WaRP/Over the Edge - what do you do?

edited June 2012 in Story Games

Several folks mentioned Over the Edge (or the new OGL WaRP incarnation of the rules) in the "What's in Your Gaming Bag" thread. I'm curious as to what people do GMing OTE/WaRP in a pickup or convention milieu. Specifically:

  • What do you do for setting? Do you use Al Amarja, a pre-existing homebrew, or play it by ear?
  • How much "adventure" do you have planned, typically?
  • How much time is the right amount of time for a one-shot?

I had one (wrong group/wrong time) disastrous experience GMing OTE back when Moses was still paddling around in the rushes, but the game nevertheless blew my mind at the time, and the new OGL release has me plotting and pondering.


  • Well, I admit I played Over The Edge back in the day and that lead, although I did drag my feet considerably, to playing Unknown Armies which in turn lead, once again after some considerably stubborness on my part to the FORGE - about three years after it really counted. All the while I was playing FUDGE, and that probably helped, too.

    I always thought Al Amarja was kind of lame, so I didn't bother. Ken Hite's Supressed Transmission articles turned out to be a godsend in looking for weird conspiratorial environments.

    With all the new thinking coming out of this story games thing, Over the Edge lends itself well to group world-building techniques (like Primetime Adventure's pitch session or the far more complex one inThe Final Hours of a Wicked Age.)

    I have a huge list of stock responses and obligatory scenes in a folder I carry around with me, so I don't often bother with putting together a plot beforehand in any game. (And with something like Over the Edge I wouldn't be ashamed at all to lay the Commedia dell'Arte imagery on thick.)

    You can easily cram a one-shot into a four hour period, in my previous experience with the game.

    I gotta say, though, while I enjoy Over-the-Edge's quick character generation system, you might want to look into applying Stake-Setting principles to the task resolution.
  • edited June 2012
    I've run two different OTE scenarios at conventions, using them as a kind of 'party game' for up to 8 players and it's worked very well.

    I've used the Al Amarjan setting both times, but more in order to provide colour and pre-made locations/types of NPC, rather than to get deep under the skin of the conspiracies and mysteries. It's also a good excuse to provide a weird variety of pre-genned PCs, such as an android, alien, sex sorcerer and a prophet of a new religion in the second scenario.

    I tend to rely on the interactions between PCs to drive most convention games, so it's less about having an adventure prepared, more about coming up with a situation that they can't simply ignore, that will benefit from the PCs working together despite the fact that they may be mildly or strongly antagonistic to each other.

    I like games that run fast: its just better to have a lot of stuff happening in 2 hours than to have 4 hours where not a lot happens. If you give PCs simple goals and point them towards each other, that's what you tend to find haappens: everyone plots, plans and schemes a heckuva lot, so you quickly burn through all the plots and sub-plots you've planned. Two to three hours is about the right length of time for a game like that.

    The scenarios and PCs can be downloaded as pdfs from my website, on this page: Out of the Inkwell is close to a standard adventure scenario, but Is This Seat Taken? is almost all character driven and closer to a LARP than aanything else, especially with the consideration about the seating to be taken into account. ;-)
  • WaRP is basically my go-to system. When I just want something I understand that will stay out of my way, I use it. I can stat up PCs and NPCs fast.
    If it had come out two years earlier, I would have been using it from the moment I started gming. As it was, I ran my first campaign with a clunky-but-workable homebrew of BRPS, the R. Talisorian d10 system, and NightLife. I can talk about the interesting bumps that caused some other time. The second game, a sequel campaign set twenty years after, used WaRP. Al Amarja became Bioko because I imprinted on the Illuminatus! trilogy.

    I also ran a couple of one shot OTE scenarios, "Freshman Dorm from Hell" and "Beurger Family Vacation". And I ran a brief OTE campaign for a while with a combination of email and face to face gaming.

    A friend of mine ran her Hub game, an sf game set more or less in the universe of the James Schmidt Hub stories, sf, using WaRP. This was a lot of fun.

    We figured out that if you take small dice -- I think 8 mm? -- you can get 6 into a bubblegum machine bubble. Use one of color A, two of color B, and three of color C, and it works really well for a portable game. The mix of colors helps with bonus and penalty dice.
  • Posted By: Lisa PadolWe figured out that if you take small dice -- I think 8 mm? -- you can get 6 into a bubblegum machine bubble. Use one of color A, two of color B, and three of color C, and it works really well for a portable game. The mix of colors helps with bonus and penalty dice.
    Heh, I was just picturing those inside of a Trouble game popper. Like these.
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