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[center][img]http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/965/ladiesoflondonfl7.jpg[/img]
[size=1][i]Logo and main character, Raven McCoy.[/i][/size][/center]

[font=franklin gothic medium]
So I’ve had a couple of RPG ideas lately, the most-complete of which would be [b]Ladies of London[/b]. I posted a thread in Art by Request about this not long ago and I thought it was time to put together a proper Anthology thread for it.

At this stage I have a pretty clear outline of what I want to do with this RPG. I’ve got a basic foundation set in place and hopefully the players can build on that with their own characters and story ideas. I thought it would be good to use this thread to brainstorm and develop something a bit more substantial. But before we get to that, I’ll try to briefly describe what this is all about.

[b]Concept/Story[/b]

In terms of the content, I suppose the best thing to compare this to would be Charlie’s Angels. The “Ladies of London” are a group of women who basically work for the British government (MI6, for example) – this includes assassination, spying, etc. Each member of the group would have a speciality and that would be something the players would determine.

One of the key twists is that “Ladies of London” is not only the name of the group in question; it’s also a British television show. Think of Cops and you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about. As the government is eager to stamp out crime in the future (and to embarrass criminals in the process), it has not only given free license to the ladies, but it has turned them into a public information/entertainment service. Small hovering cameras would follow the ladies around as they go on their relevant missions. The ladies have to do their job, of course…but they are also required to play to the camera somewhat. It’s sort of a strange mixture of justice and perverse entertainment.

The RPG would be set in a surreal future version of London. So we could be somewhat flexible in inventing certain technology or gadgets. On the other hand, the fashion would be a kind of modern interpretation of 19th century design.

[b]Format/Structure[/b]

At this stage I’m thinking that the RPG will play out in television seasons. Each season would contain only a handful of episodes (say, five or six episodes). Each episode would be a chapter in the RPG and each season would have its own thread.

Every individual season would feature a single primary villain and maybe several of their supporters (we could also have “cameo” roles in different episodes too).

There are a few advantages to this system. First, it will be relatively easy to finish a season. So if you’ve signed up as a villain, you don’t have to get involved in a massive RPG that takes forever to finish. Each season would have an ending and would wrap up relatively neatly. This way if interest totally dies after Season One, well…that’s okay, because we’ve got one finished season. There would be no limit to how many (or how few) seasons we could have.

The second advantage is that while the primary cast would be the same (i.e. there would be permanent characters), each season would feature a totally different villain to defeat. This means that different players could constantly be involved, meaning that lots of people can have a shot at this RPG (rather than having a big sign up and only five or six overall players). But this way it won’t be too confusing for anyone.

Much like a real-life TV show, however, if the player for a main character wanted to quit…we could have another player take over that character and make it their own.

This format could really offer a lot of freshness and variety to the story and help it to develop a lot over time. The first villain might be cold and serious, the next one might be utterly ridiculous – think of it as being set in a serious yet hyper-real environment (like Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction).




I still have to finalize a design for the RPG and I have to work out how I want the sign-ups to look…but I won’t be encouraging massive sign-ups this time. Simple and to-the-point will be all that’s needed.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Is there much interest for this type of concept[/font]
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*gets a moment of awareness* Oh! This is what it's all about! That Art Studio -thread really put me wondering about it... ;D Good pre-marketing, Jamesy!

Hmm, it really is a very intriguing idea, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that. There's one minor suggestion from me, though:

[quote name='James']
Much like a real-life TV show, however, if the player for a main character wanted to quit?we could have another player take over that character and make it their own.[/quote]

Instead of this solution, since we are talking about a "reality-tv"-show here, the game should have a changing cast. If someone quits, the group will get a whole new member (a rookie or a transferring Lady from another country etc.) - just like in Charlie's angels.

That way you won't have problems with the clashing personality of one character when she's played by the new player. (Also, I'd personally hate to take over a character that someone else has created and played with, since it would feel like I wouldn't have any control over it myself).

[quote]This format could really offer a lot of freshness and variety to the story and help it to develop a lot over time. The first villain might be cold and serious, the next one might be utterly ridiculous ? think of it as being set in a serious yet hyper-real environment (like Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction).[/QUOTE]

Or like the Powerpuff Girls! XD In one season (if the game gets far), the villains portrayed thus far should definitely band together against the Ladies.

