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New Worlds: A New Play-By-Post Game Launching August 2003
By TealFox (aomtealfox@rpgnewworlds.org)

This year, a friend and I will be seeing the conclusion of two years of preparatory work on a new play-by-post role-playing game. Play-by-post, an online form of role-playing whereby players post their characters’ actions on a web-based forum is an active and well-represented role-playing style. It is more akin to a cooperative creative writing session than anything else. What we will be adding to this genre, however, is a game not quite like the others equipped with some 3000 documents about its setting, its game play, its structure, and its intent.

A few years ago, a friend and I were discussing ways to improve an already-existing Star Trek-based play-by-post game that we were both members of. The game, Star Trek: Independence (ST:I) was quite unique because Star Trek play-by-post games aren’t exactly the most common types of play-by-post games, but also because the universe was only partially based on Star Trek. Whereas in Star Trek, the United Federation of Planets and its Starfleet were united in their common goal of “exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life forms,” in Star Trek: Independence this was not the case. In ST:I, Romulans had invaded the United Federation of Planets and had for the most part succeeded in their invasion. This had caused the Federation to split right down to its core: a Federation civil war was thus the setting of this innovative game.

My friend and I joined this game enthralled by the fact that this was Star Trek and yet it wasn’t. Our characters were confronted with issues that were hard if not impossible to introduce into a normal Star Trek plotline. In Star Trek: Independence, we were able to discuss issues like “what it meant to be a soldier,” “what it meant to take on a suicide mission.” Yet, Star Trek: Independence had many flaws – the administrative structure was not neutral enough, the plotline was different but not different enough for us… it soon became clear to us that we needed to take the next step, that is… we needed to create a play-by-post game that featured a science-fiction setting that was unique.

So we set out, in 2001, giving ourselves a year to create a universe where war would have been recently declared. This war would come as the failure of a century of Peace. In our universe, there would be no evil one-dimensional bad guys, but there wouldn’t be one-dimensional good guys either. Our game would explore the grey lines of the universe we wanted to create. While set 500 years after the 21st century, the people living in the year 2500 have discovered faster-than-light travel, are bound by a universe where four major powers exist, and also face many different challenges (ranging from racism to poverty).

In the end, it took us more than just a year to create this universe – and the concept has gone through no less that two major overhauls. The setting we’ve come up is quite exciting indeed; it offers a lot of opportunities for role-players (advanced and beginners alike). It’s the dawn of the 26th century, and the Organisation for Interstellar Peace has just witnessed a descent from two of its major participants into war. Unable to stop the declaration between the Terran Democratic Republic (T.D.R) and the Gohorn Directorate, the O.I.P. is likewise unable to contain it. Soon, the war expands to include other powers and other worlds. Not the entire universe goes to war; there is also the Luna Minoris Confederacy of Non-Aligned Worlds, a collection of small but wealthy one-system governments that have remained neutral. They’ve remained neutral because their military forces are ill equipped to fight a full scale war, and because they cannot agree on a political course of action.

In our universe, civilian and military characters can exist side by side. Because the universe is so young, there is a lot a player can do to create a character that is fun to role-play, a character that can change a universe. Whether a player chooses to participate as the commanding officer of some starship, or the commanding officer some ground platoon stationed at the front-lines of the biggest war ever, there are a lot of options. Will a player choose to be a refugee, or choose to be a well-paid politician in the Confederacy? Will the character be one of the rare few to enter the former territories of the Natashan Nation, a place known for the fact that no one ever comes back?

New Worlds is a new game that will be launching this August, but alongside its role-playing aspect is a true cooperative effort to create a living, breathing, and somewhat realistic science-fiction universe. It is a universe where one can critique our current society, where one can use their characters as platforms of something grander. The New Worlds website is already an excellent example of what one can expect of New Worlds: its creators haven’t worked 2 years on a universe because they lacked have a perfectionist attitude. One can be certain, when one enters New Worlds – they can be sure that they are doing just that, entering new worlds to explore.

Visit http://www.rpgnewworlds.org for more information.


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Kim Leonard Smouter
Acting Executive Director
New Worlds Project
Find out more @ http://nwproject.org
Or contact me by phone: (+32)-4-85-86-53-97


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Comments

The following comments are for "6th August 2003 - A New Play-By-Post Game Launches"
by Frenchy Kimbo

Change of URL
New Worlds has moved to a new website URL. Further information on New Worlds can now be found at http://www.rpgnewworlds.net/

( Posted by: Frenchy Kimbo [Member] On: May 21, 2004 )





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