The Modern World

The Modern World
This Fallen Age

#10: Mobile phones and the internet in an RPG setting in the modern day would (perhaps with fantastic elements): discuss. What possibilities do they open up? What, if any, issues come up with them when it comes to RPG scenarios?

Kind of a technically specific question today! I can appreciate that though, it’s hard to come up with good ones every day.

The last time we played in something like the modern world was… Urban Shadows probably? I can’t think of anything else. Modern conveniences are just the air we breathe, so it’s not like it’s hard to integrate it. The GM-facing limitations are obvious and probably don’t need to be recounted: everyone’s in contact all the time, hard to leverage most mystery-solving tropes, research is mostly effortless, etc etc. I don’t remember the modern conveniences really coming up other than the fact it’s so easy to summon one another up, maybe with a keep your cool roll to actually make the call under duress.

I’m not feeling super inspired by this one today. I think the ugh with smartphones thing has been talked to death elsewhere.


0 thoughts on “The Modern World”

  1. This one and the last one I didn’t have any good answers to.

    Though for this one the thing it immediately made me think was “it’s both sides of the coin in one obvious way…”

    Having a smart phone means you can’t — as easily without removing the technology as a deliberate block — separate the characters from communication or access to information. So your mystery or he-said/they-said dilemma may not be as hard to solve.

    OTOH, a mystery or communication dilemma doesn’t have to slow the plot. Just let them look it up on line / call the dude.

    All depends on what you want your game to do with information flow. If you want to slow it, you have to control the phone. If you want to speed it up, then awesome.

    In terms of actual phones, one of the sweet things I’ve seen Freeforms do is integrate texting (IC or OOC) as part of the mechanics of the game. Like, you can text other players secret information. Or there are a couple of games setup all around being in your Finnish immersion closet, but you text other players at key points to maintain some level of human contact. That level interests me more — actual utilization of the technology as game mechanic.

  2. I thought Get Out did some clever things with phones that were integral to the plot. Like the pulled-out charger and the camera flash. Can’t remember if he also looked up that stuff about the missing guy on his phone.

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