Micronations

From Cramulus

Contents

Second pitch

Game Concept

A live gaming system which can be used to run different types of live adventures. Players transform familiar hangout spaces into several types of game spaces. Adventure scripts can be downloaded from the website. Adventure types include live boffer combat scenarios and turn-based card battles involving real space. Accumulate resources by creating content for your friends. Spend resources to build imaginary facilities like secret labs and occult libraries to give yourself access to class skills.

Several plotline-based adventure scripts are available for download on the game website. When your group runs an adventure, the outcome may influence ongoing global storylines (For example, every time you kill a zombie in boffer combat, it adds to the global zombie bodycount).

For each scenario type, there are a number of "character sheets" available for download (single page PDF). Each character class has its own character sheet with rules on one side, and a character building flowchart or checklist on the reverse. Before you play, you just print out a character sheet, check off a number of skills, and read any scenario specific rules. You may have access to a bonus sheet based on available facilities.


Game Zones

Players may designate real-world locations as game zones (working title). (Vocabulary Brainstorm: Zone, District, Steading, Holding, Property, Demesne, Territory, Ward)

There are several types of game zones, each are suited for different types of real-world locations. If it's a place where combat could take place, like a park, it could be an arena or a haunt. A bar or restaurant where it's inappropriate to be screaming and running around whacking each other with sticks could be a feast-hall, with no boffer combat allowed.

Each zone is controlled by a player. Players can contest each other for control of the zone. Zomes also provides a game bonus for performing a certain kind of activity there. For example hanging out at a feast hall for at least 15 minutes earns you an extra hit point for the night.

Some facilities give you access to special skills / abilities / tags for certain scenarios. For example, if you run enough zombie scenarios, you can create a bunker containing additional food/ammo.

A zone must be maintained by having a gathering there at least once per month. If people stop gathering there, they become inactive.

Zone Types

(see http://cramul.us/mediawiki/index.php/Astral_Magic#Dreamscaping_Rituals )

  • Combat Zones
    • Arena
    • Hunting Ground
    • Haunt
  • Hangout Zones
    • Feast Hall
    • Performance Hall

Facilities

Each type of Zones can house a few different kinds of facilities. Each facility gives access to certain class sheets.

Types of facilities include:

  • Secret Lab: get access to the SCIENCE! and cyborg character sheet.
  • Ninja Dojo: get access to the ninja (rogue) character sheet.
  • Bunker: get access to the Gunner character sheet (nerf weapons)
  • Weapons Rack: get access to the Knight character sheet
  • Occult Library: get access to the wizard character sheet
  • Doctor's office: get access to the medic character sheet


Adventures

Building a character

Before each adventure, you build a character by filling out a character sheet. You don't have to keep the same skills from adventure to adventure.

The character sheet lists each skill and its description. You are allowed to check a certain number of skills based on your XP total.

Adventure Types

  • Boffer - conflict involves boffer weapons & spell packets. These must take place at an appropriate zone.
  • Card - conflict involves playing cards against one another. A card deck is for sale on the website. Card combat involves taking turns, but moving around in real space.
  • Parlor - these are "murder mystery" style scenarios in which everybody has a pre-set character

Adventure themes

  • Zombie & vampire, supernatural horror.
    • Maybe the vampire character sheet makes you wear glitter on your face if you go out in the daytime ROFL
  • Mole people
    • The Mole King is taking over!
  • Evil AI


Example: Zombie Scenario

General Rules / Info

In the classic Zombie Escape scenario, a group of players are attacked by a group of zombies.

Setting: anywhere - house, park, forest, downtown

Zombies pick two "respawn points". If a zombie NPC dies, he has to return to that point before respawning. Zombies are mindless and cannot run. They walk directly towards any living players and try to touch them.

Players: If a zombie touches you, you are injured. If you are touched again while injured, you are infected. If you get infected, you will become a zombie in 60 seconds.

If you find a weapon card, you may hold it up to kill a zombie. Some weapon cards have limitations on their use. For example, a gun card does nothing without any bullet cards. Bullet cards are used up each time they are used. A shovel can kill a zombie, but it takes 20 seconds. If you are busy killing a zombie with a shovel and another zombie approaches, you won't be able to defend yourself.

