Megagame, recruiting

So, a little while ago, I posted a link to something called a megagame.

So, yesterday, I was talking to Alrick and Auburney about it and we agreed about how cool it would be to try to organize our own version of such a game… probably sometime this winter…

Right now, it is a vague idea rather than any sort of firm project, but we think it could be heaps fun.
We also think that the first step would be to gather a small team of moderators/ game masters. Their job would be to decide what the game would be about; write up the rule and the scenario (obviously, it would be spoiler heavy which is why we want to keep that team smallish, so that as many people as possible can join as actual players).

So, if you’d be interest, here is the place to volunteer!

Once we got our small team, I guess we’ll set up a small website or something…

How many people are you looking for (GM and player-wise) ?

Right no, we don’t know.
It will depends of the interest.

I am thinking between 3 and a half dozen GMs and anywhere from a dozen to 30ish players… It will really depend…

I might have a little something that could serve as a scenario, although I’d probably leave the rules to others.

Fun idea.

The more I think about this the more I like the idea! Very excited about this.

Some thoughts on the project…

  • We need to figure out how to reach enough people. I’m not sure if we can gather enough folks just through this forum. Maybe we can do flyers at Harry’s or whatever. But I think the scale, success and pretty much everything depends on this. So we should start early spreading the word and trying to create interest. Finding a date for so many people is crucial. Short notice won’t work, I think we need to have a fixed date as soon as possible and approach people with that weekend in mind.
  • depending on that we need 2-4 moderators. Let’s keep the overhead as small as possible.

Listening to Simon’s burst of ideas on Thursday I think setting up the actual game later on won’t be the problem. :wink:

Well, I think we can gather as many people from the forum as possible and then complete with recruiting our friends and associate nerds from outside the forum, even putting announcements at Harry and the like…

But, before getting too excited, I’d like to have a good idea of where we are going. Having a rough outline of the theme and rules.
Then, I think, we can look into setting up a date, finding a venue and recruiting players while the GMs keep working behind the scene to produce the handouts and the like…

So, what I’d look like soon is too set up the GM team and meet up for a brainstorming session. Afterwards, we would have a much clearer idea of what the game would be about and we can start working on filling up the details…

Sounds fun, I’d be in on the GM part or the player part.

So, finally got around to watching and thinking about this, too

First thought: we should not underestimate the logistics on such an event!

I’d say keep it as small as possible, number-of-people-wise and groups-wise as well. I’m thinking 3 GMs and three groups of 3 (or 3-4) people each for starters. That would bring us to 12 people - entirely doable even with only people from this forum, given enough advance notice and careful scheduling.

If it turns out that the 3 GMs cannot be 3 moderators at the same time (for whatever reasons, most likely time issues between running a game and communicating between tables), I’d probably expand the whole thing to 2 moderators, 3 GMs and three groups of 3 (or 3-4) players each. Would still only need 14 people.

I liked the idea from the Watch The Skies! video, that one group would play the antagonists (the Alien Invaders), and I would like to pick up on that because I think that’s awesome. Also, one less job for GMs/moderators, because, you know, an important NPC faction is entirely taken care of this way (who normally would need to be “played” by the GMs/mods, and that would take time and agreement in order to be consistently (and stylishly) pulled off)

So, I’d probably go for three groups, e.g. one table plays the dwarves, one table plays the elves, third table plays the orcs (or whatever, just placeholders really)

Now say, the orcs are invading the country where the others live (but for reasons of their own, there has to be something more than barbarism and pillaging as their motivation…)
The elves wanna repel the orcs at all costs (but cannot do it alone)… while the dwarves wanna keep the orcs away from their own towns/caves/sacredplaces, but couldn’t care less about what they do otherwise… also, they don’t trust the elves (again, with good reasons of their own, ideally)

If a simple setup like that is not enough to create insta tension (which i think it would be, given the very limited info every group would receive, and the natural mistrust against rivals and potential allies alike) and provide lasting investment and things to do (which I think is were it might fall short, e.g. what do we do if there is an alliance between any two of the groups too early in the game?) …

… we can always build in a background event that also takes place, and that is run purely by the GMs/mods, and will develop on its own as long as its ignored by the player teams… and will interact with them from a certain point onwards.
In the fantasy example, e.g. there could be a dragon slowly awakening and stirring underneath that long-dead volcano where it sleeps together with its brood…

So while the orcs invade (and perhaps negotiate with any of the other tables as well, and/or pursue their own hidden agenda), the elves lead counterattacks and negotiate with the dwarves, the dwarves barricade themselves securely in their cave-towns and negotiate with the elves… we could use the dragon to throw a spanner in the works whenever we feel the need to complicate and/or spice things up a bit…

Another thing I like, and would keep, is the fixed turn duration. Maybe even use the half-hour as seen in the video.
This is probably essential to keep all groups up to the same timetable, and will reduce “straying” of any given group (it may be very very easy to get lost in the details of the scenario, and given unlimited time, one group may advance much much slower in their plans than another might)

Then, we need only come up with some hidden connections that none of the players realize (at first), i.e. secrets to reveal in game.
Perhaps the Orc High Shaman knows about the awakening dragons and that is why the invasion was started in the first place. Unfortunately, even the Orc team would find out about this only sometime during the game…
Stuff like this, you’ll get the general idea I think :wink:

And add some board-gamey elements to the whole thing, such as tokens or counters for whatever elements we want them to believe are important when the game sets out
(such as the military tokens, the world map, the Research Tokens, the Nobel Prizes etc. in Watch The Skies!)
This will give groups something concrete to do in the beginning. Also, of course these shouldn’t be entirely useless after all, they should rather yield concrete results and advancements in the game. (It would be unfair to the players to give them e.g. military tokens to play around with, only to reveal later that those all amounted to nothing really anyways…)

But the Real game I think, is not in these. It is in how the teams work together (or around each other) with very limited information about each other’s plans and agendas.