Oh, what about men? Is there going to be a Bosley-type of character? Or will the roles be strictly divided between the Ladies and the Villains?
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[FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"][COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Wow nice concept James.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

[QUOTE]Oh, what about men? Is there going to be a Bosley-type of character? Or will the roles be strictly divided between the Ladies and the Villains?[/QUOTE]
[SIZE="1"][COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"]
Now now Sandy, we all know its way more fun to play female roles than it is to play males [or am I just too far gone in my own little world to enjoy RPing men?]
PLUS if the RP is throwing a British spin on a Charlies-Angels-esque kinda idea, who'd want to play a male?
[i][B]Prince Charles, Knives Specialist[/B][/i]
Hrmm I think not :P[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[FONT=Lucida Sans Unicode]I like the look of this one, James, it's got a good feel to it. I like the episodes-seasons format that you've been planning, it's a nice alternative to rigid chapters (which can go on forever if you don't look after them carefully).

My main concerns are the same as Sandy's, really. I think that if a player decides to drop out, another player should enter with their own original character - it's a difficult thing to pick up a character (especially a popular one) and do them justice.

I'm also concerned about the male characters - I never play female characters, not out of sexism or anything, but simply because I don't think I could do a female character justice in the way I present her. So would the only male characters be villains? Or would there be some kind of management-style character on the side of the Ladies?

I suppose you could even have television execs, although if you are planning on playing this out to be like a TV show, you probably wouldn't want to show all that kind of "behind-the-scenes" stuff.

I'm also a fan of this idea because I'm English, and as such I have knowledge of London - making it easier to write about it!

(Also, did the description of the basic story remind anyone of a little thing called "Fox Force Five"?)
[/FONT]
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[COLOR="Navy"]Wow, I really love the concept, sounds like fun ^^

I normally play females so I don't see a problem in that area, but for those who do, perhaps the Ladies could have a partner group that are men? I'm not really sure what you were thinking but that could be an idea.

But I'm really interested in this.[/COLOR]
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[quote name='Sakura'][COLOR="Navy"]
I normally play females so I don't see a problem in that area, but for those who do, perhaps the Ladies could have a partner group that are men? I'm not really sure what you were thinking but that could be an idea.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Wouldn't that break the concept, really? I was talking about maybe [I]one[/I] male supporting character, not a whole group. It shouldn't be called "Ladies of London" anymore if that was to happen, but "Ladies & Gentlemen of London", heh. ;D

I have no trouble playing female characters, myself. I think I've been pretty equal with my characters' genders. Also, this is [I]roleplaying[/I], so people shouldn't be afraid to take the side of the other sex every once in a while - who knows, you might learn something while doing so. ;D

Talking about "not doing justice" to a gender is downright silly, isn't it, since we're all individuals, not stereotypes. A man can be a muscular stud or a skinny nerd or an average Joe, so why couldn't that apply to women as well?

And now I feel like I'm getting sidetracked. Just be sure to get this game going and don't worry about silly things like whether people are going to be interested, Jamesy! You won't know until you try... ;P
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[SIZE="1"]Well as I said to you yesterday James you've really got me interested with this idea of yours, though it's funny that we were only talking about the destructiveness of TV sensationalism when the law becomes complicit in the Lounge recently.

Seeing as I'd imagine a good deal of the villains in this are going to be male, just how far can we go with them ? As in how warped may these individuals be ? Personally I'm hoping to play a cannibalistic version of Willy Wonka.[/SIZE]
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[FONT="Tahoma"]I like the idea myself, and i've only really played a female characters once thus far, but have no problems playing another one. A myriad of ideas ran through my head as I read through the post anyhow, heh. Looking forward to the final product of the idea, hopefully there will be enough people consistently interested to keep the chapters going and for there to be an ample amount of villains as the story progresses.[/FONT]
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  • 2 weeks later...
[color=#606060]Hm, some interesting ideas here. This gave me a lot to think about! :D[/color]

[quote]Instead of this solution, since we are talking about a "reality-tv"-show here, the game should have a changing cast. If someone quits, the group will get a whole new member (a rookie or a transferring Lady from another country etc.) - just like in Charlie's angels.

That way you won't have problems with the clashing personality of one character when she's played by the new player. (Also, I'd personally hate to take over a character that someone else has created and played with, since it would feel like I wouldn't have any control over it myself).
[/quote]

[color=#606060]You have a good point here. My original idea was that it would be very much like a television show where "characters" are played by different actors. You can think of pretty much any TV show you know where at some stage an actor has left, only to be replaced by another (but with the same character).

But yeah, this could be uncomfortable for some people - and understandably so.

