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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Just read through PDF as a supporter of "Flotsam: Adrift Amongst the Stars" by @rabalias. A collaborative #storygame that was active on Kickstarter while my game Gate Watch was also running. Impressive! See my preview in my reply. Pre-orders available at https://flotsam.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

7/5/2019, 11:45:16 PM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

I've puzzled for a while how to take adapt some ideas from PBTA (Powered by the Apocalypse) game for GMless cooperative play & have seen some poor adaptions. Flotsam does a great job both capturing the ease-of-use & creative constraints PBTA-style playbooks.

7/5/2019, 11:52:57 PM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Also from PBTW, Flotsam uses a list of Principles to guide the stories in the collaborative world but gets all the players to support those principles. Flotsam doesn't quite have the Moves of PBTA, but each playbook has a special move that incentivizes role specialization.

7/5/2019, 11:56:28 PM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Another GM led game system that Flotsam adapts ideas from is Fate, with its use of fate tokens. Basically, fate tokens incentivize players to allow their characters to have weakness & faults come into play, and Flotsam uses tokens for similar purpose.

7/5/2019, 11:59:46 PM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Another strong influence in Flotsam is the venerable Archipelago GMless system, with it's splitting up of world authority "elements" among the players. In this Flotsam goes far beyond Archipelago, give a 2nd playbook to each player for "Situations" that they have authority over.

7/6/2019, 12:03:15 AM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

An area that both Flotsam & my Gate Watch game emphasize is the use of Questions to define many the story and character elements. In Flotsam character's player doesn't get full story authority over a risk they are taking — they must ask other players questions that define it.

7/6/2019, 12:09:30 AM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Flotsam seems to be focused on ongoing stories — think a series more than a movie, and it has almost no mechanics to drives to have narrative acts or a climax. This is not a bad thing—a choice. But the creation of act structures is a topic of interest in myvGMless game designs.

7/6/2019, 12:14:51 AM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Summary: I've not playtested it yet, but at first read seems a very good GMless system, in particular for telling "common people" stories of the less powerful people in a space opera universe. If you like PBTA-style games Flotsam takes player agency further in a powerful way.

7/6/2019, 12:20:22 AM

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Christopher Allen

@ChristopherA

Flotsam seems like a good first GMless game for a playgroup with no GMless experience if they have played PBTA, Fate or other RPG games with player agency. It looks particularly good for ongoing play. I look forward to seeing how it is adapted for other genres!

7/6/2019, 12:24:04 AM

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