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Thread: Grail War RPs Discussion : Troubleshooting, Best Practices, War Stories

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    Grail War RPs Discussion : Troubleshooting, Best Practices, War Stories

    I know there are a lot of people on this forum who participate in Grail War RPs whether on this site, on other sites, or even through messaging apps like skype, discord or IRC.
    There isn't though, a thread to about Type-Moon and more specifically Grail War RPs in a general sense.
    I hope this thread will serve to guide and question processes and how people make Grail War RPs: how they go, what they lack, what worked, etc.
    And also serve as a place for members of this forum to share their stories in hopes of inspiring others or maybe warning against a so-called action or attitude.
    Or even collaborate on ideas for Type-Moon RPs.

    To start the thread off so there's not just a blank space, I've always had this question of how to best approach applications and restrictions for applications. Or well since I've never made my own RP, question how other GMs implement it.
    So when you want to get a a Grail War RP together, you want ideally 7 Servants and 7 Masters. There are many that have more. There are a few that have less.
    Most of the time you will not get enough applicants or you will get too many.
    On BL, the best sheets get in and that fits with the RP culture here because it's p cliquey so you trust the people you RP with. And if there are new faces, its only one or two people so its manageable, and they got in based on quality or numbers.
    But there are a lot of other RPs where they'll accept as many people as possible from the interest check or its first come first serve.
    Either way, when most people make applications for Grail War RPs they want to play as Servants, Heroic Spirits. So in an open application you get a giant amount of Servants and not enough Masters.

    So the way this is usually remedied is by having each player make one Servant and then one Master. At least everyone will be paired up.
    But the issue with that is, you end up either having to roleplay a pair or you end up having a finger in two pies. And these two pies will never come into conflict because people don't want to risk their characters. To maybe they'll even form a team. Make that usually.

    So the options for a Grail War RP Character Distribution mainly goes:
    1 person = 1 character
    1 person = 1 pair
    1 person = 1 Servant and 1 Master but not a pair
    1 person = 1 Master, All Servants are GM controlled
    1 person = 1 Servant, All Masters are GM controlled
    1 person = x Servants and x Masters, clusterfuck ensues
    1 person = x number of characters max, end up with Master-less Servants roaming

    These are my experiences and I believe they all have detrimental disadvantages.

    What pros and cons do you see in these set ups or have experienced? Have you seen different set ups that weren't mentioned? Do those work better or even worse? How has the setup of characters affected your RP experience; was it positive or negative?
    If this isn't a question you're interested in, say something else that you've noticed about Grail War RPs that work or do not work or want to just talk about.

    I hope this thread doesn't die and becomes a mainstay, since as long as BL remains there's going to be a lot of Grail War RPs and people who want to participate in them.
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    Do you feel like a hero yet? Soldat der Trauer's Avatar
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    (...Oh, to hell with it, I've been talking about this on irc for years!)

    >One thing I've seen is that many GMs (on various sites) don't really push for an engaging Masters roster, aside from maybe a circle of guys who've played a couple times before in the past (and keep doing so), and so can roll with one another's actions much more easily. These GMs tend to be rather straight-laced or hardliner on the whole "modern humans suck compared to antecedent humans" angle of the Nasuverse, even though (to a point!!!) that's not really an absolute in official narratives themselves.

    The obvious problem is that what Masters do end up accepted tend to try copy-pasting Fate/Zero wholesale, doing the whole "schemers in the dark" crap, trying to manipulate the other teams while engaged in half-hearted information campaigns, or wandering around town nigh at random and conveniently triggering some sort of encounter. Bleh, it comes off as unimaginative after 10 bloody threads of this same goddamn formula. I know we have to do our best with the setting lore and mechanics as they are before the next series installment gets announced, but come on: enough with the bloody cookie-cutter setups!

    Then there are GMs who go the opposite extreme and relax general powerlevels waaaaay too much, and just go full pink mohawk on the action and characterization, and all of a sudden to a newcomer it's like "what if Fate was written as TTGL?" But in either case, I've heard people say that Fate's biggest draw is the Servants, so who cares about the Masters? There's rarely incentive to really get applicants to send in something as well done as the uber Servant of clan Macleod, and beyond interpersonal interaction it seems to seep into rulings on just what an accepted Master can even do.
    Last edited by Soldat der Trauer; November 3rd, 2017 at 02:41 AM.
    Let the victor...be justice.







    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjon01 View Post
    Metal Gear's conception of cyborgs has now convinced me that the real reason there were no more Holy Grail Wars is because Servants became obsolete in the near future, and that past humans and their superiority can just bend over and take it from modern technology.
    @Bloble: You shut the hell up, you're like in every RP on the page, you MIRACULOUSLY LUCKY whore-monger. You not getting in is like me winning the lottery in two states, obtaining a girlfriend, and not ending up nursing another migraine, simultaneously, by the end of this evening.

