So if we want to start sharing creative ideas for playing this game, what are some of the basic elements that can be cobbled together? I.e., using the notion of modularity.
I'll make a distinction at the outset: one device that has become quite popular is to design a competition using various rules, and in this subforum we have designated that as a Challenge. These are typically tactical in nature, although theoretically they could involve roleplaying.
But for this thread I'd like focus more on how a non-competitive game can be played in some sort of creative and fresh way that might inspire others. I'd like to start listing ideas that people come up with for components with which to do that. PC Build
The most common form of a playthrough idea, I think, is a particular PC build. Party Composition/Theme
It seems to me that the next most popular form is a particular party composition, which is often organized by a theme such as all-evil party, all-mage, soloing, four member, etc. Most often such parties seem thought up in conjunction with the PC build. Tactical
The next most common playthrough idea that I see is a tactical concept, which is often accurately described as a "challenge" although not necessarily used within a competition that has a set of rules for all to abide by. Roleplaying
Roleplaying ideas for a game seem next most popular, although what is meant by roleplaying tends to be rather subjective (see here
). I think to most of us this means delving into character according to class, alignment, and any backstory the player creates for the PC. The roleplaying might be just tactical in nature, without delving deep into the psyche of the character and relationships with NPCs. The approach may or may not prohibit meta-gaming. And it may or may not involve roleplaying the rest of the party members as well. It may or may not be shared in first person journaled form of creative writing (which takes a lot of time and dedication).
The most vivid form of a roleplayed game is to journal it. But honestly, few players have the time, dedication, or inclination to do that. So most often threads about a roleplaying idea simply offer a basic description of the idea, and some information on how the game is going, or went if it was completed. Random Generation
The next component I see used most often is random generation of the PC and/or random party generation (such as my update of Drone's system). This has taken the form of competition in recent threads, but it certainly can be used for a non-competitive game.Dice Rolling
And the last component that I have seen on these boards is to use dice rolling (which can include flipping playing cards or a coin for yes versus no situations). Audience Participation
A recent excellent suggestion: Forum members may vote about decisions that various characters make, and vote about various things that would otherwise be decided using the dice rolling method. Or other forum members can roleplay NPCs, most likely in a PbP style journaled game.
Now, bear in mind that any of these basic design concepts can be used in conjunction with one another in a modular fashion to customize the game according to taste.
Have I overlooked any? What sorts of other building blocks might we come up with in such a modular approach? General impressions? Comments, other ideas, etc.?