one.

THE DISTRICT

The targeted block is located in a tech level ⚄ district. Its six impressions are randomly determined to be...

  • (chaotic + people) = undersized bars and clubs spill glittering crowds.
  • (low + people) > (smart city) = from drink to medicinal bag, everything comes with translucent health certificates.
  • (vast + machines) > ([brand]) = Pulse metro expansion.
  • (new + people) > (deep listen) = illegal rental apartments are identified by audio surveys.
  • (quiet + people) > (automation) = a spawn of monodolls to welcome visitors and offer deals.
  • (inside + people) > (smart city) = full customer-tracking with deanonymization in case of incident.

THE BLOCK

contains a tech level ⚅ section (surrounding streets: ⚀ work, ⚄ storage).
Architecture: Attached minimalist.

Tourists are rerouted during the day to quiet down the streets.


THE BUILDING

where the killdoll lives.

-----------
house ideas
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
house people
-----------
power ideas


The residential building with uni ties has an idea café on the ground level and a roof library.

THE KILLDOLL

Name: Katell
Age: 36
Gender: Woman
Looks: 

  • cheap hairnet, 
  • mismatched jewelery, 
  • synth skin, 
  • ragged sweater, 
  • translucent sweatpants, 
  • custom soles.

Expertises: 

  • (people) psychotherapy, 
  • (ideas) religious studies, 
  • (nature) sailing, 
  • (nature) gardening, 
  • (organizations) public relations, 
  • (organizations) her church. 

Contacts: 

  • (professional network) research group (affectionate), 
  • (religious community) her church (caustic).

Gear: pockets, wearable

...continues with part 2.

Donnerstag, 18. März 2021

the city (desert)

A version of the city for desert. 12 randomly generated districts sorted by tech level.

6

inner city iii
- flowing gestures at empty, screenless desks.
- a stress level ceiling for service workers.
- the lone audioscope park.
- surveillance-proof startups.
- many-tiered businesses with QM based on audio sensors.
- complex AI-powered HR departments hunt for future hires.

5

north end
- [brand] politics.
- academics despair over ever-growing databases and aggregators.
- lonely research in true 19c learned fashion.
- wired-up trees.
- heavy doll traffic.
- verdant interiors come alive with greendolls.

inner city i
- e:car traffic
- politicians avoid [brand], wear generics.
- transparent city gov buildings trap sound.
- post-device gardeners micromanage buzzdolls.
- [brand] office workers.
- [brand] lobbyists.

city north
- the tech uni provides [brand] lecturers to the Memory Club.
- post-device birders.
- individualist [brand] looks.
- an old sheet metal factory housing an important data centre.
- high block payments due to tech infrastructure and investments.
- strong academic networks.

4

centre
- small businesses and restaurants.
- programmable high-rise apartments.
- elite promotion by data-powered live learning.
- old cultural institutions.
- autogrown wild gardens.
- voice control self service retail and boutiques.

new city i
- pent-up anger.
- [brand] greenery.
- densely populated, hampering audio surveillance.
- conservatism.
- residents value privacy, many smart city functions are disabled.
- lots of imported, microtargeted and -curated media.

2

city south
- self-placing flood barriers.
- big plans for development.
- doll-supported single households.
- old residents.
- ongoing construction.
- an influx of newcomers.

city east
- heavy doll traffic.
- self-driving metro.
- seas of bicycles.
- state of the art consumer electronics.
- many retailers, repair shops and shipping stations.
- simple urban farming.

1

inner city ii
- grown streets between dense residential, clotheslines and air conditioners everywhere.
- roof antennas and wall-routers.
- [brand] v-markets advertise all over the district.
- active blocks with weekly ideas sessions.
- shy animals.
- varied local politics and ideological groups.

city west
- toy-strewn greenspaces.
- a better tomorrow.
- freestanding towers.
- a former power plant as [brand] event space.
- trams silently glide along.
- overlooking a nature reserve.

city n-east
- various city archives.
- the central [brand] library.
- the copyright agency.
- an aged workforce.
- firms lobbying for archi-tech upgrades.
- pale readers in special access archives.

new city ii
- uniform perimeter blocks.
- important voting district.
- a cry for jobs.
- everyone makes things.
- active [brand] international networks.
- computers, 3d printers and retro-machines.

Donnerstag, 4. März 2021

desert v1.51 generators

The game is found here: https://iam-scire.itch.io/desert


Montag, 15. Februar 2021

desert 15 (pdf)

Trying to tie down a clear premise and introducing faction mechanics.

"desert is a roleplaying game about (not so) ordinary characters stuck
in a near future city. Inside this booklet you will find:

- Killer machines cast from their hidden lives for whom violence is
no way out.

- Mechanics that highlight the alienating effects of ubiquitous sensor
systems and blur the lines between spectator and screen.

- Tools to construct the city sandbox as if it were a place that exists
including building generators and a technique to map city blocks.

- Playable factions pulling at the social and technological fabric of
the city."

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12t57SxI6JUXmEfZMmGqjA_QigkV8qefk/view?usp=sharing