So I'm happy to scrap that idea and go with something more traditional (i.e. a rotating "main cast" that can change between seasons).[/color]

[quote]Oh, what about men? Is there going to be a Bosley-type of character? Or will the roles be strictly divided between the Ladies and the Villains?[/quote]

[color=#606060]At the moment I'm thinking of a structure that's like Metal Gear Solid.

In MGS, Snake is able to radio various characters while in the field. These characters are either superiors or they are experts in various areas.

My idea is that the ladies will have some sort of Bosley equivalent (as you mentioned), but that there might be a couple of other male characters involved as well (including, perhaps, a Q-type character who develops gadgetry or something).

I am sort of happy to open that up to sign-ups though, honestly. I figure some people will have their own really cool ideas about some unique male characters who can be part of the team - but who are not necessarily going out there on missions with the ladies all the time.

And don't forget, although these characters are "ladies", they don't all necessarily have to be women. Take that as you will. :animeswea[/color]

[quote]I suppose you could even have television execs, although if you are planning on playing this out to be like a TV show, you probably wouldn't want to show all that kind of "behind-the-scenes" stuff.[/quote]

[color=#606060]Actually I would like to explore the behind-the-scenes stuff at times.

We might use an [b]On Air[/b]/[b]Off Air[/b] system. It would go something like this:

[b]Off Air[/b]

[i]Two paragraphs of behind-the-scenes story - perhaps this scene could involve one of the ladies going back to her apartment after a long day of filming.[/i]

[b]On Air[/b]

[i]As the lady gets home she notices that her front door is ajar. She draws a gun and is joined by a roving camera.[/i]

Does that make sense? Certain parts of your post can be On Air and certain parts can be Off Air.

The idea is that there is a general filming schedule - that is, during specific days and/or nights, the ladies are out doing missions. Between these times the cameras might be off, [i]unless[/i] something particularly dramatic occurs. So the cameras sort of come alive whenever something TV-worthy happens. This would be up to the individual writer to determine, of course.[/color]

[quote](Also, did the description of the basic story remind anyone of a little thing called "Fox Force Five"?)
[/quote]

[color=#606060]That's where I got the idea originally. At first I was literally going to do a Fox Force Five RPG. But there was too little real information to go on from Pulp Fiction...so I eventually decided to take the overall concept and make my own universe from it.[/color]

[quote]Seeing as I'd imagine a good deal of the villains in this are going to be male, just how far can we go with them ? As in how warped may these individuals be ? Personally I'm hoping to play a cannibalistic version of Willy Wonka.[/quote]

[color=#606060]I suppose the villains could be as weird as you wanted.

When I think about the tone of this story I'm really thinking of something like Max Payne. You know, sort of film-noir with quite a few monologues and things like that. Almost like Detective Story from The Animatrix. If you think of that sort of grainy black-and-white visual feel...lots of "thinking out loud" moments...that's sort of what I'm getting at.

So within that context there's room for some fairly surreal characters. As I said earlier, "ladies" don't always have to be women. I would be quite interested to see if someone put forward a transvestite character or something along those lines (whether as a good guy or a bad guy - I'd want to see experimentation for sure).[/color]
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[quote name='James'][color=#606060]I suppose the villains could be as weird as you wanted.

When I think about the tone of this story I'm really thinking of something like Max Payne. You know, sort of film-noir with quite a few monologues and things like that. Almost like Detective Story from The Animatrix. If you think of that sort of grainy black-and-white visual feel...lots of "thinking out loud" moments...that's sort of what I'm getting at.

So within that context there's room for some fairly surreal characters. As I said earlier, "ladies" don't always have to be women. I would be quite interested to see if someone put forward a transvestite character or something along those lines (whether as a good guy or a bad guy - I'd want to see experimentation for sure).[/color][/QUOTE]

[SIZE="1"]Yeah, I get where you're going with that, and seeing as Detective Story was probably my favourite Animatrix story, you'll get no objections from me on using it as the template.

I'm so looking forward to having a Lady or two round for dinner. Maybe have some fava beans and a nice chianti... [/SIZE]
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[color=#606060]Yeah and the way the story plays out in Max Payne (particularly the fact that it largely plays out via monologues) was something I wanted to try in this RPG. But we'll see.

In any case, I'm currently working on an image header for the thread (I asked for the new logo font from Who Am I, since I really liked his interpretation) and then I'm going to put together the HTML that I want everyone to use (will be really really easy, just copy and paste).

