Jump to content
D6 Online 3.0
Grimace

Settings for D6: What's hot, what's not?

Recommended Posts

There's only been a small portion of settings that have come out for OpenD6. I'm not sure of the popularity of the settings thus far, but I figured I'd ask this question in more generic terms.

 

Is an established setting necessary to get people's attention in large quantities?

 

What would get people to accept a newly created setting over an established one?

 

What makes for an interesting and compelling setting, in your opinion? What would make you buy a new setting?

 

Lend me your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the first topic to consider your questions might be the last thing released by WEG before D6 went OGL, Septimus. It was a new setting for D6. How did Septimus fare? Is it popular? Might it be once new supplements are released? I guess we may also want to consider the Open D6 releases so far, like Azamar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just my personal opinion, but I'd much rather see a smattering of settings and supplements than a single, monolithic one. The design of D6 promotes tinkering, IMO, and that's part of what drew me to it. I am working on a new sci-fi setting for Mini Six, using the ones at the back of the rulebook as a template. It won't take me long, which is good because I plan to start running a campaign with it early next month. For this, I don't want a setting someone else created. I have specific ideas about what I want it to be and Mini Six gives me the tools to make that not only possible, but also easy.

 

Maybe the reason there are so few settings is that it's just so easy to homebrew one? And that the homebrewers are the ones drawn to D6?

 

This probably doesn't answer your question about getting more interest in D6, but, and again this is my own strong opinion, I think it's more important to think about the target audience than on pure quantity. Instead of looking for the "go-to" setting, why not focus on finding a way to reach the people who like what D6 offers? For me, that's easy play and easy tinkering.

 

I think I rambled a bit from your initial question. The thing that would get me to buy D6 related material is the same as anything else: good content (and really good art, I have a weakness for that.) Inspire me, get my creative wheels turning, show me just enough so that I can take it in any direction I want. Make me hungry for more. Genre doesn't matter because a good core idea can be adapted to anything. I'm the type who has a bookshelf full of random systems because I like being Dr Frankenstein and building my own monstrosities from salvaged parts. (I try to stay away from big jolts of electricity, though; not good for me, the computer, or the books.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is an established setting necessary to get people's attention in large quantities?

 

Absolutely. D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Rifts (Once Upon a Time), OWoD, all had setting, with a metaplot. All were highly successful, and you can see when they stray, things start to fall apart. D&D stumbled and now Pathfinder picked up the baton. When was WEG huge? When it had commercially viable settings. Message Boards such as these naturally cater to a smaller percentage of the overall gaming populace, so naturally what we want may not be what the average consumer wants. I tend to run into far more GM's as active posters (especially here) than players in general, on most boards. So while I could care less, most players seem to want an established setting for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are social. "I'm playing in a homebrew my GM came up with." vs. "I'm playing in the Forgotten Realms.". One has a much wider audience, and a more likely avenue of discussion with non gamers.

 

What would get people to accept a newly created setting over an established one?

 

Artwork, accessibility, affordability, good writing, a complete shift in the standard RPG marketing that has existed since the birth of the hobby, a comprehensive printing schedule, an actual plan that does not rely on new "Core Book" sales, and lastly something that is not trying to be something else, with a high degree of internal consistency...did I mention marketing.

 

What makes for an interesting and compelling setting, in your opinion? What would make you buy a new setting?

 

A solid sense of history, and internal consistency. A real understanding of the people in setting, not something that was regurgitated to make money. As to what would make me buy a new setting, well nothing I can think of. I used to buy, lots of RPG books and over the last five years I have only stuck with a couple of old favorites, more out of nostalgia than anything. Instead of reading other peoples stuff I started really developing my own with an intent to publish roughly a year from now.

Edited by Ur Athal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A setting should have

 

1. Familiarity: players should be able to immediately associate the setting with something they already know and have experienced. A fantasy setting may seem a lot like Hyperborea or Forgotten Realms. An adventure setting may be "pulpy" and conjure images of Indiana Jones, Tarzan, etc.

2. Detail, but not excessive detail

3. Some kind of "hook" to draw the player in

4. Ambiance and atmosphere: think of Call of Cthulhu, Ghostories, or Top Secret

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm kind of burned out on generic settings, to be honest - give me Eberron over Toril any time of the day.

 

I also like settings where you can have lots of correct answers (some of which are contradictory to each other) to ethical issues. One of the things that attract me to Legend of the Five Rings, for instance, is the complexity of the interaction between Honor, Glory, Status and "real", day-to-day living.

