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New Path

New Path

Hello, I'm working on some content I want to play. I'll be working on it in private, and will be asking for opinions on it. This is the content, I would like feedback on now.

The game will be run on this site with the D20 Modern System, after I learn it. It will be my first attempt to GM. I also don't have any experience in D20, though... So it will be very touch and go. Despite this, I've really wanted to run with this concept for a long time. Originally it was going to be an independent forum RP play by post site, but I think that using an already established system will stream line it greatly. I do have lots of experience being the head admin of independent RP sites, as well and hopefully that will translate well into this.

New PathTo those who go the way, they who have strayed will be known as The Lost
To they who have strayed, they have simply forged a New Path.

Prologue - Blame your own fate. Regret your own weakness. Hate your own failure.

Or Change.

Time and time again, there have been certain points in history in which evolution has jumped forward in vast leaps and bounds. This happened when life first crawled out of the primordial soup, when fish began to develop lungs, when apes started to walk upright, as well as in countless other instances, and it will happen again. Similarly, all throughout the history of man, there have been certain individuals who were able to rise up above the common masses. These great, and sometimes terrible men and women, have been engraved into the annals of history, helping to shape the future of our race. It can be said that the lessons and examples these people have provided, have left a profound effect upon the human race as a whole. In all of these examples, and in many other events like them, life has exceeded the limits of potential to become something more.

To this date it cannot be explained why these leaps and bounds have taken place.

However, it might not be wrong to say that it was simply a matter of fate.

Yes, lets blame fate…

Whatever the reason or cause, evolution and the development of life has calmed down in the past few centuries and progress has once again grown stagnant. People, and life in general, have become complacent. They accept their limitations and only aspire to achieve what is within their potential.

In a world where the path before you is set and paved, will you go the way you are expected, or will you walk down a New Path?

Grand thefts, threats, assaults, murders, war, you hear about these things all the time. The world can be a very violent and dangerous place, but not for you. For all its dangers, that world is simply not your world. You only hear about these things on the news, or in fantasy. These things might happen as close as the next town over, or even to your neighbor, but not to you. You just do the best you can to go about the peaceful life this modern world has provided for you. You know what life has in store for you, and what you have to do to meet your reasonable life goals. Things happen to you, but things never really change.

Today should be no different. It is a special occasion, but even that is something you understand. You know how the day is going to play out. You might not know exactly what's going to happen, or how good a time you'll have, but you know what to expect. It's nothing too special. It's just new year's eve. The clock is counting down to the new year, and the day before has gone by exactly like any other end of the year's day. It's not a bad thing really. Your comfortable with your life, even if you seem to have fallen into a bit of a rut. Still, who could really blame you if you just wanted a little bit of change.

You may not have noticed during the commotion, or you might have been asleep, but you have received a message right at midnight, when the date changed to 01/01/2012. You may not be familiar with who it's from, or it might be from a good, but odd, friend you've somehow made on the internet. Either way, you were not expecting it, and included in it is a suspicious link.

You might just casually follow the link, but more likely you will probably just delete the message or otherwise ignore it.

However, you will find that this message is one that must be delivered. If you try to delete it, the darnedest thing happens, you receive a new message. It has the same subject, content, and sender, and it always arrives just as you delete the old one. Somehow, the sender must know your deleting it, and exactly when you delete it, but that's impossible, right? Maybe, it's some kind of new virus? Either way, its probably some kind of stupid new year's prank. If your the type to ignore junk mail or spam messages, and let it clutter up, you will eventually find that your inbox itself will be spammed with copies of the same message until your account reaches it virtual storage limits. Abandoning the account, will only result in the same thing happening to your new account.

You really have no choice but to open the message and follow the link.

The URL is long and complicated, and it brings you to what looks like a simple news website. At first the only thing that seems really odd about it, is that it seems that the web designer has distinctly Gothic tastes. At the top of the website, in an intricate and beautiful font, is the website's title, "New Path". Underneath it you can see a short phrase, followed by a small blurb about the site.