I am interested to see how the whole mini-RPG idea works. It'll be a good experiment.[/color]
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[quote name='James'][color=#606060]So within that context there's room for some fairly surreal characters. As I said earlier, "ladies" don't always have to be women. I would be quite interested to see if someone put forward a transvestite character or something along those lines (whether as a good guy or a bad guy - I'd want to see experimentation for sure).[/color][/QUOTE][size=1]Does this mean you're okay with "LadyBoys of London?" And yes, this is something I'm genuinely interested in knowing.

PS: If any doesn't know what a "LadyBoy" is, please don't Google it. The results are gross.

-Shy[/size]
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[quote name='Shy'][size=1]Does this mean you're okay with "LadyBoys of London?" And yes, this is something I'm genuinely interested in knowing.

PS: If any doesn't know what a "LadyBoy" is, please don't Google it. The results are gross.

-Shy[/size][/QUOTE]

[SIZE="1"]Quick, someone edit out the "don't" and the last sentence. The reactions to that will be priceless. :p[/SIZE]
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[QUOTE=James]
[color=#606060]That's where I got the idea originally. At first I was literally going to do a Fox Force Five RPG. But there was too little real information to go on from Pulp Fiction...so I eventually decided to take the overall concept and make my own universe from it.[/color][/QUOTE]

[size=1][COLOR="Purple"]Wonderful! You got around to putting this idea out on the table. I think the reality TV concept is perfect. When you had mentioned this RPG idea long ago, I was curious as to how you would carry it out. Brilliant!

It's sort of like improving, but with a little guidance. I'd be excited to see it in action.[/COLOR][/size]
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[color=#606060]I haven't looked up "LadyBoy", but I'm really referring to either transvestites or transsexuals...not hermaphrodites. Not that there's any rule against the latter, but you know, there would have to be some merit to it...I wouldn't want people deliberately signing up as obscure characters just for the sake of doing so.

If you could make something interesting from that and make a cool sign-up, then no, there are no real restrictions.

I've really had no time to put this together any further (other than some further graphics work) but I'm glad there's some interest in the idea. I'll be sure to keep going with it.

In the meantime, feel free to ponder your weirder character ideas out loud. ~_^[/color]
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[quote name='James'][color=#606060]I haven't looked up "LadyBoy", but I'm really referring to either transvestites or transsexuals...not hermaphrodites. Not that there's any rule against the latter, but you know, there would have to be some merit to it...I wouldn't want people deliberately signing up as obscure characters just for the sake of doing so.

If you could make something interesting from that and make a cool sign-up, then no, there are no real restrictions.

I've really had no time to put this together any further (other than some further graphics work) but I'm glad there's some interest in the idea. I'll be sure to keep going with it.

In the meantime, feel free to ponder your weirder character ideas out loud. ~_^[/color][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Tahoma"]I've definitely pondered a lot of character ideas to myself so far, hope this idea gets under way sooner rather then later. It would be nice to have another interesting idea in the square to jazz things up more. This is my last week of a super strict work schedule, so i'll have more time whenever the sign up thread does go up.[/FONT]
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[quote name='James'][color=#606060]I haven't looked up "LadyBoy", but I'm really referring to either transvestites or transsexuals...not hermaphrodites. Not that there's any rule against the latter, but you know, there would have to be some merit to it...I wouldn't want people deliberately signing up as obscure characters just for the sake of doing so.[/color][/QUOTE][size=1]A "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladyboy]LadyBoy[/url]," or "Kathoey" is actually another name for a male-to-female transgender, usually from Thailand. It's a very broad term, though, and has been used to describe anything from cross-dressers to hermaphrodites.

I don't think I'd do a LadyBoy character just for the sake of doing a LadyBoy character... hm... I'll definitely work on coming up with something unique.

-Shy[/size]
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[quote name='Shy'][size=1]A "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladyboy]LadyBoy[/url]," or "Kathoey" is actually another name for a male-to-female transgender, usually from Thailand. It's a very broad term, though, and has been used to describe anything from cross-dressers to hermaphrodites.

I don't think I'd do a LadyBoy character just for the sake of doing a LadyBoy character... hm... I'll definitely work on coming up with something unique.

-Shy[/size][/QUOTE]

[color=#606060]Ah I see. Yeah I thought I'd heard that term somewhere. I just wasn't sure what the specifics were.

But yeah, I figure most people will have good justifications for their characters being a certain way, so it doesn't worry me too much.

At this stage I'm thinking that the sign-up will be introduced with reference to a biography written by one of the main characters. From there I'll just explain how the system works. I want the story to really develop through the sign-ups and the main thread.

I just have to get the HTML stuff sorted and I have to put the biographical bit together, then it should all be ready to go.[/color]
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