 

Hmmm... I also love it when there's an undercurrent of mysticism in the setting, without it being too fantastical - or with the fantastical being very sporadic.

 

Finally, almost anything based on nearly all literary works would grab my attention almost immediately. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to put out more Star Wars stuff! The Star Wars RPG was the best game I ever played. I could run that game, for literally twelve-hour marathon sessions, without cracking a book. The rules were that easy to understand and the setting, well it's STAR WARS!

 

Course, the Lucasfilm License is one of the more valuable and well protected IPs out there...

 

Could I get away with making a superficially different campaign setting and use it to put out new SW material without using the Lucasfilm IP? All new Planets, Aliens, Spacecraft, Scenarios etc. that don't directly reference any of the SW IP, but are similar enough for anybody to use the material without conversion?

 

I've thought about this before, actually. I really liked the direction that the EU was going in the early- to mid- nineties and kinda got turned off by some of the later stuff. IMO, Tales of the Jedi was great, for example, but I'm not a huge fan of KOTOR. I would absolutely LOVE to make an EU-friendly version of the Clone Wars. All that being said, the amount of time and effort it would take to pull off the kind of work I want to do for the hobbie would kind of require me to sell it.

I could go the route of my "Ships of the Galaxy" series, which has already proven popular, but this would be on a more diverse scale.

 

My blue-sky fantasy project: A low-cost subscription website where I'd put out new material at the rate of a new species, planet, spacecraft or scenario a month, along with stories, equipment, weapons, Character Templates etc. Basically, the SW Adventure Journal, constantly being updated, for like 5 or ten a month or something. That way, I could make awesome SW content, and everone who wants it can get it, and we all live litigation free.

 

...If I tried something like that, would any of you be interested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I'd chime in:

 

Is an established setting necessary to get people's attention in large quantities?

What is large quantities? Hundreds? No. Thousands? Maybe? More than that? Yes.

 

What would get people to accept a newly created setting over an established one?

A hole in the genres gap. People like things that try filling in where other games don't really cover it all. Something new is sometimes adopted, sometimes not. This varies widely based on personality of individuals, and westerners do not like change as much as eastern cultures, so they are slower to adopt "new" things. I try out new games a lot, part of it is research, part of it is a love of gaming. I like analyzing why a game designer makes a decision to put something or take something out of a game, perhaps giving it taking to make the game feel "just right". A lot of this stuff helps in the willingness people have in general to adopt a new game.

 

What makes for an interesting and compelling setting, in your opinion?

Plenty of things can be interesting and compelling... Good writing. Great art. Original material. Innovative creations. Some people are moved by little things, like gaming soundtracks. Remember all the 2nd edition game albums for D&D? I miss those. As a note (and having tried to get an album contracted for Westward, contracting original music is expensive stuff...). I think the most compelling and interesting part of games are stories. RPGs are like interactive story books, so having stories on other characters helps us as players to pull us in, engage us in a universe that is otherwise completely foreign. Thats why television and movies are perfect for turning into RPGs. They (often?) provide compelling stories and interesting characters who interact and drive ideas forward. Original storywork and characters hands down can make or break a strong game setting. D&D pulled people in greyhawk books, dragonlance books, etc. Game settings that will last the test of time have stories built into them: TMNT, Shadowrun, Warhammer, D&D, Starwars, etc. Can a big story-backed game fail? Absolutely: ie Star Trek. That RPG has been done so many iterations now, it can be difficult to track. Are we at 4 or 5 now? Maybe more?

 

What would make you buy a new setting?

Me? Well other than story and characters? Great art. Enough solid background so I can immerse players in the world without too much effort. Enough material to use so that I can be up and running in 1 hour, instead of 3 or 4. My time is valuable to me, so slow or intricate character creation games don't normally get along well with me. I heart character templates! When I pick up a RPG book, I look at the Table of contents, flip through for art, and I look at the character sheet. If I can roughly figure out a game's mechanics from the character sheet, they've got me.

 

- J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...If I tried something like that, would any of you be interested?

 

Yes!

 

You might take a look at the Imperium setting in the Mini Six book... IIRC they made that open content so you could use it as a starting place. At the very least it's a good example of one way to do something like this. I started typing up a blog with some of my SW campaign world info and I managed to make it pretty generic ("Forest Moon", "Desert Planet", "protocol robot", etc.) but I didn't do well with thinking up alternate names for aliens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...