I need the help of experienced players to help me turn this into a workable game. Any tips or direction you can give me on how to do this would be great.
We've been set the D20 Futures rules which i have butched to something a a group of new players can use without constantly referring to a rule book.
So without further ado here is my plan so far after 3 days researching tabletop RPGs.
One last thing I'm pulling no punches. This will be a mature 18 rated game. Expect horrible things to be happening in this world..
I'm starting with a small contained prologue.
This will give the players time to settle into their characters and get to grips with the idea of staying in character as much as possible.
Super quick background: Players will be travelling on a large but beat up spaceship that gets attacked by raiders.
I'd start the characters in a gypsy like camp in the ships cargo hold.
This part would pretty free form, wake up do whatever you want to learn to express your actions in character and get the feel for role playing your character.
I'll then quickly bring the players into their own indiviual mini arc depending on what they chose to do. This could range from getting involved in a fight at a food stall to killing someone in a fit of rage, witnessing a rape, anything.
All of these arcs will end with the player being taken to med bay (guards will beat up the characters if they don't manage to injure themselves). Putting the players in med bay allows me to time skip so their previous actions don't have too much bearing on what they find next. This is needed as they will break whatever I have in mind.
Once in med bay the players will have a chance to learn how to talk to each other in character and a bit of a chance to learn about the other characters in the game.
After I feel the players have got used to staying in character (or when they appear to be getting bored) I'll start the main arc of the prologue.
I'm unsure how to do this. Ideally I don't want to tell the players anything their characters wouldn't know. So something along the lines of a tremor running through the ship followed by sounds of distant gunfire.
In order to get all the players working together I think I'll need to bring in a NPC (some kind of guard) to get them all working to an objective; namely surviving the attack and taking the escape pods to safety.
At this point I need to kit out the characters, I'm thinking of just getting the NPC guard to give them the basics and scavenge the rest from a few dead guards later on.
It would seem I need a map showing the layout of the ship. How much detail should this have? corridor and room layout or a simple flow diagram of objectives. If I don't make a map I think I'll have the ability to change the layout to force players where I want them to go but I'm not sure if this will work.
Anyway , I need to bring the characters to the cargo hold camp where they began. It will have been purged by the raiders but I want a few survivors around that the players can discover.
Ideas for NPC survivors:
gang member, looking out for themself. if handled badly will attack players.
guards holding a position against some raiders.
someone with a grudge if players committed a crime earlier.
crazy citizen, person driven insane by slaughter of their friends/family.
injured citizen, someone the players have interacted with earlier so are invested in the character.
The general progression will be across the cargo hold with at least one battle with the raiders to teach players combat.
From here to the end I have far less structure, I'm hoping the players will have a reasonable handle on how the game is played. My plan is to create a few character to interact with while searching for a way to reach the escape pods but otherwise create the game on the fly.
Ideas for narrative helper NPCs:
people who know how to reach the escape pods.
people (not raiders) that work against the players for their own gain.
raiders with individualism, e.g. with a rape and pillage mentality.
I might need some smaller challenges prepared that I can drop on the players to give focus to the game. I've no real idea as to what these should be; maybe things like particular people that need to be found in order to progress (perhaps they have a key the players need).
I think my largest problem from a narrative standpoint is how to prevent the players from killing each other. I'm giving them enough freedom to do whatever they want but all the players need to survive the narrative.
How is this usually handled in your games? In fact how is death handled in general? do you let player characters die and if you do how do you keep that player in the game?
whew Congratulations on reaching the end of that super long post. Any help you can give on: how games should be run, what things are going to go horribly wrong, how this idea needs changing etc. would be great.