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The Inn Between the Worlds



23 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you be interested in participating as a player?

    • No
    • Yes (I don't want to offend you)
    • Yes (I'm actually interested)
    • I have no opinion but am taking the poll anyway.
  2. 2. Would you be interested in DMing a session?

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Legend tells of a magical inn that is of all worlds and of none. It is filled with nationless adventurers who, with nowhere left to go, stumbled upon it and stayed. When the multiverse is in need of heros, these lost souls sally forth and intervene.


Or some such. Basically, this is a superior sandbox campaign setting to my previous proposal. It is, admittedly, a bit of a TARDIS rip-off (complete with having a will of its own and probably the ability to translate), but I think it holds promise. It lets you take the same character to drowned worlds with city sized ships, ancient ruins filled with dark magical powers, dystopian futurescapes, or even right here and now. Over time, you may long for a homeland, or find that other multidimensional powers threaten the denizens of the Inn, but in the mean time... It lends itself to short, easily scheduled campaigns without the fuss of generating new PCs. Everyone gets to play when they're free and not when they aren't, and you can try your hand at DMing without committing to more than a couple sessions.


I've been working with Sy on a chat integrated system that will keep track of characters as you play- hopefully reducing the learning curve to practically nothing.


But before I ask a bunch of competent coders to devote their time to making it a reality, or get too excited at planning my own intro mini-campaigns to flesh out the "setting", I'd like to have an idea of how much interest there is. Oh, and feedback and ideas are always good.


The basic bullet points:


• Practically any setting

• Short (1-3 session) campaigns

• No experience necessary

• A good chance to try DMing


The poll isn't anonymous, so if you vote you don't have to post unless there's more to say.

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Okay, this is promising. Sy appears to be coming along with the system, although most of what she tells me is way over my head.


I've set up a document for basic character descriptions and backstories here. Feel free to add your own.


My plan was to run the first single-shot myself. It will probably be an alternate version of the Battle of Boulder that was intended to conclude "Riders on the Storm", but will be significantly simplified and designed to include the up-to-date version of the Inn. I'm thinking early April, if the system is ready.


After that, Nikki or Bard or Rose or whoever will be welcome to go ahead with campaigns of their own at any time- all you'll need to do is post here with a general idea of a campaign, number of players needed, and a time (or a whenisgood link).

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I had a similar idea once, and called the place Innfinity. Ba dum bum. What I mainly remember now was that my mom had picked up an enormous IBM electric typewriter that didn't work, and I got it working by opening it up and poking at it inside. So I typed up a bunch of notes, for the first time in my life, about my Innfinity idea.


The typewriter was a bizarre device. It was huge, huge enough that its case deserved to be called a chassis. Its chassis was made of cast iron. Really, as far as I could tell.


It wasn't so obviously a step up from a manual typewriter, really. All the electricity did was drive the printing strokes, so that the letters were all equally dark no matter how hard you hit the keys. In principle it would let you type fast without getting your fingers all tired out. That was it.


Here my memory is fuzzy, but I think it might have been a printing ball typewriter. If it was, then instead of having the characters on little levers that flipped up and hit the page, it had a sort of metal d20, except it was really about a d60, covered with all the characters it could type. This ball would rotate and tilt to present whatever character you had typed, and come up and smack the page through the ink ribbon.


It definitely had an ink ribbon. A pair of spools with a wet tape wound between them. The tape was wet with ink. With each stroke, the spools wound a bit, so that you always hit fresh ink. Once the spool was all wound up you had to replace it.


It was all kind of clever in a way. It just seems closer to a quill and inkwell than to what we use today. It was vintage 1970 or something. I was playing around with it in the early 1980s. That was a time when word processing on the desktop changed about as fast as mobile phones have changed in the past ten years.

Edited by Student of Trinity
It was an IBM Selectric, or possibly a Selectric II. It did have a printball.
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... I can't get upset about that tangent, as I, too, am a lover of typewriters. As for the concept, it has certainly been done before.


I'm not too worried about breaking new ground (in the electronic world, at least), but perhaps I can facilitate a meeting of minds to create something enjoyable.This ties back to my Luddite status. I have an above average understanding of computers, actually. They are not, however, a top priority in my life, and I am consequently unlikely to be conversant about coding in the same sense that I know relatively little about sailing. (In both cases, they're things sound interesting but take a back seat to more immediate opportunities.)


Finally, BMA, I suspect you care more than you let on. I see you've already created a character.

