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Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 am
by captnmartin
The CMR is a catchall name for the project, but as we progress I'd like to evolve that.

I always liked the Texas sourcebook for being written by an outside observer, and I'd like to carry that through in the CMR.

My question to you is, what theme/backstory should underlie the CMR?

Intrepid Reporter working for the Manhattan Observer?
Blake Operative sending intel back to base?
Veteran Pirate teaching a newbie the ropes?
etc.

Back up your thoughts by expanding on them, explaining how the character/backstory would drive the books different sections.

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:50 am
by Thom
I always liked the BattleTech method. The Technical Readouts (TROs) were written as intel reports compiled for Comstar Sr Staff. We assume the data was collected at great risk by field agents for their superiors benefit.

I would like to see something of the same concept applied to the CMR. It could read as a series of reports collected by various factions spying on their neighbors. IE: A report on Hollywood might include extracts from Air Action Weekly and the reports of the intel agencies of three or four other nations on various aspects of Hollywood. Different spies could even have their own personal style of reporting. . . .

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:59 am
by foxmalcolm
How about a historian looking back on events that were current during this time period.
At the end of every report there could be some witty remark about how could they have possible thought they were going to survive or how it amazes me that they were completely ignorant of events unfolding, etc . . .

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:42 am
by Jerba
One thing that frustrates me to no end is that I have to go through all the fluff to find the actual rules. Fluff is great, but lets make the rules easy to find too. Perhaps an easy reference guide to the rules could accompany the CMR.

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:45 am
by Thom
Thats funny! For me I read it for the fluff, never been that much of a rules guys. :P

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:06 pm
by captnmartin
Jerba wroteColonOne thing that frustrates me to no end is that I have to go through all the fluff to find the actual rules. Fluff is great, but lets make the rules easy to find too. Perhaps an easy reference guide to the rules could accompany the CMR.


Game Rules will be clear as day, the Fluff will be reserved to 'notes' in the rules sections. Fluff will also cap the rules, so the intro page for a particular rules section will be fluff, maybe a short story. But yeah, rules will be rules, written for quick lookup.

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:08 pm
by captnmartin
At the end of every report there could be some witty remark about how could they have possible thought they were going to survive or how it amazes me that they were completely ignorant of events unfolding, etc . . .


I like this style, very big fan of it. It was used in the Gazetteer, what the papers say vs what the truth is. Nice idea!

I like the spy idea as well Thom!

Keep those suggestions flowing!

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:45 am
by Grant
I'd say make it similar to a BAS report. Somewhat like the BAS sourcebook, except less fluffed, more along the lines of the actual rulebook.

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:10 pm
by Phoenix
I'd actually point you towards another of FASA's lines - Shadowrun. In the core book, the history section is written by FastJack, a famous runner from the previous (3rd) edition who runs a private network for elite runners known as JackPoint. All of the supplements are styled after articles written for JackPoint by one of the runners on the network. Every chapter has a fluff section, followed by a rules section, but the two are very clearly delineated. Coolest of all, since JackPoint is a collaborative network where the best share the tricks of the trade, all of the members are allowed to edit articles and add their own notes and ideas. What this means is that you'll have a paragraph where the article author writes something, and then there'll be a post by another JackPointer (as they're called) supporting or refuting what the author just said, or possibly adding there own thoughts or material, and it's often followed by the members arguing over who's right and where the truth lies, but it's open enough that it can be interpreted any which way. Best of all, each poster is a defined character, with certain traits or styles. After a while, you get to recognize all of the characters (all of who have cool nicknames, such as Kat o' Nine Tales, Netcat, Kay St. Irregular, Slamm-O!, Clockwork, Ecotope, etc.) and you get to feel like you know them.

The result of this rambling is this: maybe this could be done as sort of a "Pilot's Survival Guide" - a guide written by pilots, for pilots, which has been passed around and edited by some of the best pilots of the years, including pirates, militia pilots, privateers and security pilots. It could include articles on flying and fighting (rules), a world gazetteer (history/world intro), a list of aircraft, etc. Every section could have a different author, and other pilots could add their own commentary (ie, we could have fictional characters debating the merit of a given aircraft or the motivation behind a certain historical act). I can just picture it as this sort of big, thick, dog-eared book, given to a new pilot by a veteran comrade, saying "Here. Read this. It'll teach you everything you need to know."

Re: Open Discussion: Format Style

PostedCOLON Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:44 am
by Thom
This idea has great merit! The field agent files his report to his district office who add their comments and then forward the report to an analysis group who add their comments. They could compare the data to stolen intel from yet other agencies to forward to the BAS Sr analyst who in turn adds HIS comments before finally sending it to Paladin Blake who might even scrawl his own notes on the page! If we look at the handbook as being written for BAS and then STOLEN by someone who sells it to Air Action Weekly or Jane's Military Reports of London for publication! Jane's has been publishing World Wide Military Reviews of Arms, Vehicle and Equipment since 1898! Many intel agencies world wide have based their raw data on Jane's Reviews! They report on EVERYTHING from railroads to commercial products to estimated wartime resources and capabilities. A lot of their more sensitive reports are only sold to free world intel agencies today. (Since WWII, prior to that they were sold publicly in British news stands!) Their Worlds Aircraft reviews have been semi-regularly published since 1909 with both Military and Commercial reviews published separately.

The more I think about this the more it appeals to me, add in the previously mentioned idea of separating the fluff by clearly setting the rules and game stats cleanly at the end of each entry and we have a winner!