Tuesday, April 17, 2012

[RPG][Wonderland] Creating Opposition

I have finally decided on a system to use for Wonderland. I'm going with Risus.

After considering about 6 systems (including Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds) and talking to TheDude about running something I can't "sell", I decided to do what I wanted and worked best for my game idea, and stop trying to do what I "should".

The map has been made (although it needs serious cleaning up) and the setting(s) are defined fairly well, with a lot of room to breathe and change if the soon-to-be players mess things up, confuse me, or otherwise X+1 me.

The next thing I am working on is the "opposition"- the things the players will face in the environment, and decide motivations, mannerisms and so forth for them. Because as much as this game is ultimately intended to be a "players vs. the world" sort of idea, there will be things to Deal With.

Most of what the players face will be much like themselves, but maybe with different beliefs, reasons for doing things, or understandings of the fundamental rules of the world. At some point there will be conflict; or at least I expect so given this is a game and there is an underlying want to "kill orks for beer money" in many gamers I know.

Coming up with those beliefs, values and reasons is a lot harder than coming up with "what they look like". GM's, what is your take on making opposing forces?

How do you make them, what do you consider important, all those things- please share!


  1. In my Buffy the Vampire Slayer game the Slayer wants to solve problems by hitting, while the rich girl wants to solve problems by talking. Some things you can talk to, othere you have to hit with a stick.

    I always try to have the antagonists motivations thought out first. If the PCs do this, what will he do in response. Then I try to come up with a "hook". What makes this person stand out in my world. Is it his looks, his accent, a certain mannerism?

    My PCS have learned that you can't solve all your problems with a big stick.

  2. This series of articles has fascinated me from the beginning, mostly because I lack the creative muscle to build something like you are doing. Nevertheless, I enjoy being a party to other peoples' creative processes, even if only in the capacity of an observer.

    Now, no Itchy comment would be complete without some kind of question so here goes; when creating an RPG of your own, is the approach different if the RPG is going to be a PBeM type of thing? I mean, as opposed to a pen-and-paper-around-the-table type thing? Are you even a fan of PBeM RPGs?

    1. Well, I don't know if the approach is different or not, since this is my first real go.

      I totally love the idea of PBeM, and I could even see running Wonderland that way. I have loved every PBeM I ever played in, so I would be happy to offer it to others.

  3. Well. I am a bit odd in that I don't usually set out with _anyone_ created as an opposing force. I just create forces. A whole mess of forces, with ties to each other, forming streams that run in the same direction but which can be divided around a well placed obstruction.

    (I call these obstructions 'player characters'.)

    However, I'm usually working on a more micro-scale - building an environment in someone else's world - whereas you seem to be operating on the macro-level, which bewilders me somewhat as it's not one I'm anything like as familiar with...

    1. Well, as I mentioned in my email, I really am not about making "villains", per se. I am just very aware of the way players operate and need to plan accordingly...

      I really like the "forces" idea, and seeing where they go.

      How is the macro level so different? I mean, it's doing the same thing; just bigger.