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The other massive innovation with golf ball and daisy wheel typewriters was that they enabled you to change your font. That actually deserves sparly and multicoloured effects. Up till then the biggest choice you could make was whether to use 10 cpi (pica) or 12 cpi (elite). I still have a very early folding typewriter that would allow you to type in black or red, if you had the right type of ribbon.

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...Trying to swing this back on track, I think you might want to come up with a list of stats or characteristics so people might have an idea of what they'll want to use when it comes to creating characters. I know you're going for fluidity when it comes to making both NPCs and PCs, but I think at least a template to start with might help people think up their own ideas or innovations for campaigns or characters.

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It's hard to do that until I see what Sy's done with what I gave her. I deeply suspect that the system I pitched will see significant modification. Regardless, it will be much easier to draw up stats using the interface- I hope. That's why the list, so far, is qualitative rather than quantitative. I firmly believe that a character starts there and that stats come later. If you'd prefer to wait for the system to be live, that's fine.

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  • 1 month later...

I suspect I'll be obliged to double post frequently in this thread. Kindly don't judge me for it. I have two things to report:


1. The Campaign


The first fully canon mini-campaign using the setting will pick up where Riders on the Storm left off- with a marauding dragon attacking the city of Boulder, Colorado. Help might be coming over the hill if any of the old crew wants to recycle their characters, but mostly the denizens of the Inn will be needed to save a city otherwise unprepared for such things. It should be a good chance for people to familiarize themselves with the system- a lot of action and room for everyone to contribute. I'll prepare a more dramatic intro and work on setting a time when I start seeing more character creation. Which brings me to...


2. The System


With her move, job, and geohashing, I can't imagine Sy has much time to be working on an RPG system for someone else. As such, I'm going to go ahead and launch SGS III. For those of you that participated or watched RotS, it should look pretty familiar. I've tightened up a few elements, and I've let a few things go- the biggest being the point system.


For those (most) of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, Simplified Gaming System (SGS) is my attempt to trim things down to their bare essentials. It differs from AIMhack (Eph's far better designed attempt at the same) in that it relies on player discretion to create and balance their own abilities. Although I have compiled, and will continue to expand, a basic list of Abilities and Skills (the only two types of stats the system has), I hope that every character will have at least one that is unique.


Here's where I'm really going out on a limb. The original SGS had an XP system to buy abilities- which got real clunky real fast. SGS II (Lighack) was going to have something embedded in the system itself- no dice (pun not intended) for now. So for SGS III, I'm saying "screw it". I trust you. Build a character that feels balanced and present it to me. Try to include a couple abilities to define the character, half a dozen basic skills (hide, sneak, awareness), and a couple of unique ones. Make it roughly on par with the other characters. Robert Walsh is done, and I expect to finish up Styx, Mark, the Professor, and maybe even Legion in the next few days. When you've done that, post a link on the character page above and I'll take a look at it to see if there are any glaring issues. I promise I'm an easy grader.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You might call it a year since the Inn lost many of its most experienced residents in an incident that the remaining old timers don't talk much about. It's hard to count time in a place that flits about in space and time, but Robert Walsh reckons about three hundred nights of fitful sleep in the interim For the dozen or so new denizens that have wandered in since then, The Inn Between the Worlds is a place of safety- a series of lighthearted adventures across the multiverse with little or no real risk. But that's all about to change.


The last two weeks in Boulder, Colorado, have been pretty dull for most residents. Even for those unused to a post-industrial world, the novelty has worn off. Some have even begun to use the word "marooned". Soon, they'll miss these quiet days. A storm is brewing. Rumors of strange events across the country have begun to circulate. And it is the tendency- some say the duty- of the heros of the Inn to walk into the danger others flee.


They will have a choice to make. Will they rise to the occasion and uphold the prestige of the Inn? Or will they hide within its enchanted walls and allow a once proud institution to sink into mediocrity?


The Battle of Boulder, the first canon mini-campaign for the Inn Between the Worlds setting, kicks off at 18:00 MDT on Saturday, May 18- provided at least four players confirm participation and submit characters by then. If all goes well, it will be a one-night event. If this one doesn't float your boat, there will hopefully be many more to come.

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Count me in. I think I'll be bringing Lyn back for this (after some serious revision), so you can count on at least one healing/support character.


By the way, where is this going to take place? Will we still be using the RPG channel on the CalRef chat, or are we going to switch to AIM?

