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Balanced Battle Roleplay Project (Brainstorming / Interest Check)

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Vox Mirata
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Balanced Battle Roleplay Project (Brainstorming / Interest Check)

Post by Vox Mirata » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:12 am


This is a little, extremely ambitious project of mine; BBRP. But, before I talk about it, I should go over some basic definitions and concepts to make it clear what is it that I'm seeking.

What is battle roleplay?
At it's core, battle roleplay is written combat between two or more parties, with the intent of attaining victory, deciding an outcome or training and improving. Some of you might known it's most popular, but one of the worst styles: T-1 combat.

What can battle roleplay be used for?
One might desire to battle because they wish to prove themselves, or their OC, as better than someone else's. Or maybe there is a conflict happening in your roleplay and you wish to determine the outcome of this combat with a more hands-on approach. Maybe you and your OC just want to have fun and /dance/ with someone you like.

But why do it?
Battling is an amazing exercise of writing and interpretation. Ideally, it teaches you to write more by using less. Body movements and complex maneuvers become more elegant and simplistic as you learn to get rid of bad writing habits and unnecessary flourish.
As you improve, you will also learn to read more from less; in battle roleplay you're not allowed to omit any actions you take, but you can learn to hide them behind other actions and writing, thus hiding your intention within nuances and details. Equally, you will also learn to read between the lines and detect these nuances and details.

Is it only good things, though?
Sadly, no.
The current and most used ruleset for battleRP is known as T-1. This extremely vague ruleset has led to something called powercreeping, as people turn to using super-superpowered characters and abilities to "win by default".
"My character launched a blackhole at you. You can't survive it without godmodding so I win by default."
Obviously, such practices are not only anti-fun and denote a lack of any writing skill, they are also extremely predatory of any newcomer that might want to enter a T-1 community, as the "famous" people in there will make use of these methods to gang on the newcomer and "kill him" to rack up more wins in their community.

Another blatant issue to T-1 as a whole is the lack of written rules and conventions, leading people to make extremely vague rules and use them to their own benefit, once again creating a extremely toxic environment that turns people away from battleRP.

And what would Balanced Battle Roleplay(BBRP) be?

BBRP should be everything that T-1 isn't at the moment: Fun, rewarding and welcoming to anyone. It should be an experience that improves writers.

BBRP depends in one thing, and one thing only: Your ability as a writer.

A sword-wielding samurai could easily win against a star-flinging space dragon, as long as the pilot(writer) of the samurai is a better writer.

To put it more accurately, BBRP allows any type of character (a god, a vampire, a dragon, a human) to fight in equal ground with each other, since their Powerlevels are balanced around rules and conventions, leaving the principal difference of both OCs to be their respective pilots. There's no actual powercreeping. Concepts, weapons and superpowers boil down to tools that a pilot uses against another pilot.

This does not means that super strong, flashy powers are useless or you can't have them.
It's still possible for you to have your lethal blackholes and stars, but, such stronger powers come with an equivalent downside. Think of it like casting spells in a D&D game or a MMORPG; you need to pay a price, to sacrifice something, there are cast times and turns to wait before the spell takes effect and you could be interrupted along the way.
Even so, the strongest power isn't an "absolute". There are no absolutes in BBRP and everything can be countered or answered by an equally matched power.

Of course, there is still some basic logic to be had. Example: If your character doesn't have scales or some sort of hardened skin or protective method, you can't expect him to block an incoming blade with his bare hands or arms without suffering damage.

And before you become unmotivated: BBRP will never be about "writing ten super descriptive paragraphs." A single, well-written paragraph could be everything you need for a combat turn in a match or encounter. A good pilot and good fighter knows that less is more; elegant and succinct sentences will trump over elaborated and flourished paragraphs.

BBRP will have comprehensive, just and transparent rules that allow a match to be judged and a clear winner to be declared, without the need for someone to die or give up.

So, what's the idea?
BBRP shouldn't be something that belongs to a single thread of roleplay. I want it to be more than just a group roleplay; I want it to be a system of morals and rules based on fun, honor and respect towards other pilots. BBRP could be used by any ongoing roleplay anywhere, in any setting. You could even adapt it to dogfighting between space ships or pirate ships in the sea .
The basic intention is to create a balanced convention that any practicer can use anywhere, and have a lot of fun using it.

In the future, if the concept of BBRP is well-accepted and becomes something real, I plan to build a expansive, massive RP world that can fit any type of OC, with the intent of creating a lore that will exist and be played for years to come, through multiple threads and parts of the forum and other places beyond. It will be huge, it will be good, but more importantly: It will be fun for everyone.

Makes sense? Yes? Great.

But of course, there's a catch.
The catch is that this all is just a project. The name "BBRP" is something I came up myself and there's no ten-page rulebook stored somewhere ready to be posted. yet

This project is something I want to build with all interested parties; rules and conventions that everyone agrees upon and we have constructed together. Things that we will test in combat and polish over time. But for that, I need people to be interested in all this. So, if you are interested and would like to be part of such initiative, do manifest yourself and let's get the conversations going.

"B-but I have never done something like this before."
And there's no problem. Are you able to decently write one paragraph of text? Are you able to describe the actions of your own character relative to the ambient where they find themselves? Do you have some love towards fast-paced action scenes? That's all you need, maybe even less.

BBRP will be a learning experience for me and anyone interested. We will improve ourselves as we practice and practice, refining this method of combat roleplay.
Of course, I do have some time years of experience with combat roleplay, so I will be doing my best to guide and teach people who have never done this before.
Last edited by Vox Mirata on Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Balanced Battle Roleplay Project (Brainstorming / Interest Check)

Post by Ninmast » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:40 am

You'll be happy to know that there's no need for a ten-page rulebook. This system already exists. Freeform roleplaying relies on respecting physics and allows virtually any character to be created and used. Fairness is determined by having existing sheets outlying powers and weaknesses of characters viewable by anyone so that one can tell if someone is claiming to do something they can't actually do, and characters can be peer reviewed in advance in case the characters do things that are patently ridiculous (you, in fact, cannot throw a black hole at someone, and even if you could create one, you would instantly kill yourself in the process, unless it was some sort of super-micro black hole) or are otherwise somehow irrational or in desperate need of quality control.

However, your dream of equal ground between power levels is a pipe dream. You can't just mandate that all characters ever across all writing be in the same range. Power creep is best countered by making sure characters of vastly different power levels participate primarily in RPs written for their power brackets, and engage in 1v1s primarily against characters of the same power range. Barring some additional abilities or situations that so radically overshadow his abilities as a swordsman as to render those skills irrelevant to the fight, a mundane samurai will never be able to defeat a dragon so powerful and massive as to be able to generate general blasts on par with stars in a straight fight. The dragon takes one shot and the planet the samurai is on no longer exists. This is a poor match-up that should not have been permitted. Both sides should have known better and any GM involved screwed up their job massively if they allowed that to happen in their writing.

That doesn't mean that there aren't ways that you can swing above your power level, or methods by which to bring low a godlike adversary. But just like in real life, you wouldn't seriously expect to beat a tank with your wooden baseball bat no matter how many home runs you hit, the greater the power difference between two characters, the less feasible a direct combat between the two is.

We also already have an all-encompassing world here on RPGC. We call it The Collective Ark. I encourage you to check it out.