We All Started in One Place - but Now...

edited December 2008 in Story Games
This is a repost of musing thought I had in another thread:

What about a game that has a consistent starting point, but the secrets that are discovered alter it so that the end result is like an RPG version of the child's game "Rumor". It would be kind of cool to have a talk about a game where you're discussing the game and find that each of you discovered very different truths about the same political entities and groups.

I think this idea has an appeal to my way of thinking. Now, a twist I just thought of is - what if you could join another game in process at another group with the character who came from another game in progress. Two worlds that started from a single starting point that went in differing directions and are now joined by some sort of probabilistic travel.

This would make a cool campaign idea (or even a cool game idea) where characters can move from world to world (all having the same starting point), but moving at different time flows (some groups play more often than others, some groups blue book great deals of time, etc) and with very different results. Even the mixing of the travelers would create wrinkles and motes.


  • I thought of something like this, too, only it was for different groups to start play with the same IAWA oracles. Like you, I thought it would be fascinating to see how different interpretations led to different truths within the story.
  • I think the visiting each other part would be really fun, but the main idea is indeed to see where creativity takes people from that origin, with no two being just the same.
  • This actually is a really cool idea in my opinion. It would be interesting if the starting point had a lot of details and different factions, so the different games and time flows would still have a lot in common despite the different interpretations. There's a seed for a truly epic campaign of time and reality travel here. Which is, by the way, often an awful premise. Still, this one might not only work but be really nifty as well.
  • It is neat that you mention this. I was going over some notes from earlier this year and there was a quick note on doing a 'rumor' variant. I like your idea of merging two games. My group does a continual story over email that has been going off and on for years now. We did just that in the story, brought in our characters from the current game into the story for some really cool results.
    There is a seed of a game here.
  • I had a game where I was running a fantasy game and a TORG game different nights of the week and one of the shared players came into the fantasy game from TORG through a rift. That was fun to try and sort out what some of the player knew but didn't know, etc. That was many years ago.
  • I ran a campaign sorta like this...although I actually worked to keep time lined up with precision.

    It was a dungeon crawl...a quest to recover a fortune and a lost "save the world" artifact and become heroes.

    Each group was a different party of delvers trying to get to the artifact...each knew of rumors of the other group...but assumed they were just an NPC party. The fun part was when they started laying traps for each other and sending charmed monsters at each other. The one I remember best was one of those classic puzzle rooms...solve the riddle that tells you what order to pull the levers...the first party through solved it...then used a Stone to Mud spell to destroy the clue carved in the wall...heh...the next party made the room...had no idea...randomly pulled some levers...2 party members got gacked before they managed to escape.

    I had to do a bit of GM trickery to keep them from encountering each other until finally I called one session early, and then invited everyone together for the big reveal. They totally attacked each other...beat the snot out of each other...I attacked them with a bunch of minotaurs and such...the survivors united against that and then went on to get the artifact together...those that were left. I think 4 characters out of the 12 made it out of the dungeon alive...

    Good times...
  • Posted By: ValamirGood times...
    This sounds fun, and it reminds me of the infamous "Head of Vecna" incident.


    The think about my original post though would be that the groups wouldn't participate in each other's journey unless they did it at the same table. After some time, the two realities would take on a tone and feel that was unique to that group at that time and crossing over from one group to another would let the players know just how unique their table play is to others'.

    Each would have a differenet nuance, a different emphasis, and a different take of each setting bit. The Guild of Cutpurses in one game is a noble group of urchins with a slightly tarnished heart of gold, while in another, that same group is a dark and sinister force that disappears their enemies in alleyways. They are both lead by the "Dark Ratling", but that figure is vastly different in each - even if he is identical in stats.
  • In a lot of ways, Amber Diceless was a lot like this. You start with factions and personalities in a big bag, shake it up, and years later players are like "Corwin was like THAT in your game? Weird. Gerard was totally like THIS in ours."
    Cross over characters were kind of even addressed in the rulebook.
  • Posted By: JuddGIt would be kind of cool to have a talk about a game where you're discussing the game and find that each of you discovered very different truths about the same political entities and groups.
    This happens in The Shab Al-Hiri Roach. One of the constraints is a set cast of NPCs, who are maligned and abused in different ways by every group of players.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarThis happens in The Shab Al-Hiri Roach.
    That is true. I wonder if it would be neat (or doable in terms of the game system) to let people crossover to another game. A "visitor" staff member wouldn't have the influence and importance as they did at "home" per se....
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