Joined: 06 Mar 2010
|Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:08 am Post subject: Holy Grail War RP -Game Concept-
|-This thread is not for Character Creation. If you do have some sort of character idea you may send it to me in a PM but nowhere else, and remember hardly anything is finalised at the moment-
This is a bit different from usual in that this is more a proposal of an idea for an RPG (which will be played on this board of course) rather than an RPG itself at the moment. Basically I'm making this thread first to gauge whether there's any interest in this idea, but more importantly to see what direction people would like me to take this RPG, what features they'd like to see and how they think it should all be executed before I go off properly creating this RPG.
The basic premise I'm referring to is of the 'Holy Grail War' present in Fate/stay night, Fate Zero and Fate/strange fake (so obviously it's not my idea) and taken a different direction in Fate/extra.
The Holy Grail War is more precisely a tournament between seven magically selected mages (although the exact number can vary) who each summon a spirit of a longdead, legendary character from either mythology or actual history (no gods though, although demi-gods are allowed, and the spirits all have to be based off actual characters from Earth mythology/history, with the exception of one Counter Guardian which I'll explain if the RPG gets made). These 'Heroic Spirits' then have to fight each other to the (second) death, and the last one standing and their summoner receive the Holy Grail, capable of granting any wish (although this whole set-up is rarely how it initially appears).
The summoned spirits, or 'Servants' as they are known, usually come in seven classes, with one Servant per class in a single Grail War (with the exception of Fate/extra). These classes are:
-Saber (Typically use swords and blades and focus on high physical damage)
-Archer (Uses, or is meant to use, projectile attacks)
-Lancer (Typically uses spears but can also use other long-range melee weapons, focuses on piercing the enemy's weak points)
-Rider (Can ride their own mount or vehicle into battle as a weapon)
-Berserker (Has their power boosted at the cost of their sanity and clarity of though. Unlike most classes this one is specifically chosen by their Master)
-Caster (Specialises in magic abilities)
-Assassin (Focuses on avoiding fights with other Servants to instead kill off their summoners, effectively evicting their Servant from the War)
There's also Avenger and Saviour, the former referring to mythological/historical characters who have been remembered negatively instead of being venerated, and the latter consisting of Messianic figures. These two however only rarely show up, and frequently the Avenger 'classification' can also be passed on to the other classes.
Of course the summoner mages, or 'Masters' as they're known, don't just sit around and do nothing. As mages they have magical powers of their own (though rarely ever on the level of their Servants) but they also have three 'Command Seals' used for delivering specific orders to their Servants. However, once the three have been used up, their connection to their Servant is broken and they're out of the tournament.
Frequently there's an Overseer sent from the Catholic Church to inspect the authenticity of the Grail, but also to monitor and regulate the Masters and Servants to an extent. Often the ordinary world is not meant to know about the world of magic and the supernatural, so there's great pressure on the Masters not to be found out.
In Fate/extra things are a little different. Unlike normal 'Grail Wars' which are set in the 'real world' Extra takes place entirely in a virtual reality called a Serial Phantasm or SERAPH for short. There are 128 Masters, each of whom are assigned a different enemy Servant each week to defeat, spending six days figuring out who exactly their enemy is and training their Servant against AI enemies in the dungeonlike 'Arena' before finally confronting them at the end of the week. Repeat for six more weeks until only one Master reamins (the setup has been compared to Persona if you must know, however I could easily remove that aspect by setting the non-Arena locations away from a school).
Extra also has the Automaton system instead of the Throne of Heroes present in the original Fate/stay night. Both of these are the 'afterlife' where the Servant is recorded before they are summoned, however whereas the Throne is based off legends and people's memories and knowledge of a Servant's exploits and character, the Automaton is a 'factual' compilation and analysis of Earth's history and thus can contain characters the Throne has no knowledge of.
In both of these scenarios however it's important a Servant doesn't reveal their identity to anyone but their Master, normally being referred to by their class name. The reason being if an enemy was to know their true identity they may be able to exploit any weaknesses the Servant may have, such as Achilles' heel or Cuchullain's geis.
If you need, you can find more information on Fate/stay night here: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Fate/stay_night and Fate/extra here: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Fate/Extra
With that all explained, what I'm interested in is what you all think I should do with this idea. Would you prefer an approach similar to the original Fate/stay night or something more along the lines of Fate/extra? The virtual reality and Automaton system of Extra may sound more interesting, and the whole thing would feel a lot more like a tournament. But on the other hand it could also end up very linear and far too organised, unlike the original Grail War found in Stay Night where there's a lot more freedom you have in fighting the War which is also a lot less predictable. Maybe some sort of mix between the two?
There's the Master-Servant setup in regards to players as well. Should we go for each player controlling one of the seven Masters/Servants (obviously I am not looking for a whole 128 players in Extra's case), or maybe we should instead focus on one, two or maybe three Masters and Servants and leave all the other characters to be controlled by me as GM?
With the latter approach the RP can become a lot more story-oriented and character-driven, while discouraging the notion that the RP is all about 'winning' (which it isn't), it could work particularly well in Extra's setting considering its progression. On the other hand it would also make the RPG feel a lot more exclusive, not to mention you could still create a character-driven, story-oriented game with a players-control all-Masters/Servants-approach with the right direction.
Finally, is there absolutely anything else you would like to see in a story/game with this idea of a 'Holy Grail War', any possible additions or designs I may not have talked about? Please tell me, as I'd like to make this a game that can interest anyone.
-This is a proposal for a game I'd like to run myself if all goes well, it is not something I'm asking someone else to start up on their own-
"With Doctor Who we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were London, or Utah, or the planet Zog. Whereas this series is going to be honest-to-God Cardiff. We will happily walk past the Millennium Centre and say, 'Look, there's the Millennium Centre'."
-Russell T Davies on Torchwood