View Full Version : Sandbox Super(hero/villain/other) Experiment

01-07-2014, 06:59 AM
I'm aiming to try a little campaign experiment with my players, based in a world similar to the Base Raiders game. I have a basic world set up and ready to explore, where all supers have recently vanished (about a year ago). The first generation of raiders appeared mere weeks after the disappearance and now run a black market in super-serums and similar - although they have far from a monopoly and tend to be the more cautious type, so very few have risked giving themselves powers.

The players are being asked to generate human characters, with some sort of background together and a reason to become base raiders themselves (seeking super-powers) - beyond that I'm trying to give them free reign, although there are a few plots that they can get involved in.

Whether they end up as heroes, villains or something else is up to the players, but what I'm really looking for is advice from anyone who may have run this sort of game before (not to mention any suggestions for other plots to throw at them if the game slows down - preferably ones that will push them into then driving the game forward more themselves). This is a first, as usually in campaigns I have at least an intended end-goal (however many possibilities there are for the players to achieve it) but in this case I'm actually aiming to be more reactive, and tailor the game as it goes along.

So, current demi-plots running alongside the players:
- a couple of budding super hero teamups and corresponding villains
- government trying to prevent a new wave of supers from emerging to fill the void left by the last
- vague cosmic threats which may or may not become relevant to the players (if they don't go down that route, others will as a background thingy)
- the possibility of finding out what happened to the previous supers
- a couple of minor wars which are ticking over, which they can choose to get involved in
- a secret government team trying to recruit the new supers as they emerge (or eliminate them)
- a terrorist organisation attempting to spread superpowers (super-soldier serum in the water, etc) and paying top dollar for anything that may help

Of course, any/all of these can be ignored for the players to instead raid more bases, trying to increase their personal power. Or they could decide to build up their power and conquer a country or two, or the world, or colonize Mars.

So again for anyone who's done this sort of thing before - is it worth adding a few more threads/cutting them out? Is there any other feedback/suggestions/criticism that people might have?

01-07-2014, 05:45 PM
i've seen this sort of play style work best in a multi-threaded pbp game.

01-08-2014, 04:13 AM
Thanks - I'm actually planning on doing it as a tabletop, but after your comment and a little thought I'm going to try something new.

I don't have a huge amount of time these days (at least not in single blocks) so was planning to run the game bi-weekly - I'm now thinking that I'll switch that to monthly for my players, but use the Obsidian Portal forums to extend it a little so that players can get a pbp downtime adventure, something that can be a bit more solo and tailored to them. It'll be interesting to see how it pans out - I suspect some of them will do a lot between sessions, while others will ignore it. Once everyone's into the flow and the basic gameplay's established I'll look into extending it to a larger pbp game, with the tabletop as a central story running through.

01-08-2014, 12:26 PM
Well, if you would like to see a current example of what i'm talking about... go to the pbp section of the forum here, and read up on the Carnival of Souls. Look for the threads that say "Introduction", "Chapter One", and "Chapter Two". None of my players have actually met each other yet. One benefit of this is that they don't have to wait on each other to move or play. ^^

01-09-2014, 04:04 AM
I've had a look - definitely something I can make use of after the tabletop kickoff. Both to handle between-sessions time (I'm hoping it'll be too active to count as downtime) and potentially to bring some new players in online as the world develops.