I’m posting with hopes that someone else has already tried this.

I’m posting with hopes that someone else has already tried this.

I’m posting with hopes that someone else has already tried this. I’m looking forward to run an open campaign in a local RPG club with a cast of rotating PCs and I was wondering which changes would you suggest to make to the system, specifically how to hack or create something interesting in replacement of bonds, since given the situation, I need something more related to the campaign rather than other characters. Bonus points for campaign premises and concepts that allow me to run games where players will rotate regularly and not every character will be present every session (I was thinking of a flying ship that has the present players roleplay the crew members that go on a mission each session or something like that)

13 thoughts on “I’m posting with hopes that someone else has already tried this.”

  1. Character flags. For each PC write some signature things they do. When a player does one of these things, XP them. For instance, the thief might have “Create a distraction in order to swipe something.” The Barbarian might have “Show your disgust for civilized ways in a manner that is disruptive or uncomfortable for others.”

  2. There is the old school way of doing it which is your Hexcrawls across a wilderness or Megadungeons basically a dungeon that is large and changes everytime you go into it but stays the same structurally.

    Or there is episodic, think your classic TV shows, I once had my players who played every three weeks basically be some guards dealing with whatever that week which was pretty fun. Monster, Dungeon, Weird Treasure of the week they can all be quite cool.

    A lot of people like to use flags instead of bonds in this way, never used them so can’t say much but they sound more immediate and kind of interesting: http://walkingmind.evilhat.com/2015/09/07/from-bonds-to-flags/

  3. Another thought, XP them for reincorporation. When something thematic or otherwise cool happens in a session, capture it on an index card with a simple phrase like “You shall not pass!” or “Overly complicated plan!” or just “Frogs everywhere!” Put a number of these out at the beginning of the next session equal to the number of characters. When a character works one of these elements into the fiction, they can take a card. They can only take one card per session. Each card pays off an XP at the end of the session. This would create some continuity in the overall fiction of the group, though players in a single session might not see it. When you add a new card, however, a player might reincorporate it in the same session, so they might see it.

  4. Flags was a proposed alternate rule, originally in the link posted by James.

    This is the one I like. I think John Aegard wrote it, but I don’t remember where:

    Since the rotating cast of player characters makes Bonds difficult to manage, the following changes to how Bonds work are implemented:

    • At the beginning of the session, everyone can write one Bond with another player in the group, based on prior history, first impressions or the events of the Perilous Journey.

    • When you Aid or Interfere, roll+Bond like you normally would. After your beneficiary makes their move, you may write a Bond with them inspired by the outcome of the move.

    • If you are at your limit of Bonds available to write, Bonds written with characters that are not in the group may be erased as needed, with no XP awarded.

    As far as settings, this is what I’ve been working on in my spare time. Perhaps you’d like it. drive.google.com – Northwatch.pdf – Google Drive

  5. You could also do Bonds with NPCs. I’ve done that before in a con game where there was an orphan girl in the monastery the PCs were going to (that they had visited in the past), and I had them all make a bond with her. And of course she was going to be central to the story. But in what way she was central was dependent on how they made their bonds.

    Note that one “dangerous” thing with episodic play and DW is that in theory the same class shouldn’t be chosen more than once, however if players A and B play in the first game, then C and D in the second, and the A and D in the third, it’s totally possible you didn’t have a conflict of classes in the first two games, but did in the last one.

    In my case I did episodic play, but I had a cast of about 6 players, of which about 3-4 would show up in a given session, so I knew there wasn’t overlap. If you have a dozen players or more as time goes on, then this may be more of an issue.

    One option is to have a ton of those optional playbooks that come from other settings and such. The Immolator. etc.

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