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Old 09-17-2017, 04:29 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default The Project, Prime Base, The Game

In 1980 when dinosaurs roamed the Earth Morrow Project was one of the first, if not the original, RPG that let players run characters that they might meet or even be on the tabletop. You could directly base your character on yourself, your high school science teacher, the cop from down the street, or soldiers you read about or even served with. This was a huge difference from a fantasy setting or even something like Traveller.

The first few modules were shoot'em ups generally speaking. This reflected the roots of RPGs as "Kill monsters and take their treasure" dungeon crawls, as well as the preferences of some of the original design teams. It is also a fairly easy way to introduce new players into an sort of game. Give them a problem they don't have to think too much about and let them explore the combat rules.

Since those relatively simple beginnings in a time when Role Playing was in its infancy, a lot has changed in terms of gamers and gaming. This first led to the introduction of a skill system to MP and now to 4th edition. It has also led to a very deep schism in the very passionate followers of this game universe. On one side are the folks that feel MP is a combat based game setting, while others feel it is also a "thinking" game in which players must solve problems and their characters must be able to interact in peaceful, nay even cooperative, fashion with NPCs. I am an unapologetic member of the latter group.

I am not saying Morrow is not both. I've run plenty of combat heavy scenarios. I am saying that it has the possibility, for the right game master and set of players, to be a more varied setting. I've certainly run a number of scenarios, both in house campaigns and at conventions, where combat would not have solved the issues and players had to find other ways for their characters to resolve conflicts. Some of the published modules lend themselves to this style of play, but most do not.

Then came along Prime Base. This was absolutely a huge change in play style for TimeLine. For a crew of combat specialist characters and players it will be nearly impossible to succeed, or even to survive. As written it has a huge amount of issues. It's obtuse, it's complex, it has almost no combat at all.

I admire the ideas behind Prime Base as a gaming setting. I question how it was carried out, and I am pretty sure I'm not alone in that opinion. So how should the RPG handle Prime Base? I think the module should have a better balance between combat and non combat challenges.
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