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16:15, 25th February 2024 (GMT+0)

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Posted by StitchWitch
StitchWitch
member, 6 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2023
at 17:57
  • msg #1

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

I first looked at this site many years ago and remember seeing an abundance of adult slice of life free form games. At the time I didn't have time for anything so I never made an account. But now that I am here, I've noticed there aren't that many that are active. Those that are active all seem to have players with multiple characters (you can tell by the style on the cast page). Also, it feels like it is the same small group of players in all of the active games. Again, you can tell by the style on the cast page.

So is there is an audience for adult free-form slice of life? If so, what are you looking for when debating sending a rtj?

I have a game that I am working on but it relies on having more than just a couple of players to really make it shine.

Thanks!
silentmouse
member, 109 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2023
at 18:06
  • msg #2

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Personally, I look for setting and story over something where people are just jumping from one character to the next with adult content. Something I can sink into and immerse myself in.
UnseelieLord
member, 94 posts
Survival of the fittest.
We're all gonna die.
Thu 19 Oct 2023
at 20:23
  • msg #3

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

It certainly seems like freeform in general is a dying breed in regard to games, but slice of life, whether mundane or supernatural do pop up on occasion. But if you're looking to avoid the same players you might have a tough time.

I don't play anything but freeform, so I tend to run in those same circles and I imagine many others are the same or similar so we tend to pop up in multiple games together.

But the hardest part of any freeform game is just keeping players interested. Those games usually get a large crop of players initially, then over time they're whittled away until you're left with small groups all playing seven characters.

So, it can be a challenge, but there is still a market for it. Perhaps somewhat smaller than it used to be, but it's there.
steelsmiter
member, 2251 posts
BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Thu 19 Oct 2023
at 21:26
  • msg #4

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

UnseelieLord:
It certainly seems like freeform in general is a dying breed in regard to games, but slice of life, whether mundane or supernatural do pop up on occasion. But if you're looking to avoid the same players you might have a tough time.

I had a similar experience in that I used to run slice of life games all the time, but they were never freeform 'cause I always wanted to playtest something I wrote. Don't get many takers these days.
bazhsw
member, 85 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2023
at 21:32
  • msg #5

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

I have to say I used to love freeform slice of life games but sadly it seems they are now largely on here an excuse to hook up and write erotica.  Setting often seems to take a backseat to 'hey, here is a place where you can screw'.

(And yes, you can tell the multiple characters played by a single player.)

If you are not to fussed about modern slice of life there are plenty of games which are historical or have other settings that may fit the bill - there are some really good GMs out there.

If you are thinking of setting something up yourself here are things that pique my interest (although I make no claim to be representative).

1) Avoid yet another small town in America.  The world is a huge place and there is so much to explore.  Small town USA is usually a turn off for me.

2) Avoid anything which signals you expect players to pair up quickly.  Romance and that is cool, but if your small town USA 'even has a porn studio' then I will give that and the GM a wide berth

3) Have a reason to exist.  Yet another urban fantasy may have been done to death but consider why characters may want to be here.  The game should have a distinct feature.

4) I love a bit of effort in capturing the background and history- this goes a long way for me

5) GM tone, good GM's set boundaries and the tone, but if the GM sounds like a dictator or has an onerous RTJ requirement I'll pass unless I love the setting

6) nothing you can do about this one, but getting in early.  I'm unlikely to join a well established game, and prefer to go in at the start.

I wish you success in getting your game up and running!
deadtotheworld22
member, 212 posts
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 12:57
  • msg #6

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

As someone who both runs one of those games which I semi inherited but has also noticed that trend, I think there's a couple of things to consider:

As others have mentioned, the 'getting in early' bit is quite a big one. Given freeform by its nature will tend to move more in the direction of story over crunch, I think there can often be something intimidating about seeing a game with 2000+ posts and finding a way into that, and it can come through in terms of new players joining and perhaps finding it hard to slot into existing storylines.

I think that also then can cause a bit of a vicious cycle because it is harder to recruit at that point, and any time you lose a player due to natural wastage then it does tend to mean that your only source of new characters and plot points is existing players piloting secondary or tertiary characters, and that can give a fairly poor indication of the health of a game at any given time.