Before game, zombies hide the resource cards all over the play area. When the game starts, players must try to collect enough resource cards to "survive". Survival might involve finding a safe place with food and barricading the door, it might involve finding all the weapons, or it might involve killing enough zombies to make an escape.

Character Sheets

  • Gunner
  • Medic
  • SCIENCE!
  • Cyborg
  • Ninja
  • Wizard
  • Knight

First Pitch

Date: 4/12/2012

Here's the initial set of game ideas.


Game Concept

Micronations is a live alternate reality game in which players become citizens and rulers of feudal micronations.

By joining the game, you become a citizen of a large micronation containing numerous warring states. Gameplay involves politics, resource management, and tactical boffer combat.

The game is organized through a social networking site which tracks character and territory information. Game actions must be recorded on the site. Players gain XP by posting blog entries, photos, and other content from the game. When you log onto the site, you'll see content created by your fellow players.

Players turn real-world hangout spots into game-spaces, called territories. There are several types of territories, ranging from feast hall to combat arena. Players may set up and control multiple territories. Each territory must be visited once per month to remain "active". Players may gain bonuses by performing certain activities in a territory. For example, visiting a feast hall for 15 minutes grants you an extra hit point for the rest of the night. In this way, players will want to visit their friends territories before going out on a module.

Resources can periodically be harvested from active territories. These resources can be used to build (imaginary) facilities in that territory. Facilities, (such as secret labs, ritual altars, and missile silos) either provide a game effect, or provide access to certain skills. For example, a character with access to a cybernetics lab may be able to access cyborg skills.

Territories can be contested and conquered by other players. Each type of territory has its own rules for conquest. A territory in a park may be disputed through a boffer tournament, whereas a territory set in a restaurant may be contested through cards, checkers, or a drinking contest.

Five territories can band together to form a state. States hold periodic elections for Governor. A Governor is afforded game-masterlike powers and can run modules, create NPCs, or create other interactive game experiences for the citizens of his State.

What is a Micronation, anyway?

Wikipedia on micronations:

Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, 
are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized 
by world governments or major international organizations. These nations often exist only
on paper, on the Internet, or in the minds of their creators.

Micronations, such as Lovely or the Aerican Empire are organizations which act as if they are sovereign states, while not being formally recognized by local governments. Some have hundreds of citizens.

The citizens of this game's micronations are governed by a set of laws, which are, effectively, the game's rules.


Narrative

The game's micronation is threatened by several outside forces. These are all fictional constructs, many of which involve fantasy or science fiction tropes.

At the game's outset, enemies of the micronation include

  • a renegade AI
  • space aliens
  • mole people

Marketing materials include Uncle-Sam style "WE NEED YOU" posters, asking people to enlist in the fight against the mole men.

Modules involve competitive scenarios in which players defend their territory from enemy attacks. The website hosts a number of modules.

At the end of a module, players may be able to cast a vote which will impact ongoing plotlines. In this way, the game's narrative is shaped by all participants regardless of location.


Hey Dan, walk me through what this might be like

Getting started

You find out about the game through a friend, or the Internet. You create a profile on the game website. Through the website, you see that 4 other people in your town are playing. You can see that there are already three territories: a local park, a restaurant, and somebody's house.

The game website has a schedule of upcoming events. You see that there's a gathering this Friday. You decide to come out and meet everybody.

Your first meeting

You go to the restaurant first. One of the game's players works there, and he's declared the restaurant a "feast hall". This means that if you spend 20 minutes hanging out there, you get +1 health for the rest of the night. You meet up with the other game players and say Hi. You all have a drink and get to know each other.

After the restaurant, the group heads over to the park. Within the micronation, the park is known as the "Haunted Forest State Park" and is ruled by a guy named Baron Dave. Your friends have brought a few boffer weapons - foam swords, shields, and stuff like that. Somebody tells you that the park is also a training ground where you can learn ghost hunting skills.

Attack of the mole people

Baron Dave explains that the park has a bad problem with mole people. The mole people live underneath it. They've been trying to take over the haunted park for a few months now. Dave needs his friends to show up every now and then and take care of them before they get out of hand.

