Mitch Evans has posted Game Dream #5
To what level (if any) do the groups you usually play with encourage communal creation of the game world? Are the players spectators, or do they actually have a say in the plot (moreso that just guiding it by the actions of their characters)?I have tried to involve my players in the game world creation on several occasions with mixed results. I always start out by stating that I can not guarantee I will be able to incorporate everything that is brought forward, but I promise to do my best. After all if you bring forward a new variant of snakes I can't really introduce that into my game worlds (none of my home brew worlds have snakes, its a very unfair and biased rule, but its mine).
I have gotten three levels of response in the past: none, some, and too much. None is the standard response. Most of the time my players just want me to define the world and they are happy with that. It can be frustrating at times. Especially when I am trying to do some really sweeping story arcs that would require some really indepth investigation of character backgrounds. Unfortunately most of the backgrounds I received were "Bob was a large kid and grew up to be a warrior". None can also be a good response because it means that I have a blank canvas to colour in.
Some information is really the best response. In general it allows me the greatest freedom to plant my story hooks, while still allowing the players to assist in defining the flavour of the world. It is also the most work for both player and GM because a lot of extra communication is required outside of the game.
Too much information can be a killer. If you have to try to merge several seemingly incompatible world concepts it can become a real problem. If you have three players describing the same world, one as a frozen tundra, one as a planet wide desert, and a third as a global fain Forrest, no one is going to end up with the world they envisioned.
I have also tried (unsuccessfully) to set up a society game to be played concurrently with a character game. The idea being that each player would define a society and would play those societies shaping the history of the world. This game would be played as an offline exercise. At the end of each session the results from the previous moves would be revealed and discussed. The next set of moves would be due before the next session. This was planned to use the Fudgified Aria rules. Due to a lack of interest the idea never actually got going.