I'd also note that the Adult rating is a bit of a double edged sword, because it can be fairly hard for people to know what the balance is between writing intimacy/romance/boot knocking and actual plot, especially when most of your work will probably not be on public facing threads due to the requirements not to have Adult material accessible for non members.

As such, our game does contain a certain amount of boot knocking and romance, but it's certainly not constant and I'd maybe say we're talking 15-20% of the game's IC posts at best, but if you look through the cast list, it's hard to necessarily always glean that from what players put as a priority in terms of their character's interests and appearance. It doesn't also help that the thread for advertising it on Players Wanted has the title of 'Sex, lies and Lawyers', which doesn't help with people's preconceptions but I can't actually change it because another of the GM's posted the original thread!



Ultimately, I think we always see ebbs and flows in interest in games and styles as time goes on - go back a decade and there were a lot of Mature freeform games, but for various reasons (demographic change, more Adult content bleeding into mainstream popular culture) they're a lot less common now, and we've also seen a lot more game systems which feel more akin to freeform but offering a bit more structure which give people the best of both worlds (such as Blades in the Dark and other PbtA titles).

To directly address OP's post, I'd largely agree with bazhsw:

 - Find a good angle or niche for the game to sit (be it in terms of a setting/location or the main dynamic of the game).

 - Be very clear about the balance of romance to plot and your expectations for your players and their characters, but also accept different players will want different things.

 - Really set out your stall as a GM in terms of what you can and will offer - an open sandbox will work for some people, but there's a very fine balance between giving players freedom to do what they want and not giving enough support to keep players engaged. Just because it's freeform doesn't mean you have to do any less work, and do consider whether you might want to look for a couple of co-GMs or mods to share the load when it comes to running NPCs.

 - Accept that unless you're really lucky, you're going to eventually get to a point where you'll find it harder to get new players in because of the size of the game, and you'll probably end up relying on a core group, so maybe consider how you're going to deal with that in your planning (either by really going for a large player base or having the game with a fairly limited scope and then a reset)
This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 14:05, Fri 20 Oct 2023.
StitchWitch
member, 7 posts
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 14:38
  • msg #7

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

I just want to say, thank you to everyone that has responded. It has given me a lot to think on. Fingers crossed once I get my game out there it will tick some of these boxes.
bazhsw
member, 86 posts
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 16:07
  • msg #8

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Just another point which impacts my interest - whilst having a long-winded RTJ can be off putting, if you have a 'slice of life' game be mindful of how realistic you want it to be.

If every character is gorgeous, wealthy, lives in a mansion and is hyper competent  in their field but with a traumatic backstop it can get boring very quickly (unless your game needs everyone to be rich and brilliant).

Quite a few games struggle for me when everyone is so nice in character to each other (a good cue it is boot knocking that is desired is when every character is so noble and kind!)

Good luck!
Necat
member, 522 posts
remember
bat girl is a librarian
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 17:09
  • msg #9

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Just wanted to say, I agree with bazhsw.  I've gm-ed and participated in many free form contemporary games here.  I'm always looking for one.

But I prefer realistic settings, characters, etc. (to stress - not all monsters, or rich & famous, or seeing hooks ups or used and abused and wanting to exploit that).

I also prefer a looser or limited RTJ - writing sample - great - but I want the character to develop as I write and to learn about other characters thru the writing process.

If the posted RTJ has background and everything you want to know about a character there is not much left for interaction.

The other thing I'd say - is 'guided freeform' I think works better.  By this I mean, the GM is, well, God.  So throw in a hurricane or a bank robbery or depending on the setting - a town carnival or some social event,  something that gives people an event to work off of.

Hope you decided to do this - I'll look for it.
silentmouse
member, 110 posts
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 22:46
  • msg #10

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Necat:
The other thing I'd say - is 'guided freeform' I think works better.  By this I mean, the GM is, well, God.  So throw in a hurricane or a bank robbery or depending on the setting - a town carnival or some social event,  something that gives people an event to work off of.