New Path Website
New Path
To those who go the way, they who have strayed will be known as The Lost
To they who have strayed, they have simply forged a New Path

Welcome to the New Path. The Nornir, in Norse mythology, were female beings who ruled the destiny of gods and men. The Moirae, Moerae or Moirai, in Greek mythology, were the white-robed incarnations of destiny. In Roman mythology, the Parcae were the personifications of destiny, often called The Fates in English. In Christian mythology, it is believed that Angels are servants of God, whose soul purpose in existence is to act upon the will of God. In various mythologies, it has been believed that fairies were mythical beings who at times would guide men to salvation, while at other times, to their demise. The word "fey" originally meant "fated to die" or "having forebodings of death".

However, it makes little difference what you call them, or what higher purpose you believe they serve.

A thorn by any other name would cut just as deeply.

If you're reading this then, whatever you choose to call them, it seems you have been visited by one of these hands of fate. What this means is that you have been chosen to make change. Congratulations. However, you can only be guided off the beaten path. The one who must make change happen is you. In the end you must make your own way. You must forge a new path. Good luck.

Beneath the site's blurb, you see a listing of news articles, but upon closer inspection, something else strikes you as odd. The dates of the articles are all wrong. You see several articles, which are marked with dates of the fourth, the seventh, and even the eleventh, and so on. The year and the month are January of 2012. This must be some kind of mistake. Or perhaps, this is still part of the prank.

One of the articles catches your eyes. You see your name in the headline, followed by the words "found dead". The article goes on to describe you, when, where, and how you died. Additionally, a small part of it is describes how your loss has impacted those around you. It's actually very touching. What is most alarming, however, is the included picture which seems to clearly display what you recognize as yourself, only it appears that you are in fact dead at the described scene of death.

If this is a joke, it is a sick and cruel one.

If this is not a joke, and nothing changes, you will be dead within the week.

Holy Hekate, where do I sign up for this?

I mean, I normally don't like playing d20 games, but wow... color me intrigued.

Thanks for showing interest. However, I still have no experience with D20. I'm applying for a game and will be jumping into other applications for D20 as best I can... Basically, it will be awhile, before I feel comfortable enough to do this. That really means a lot to me that you say that though. ^^

That all being said, let me through out a first question... Should I make up articles and events for the 'deaths' of the players (which will be a lot more complicated than it has to be), or should I leave 'how they would have died', 'how they react to the website', and 'how the prediction of death saves them' all up to the players as part of their background?

I like this idea and am currently working on a little something myself that involves players seeing a future and then trying to unravel how such a future could have come to pass and trying to work out how they can alter the future. The point for my little project isn't necessarily about the future and changing the future because what they see is simply a possible future, which may or may not have already been altered based upon the player characters witnessing it. It's more focused on how player characters will react to seeing this future and how it will affect the choices they make in game.
I like the whole concept of choices and consequences, it just spices it up when a possible future impacts upon the decision making processes of the present.

Why do they need to know how they died?

If this is but one article, and it's from the future, what is the likelihood of them coming across lots of articles centred around this point in the future providing them all the details they need to work out what happened. More intriguing to simply let the player characters wonder what could have happened and living in the present constantly looking behind them, working out who their friends or enemies could be, wondering that if they say the wrong thing to the wrong person it may lead to consequences, so basically the characters will be on the constant lookout to avoid creating the ripple effect that will lead to the chain of circumstances that leads to their death; or maybe it isn't that complicated and it was just a simple traffic accident but the fun part will be players never really knowing the events that led to their deaths.

Just my thoughts.

Those're interesting thoughts, Matty... I'll be looking out for your campaign.

The site tells the future through news articles. So they're at least gonna have a short time frame of death, a general if not accurate location, and perhaps even a cause of death. That's most of the case right there... But I suppose not all of it. That cause of death might be things like being hit by a train... I was gonna allow accidents, originally... But if I restrict the deaths to murders, the article can simply state that the police are still looking for the culprit.

That can lead to some interesting plot twists.

I might just have to go with that.

I'd still love to hear new thoughts on that question, but I'll ask the next one now...

