Author Topic: Children of Ao: A Primer  (Read 3607 times)

ManofManyChars

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Children of Ao: A Primer
« on: February 14, 2015, 05:25:45 PM »
Hey, this is a public service, given that Children of Ao is officially a central feature of the boards. I've talked with Marcian a bit, and think I have a good handle on the differences between the different styles:

Ao Classic (currently being run by yours truly): The original Children of Ao, more or less. This is a game with a strong competitive bent. You don't need to compete if you don't want to, but rest assured a time will come when you need to defend yourself from those who do. Results of actions are mainly decided by fiat, based on what I think will be entertaining, while being at least mostly satisfying for everyone. This, coupled with the more general competitive tone and lack of hard numeric rules, means that the most efficient way to get ahead is to get to know the other players and the GM better. The better you know us, the better you're likely to do, though there are no guarantees. The game features strong continuity, with recurring elements based on what the players get attached to, and is designed to end eventually. Further, the complete lack of impartiality means that actions that stall out everyone else or otherwise mess up everyone else's fun, such as, and this is just a crazy random example, covering the planet in spiders, tend not to work quite as intended.

New Ao (currently being run by the poster who presumes to call himself "Ao"): I'm given to understand it's a lot more freeform, with less focus on worldbuilding and more on sandbox-style play. If someone wants to jump in with a more detailed analysis, be my guest.

Ao Plus (currently being run by nobody, and rightly so): We do not speak of Ao Plus. Ever.
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Steampunkette

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2015, 06:12:23 PM »
I laugh at your Ao Plus Fear!

Ao Plus steps things up a notch with players acting as deities in an ongoing campaign setting D&D style. Manipulating heroes and villains to various goals through signs, artifacts, and even the occasional direct appearance/divine intervention. Gathering more followers/worshippers and spreading your influence across the world results in more and more power.

It essentially requires a Map as well as a massive quantity of NPC Deities and mortals.

ManofManyChars

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2015, 06:25:49 PM »
Fine, allow me to expound on the true nature of Ao Plus.

Ao Plus is pretty much the original Ao, except the guy running it claims that he rolls dice to help with decisions, thus deflecting all blame for his stupid, unsatisfying, and generally less interesting narrative choices. These dice are never in any way confirmed and are all but certainly fictitious. He also introduces GM-run antagonists, thus undermining the whole spirit of the game being competitive, by forcing players to work together, then just declaring they lose anyway because why should the players have any fun? The GM then spends the rest of the game shitting all over everything the players worked on and pretends it's brilliant. Then he runs it agains except he's run out of ideas so he just literally takes bad guys from pop culture because originality is for suckers.

By the way, due to having direct experience with Ao Plus, I can confidently classify it as a Type 1 Hostile Forums Environment (ruins friendships, makes everyone hate each other). To protect the community of these fair boards from its inherent toxicity, I will work to ensure that Ao Plus never again sees the light of day.

Official-type mod edit: On conferring with Marcian, it's agreed that the fault for the evils of Ao Plus are to be laid solely at the feet of the man responsible for running it at the time, and that Ao Plus can be allowed, but encouraged to use a different name to avoid association with its previous incarnation. I will, however, keep an eye on such games, to ensure it does not fall into the same negative patterns.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 06:59:39 PM by ManofManyChars »
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
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MunkiLord

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2015, 11:29:15 PM »
Manof, I love this post more than you could ever possibly know.

One thing I do thoroughly enjoy is demigods.

ManofManyChars

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 12:09:35 AM »
I was conflicted on whether or not to take Demigods and put them in Ao Classic, and ultimately decided against it. It pulls some of the spotlight away from you guys to have such powerful NPCs roaming about, and while I do like following some NPCs around during the game, I'd rather you guys be the only divine powers at work here. Though, for the record, I would not have instituted that moronic "one random domain decided by me" rule, because it was basically an excuse to make the demigod in question act precisely counter to what you wanted them to do. A bit of an evil genie twist is one thing, but nearly every demigod in Ao Plus ended up completely opposed to their parent's goals, and I would never have a player's Act just up and create an obstacle instead of something helpful, unless, of course, that Act had been intended to disrupt the game to begin with.
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
-Ernest Hemingway

MunkiLord

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2015, 12:22:59 AM »
I agree completely. I mean, the random domain works for me because I generally just want to cause random shit even if it completely blows up in my face. But I understand most players don't really work that way. Because most people have a desire to be good at the game they are playing. I would be just the worst at a tabletop RPG.

As far as no demigods in your specific game, I think no demigods works better for what you are trying to do. I have no doubt you could make it work, but I like your game the way it is because it allows me to go back to a similar game with fresh eyes. Let's face it, each game played out so very differently because of GM rules that they were really only the same in basic concept and name.

ManofManyChars

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 01:12:40 AM »
Well, it's not exactly the same game, I forgot some of the rules and had to make them up again, and I tweaked the domain system somewhat. And while it's not explicitly there in the rules, I'm not letting anyone have their race of people be literally the reflections of every mortal in their own special mirror world. That turned out terribly and I'm not doing it again.
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
-Ernest Hemingway

Steampunkette

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 01:22:33 AM »
Oh, that shit? I'm not talking about that shit.

My thing was the one I wanted to run but couldn't.

ManofManyChars

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 01:27:35 AM »
That reminds me of the conversation that happened during the first Ao game, where people wanted to actually run a D&D or similar kind of campaign in the world they'd created as gods, playing as the regular people and sort of exploring the world they'd made up-close. I was all for it and prepared to really flesh out that world, but nothing ever came of it.
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
-Ernest Hemingway

Martinfail

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 12:50:50 PM »
I'm going to be running a game of Super Ao. Each player gets to be an Ao and has to deal with their own set of gods trying to drive them slowly insane. Whichever Ao runs their game the longest wins.

MunkiLord

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 08:21:22 PM »
But is that really winning? Or just a very slow and painful loss?

ManofManyChars

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2015, 07:07:29 PM »
But is that really winning? Or just a very slow and painful loss?

This guy gets it.
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
-Ernest Hemingway

MunkiLord

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 03:38:10 PM »
Indeed he does.

dumps

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 04:09:32 PM »
If you guys all came back just to play Ao, I'm going to murder people.   >:(
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.  If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.  But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

Marcian Tobay

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Re: Children of Ao: A Primer
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 04:38:35 PM »
Ao is Mt. Everest. It is the perfect forum RPG, but also utterly impossible to incomplete to satisfaction.
Long may we ever try.

...but no, I didn't come back just for that. I came back because I want to see where this community can go. :)
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