Sunday, March 15, 2015

RPG Musing: Lost In the Woods

You didn't want to go.  But you wound up at summer camp anyway.  You're 8, and this is your first
time at Summer Camp.  Your parents insisted you would learn something from the experience.

They didn't expect the monsters to come either.

It started when something attacked the dining hall the third night.  It ate three counselors and ten campers.  You just started running when your counselor screamed to run.

So you and your fellow campers fled deeper into the woods.  The cellphone the Counselor had didn't work.  It had battery power, but no signal.  Worse, the messages the phone had you didn't understand.

Your counselor just remained quiet about it.  

Now you and your fellow campers are stuck in the wilderness.  Each night you can hear the monsters coming.  But they aren't what's going to kill you.  Trees, the cold, the rain, the animals- the Wilderness doesn't care if monsters are coming for it.  You learn this the hard way.

Nature will kill you if the monsters don't.  

Lost In the Woods, an idea for a RPG where you play summer campers lost in the wilderness.

There is a bit more.  Lost in the Woods would have a middle and late game.  Over the course of thirty years, the campers grow up in the wilderness during a post-apocalypse.

I'm unsure on the certainty of that part.  The part I'm fixated on right now is the idea of a RPG focused on a conflict with Nature.  Mechanically, I think using something like the Doom Pool from Marvel Heroic Roleplaying could prove ideal.  The stress that comes from failing to do certain things or being unable to produce somethings, pool up in survival situations.

So Nature has its own pool of dice or points it's using to kill the campers.  Kewl.

I think I would use a Dread Questionnaire kind of thing for creating the characters.  Each camper brings their own family's history and whatnot.  I'm purposely leaving the "monster" in the beginning vague; I'd rather players input on that instead of producing it beforehand.  Trolls?  Giants?  Vampires?  Who knows.  Maybe even killer robots.

Lastly is that idea on having characters age over the course of sessions.  I'm thinking of time skips.  In Fate Core, every three or four sessions you have a milestone of some size that occurs.  Maybe instead of being a pure character improvement, the story skips ahead ten years.  Hmm.

Characters would start off with three aspects I think:

  • Their "Family Aspect", which represents what their parents are like and the household they came from.  
  • Their "School Aspect", which represents what they are like in School; are they a bully, a shy kid or part of some school soccer team?   
  • Lastly, their "What I Wanna Be" aspect: this is what the Camper wants to become when they get older, be that logical, imaginary or way-off left field.  
This is just my first thoughts on it.  As always, just me musing.  Might never make anything of it.  Still, sounds fun.  I find the idea of running an RPG of people playing children intriguing, if nothing else.