CaesarCV
 member, 330 posts
Thu 10 Jan 2019
at 22:28
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I've started to read Tales from the Loop and the beta of it's darker sequel Things From the Flood and I'm really loving its mix of science fiction mystery, mundane drama, and themes about age, wonder, and growing up. I'm rather interested in running the game, although I still have a bit of reading to do before I can run either. I was thinking of taking on an interest check to see if there are people interested in either concept, and see where I should lean things.

Tales from the Loop takes place in a more fantastic version of the 80s, where robots, time travel experiments, titanic flying machines and more exist alongside the bikes, early VCR and other technology and pop culture of the period. The player characters are innocent and idealistic children. The mundane life of homework and the like is boring, but the kids get wrapped up in supernatural adventures known as Mysteries, experiencing amazing and magical happenings that give them a reprieve from their ordinary lives but also endanger and change them. It reflects the idealism seen by many in the time period, as well as youthful excitement and adventure.

Things From the Flood, by contrast, reflects the cynicism, social unrest, and horror that defined the 90s and its media. The fantastic technologies of the past are failing, while strange threats and new ideas are disrupting the status quo and horrors are emerging around the world. The player characters are troubled teens stuck between the idealism of childhood and the rigors of an increasingly adult life. Their home lives are filled with mundane struggle and conflict, but there is worse waiting out there too. The teenagers will have to risk life and limb to deal with Threats ranging from mysterious conspiracies and reality warping madness that seems poised to destroy any semblance of a normal life. It reflects the cynycism of the time period, and the awkward place where childhood idealism is shattered without the responsibility and wisdom of adulthood.

Both ideas are incredibly enticing to me, and either can be run through a more linear 'campaign' or through a more freeform set of mysteries to solve and threats to deal with. What I was wondering was who might be interested, and does it lie in either direction?
Bornite
 member, 54 posts
Thu 10 Jan 2019
at 22:35
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I've played in two games of Tales from the Loop and both were set in the 80s.  One problem I've got is that the system is rather lacking, but can be worked with if you want.  If given a choice, I'd say that the 80s is the better setting.  That's what I'd play in.
CaesarCV
 member, 331 posts
Thu 10 Jan 2019
at 22:37
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Mind elaborating on the system being lacking? I'm still reading through it, so some more experienced feedback and information would be greatly appreciated.
Bornite
 member, 55 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 00:20
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to CaesarCV (msg # 3):

Well, partially it just seems a bit on the simplistic side, though not as bad as say Kids on Bikes which is really a bad system.  I know you've played in a few World Of Darkness: Innocents games so when I say it's more simplistic than that you should have an idea what I'm talking about.  In character creation, they did OK, where the older your character is the more skills you have and the better you are at them, but the younger characters had more Luck points to use (if I'm remembering correctly, it's been a while). Also, (again if my memory serves me correctly) in Tales from the Loop there is a rather bad success mechanic (you get a number of d6 to roll and a 6 is usually the target number).  The problem is that you get so few dice to roll in most cases that failures are very frequent.  In the two games I was in I don't think that there were more than a handful of successes.  In both cases, the GMs had to finally start adjusting things or just declaring that we succeeded or just giving us information for things to progress.

On the plus side, the concept of the game is spectacular and the artwork is even more so.  The game can be run from horror to adventure to comedy to drama or any combination of those depending on the players and GM.  I could see movies and tv shows like The Goonies, Monster Squad, Adventures in Babysitting, IT, Land of the Lost (the tv show, not the movie) and plenty of others coming to life.  But all of them would be better served with another system, most of which you could easily translate any of Tales fiddly bits into.  I would honestly suggest Gurps as the best system for it, but WoD:  Innocents would also be better.

I would still try another game, even with the TftL system, but would strongly prefer to play in the 80s.  I think that is the sweet spot.

Edit - And just to add this, but I'm not sure that the shared world-building and connections stuff done by the players is worth it in a PbP game like on here.  It would be very useful in a FtF game, but seemed to take up a lot of real time to get accomplished.  Maybe if you could come up with a way to abbreviate it that might help.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:24, Fri 11 Jan.

CaesarCV
 member, 332 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 01:55
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I don't mind it being a bit simpler personally ha ha. At the moment I'd lean towards using the system, although I'll definitely look into figuring out the correct target numbers and things like that. I actually do quite like World of Darkness: Innocents (and am looking forward to the Chronicles of Darkness version on the way) but I'd lean more towards using the actual Tales from the Loop system over it. Things like Bonds, Pride, and Pushing seem like fun mechanics from a story standpoint ha ha.

Good point on the collaborative thing. I'll have to find ways to keep that snappy.
Bornite
 member, 56 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 03:47
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to CaesarCV (msg # 5):

I would certainly consider playing another TftL game, even using that system.  It's not bad, just I think there are better ones out there.  Hope to see an ad for your game up soon.
CaesarCV
 member, 333 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 03:53
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
It'll be a little bit while I read through the rest of the book and everything. I'd also like to see hopefully some more interest before I fully jump into the world building and Mystery/Threat planning too.
Bigbywolfe
 member, 9 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 04:34
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I have been curious about this game for a while but haven't had the chance to pick it up yet.
Bornite
 member, 57 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 04:40
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to CaesarCV (msg # 7):

Understandable, take your time on it.  If I think of anything else that might be of use I'll rMail you.
CaesarCV
 member, 334 posts
Mon 14 Jan 2019
at 04:02
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Alright. Read a bit more through the book. I was leaning towards the more linear 'Mystery' format rather than the Mystery Landscape. Would that probably be alright with everyone?
Bornite
 member, 58 posts
Mon 14 Jan 2019
at 04:30
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to CaesarCV (msg # 10):

I think that would probably work best.  And if the lasts (hopefully it will), you could easily convert to the Landscape format if you wish (or just throw another linear mystery at the characters).
CaesarCV
 member, 335 posts
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 14:13
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Fair enough ha ha. I think I might be able to get this started Monday or Tuesday. Any last bits of advice?
Bornite
 member, 59 posts
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 15:52
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to CaesarCV (msg # 12):

Biggest one, have fun yourself.
CaesarCV
 member, 336 posts
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 20:38
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Thanks ha ha. Actually though, I was considering altering the setting from Boulder Dam, Nevada to Batavia, IL (using a fictionalized version of the very real Fermilab Particle Accelerator and research facility), but it kind of shifts the setting a bit from small town to suburb. Is it a good idea to make a new setting? Or just stick with that's in the book? I'm kind of in between honestly is the problem.
Bornite
 member, 60 posts
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 22:34
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Either one would work.  I don't think there would be that great a difference between the two (goes and looks at map).  Nope, no real problem as far as I can see.  Yeah, it's a suburb of Chicago, but it's still a bit of a distance from the city proper.  Plus, it's got the Fox river running right through it which will help.  The tone will change some, but I think it's more than doable.  And while Chicago is nearby, I don't think there were any fast mass transit out to there back in the 80's, but I could be wrong there.  Use it especially if you're more familiar with that area.
CrazyIvan777
 member, 266 posts
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 03:46
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I live five miles from Fermilab. Trust me, we aren't Chicago. Not by a long shot. And I'd love to see the area become a new TftL setting!
CaesarCV
 member, 338 posts
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 03:51
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Cool. I think I'll aim for that then.
Gaffer
 member, 1533 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 05:11
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
This sounds interesting. I'd lean more toward teens as characters. A Breakfast Club kind of mix (I know, 80s) would be cool.

Whether kids or teens, I suggest a review of site policies on underage characters.
CaesarCV
 member, 339 posts
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 05:19
Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
I'm leaning towards kids now since I've already finished one of the mysteries and I'm just generally using the kid setting by now ha ha.

As for the adult age restrictions, I took a look and I didn't see anything that I really expect to come up honestly. I'm putting the game at Mature for now to cover my bases a little better, but I have no intention at all for sexual content to be present in the game.
Gaffer
 member, 1536 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 05:44
Re: Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
CaesarCV:
At the moment I'd lean towards using the system, although I'll definitely look into figuring out the correct target numbers and things like that.

My experience is that in PbP games it's often advisable to limit the dice rolls and urge players to resolve more by roleplay. If they have a good idea and the right skills, the GM should advance the story accordingly, closer to freeform. Use die rolls only when you feel a random element is more desirable (and for the opposition, mostly). It moves things more quickly and gives the players more agency.

The other option is more GM dice rolling for the PCs.
Bornite
 member, 61 posts
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 17:18
Re: Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
In reply to Gaffer (msg # 20):

Solidly excellent advice here.
CrazyIvan777
 member, 267 posts
Tue 22 Jan 2019
at 01:38
Re: Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Very excited about this!
CaesarCV
 member, 341 posts
Tue 22 Jan 2019
at 17:22
Re: Sci-Fi IC: Cool 80s Kids, or Edgy 90s Teens?
Game is up and accepting player applications.

link to another game