Of the five people hanging out, two of them wander away. When they come back, they are wearing a badge which indicates they are NPCs - for the next section of the game, you'll treat them as if they're really mole people. They have an "adventure script", an adventure they downloaded off the game's website. This instructs them how to play the mole people, what stats they should have, and what type of challenges the adventure will involve. Other adventures involve scavenger hunts, puzzles, and different flavors of combat.

Next, the mole people attack! The two mole people run towards the three players. You defend yourself using a boffer sword. Somebody else in the group tells you he has a cybernetic augmentation - he has some special abilities he uses in combat to fend off the mole people. (Later, you ask him how he got those abilities. He tells you he has a secret lab in his basement where he can get cybernetic upgrades installed.)

The two mole people get killed, but a few minutes later, two new ones show up. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, five waves of mole people attack your party. During the fight, one of the other players reaches 0 hit points and is considered "injured". Now he can't use any game skills or help in the fight.

At the end of the battle, the party finds some treasure. These are little squares of paper (called Tags) which represent an in-game resource. Your cyborg friend says he'll use some of it to work on his next cybernetic upgrade. Baron Dave will use it to expand the influence of the park. One of the other players, Bill, says he's going to save his treasure and use it as a ballot during the next Vote. You do the same.

Finally, a mole person walks up to your party. He's not hostile or carrying any weapons, looks like he wants to talk. The person playing the mole person is following instructions from the adventure script. How you interact with him will influence how the plotline develops. He says, "Well, you've beaten my evil mole forces. I could leave right now, and that would harm the mole nation. But tell you what - if you let me live on your land, I'll train somebody in mole-fu, a fighting style that involves throwing foam rocks at your enemies." The group decides to kick the pesky mole out. Later, this means that the mole nation loses one of its generals, and is slightly closer to being officially defeated. If you had chosen differently, people who hang out at the park would be able to learn some mole combat skills.

Contested Territory

Everybody's hanging out and recovering from the little adventure with the mole people, when Bill decides it's time to make his move. He formally challenges Baron Dave for ownership of the Haunted Park. He names a challenge: a duel. Baron Dave accepts the challenge. The two of them square off, poised to kill each other using boffer weapons and magic spells (represented by little bean bags filled with birdseed). In an intense battle, Bill manages to beat Dave in the fight, and is named Baron Bill. Dave swears revenge.

The Website

That night, everybody goes home and logs onto the game's website. Dave creates an event page for the things which took place last night. Everybody who was there tags themselves on the event page. Some people upload pictures they took, others post journal entries about what happened. The website awards 1 XP to everybody who attended, 1 XP to anybody that wrote a blog entry, and 1 XP to anybody that uploaded pictures. Players can then spend that XP to lean or trade out game skills. When a new player logs onto the website, they'll see stories and pictures of what the game's actually like.


Politics

The next day, you get an e-mail from the new Baron Bill. Now that there are five players in the area, he wants to form a State. That means five different territories will have to band together and have an election. He promises that if elected, he will run an fun plotline involving the hated mole people.

Next, you get an e-mail from Dave. He's angry that Bill took his territory - he says that if you help him take it back, and get elected as the Governor, he will run several adventures which utilize the park's grills - he wants to run an Iron-Chef style burger cooking adventure where the players have to out-cook the mole people.

You've still got the treasure from last night. If you created an in-game territory, you could spend it on building a facility like a ninja dojo... or you could use it in the upcoming election to vote for Dave or Bill. Or maybe YOU want to be the ruler of your state, and will run against Dave and Bill. Being the governor gives you some cool powers, but you'll be partially responsible for organizing the local micronations community.

Each state is like a little gaming community - people in it will band together, fight each other, and vie for power. Each state may have its own plotlines and themes. The citizens of a state get to choose things like a flag, a state bird, and a state anthem.


The nation next door

Through the game website, you find out that people playing Micronations in another nearby city are helping out the mole people. Every time they run the mole adventure, they spare the mole general. You and your friends decide you have to stop this! So next time they schedule a battle against the mole people, you and your friends take a road trip, and show up to make sure the furry little bastard is put to death...


This is, perhaps, how the game of Micronations would work.

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