What games naturally link or feed into each other?

What games can you think of that are cool because the players' creative output nicely becomes the input for another game they will play? This idea fascinates me.

I finally managed to get a copy of Archipelago 3 by Matthijs Holter. Some work-mates and I are going to try it out. We don't have a setting that we want to use in particular, so I thought I would bring his other game (A thousand years under the sun) for creating the setting. These seemed to be nicely paired games, perhaps that was Matthijs' intention all along. @Matthijs

Then I noticed that I had a long-forgotten copy of House of Reeds lying around. When I read it and thought about it, I realized this this would be an excellent game to sandwich in between. Play A thousand years to develop a geography and history for a setting then play House of Reeds to tell the story of one particular spot in that setting. Then use the output of your House of Reeds game for the indirect relationships and flags in your Archipelago game: your characters are linked to either the house or a family member or something that happened in the house.

Surely, somebody has thought of playing like this before, but I didn't find any threads here about something like this, and still I have some questions: what other game could I add to this current set to create an even richer tapestry? And what other games have this natural affinity for each other, play well together? A 1000 years, and House of Reeds would seem to work well with lots of different games, but surely there are others that would fill this function too. What are they?

Comments

  • I will give a concrete example with a story most you will know to illustrate what I am talking about. You use A 1000 Years to create the story of your own 'Middle-Earth', then House of Reeds to create your 'Rivendell', then play out the rest with Archipelago.
  • I have another question. What games out there are good for creating McGuffins?
  • I like your idea... mainly because I like all three games you mentioned.
    Three years ago we created a world with Microscope and played on it with Fate Core.
    I´m planning to use Montsegur 1244 as an episode in my Ars Magica Provence Tribunal saga.
  • Tony Dowler’s solo game about building a dungeon (I forget the name) is intended to feed into a more traditional dungeon crawl, or a larger campaign since it creates a whole backstory about the history of the place.

    Microscope on its own has this same fractal nature where you zoom in to do some freeform roleplaying within one moment of the history you’re creating. (Gotta play that one again!)

    In In A Wicked Age, the first phase of play creates a situation and a cast of characters with goals and relationships, whom you then go on to roleplay. I like the first half at least as much as the second.

    You can even look at combat as a mini-game within the game — in a lot of RPGs it has a plethora of its own rules, and the whole style of play shifts as you bring out the battle-mat and go turn-by-turn. The roleplay informs the initial state of combat, and the results of combat alter the following roleplay.
  • edited April 17
    Honey Heist leads into Claw and Order (as you play the animal detectives hunting the culprits) leads into Sea Dracula (playing the animal lawyers in court convicting or defending the heist bears).

    https://rowanrookanddecard.com/product/honey-heist/

    https://nschneider.itch.io/claw-order

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/55263
  • Clearly someone needs to write a game about bears escaping from (or just enduring) prison.
  • edited April 17
    @snej How to Host a Dungeon. Thanks, you gave me enough info to search and find it.

    I was also thinking The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest might work into this... (still thinking)
  • Also: Jason Morningstar's The Skeletons gives you a nice dungeon with map and history and interesting stuff, that you can then send a bunch of murderhobos into in your dungeon delving game of choice.
  • NickWedig said:

    Also: Jason Morningstar's The Skeletons gives you a nice dungeon with map and history and interesting stuff, that you can then send a bunch of murderhobos into in your dungeon delving game of choice.

    With another group, or…? Not sure it'd be that fun for the same players to do it
  • 2097 said:
    Yes, Sandra! Nailed it.
  • 2097 said:

    NickWedig said:

    Also: Jason Morningstar's The Skeletons gives you a nice dungeon with map and history and interesting stuff, that you can then send a bunch of murderhobos into in your dungeon delving game of choice.

    With another group, or…? Not sure it'd be that fun for the same players to do it
    I think it would be a lot of fun to play with the same group. We played The Skeletons and created a cool tomb to explore, and we were supposed to then dungeon delve it as part of an ongoing D&D game, but that campaign collapsed before we got the chance. Which was a bit disappointing: I had hoped my undead hating paladin would get the chance to kill my tragic skeleton priest.

