Talking RPG settings with my group

Talking RPG settings with my group

There has been a break in my posts. I blame the Mass Effect Trilogy. Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2: Awesome! Mass Effect 3 … pewpew? Red, Green, Blue?
I really want to run a short (4 sessions or so) campaign now, set around/just before the Mass Effect 2 time. PCs working for Cerberus, thinking everything is fine (but oh, it is not … ?). I am not here for Mass Effect though!

Today me and my usual RPG group got together to play a little game I constructed, in order to figure out RPG settings we like:

  1. Brainstorming: Clockwise each person describes a setting-idea, listing references (games, books, movies, etc.) and maybe how they imagine the setting. Talking about it for a minute is not forbidden, but do not ask the other people about their opinions yet. If you can not think of anything you may pass. Cheating/Inspiration: Topic-List of Game Dev Tycoon.
  2. If everyone passed, you restart. Now you examine a setting more closely. Clockwise each person picks a setting, they say what they think of it, how they imagine it, maybe ask other players of their opinions, and everyone talks about how much they like to actually play in this setting. Do not delve too far into discussion. After some minutes you should all vote: Everyone at the same time (to not influence each other) shows 0 to 2 fingers as points.
  3. Eventually all interesting settings have a high point value, and there will be some clear favorites.

Surprisingly my shower-thought-idea worked out really good!

We started by examining the Game Dev Tycoon Topic list. Some stuff would be very weird to run a RPG about. Things like Vocabulary, Dance or Game Dev, so we deleted them. We also created a No-Go-List.

Sweet German I'm too lazy to translate

One of my players (probably due to my mediocre DnD campaign we ran before) did not want High-Fantasy to be a thing, Romance between Player Characters was also banned/should never come up. Then we started the actual game.

An hour later we got a pretty extensive list of TTRPG-Settings.
We German people like our anglicisms – especially with RPGs.

Afterwards we went to voting. Some entries got low values like 2, 3 or 4 out of 8 points, most were 5, 6 or 7 points.
Entries with less than 4 points we immediately removed, so 40 Minutes later we had this:

Clean up a bit:

We thought about giving one or two of the 6-point settings another chance, but in order to get 6 points (we were 4 players) either one person had to give a setting 0 points (all other players giving it 2 points), or two persons had to give 1 point (the other 2 giving 2 points).
With the 7-point settings every person gave it 2 points except one person who gave it 1 point, so the 7 point settings we clearly better for us.

This is where my rules ended. Simple solution: Just continue voting.
Give one setting 0 points, one 1 point, etc. up to your favorite setting with 4 points.

Dystopia and Space (noo, Mass Effect!) are out. Let's do the same thing for the top three settings.
One setting gets 0 points, one get 1 point, and one gets 2 points.

3 way draw … heh …

Well, there seems to be an honest interest in all of these, so I know what to run oneshots of!

Interesting settings though! Dishonored and Vampire I thought of using for an RPG before, but Watch Dogs as an Universe to play RPGs in never came to me!

Post Note: That Mass Effect short campaign oneshot I did. It was good.
Also: This little game was pretty amazing. My group ended up choosing Dishonored (i.e. Blades in the Dark), and we're having a good time now.