UnseelieLord
 member, 81 posts
 Survival of the fittest.
 We're all gonna die.
Sun 11 Jul 2021
at 00:33
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
This is not something I am actively working on yet, just seeing if anyone else has any interest in the idea. I absolutely love the Drow, they're my favorite D&D race and I will play them any chance I get. But this usually means playing a drow character amongst a motley crew of varying races, doing things on the surface, etc. etc. Which is fun and all, but I've always wanted a stronger taste of the Drow experience.

So the idea is a freeform game that focuses on the intrigue and machinations in a Drow city. The day to day lives and adventures of drow among their fellow drow. I haven't really put much thought into it beyond that core concept. I would probably tinker with Drow society within this specific Drow city to make it more unique to this particular group of drow, and more enjoyable for male and female characters without entirely sacrificing the matriarchal and misandrous flavor of the Drow that is so intrinsic to them as a D&D race.

So, would anyone be interested in a Drow themed Court Intrigue freeform?
kark2
 member, 277 posts
Sun 11 Jul 2021
at 15:27
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
The way I see it, Freeform is collaborative writing.
Problem is that drow are not collaborative, even between themselves. You should let the players known if they will start and keep separately or if they will be able to interact and how. Whatever you choose, be prepare to have lots of NPCs and plans within plans.
Cubalibre
 member, 120 posts
 O.G. Gamer
 Nothing exists past 3.5
Sun 11 Jul 2021
at 17:06
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
Im currently on a Freeform kick right now and you idea sounds interesting!

There are some examples of Drow societies that are not Lolth dominated - the priestesses of Kiaransalee come to mind. Perhaps a city with an uneasy alliance combined with a caste system? Lolth priests control the day to day affairs of the city but Vhaeraun priests controls the trade while defense is controlled by Selvetarm clergy?

Food for thought & brainstorming!
UnseelieLord
 member, 82 posts
 Survival of the fittest.
 We're all gonna die.
Mon 12 Jul 2021
at 00:40
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
In reply to kark2 (msg # 2):

All written is collaborative writing. Systems are just collaborative writing with math.

As for the drow, I'd argue that they're very collaborative. You just can't trust that you're the only one they're collaborating with, that they aren't just pretending to collaborate with you, and that they won't stab you, figuratively or literally, in the back when you're done collaborating.

But, I agree that without some changes and tweaks to increase enjoyable playability, the Drow mindset presents an obstacle. I'm not sure anyone would enjoy playing in a game as truly cutthroat and impossible as drow society, devoid of meaningful interactions and connections.

In reply to Cubalibre (msg # 3):

I was thinking along similar lines, perhaps even introducing a new God altogether (though somewhat inspired by the Eberron Drow's Scorpion God), or even just making it a city that Lolth has turned her attention from, so the power the Priestesses had to bring to the table has slowly but surely decreased. I wouldn't want to completely lose the female dominated aspect of a Drow City, but shift the balances so the harsher aspects of Lolth dominated society are not at all common. Like the willy nilly way they will freely kill a male for some perceived slight or offense.

Overall, I feel like it would be best if behaviors were shifted so while matriarchal and female dominated, the men aren't quite so heavily oppressed, and dynamics within families would be at least slightly more reliable. Society in and of itself would need to function somewhat less hostilely. Manipulation, machinations, chaos, sure. But the constant worry that if you don't play the game just so you could end up with a knife in the back, not so much.
Anachronist
 member, 62 posts
Mon 12 Jul 2021
at 03:57
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
This may seem like an elementary question, so forgive my ignorance. I have mostly played games with fairly complex mechanical systems (GURPS, etc).

But how would one run this sort of game in the Freeform style?

I have seen the more typical freeform fare, sometimes erotic, sometimes contemporary, but not really intended to be very "complex" for the most part.

In this sort of game I would expect elements like subversion, assassination, espionage, humiliation, favor currying, etc.

All great elements to a story, but in a freeform game, where is the chance and consequence for failure?

This being a forum, I feel I should add that I don't mean to be factitious at all. I am honestly curious how people handle these things.

Is it just the GM's gut reaction to what they feel is reasonable or feasible for the character?

Are the characters generally expected to succeed baring any attempts at truly unlikely plots?

I would assume that players are generally reasonable in not claiming expertise in too many topics? But how do you handle a character that seems to be competent in every situation that comes along?

The concept itself sounds like a lot of fun. I have seen similar games advertised, mostly in D&D or Pathfinder all working for the same House, etc. But that seems fairly straight forward in comparison.

I would be very interested to hear your take on it.
Doom Shoom
 member, 46 posts
Mon 12 Jul 2021
at 14:24
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
I'd be in. Was close to start something like it myself.
zagygthemad
 member, 162 posts
Mon 12 Jul 2021
at 14:30
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
In reply to Doom Shoom (msg # 6):

I'd be interested, depending on the system.
UnseelieLord
 member, 83 posts
 Survival of the fittest.
 We're all gonna die.
Tue 13 Jul 2021
at 02:26
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
In reply to Anachronist (msg # 5):

In my experience, generally in any Freeform game, the player is expected to moderate themselves in regard to success and failure, abilities, skills, etc. Just as, in a fight, they would be expected to work out the outcome and details with the other player like reasonable, intelligent adults. Obviously, this is not always a realistic expectation, and we've all likely encountered (or been at one, more immature time) difficult players who want to be Superman. In those situations, the GM steps into either decide the outcome, or discuss the unrealistic character proficiencies and abilities.

At this point, I rarely spend a lot of time trying to correct poor gaming behavior with players. Because most of the time it just becomes a pointless back and forth, so if I have a player with a character that always wins, is the best at everything, so on and so on, I will attempt to address the issue once, and then it's out of the game. Because I've had too many arguments with players that went on too long until my desire to even run the game anymore was beaten and dragged through the mud.

The other primary difference, is that in a lot of freeform games, the GM is a far less prominent influence in the game. In a campaign, the GM or DM guides the story, the activity, the interaction, the NPCs, so so many NPCs. In a lot of freeform games that don't have a primary story or adventure to follow, the GMs are more like that babysitter that puts you in front of the TV and spends the rest of the time on the phone with her boyfriend. We're kind of just there to make sure you don't burn the place down.

The players would primarily drive the narrative. With the desired outcome being players filling rolls of power, of intrigue, of darker pursuits. Then the favor currying happens between player characters. Subversion and manipulation is carried out between player characters. Assassination, from the hiring of, to the attempt at fulfilling the contract would all be between player characters with very little GM interference, minor NPCs handled by the players as necessary as well.
Anachronist
 member, 63 posts
Tue 13 Jul 2021
at 02:38
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
Very well put, thank you.

That does make more sense that what I had first envisioned.
rlovie
 member, 69 posts
Fri 13 Aug 2021
at 23:50
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
I'd be in
Lluis
 member, 3 posts
Sat 14 Aug 2021
at 09:44
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
If you intend to run a game of Court intrigue/Politics, I'd advise you to take a look to En Garde!.

Though it would need quite a lot of adapting for a fantasy world, maybe it could serve you as a point to start from....
UnseelieLord
 member, 84 posts
 Survival of the fittest.
 We're all gonna die.
Sun 15 Aug 2021
at 17:07
IC:Court Intrigue/Politics Freeform Underdark Drow Game
I always appreciate input, but I have absolutely no interest in running any type of system on RPoL or any other collaborative writing roleplay setup. I keep systems on my table top. I run freeform games exclusively and as such, if this idea does come to fruition, it will be freeform as well.