Solitaire RPG Challenge: Stage Names
I couldn’t help but come up with a couple of ideas for the RPG Solitaire Challenge, so here’s the first one: Stage Names. This post will be a work in progress, I’ll keep coming back to it and updating as I flesh out the design. Last change: 1/9/11
Concept: Stories of fame and what it does to people
Influences: The Wrestler, The Stage Names, Black Swan, The Stand-Ins, Behind the Music, Spinal Tap
Challenges: Living In The Future, Unlonely Your Fun, ARG! RPGS!, Scheherazade, Sharing
Requirements: You’ll need some time, creativity, and a blog with the ability to track number of visits. Setting up a new WordPress blog on wordpress.com is probably your best bet, but you can also use an established blog.
If you’re using an established blog, you probably want to put all your gameplay posts in one category.
Overview: Each game of Stage Names follows the career of a performer. Twice a week you’ll write blog posts from the perspectives of many people involved in the performer’s life. Based on the choices the performer makes and their success, you’ll find out what’ll happen in your next post. The game ends when the performer’s career ends.
Setup: You need a character sheet for your performer. This is just for your reference, not for sharing with others. On your character sheet:
Name the performer.
Choose a town of 100,000 or fewer that your performer is from.
One person in the performer’s immediate family believes in them. One person in the performer’s immediate family doesn’t. Who are they? Why do they feel that way?
One person outside of the performer’s family is their biggest fan. Who is it? Why other than the performer’s talent do they care?
List the voices you’ve unlocked. You start with only the performer’s voice.
Leave space for all the other benefits you’ll unlock.
Setup your blog. Test post as needed. Make sure you can track the number of views a post gets.
Posting: All of your posts will be made from the point of view of one of your fictional characters. Imagine why the person your posting as would post something: to spread news, gain fans, defend a friend, dispel rumors, make a comeback.
Each time you go to post you have a set of constraints for that post. Constraints for a post are made up of:
Location: Where the performer currently is.
Voice: Who you’re posting as. Your entire post must be written as this person.
Media: The media you can embed in your post as if it was created by the performer. In each post you can use something you find online as if it was created by the performer, part of the fictional world. Don’t be a dick: respect fair use, don’t hotlink, and credit the actual creator somewhere in your post.
Events: Things that have happened since the last post. You must mention all of these events in one way or another.
Promotion: What you can do to let other people on the internet know about the new post. The number of people reading your story corresponds to the fans the performer has, so the tools you can use to gain views/fans are constrained by the rules. (Ideally, there would be a custom blog software/WP addon to manage all this. What if you could lose your RSS feed as a gameplay option?)
You’ll post twice a week, the exact days are up to you.
For your first post, use these – Location: Hometown, Voice: Performer, Performace: Any one homemade YouTube video (no professional performers or bootleg concert footage) or non-professional photo, Events: Graduation Day before first tour, Promotion: unlimited direct communication (you can tell people you personally know through any medium, but no linking from public sites, tweeting, etc.)
For each post after that, the constraints depend on how the post before it did as well as your choices. If you have more than one Voice, you always cycle through voices with each post. Your new constraints are always based on the constraints from the previous post.
If the previous post had 10 or fewer views, choose one:
- Esoteric – Event: +rambling thoughts on something strange
If the previous post had more than 10 but less than 21 views, choose one:
If the previous post had more than 20 but less than 30 views, choose one:
If the previous post had more than 30 views, choose one:
If the previous post had more views than the post before it, choose one:
If the previous post had less views than the post before it, choose one:
For each comment your previous post had, choose one:
You also get points. For each view on the previous post, you get one point. These points roll over: if you don’t spend them on one post, you can spend them on the next. Track them on your character sheet.
The choices you can make all cost points. To use that choice, you must spend the required points and include whatever the choices says in the content of your post.
For example, to use the Significant Other choice you have to do what it says for that choice (mention them, but not by name; media must be love song but can be by any artist) and spend the required points (5).
- Significant Other
- Cost: 5
- Requirements: Mention the person, but not by name; Media must be a love song but can be b y any artist
- Benefit: Can choose Make it Official or Breakup for a later post
- Make It Official
- Cost: 7
- Requirements: Name the person; Explain how they make the performer feel
- Benefit: Can choose Breakup or Engaged for a later post
- Cost: 9
- Requirements: Instead of any other events, post can only be about proposal; No Media
- Benefit: Can choose Messy Breakup or Marriage for a later post
- Cost: 11
- Requirements: Instead of any other events, post can only be about wedding; Media can only be wedding pictures or video
- Benefit: Can choose Divorce for a later post, add Spouse to Voices
- Cost: 4
- Requirements: Significant Other or Make It Official and either:
- Events: +Public apology; Media must be sad
- Events: +Public insults; Media must be angry
- Benefit: Promotion: +Facebook for this post only
- Messy Breakup
- Cost: 4
- Requirements: Engaged and either:
- Events: +inconvenient facts; no Media
- Events: +the other man/woman; no Media
- Benefit: Promotion: +Facebook
- Cost: 4
- Requirements: Married and either:
- Events: +damaging facts +public outcry
- Events: +cheating +confrontation
- Benefit: Remove Spouse from Voices, change blog skin/style/layout