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The next mini-campaign, probably a two parter, will take place sometime in June. I hope that eventually others will want to DM, but I imagine it would help to get more people comfortable with the system, first.


"Dragons attack!" reads an underground paranormal newspaper. "Several large, fire breathing reptiles descended on key targets along Colorado's front range Wednesday, according to several reliable sources that spoke on condition of anonymity. Although law enforcement continues to attribute the attacks to terrorism, hundreds of eyewitnesses corroborate the story. According to our sources, the creatures appeared to focus on the Duane Physics Building of the University of Colorado in Boulder, NOAA headquarters (also in Boulder), Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, and Camp Hale in Leadville. All of these locations have previously linked to the top-secret paramilitary organization known as "Legion". Of these, only Cheyenne Mountain and, oddly, CU Boulder seem to have withstood the attacks. We attempted to reach representatives of Legion, but they either declined comment or did not return our calls."


The assembly in the common room is uncharacteristically quiet as Ella leans on the bar in front of them. She explains, to the tense crowd, that the Inn is not alone in travelling the multiverse. The Phoenicians are an ancient, semi-immortal race that have taken it upon themselves to act as the stewards of the time space continuum- at any cost. Legion is a small, guerilla organization fighting to undermine their regulation- even if it risks tearing holes in reality. And then there are the Yith- ruthless killers who dine upon their victims and absorb their abilities (including, on at least one occasion, the Phoenician's power to move between worlds). And that's just the ones we know about. What they know of the Inn, and how it fits into their plans, is anyone's guess.


Bob Walsh scrubs soot and blood off of his previously immaculate 1938 Cadillac Limousine. He contemplates the day's events and silently thanks Ella for letting him skip the meeting. The back doors to the stable are open, letting in the warm light of a desert sunset over pink rock and scattered clumps of sagebrush. From under the shade of a stunted juniper, a pair of malevolent eyes regard him.

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  • 3 weeks later...

History is a series of tipping points. A technological innovation, a shift in climate, a new religious doctrine... or the ability to bring down lightning and fire on your foes. Magic, in its many forms, produces worlds familiar but fundamental different to our own. Empires that we think crumbled long ago still rule in alternate realities. Dominion that came swiftly in one time line were hard won in others- or lost entirely. Men and women that shook the pillars of civilization also lived and died without recognition or epitaph.


In "Skinwalker", see what happens when Manifest Destiny meets divine power of a different sort. 18:00 MST on June 15 (second session TBD).


Then, in July, two of history's greatest maritime explorers clash in "Cape of Good Hope".


Whether you're just now building a character or already have several, let me know if you're planning on participating so I can plot accordingly.

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As a little over one quadrillion gallons over water inundate the Oregon Territory, killing hundreds and leaving thousands scrambling for higher ground, a half a dozen bedraggled characters in a International Harvester Scout slip quietly out of this reality. No one notices as a particularly robust specimen of Hemaris thysbe slips in as the door shuts. By the time Brigham Young wakes to find his small sectarian community in a parched wasteland instead of along the shores of an idyllic lake, Bob Walsh is already in bed with his feet up. The table of adventurers glaring daggers at the hulking shape of Styx at the bar have no way of knowing whether the flood they've helped unleash 14,000 years late will turn the tide of Western Progress or just slow it down for a while. The inhabitants of the Inn are of all world and none, and they rarely have a chance to see the consequences of their actions.




Where two great oceans meet, a series of pirate raids are threatening to break up an uneasy peace. On July 13 (18:00 MST, as usual), join a three part adventure to collect the bounty and maybe earn Zheng He or Eric the Red's favor along the way.


I'm going to go ahead and cap this next one at five players- both because it's easier to organize and run, and because I doubt the Inn has a boat with more than an occupancy of six. James, feel free to PM me any questions you might have.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, it's been ages since I've participated here. Are all these things like this now, with character stats and limited players and scheduled playing times?


Well, they don't have to be. If someone wants to start up a freeform play-by-post RP thread, they're free to do so; you're free to do so. The only thing is that without scheduled play times, a fixed set of players or a GM to drive things along, they need a core of people who are invested and conscientious about keeping the plot going or the thread will eventually peter out. But you're more than welcome to try starting one and see how it goes.

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Wow, it's been ages since I've participated here. Are all these things like this now, with character stats and limited players and scheduled playing times?


It's hard for me to make an unscheduled commitment in the summer. In any case, the last session didn't have a single person sign up, so I'd say this thread is dead for the time being. The door is wide open for you to make a move- or join in BJ's.

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