The question I have is how do you handle adding in a plot device when there isn’t enough players to seem to make one work? It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. I have plans, but too few players to make it work. So… mention something waiting in the ad? Would that make a setting seem more interesting?
UnseelieLord
member, 95 posts
Survival of the fittest.
We're all gonna die.
Fri 20 Oct 2023
at 23:45
  • msg #11

IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

I second the idea of Co-GMs. Honestly, the best freeform game I've ever run, I did with an entire team of Co-GMs that I had been playing with in different games for years. Each GM handled a different group and we all brainstormed ideas for the game.

And a little guidance in your freeform is definitely a must. I think that bit about finding that balance was perfectly said. Not enough GM influence and players tend to get bored, events keep players engaged.

Personally I only play in adult games, but I very rarely write out sex anymore. I just like adult games because I want absolutely as much creative freedom in my writing as RPoL will give me.

Personally I like more in depth and detailed RTJs. But that in itself shows a difficulty in any game. You're never going to make everyone happy. So make a game that makes you happy and see who comes along to share that with you.
deadtotheworld22
member, 213 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 10:48
  • msg #12

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

silentmouse:
Necat:
The other thing I'd say - is 'guided freeform' I think works better.  By this I mean, the GM is, well, God.  So throw in a hurricane or a bank robbery or depending on the setting - a town carnival or some social event,  something that gives people an event to work off of.


The question I have is how do you handle adding in a plot device when there isn’t enough players to seem to make one work? It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. I have plans, but too few players to make it work. So… mention something waiting in the ad? Would that make a setting seem more interesting?


A plot device doesn't have to be massive for it to have an effect, and you don't even need all of your players to be there at that moment for it to change the narrative or even signal a change in tone - it would just be about the reverberations and seeing which affect different players more.

To give two examples, you could have some kind of big accident - a train derails, a building collapses, something like that. Some of your players could be there, but even the ones who aren't might be affected by it, say having to cover shifts for injured colleagues, or losing a contract because the city now has to deal with the cleanup. That, in turn, filters into their personal lives and can be the spark which sets up a positive or a negative change.

On the other hand, an event could just be between 2-3 people in the game but mean a lot to them - someone gets fired due to an injustice and their friend quits in sympathy, how does that change that dynamic and how does that filter out through their social circle.

But yeah, mentioning things like that in an ad, and potentially offering players a way in through that can be quite useful. I think one of my characters found an in for a game because there had been a big disaster and he was investigating aspects of it for the city, so he met some survivors and began to interact with witnesses and the company who had owned the thing which was disastered.
LittleStar
member, 2 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 15:04
  • [deleted]
  • msg #13

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 16:40, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
StitchWitch
member, 8 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:00
  • [deleted]
  • msg #14

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was moot, at 16:41, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
LittleStar
member, 3 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:06
  • [deleted]
  • msg #15

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 16:42, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
StitchWitch
member, 9 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:12
  • msg #16

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Not at all, I appreciate your enthusiasm. I will be honest, a part of me is excited to see all of the responses as it gives hope Freeform Slice of Life may have a resurgence.

Thanks to all of these responses, I anticipate having my game ready to open this coming week.
LittleStar
member, 4 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:14
  • msg #17

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Awesome, I'd love to join when you do have it up and running.

I look forward to your game once it's published! Perhaps we can create a renaissance! :D
This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 16:40, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
silentmouse
member, 111 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:30
  • [deleted]
  • msg #18

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was moot, at 16:43, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
LittleStar
member, 5 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:37
  • [deleted]
  • msg #19

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was moot, at 16:44, Sat 21 Oct 2023.
LittleStar
member, 6 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2023
at 16:44
  • msg #20

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

Oop, the moderators have ruled on my post and I'm deffo not allowed to post a link here. That's cool, I had a feeling that was the case (sorry everyone)! I thought I was okay because I hadn't posted specifics and just a general invitation, but for everyone's reference, that is not OK by RPOL guidelines.

Sorry RPOL and OP! I definitely didn't mean to bogart the thread and am fully looking forward to your game.
StitchWitch
member, 12 posts
Wed 25 Oct 2023
at 23:31
  • msg #21

Re: IC:Free-form Adult Slice of Life still around?

I would like to thank everyone that responded, your thoughts and opinions were of great value as my co-GM and I built our game. Hopefully others will take these into consideration as well and we will see more free-forms in the future.

Without further ado, here is the game: link to another game

Thank you all again.
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