Here is where the fantasy example is probably a bit weak, as its easy to imagine how Orcs, Elves and Dwarves would just stop talking to each other at some point. The United Nations from Watch The Skies! is probably a much stronger setup, as it encourages (and expects, really) that people keep up communications, even while invading each other’s areas of influence, double-crossing each other and so on…

Then again, even in WtS! they had the Alien team, and much, much! less conversation was had with them it seems.
But the others (the human factions) talked a lot, almost constantly in fact. This is a point I feel we should keep in mind when designing the scenario.

and yeah, sure, if we get more people together, we can always have 4 tables, or even more… or larger tables with more players each…

but I think, maybe start small, this will be an immense amount of prep and orga anyways, even for “just” 12 or 16 people.
If you guys really wanna go for the 20-to-30-or-something crowd, I’m honestly doubtful if we can pull it off

just sayin’ :wink:

Opinions? :slight_smile:

It occurs to me, that the Company Rules from REIGN might be a good basis to build something upon for one of these Megagames…

They’d cover a range of interesting option, such as spying, military action, pillaging, morale…
And at the same time, they’d keep things (comparatively) simple, AND are well supported by the turn-structure I think. (One turn could equal one month in game time, for example, that might mesh nicely)

I think the use of spies in particular is a very interesting and fun way to gain information for players (and to seed misinformation as GMs) :wink:
It might also make for a good arena for inter-player conflicts, without resorting to direct violent action right away.

I think you’re right about the number of players:
The problem with announcing it outside of the forum is that you could ‘end up’ with a big number of people and I personally wouldn’t want to send anybody away just to keep the numbers low.
The biggest problem will probably be the date of the game. Depending on that we might find enough people on the forum alone already.

As for the (quite possible but I think avoidable) Achilles’ heel of fantasy - This could be avoided by an uneven distribution of resources all over the world. And by not allowing things like the dwarven bunker to be too powerful. etc.
So there surely is something we could come up with that would help keeping up the negotiations.

BTW: Is the genre actually set yet ( fantasy?) or are you guys still talking about it?

no no, nothing is set yet - I intentionally chose a most vanilla example, in order to be able to talk about stuff but avoid spoiling anything for anybody who might be reading along here :wink:

and yeah, I agree the Achilles’ heel of “no inter-racial communications” can be avoided, easily even. We just have to keep it in mind, and give people some reason to talk to each other. Else it could “drift” towards ‘bah stupid elves dont wanna talk to them anyways’

Basically, I think we want to carefully balance “reasons to cooperate” with “individual (and contradictive, or at least top-secret) goals to achieve”

So while the dwarves may be happiest if they just manage to prevail in their bunkers, they should not be able to actually achieve that - at least not without help from the elves (who’re likely gonna want something in return), OR non-aggression pacts with the Orcs (who are almost certainly also gonna want something in return, though) :wink:

Wow… A lot of comments when I was gone!

I understand Auburney’s point about limiting the number of players to simplify logistic.
On the other hand, I think that, the more teams are running around, the more time they will be spending dealing with each others, negotiating and keeping track of what the others are doing, all without overloading the GMs…

It also make for a more interesting games with more interactions.
Also, normal boardgames are 3-4 teams (of one players); so that’s hardly “mega”.

I would be of the opinion to have more, even smaller team. Half a dozen teams of two people or even a dozen individual players.

Also, two or three make for a more static set of alliances…


I created a new forum, specially dedicated to the megagames (link).

We can have a discussion there.
Some of the forums’ sections are restricted to organisers, to avoid spoilers. Once organisers subscribe to the forums, I will give them the rights to these sections…

Registered and activated. Continuing my ramblings there now! :wink:

One more thing: how sure are we about copyright issues on this thing?

It kinda occurred to me that anything from calling it a Megagame in the first place, to copying or approximating the structure/concept/idea/rules of it, may or may not constitute legal infringement of some kind, yeah?

(Of course, we could always argue that with <30 people, it’s not really “Mega”, as Simon pointed out, and merely call it “Supergame”, “SuperRPG”, “EpicTourney” or something else instead. :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: )

New Recruitment Call for the Megagame!

We have now started sketching out possible settings and scenarios.

Any of you who are interested in helping to organize (or even only to brainstorm for) our hypothetically upcoming Megagame, please feel invited to join the discussions on the forum Simon kindly created for just his purpose!

Thank you for your attention :slight_smile:


done : )

Last Call for anybody interested in joining up as an Organizer and wanting to submit possible Settings or Scenarios for the upcoming Megagame!

On Sept 1st, the decision process about which Scenario we’ll go forward with will be started.

After that, new people can still get on board as organizers - but the Setting and Scenario of the game will then be agreed upon by the organizing team we’ve got assembled so far (Simon, Thopthes and me).

Thank you for your attention! :slight_smile: