Does a game engine like this exists already ?

Mar 30, 2020
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Hello everyone,
Several months ago I was in full lazy-mode and while talking with my regular players I had an idea. We created a basic setup and played and, surprisingly, it went very well considering the little time we invested in preparing it.
However, I wonder if I unknowingly recreated a game that already exists, or if it really is a new approach. Therefore I turn to your collective knowledge. Here's the main idea in a bullet point list, we called the game "Noosphere" ;

  • Everybody around the table is a GM and a Player at the same time. The person that knows the secrets of the scenario (the "Quest Master") for the session has a little more authority than the rest, but that's it. When a question arises, anybody can give an answer (if the Quest Master doesn't have it) and a quick vote takes place to know if it is accepted or not. The majority, or the half with the Quest Master in it, wins. Pretty much anything can be discussed and changed on the fly.
  • Everybody plays a character. Everybody can create several characters, but only plays one at a time. Additional characters are NPCs, but any player can change the played character while not in combat. Players can even play characters that they didn't create, with the approval of the creator, if they want. This is especially useful during PC-NPCs dialogs.
  • Characters are defined by a few lines of background, traits for flavour, and most importantly a bullet point list. That list regroups a defined number of points : the more you have, the more powerful the PC will be. Each point can be one of the following : an item ("[something] that can [do something] if [specific condition is met]" and the like), a follower (horse, dog, squire...), a magic power or an ability. Players are encouraged to not be too specific as there is no stats in the game ("does two times more damage" doesn't make much sense). Once the list is filled (5-15 points, it's fairly quick), players read what they created and other players review it, ask for modifications if necessary, etc.
  • Besides ordinary actions, if a PC doesn't have a bullet point relevant to a situation, it cannot do anything. If you do not have a point stating you can pick a lock, then you can't pick the lock. Sometimes, players do not fill their list entirely, because they lack ideas. In this case we filled the missing points during play, but only with everybody's approval.
  • Everybody can become the "Quest Master" once the quest is done. Everybody brews scenarios and bring them to the table, which splits the usual "GM's" workload between everybody. People can bring NPC's to the table anytime if they think it would be a nice addition to the story and that other players agree.


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