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ronpyatt
09-14-2008, 01:43 AM
The RPG where everyone is the GM. I've played Universalis (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/ramshead/) a few times, and each time has been loads of fun. I read an article on it recently - how players evolve in the game with each new story - and I wondered what other's think of Universalis.

Have you played Universalis?
Tell us about it.

Back in '05 we had a game at a Tea shop (yes, out in public!), and I remember having spectators in the place laughing whenever we laughed. If you get a chance to play this game, I highly recommend it. It can be a blast. No GM experience required, as GM'ing in this game is not your typical Game Master prep and control. Control is fleeting, and I think preparing ahead of time might work against you, as the story is created on the fly. This is by design.

My group has agreed to use Universalis to create our next campaign setting. Since the most experienced Uni-players have had only 3 games under their belt, I'm guessing we'll need to play it a couple times to get the right feel for the kind of campaign we want. (Our common ground is anything mixed with fantasy, but I'm guessing we'll shoot for modern fantasy.)

I have the intention of setting tenets such as each player must add things that would appeal to them in a campaign setting; Races, professions, monsters, magic types, and other such world elements. Once we're content with the setting, we'll move everything we've created in the world into another system, create our own characters, and begin our adventures.

My hope is that this will be a good recipe for getting players invested in the game world.

tesral
09-14-2008, 01:55 PM
Where does one get it?

ronpyatt
09-22-2008, 05:58 PM
Sorry, I must have hallucinated. Universalis can be obtained through Ramshead Publishing at http://www.indie-rpgs.com/ramshead/

I've been reading through the book again, and I ran across a striking comment...

GAME PLAY NOTE: SUSPENSE
Contributed by Clinton Nixon
The game itself is more suspenseful than most role-playing games. Most RPGs aren't suspenseful at all for the GM - he knows what's going to happen. Even in a heavily narrativist game, he has some ideas, and knows the agendas of his antagonists. Players can read this, by the way - people can be obvious. I've often known what was going to happen in a game because I knew what TV shows the GM watched, or movies he liked, or books he read. In Universalis, since everyone contributes, no one knows for sure what might happen next. This kicks ass.

tesral
09-23-2008, 02:50 AM
Sorry, I must have hallucinated. Universalis can be obtained through Ramshead Publishing at http://www.indie-rpgs.com/ramshead/
.

Thank you, book marked. Not this month. Bought my D&D 3.5 books.

fmitchell
09-23-2008, 03:28 AM
Sorry, I must have hallucinated. Universalis can be obtained through Ramshead Publishing at http://www.indie-rpgs.com/ramshead/

You can also get used copies through Noble Knight Games (http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts.asp_Q_ProductLineID_E_1993163386_A_Ma nufacturerID_E_1190521085_A_CategoryID_E_12_A_Genr eID_E_).


Back in '95 we had a game at a Tea shop (yes, out in public!) ...

Wasn't that 2005? I was in on that one. It was an odd experience for me, since six people trying to pull the story in six different directions initially didn't sit well with my wannabe-writer/control-freak tendencies. However, the use of "facts", "objects", and "attributes" (is that terminology right) guarantees general story consistency as long as you don't worry too much about theme or characterization; it's definitely a third-person-omniscient, "director-stance" game.

boulet
09-23-2008, 11:19 AM
I wonder how difficult it is to keep track of the different traits each characters/elements get. Especially with anyoine being able to add/remove traits to any narrative elements

fmitchell
09-23-2008, 11:38 AM
I wonder how difficult it is to keep track of the different traits each characters/elements get. Especially with anyoine being able to add/remove traits to any narrative elements

We used a sheet of paper for everything, although in retrospect we should have also used index cards for "objects" and their "traits" ("attributes"? "properties"?) ... possibly for facts as well.

ronpyatt
09-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Wasn't that 2005? I was in on that one.
Did I say 95? Sorry, you're right. It was '05.

I had to look it up, but the Facts are the "tenets", "components", and "traits", which are also attributes, objects, and anything else that can be thrown in.

ronpyatt
09-27-2008, 01:03 AM
We had our Universalis game last night. We laughed. A lot. I mean there was really a lot of laughing.

Since I'd played this a few times, now, I'd gotten familiar with the rules enough that I didn't have to thumb through the rules when a Complication arose. It was rather nice to be able to know what I was doing. Since I was the only one with the book, I printed out summary rules at the last minute for everyone (7 of us) and promptly left the printouts on my desk at home. I don't have to tell you how frustrating that can be. Explaining all the rules in five minutes was too difficult. So, I opted to just demonstrate as we went along. I'm sure I messed up a couple of times.

I expected it to turn into a silly game, which it did turn a bit silly - It always does for new players. We were able to take some of the silly suggestions and turn them into interesting plot elements. We left a goal out of the Tenets (one of the most critical Tenets), but my goal was to teach the game to the others.

Next week, we'll get serious and have another with the goal of developing our game world.

boulet
09-27-2008, 12:56 PM
I wish I was one of the gang :)