I was thinking of making it a sandbox. The players are tied together very loosely by the exclusive access to the website, and might meet each other while following the same information. However, the theme of the story is following your own path. I also frown upon the idea of forcing characters together.

Still... It is my first attempt at GMing... Part of me thinks it might be too much to effectively handle... Though I do suppose that sandbox is what most play by post forums are like, and that's where I have experience.

So what do you guys think? Sandbox or standard party?

I think you should have the player characters caught up in the same event that caused their deaths. Just imagine it, all the player characters receiving this article at the same point detailing this incident that they were all involved in. This doesn't force the characters together but gives them something greater in common than just receiving stuff from the same site.

The article can mention the names of all the player characters and then you just leave it up to the player characters to decide whether or not they will want to seek each other out.

Most people would act upon that information to seek others out because the first thing that would drive people is trying to find answers to possible questions and believing that these other people who were involved in the same incident may have answers. It provides a more solid foundation for linking the player characters together without forcing the issue because that fact alone would no doubt draw the characters together even if they are all going their own way because they would all be seeking the same answers to the same questions about the same incident.

I don't like forcing the issue either in that regard as I generally try to give characters freedom to do whatever they want. However, the GM can always encourage characters to do what they want them to by throwing in the right things in game or redirecting characters that have gone off the tracks if you have a clearly defined story you're trying to progress through.

One game I have going on here, the player characters are actually linked, in a sense their fates are tied together and when they try to go their separate ways there is an invisible force that causes them pain. It's not quite a "Follow the arrows" style of game because all it does is force the characters to stay together but as a group they can still do whatever they want to. It's all about how defined you want your story/plot to be and how closely you want players to follow it.

What you need to do is work out what you would feel comfortable with and what would be most likely to work to suit your vision of the game because either could work really so it all comes down to how you want to run it. I'm sure there would be people interested either way.

I'd run with World of Darkness over d20 on this. The system fosters the kind of dark drama that this kind of story promises.

A group death from the same cause... That's a good idea and I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it. It stream lines everything... I was all caught up with the idea of them making their own meaning separate deaths... That's perfect..

A list of those found dead or presumed dead is a good touch, but it kind of means that there has to be some kind of huge tragedy... That might not be so bad...

Thanks again matty. I feel like these ideas aren't forcing the characters at all. It's very natural. I'll aspire to create events like this in the future.

TanaNari... Lol ...we're both psychic... Lets stop playing adventure and go out on a real one with our psychic powers...

My next question is should I stick with D20? I'm still in the early learning stages of the system... And I noticed WoD and took a look at it... It seemed ...well you said it TanaNari...

So which system do you all think works best for this modern setting?

I'm already starting to frown upon D20...

And I have one vote for WoD ...two if you count the small amount of interest I showed in it...

I would like more opinions though.

Also, if you suggest WoD ...which WoD?

Well, specifically, the Storyteller system. There's a difference between it and WoD (which is merely Storyteller's largest and most successful setting(s)). But that's not the point.

Thing about storyteller is that it's good for modern games. There's none of the levelling weirdness that D20 uses. In fact- never use a level-based-system for a modern game. It just doesn't work. It really doesn't work for anything else, either, but at least the problems are less frustrating and cringe worthy.

If not storyteller, there's also GURPS- which is a strong system for your purposes. And a handful of others. But GURPS and ST two of the best in the field for playing modern games.

And basically the only two still popular enough to actually attract enough players in the first place.

Since you're planning to play solely with mortal characters and not use supernatural beings at all.... I recommend the new system. Classic just... I don't think it ever crossed the designers' minds that people would want to play ordinary humans...

But I'm not terribly familiar with the new system. I don't like the setting. I don't like the changes made to the supernatural races I've seen (nWoD werewolf and mage- have them both- hate them both compared to to the oWoD versions). So I've never bothered to convert. But oWoD... handles mortals for complete and utter crap. It's hideously bad.

I read something along those, lines about mortals in WoD. The rest is very interesting indeed. I have to contemplate it...

Between WoD and GRUPS which is easiest to learn, and find in stores?


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