Another questionable thing by Robert Aronson, vespinfeebler at gmail dot com

Chapter 3
OPTION: Sandbox Gameplay

In a "sandbox" style game there is no pre-made adventure. The entire setting is open to the heroes at any time, and the GM's goal is to provide suitable - but largely improvised - adventures for the players based on their choices. This presents not only a challenge to the GM in terms of their workload, but also to ORBA itself, as its Devotion/Chapter system is not inherently compatible with sandbox roleplaying.

Nevertheless, the system can be tweaked slightly to allow for a sandbox experience. In a sandbox game, the GM takes note of whatever adventure-like goal the heroes are presently pursuing. Chapters pass based on progress toward that goal, and success or failure regarding it should come in no more than ten Chapters.

Abandoning a goal means resetting Devotion to 0. However, if the players ever return to an abandoned goal, they might be able to take up some measure of their former Devotion for it. The level of Devotion that can once again be taken up depends on how many Chapters were spent pursuing one or more other unrelated goals in the meantime. For every Chapter spent pursing another goal, an older goal's potential Devotion drops by 1.

Note, with no goal Devotion never increases.

From here, the GM and players must consider two sub-styles of sandbox roleplaying. Do the players want a dangerous, unforgiving sandbox that might be too much for them to handle, or do they want the game's sandbox to never present a challenge too great for them? It's up to the GM and the players to decide.


© Copyright by Robert Aronson, all rights reserved