    You could then have the D&D game explore the backstory of the tomb, outside the tomb itself (which The Skeletons won't do). Who built it and who were these outside groups invading it?


    Or a GM could play it solo and then present the tomb to their players, or you could play it with two different groups. There are lots of options, depending what works for you and your group.
  • Yeah, I'm thinking the two different groups thing could work.

    What I was thinking when The Skeletons first came out was to do it the other way around, first kill all the skeletons then explore the skeletons tragic story afterwards, like a sorta sad prequel. But we never got to play it and if it is as you say that it creates a good dungeon, that'd be something that could be a fun way to prep.
  • There’s also the approach of creating the Dungeon together and then saying, “This is what you have heard about the Dungeon and its history. When you explore it, you’ll see how accurate that is, and what has changed since the last time someone explored it.”
  • A friend of mine used the ending map of a game of Empires of the Middle Ages for his D&D campaign setting, a "Teutonic Empire" that had happened when one player wound up conquering everything from Dublin to Stockholm.

  • I was also thinking The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest might work into this... (still thinking)

    Due to the setting in a gap between "interesting times", a prequel or a sequel based on the developed location and characters are an obvious way to follow up and, rather uniquely, more suitable for a different game, any one, than for a new "season" of the original system.

  • edited April 19
    I've been looking over the 200 word challenge entries for some interesting options, but there are so many of them that it is going to take a while.

    I am still looking to build on the A Thousand Years + House of Reeds + Archipelago combo.
  • edited April 19
    Kult works really well as the "true world" reveal behind just about any familiar genre game. My husband ran a long Vampire: The Masquerade game where we eventually found our way into the Kult mythos and learned why we lived in such a dark, crapsack world. He later used Kult elements to draw PCs out of several other short games of his (In Nomine, Changeling, Mage) and bring them together in a big crossover adventure that took place in the Kult universe. As a big "behind the scenes" mythos, it functions nicely as a step behind the stage to see who's really directing the scene, and it takes people waaaay out of their familiarity with whatever setting they think they're in.
  • Thanks everyone for your contributions so far. Please keep them coming.
  • My own Watch the World Die is a collaborative game of global devastation, designed to be played either as a standalone parlor game or as a group worldbuilding session for Apocalypse World (or any other post-apocalyptic RPG).
    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/130592/Watch-the-World-Die
  • (I added an @ Matthijs to my OP. I re-read it and realized I'd forgotten to do that originally.)
  • I feel like a ton of games are actually two games that feed into each other: a small game of character creation, then a large game using those characters. And there's probably some value in thinking of the character creation game as a separate game.
  • System combos I have played:

    Microscope (galactic history) -> Scum and Villainy (mercenaries in space)

    Kingdom (soviet superhero monitoring organization) -> Masks (state-sponsored superheroes)

    The Quiet Year (tenuous western religious settlers) -> Dogs in the Vineyard (dogs assigned to the string of towns we had created)

    Apocalypse World Fallen Empire (pagans at the edges of a collapsed Roman Empire) -> Kingdom (rebuilding the towns in an uneasy truce between the pagans and a lost legion)

    The only one of these that didn't work was Scum and Villainy, because the baked-in setting and faction assumptions kept grinding against original world-building.
  • I did a chain of minigames in a 5-hour slot.
    1. Bloody Sorceress: a murder mystery for establishing the setting
    2. Love & Darkness: grand schemes & setting wide intrigues
    3. The Last Stand: zoom in on a failed rebellion
    4. a hack of Amidst Endless Quiet: finding the solution to the epic stakes in the settings past!

    We also have an ongoing fantasy campaign about a protagonist and we play every chapter using a different game to highlight different themes.
    1. Poison'd hack: sins and traumas
    2. Perseverant: survival
    3. Technoir hack: noir tropes
    4. my homebrew game: emulating MAGUS novels.
  • hamnacb said:


    We also have an ongoing fantasy campaign about a protagonist and we play every chapter using a different game to highlight different themes.
    1. Poison'd hack: sins and traumas
    2. Perseverant: survival
    3. Technoir hack: noir tropes
    4. my homebrew game: emulating MAGUS novels.

    Doing this has always been sort of a dream of mine. I’m glad to hear someone is actually doing it!

    It’s a singular protagonist? How is that framed?
  • Paul_T said:


    It’s a singular protagonist? How is that framed?

    A PC called Adras was retroactively promoted to be the (secret) protagonist after the first game. So the campaign idea came only afterwards. It happened because having the same character in two different games made sense setting- story- and themewise. Also the player liked the idea :)

    We dont have a fixed group online. Its more like a loose network of friends and playmates who often play together one shots.

    The other players had no problem with having a continuous protagonist who links the discrete games together. Maybe because the sessions are not about him, they are stand alone stories with ensemble casts which are simultaniously (re)interpreted as episodes about the legend of Adras.

    Maybe your dream is different. Is it about explicit protagonist(s)?
  • No, that sounds great. My dream is somewhat agnostic on whether and how many characters might carry over from chapter to chapter. Is Adras always portrayed by the same player, or is the character seen as a sort of shared entity that belongs to the story?

    (I could see having different players portray Adras as a way to show his growth or change from chapter to chapter. I played in a much shorter-form game called Turning Point at a con once which had us taking turns playing a character at different points in his life, and it worked well to show how he changed over time.)
  • I see no obstacles sharing the character except that his player likes to play him :) I will ask him about the idea, it sounds cool to me!
  • hamnacb said:

    We also have an ongoing fantasy campaign about a protagonist and we play every chapter using a different game...

    That's awesome!

  • There is a closely related thread here Multi-System Campaigns?
  • I'm not sure if this is quite what's being looked for, but something that's a big deal in the CMWGE/Nobilis community is creating high school iyashikei AU versions of Nobilis OCs to iterate on their stories in a different context and vice-versa, and to ramp up a lot of the metaphors and stuff, since CMWGE is much more deeply focused in Magic Realism than Nobilis, which only really touches on the genre in a cursory way (and of course for turning CMWGE OCs into Nobilis OCs, it's to iterate the characters into a much more "epic" and cosmic-level sort of story). Like fanfic cross-over AUs, but in a weird way where all the lore loops back around and especially given some new thematic developments Jenna has talked about working on, the story of the Nobilis OC could easily be pseudo-backstory for the CMWGE OC.

    Here's a quote from Jenna's blog on one of her content development posts about the WIP Horizon campaign book that very much is what I'm talking about.
    As we go through this, we’ll wind up thinking more about how Town got to where it is today, and I think I’m going to wind up committing to the idea that somewhere along the line there was a wish that set people up in the lives they have.
    Like, that said, OK, de Montreal, you are not going to be some kind of weird Mimic or Fallen Angel thing any more, you are going to be a kid who is an orphan who grew up here.
    Now.
    Or whatever.
    And I think that wish got a puppet on the end of a tentacle, too; and so it, too, got whammied with a life and a backstory … and, obligatorily, an internal narrative.
    A socially-constructed identity.
    That’s who Sal is.
    Sal is a puppet that started to think of itself as a person because that’s what its memories said that it was!
    Er, what his memories said.
    That he was.
    I don’t think he even has any access to Sa’a Lingurth’s train of thought any more! Although the converse, it might not be true.
  • edited April 23
    @EmmatheExcrucian Yes, Emma, what you are describing is one aspect of what I am thinking of doing, at least sort of, maybe not the AUs, but who knows. I am definitely interested in lore loopbacks. I am looking for ways to build a really rich tapestry--examining characters from different angles and with different lenses, giving history/life to objects and places, taking minor characters and characters from the setting's historical backdrop and playing out their stories, etc. Thanks for mentioning this. You've helped define me goal more clearly in words.
  • Linking to this other thread about
    Multi systems campaign
    And thinking about Friends at the table and their Countetweight campaign.
  • In fact some threads naturally feed into each other ;)
  • Ah! Good memories. That Harry Potter ad the Natural 20 I’d entirely forgotten about!
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