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    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    (Never had the chance to be in a Grail RP myself) but I think what would be best would be if enough people signed up you could have seven masters and seven servants and have one player play as one character, either human or super fighting ghost. In order to stop masters getting sidelined then each person would need to submit one of each.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I could be completely wrong though
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    三十四 Thirty Four 34's Avatar
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    I remembered when I once RP'd on an anon chatting site, it was one giant clusterfuck...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldat der Trauer View Post
    Bleh, it comes off as unimaginative after 10 bloody threads of this same goddamn formula.
    hey at least people in those threads submit different characters instead of the same edgy schemer in the dark
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    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


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    I've only been in the one, but 14 RPers, each on a Master or a Servant seems ideal, except for two things. The first being that the GM suffers immensely from balancing all of them and the moment they're gone it's all over (though that's the case for most RPs). The second being that with 14 people, the moment one of them bails large chunks of the story grind to a halt and the corresponding players are stuck as well. A friend of mine ended up quitting a Grail War RP solely because his Master didn't post for months.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

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    ジュカイン Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Grail Wars are cursed here on BL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldat der Trauer View Post
    (...Oh, to hell with it, I've been talking about this on irc for years!)

    >One thing I've seen is that many GMs (on various sites) don't really push for an engaging Masters roster, aside from maybe a circle of guys who've played a couple times before in the past (and keep doing so), and so can roll with one another's actions much more easily. These GMs tend to be rather straight-laced or hardliner on the whole "modern humans suck compared to antecedent humans" angle of the Nasuverse, even though (to a point!!!) that's not really an absolute in official narratives themselves.

    The obvious problem is that what Masters do end up accepted tend to try copy-pasting Fate/Zero wholesale, doing the whole "schemers in the dark" crap, trying to manipulate the other teams while engaged in half-hearted information campaigns, or wandering around town nigh at random and conveniently triggering some sort of encounter. Bleh, it comes off as unimaginative after 10 bloody threads of this same goddamn formula. I know we have to do our best with the setting lore and mechanics as they are before the next series installment gets announced, but come on: enough with the bloody cookie-cutter setups!

    Then there are GMs who go the opposite extreme and relax general powerlevels waaaaay too much, and just go full pink mohawk on the action and characterization, and all of a sudden to a newcomer it's like "what if Fate was written as TTGL?" But in either case, I've heard people say that Fate's biggest draw is the Servants, so who cares about the Masters? There's rarely incentive to really get applicants to send in something as well done as the uber Servant of clan Macleod, and beyond interpersonal interaction it seems to seep into rulings on just what an accepted Master can even do.
    yeah i agree
    I've rped with people who made some really great Servants
    but the Masters have always been lackluster or literally sit at home

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    (Never had the chance to be in a Grail RP myself) but I think what would be best would be if enough people signed up you could have seven masters and seven servants and have one player play as one character, either human or super fighting ghost. In order to stop masters getting sidelined then each person would need to submit one of each.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I could be completely wrong though
    Then you get into the issue that soldat was talking about whether due to unfamiliarity with the setting or lack of interest, fucking someone else over
    Quote Originally Posted by Canon View Post
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    That's exaggerating my point.

  9. #9
    Do you feel like a hero yet? Soldat der Trauer's Avatar
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    >I mean, it's possible to mitigate some of the issues where it concerns team arrangements with just seven players, provided you don't let them RP a discrete duo. White Wolf had that setup with its line of Wraith games, where players pulled double duty as one another's Shadows, whose job was to intentionally screw the relevant host over. Though predictably, you run the risks of players getting salty with one another, as well as the more likely problem of players holding an advantage of two discrete sets of information pertaining to an equal number of teams (at the very least).

    Honor code is fine and dandy to believe in upholding, but with unfamiliar groups, it can be nerve-wracking. Although perhaps a clever or deviant enough GM could harness even that, to be fair; plenty of traditional, non-D&D style TRPGs (especially from Europe) rely on reading of the players over reading of the "game pieces", especially through communication. Would definitely be somewhat a different style. So, who knows?

    >On the topic of Masters, maaaaybe something could be accommodated if, just as Servants are divided by Class, GMs implemented an "archteype" setup. I know quests tend to make use of something similar during their own chargen, but it's usually too vague/broad. I'm thinking something more in the vein of what @Elyrin introduced a while back in two games, or even.... Crap, was it @RacingR who ran Ijyou no Kyoukai? I know @Bloble experimented with it in World of Evil, too.

    Much more specific builds a GM would be able to anticipate, yet still loose enough for applicants to exercise creative liberties within established guidelines. Best of all, whether the GM in question is the sort to draft story notes ahead of play or otherwise prefers to improvise based on the final roster, they'd still be able to theoretically tailor a narrative campaign to their choosing, instead of risking being blindsided by a cluster fuck of loose ends because they allowed applicants too much leeway from the get-go.

    Servants might be the agents which move the narrative, but it really should be the Masters who set it in motion.
    Last edited by Soldat der Trauer; November 3rd, 2017 at 04:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjon01 View Post
    Metal Gear's conception of cyborgs has now convinced me that the real reason there were no more Holy Grail Wars is because Servants became obsolete in the near future, and that past humans and their superiority can just bend over and take it from modern technology.
    @Bloble: You shut the hell up, you're like in every RP on the page, you MIRACULOUSLY LUCKY whore-monger. You not getting in is like me winning the lottery in two states, obtaining a girlfriend, and not ending up nursing another migraine, simultaneously, by the end of this evening.

  10. #10
    Not always a dragon Draconic's Avatar
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    Good points all around. I agree completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    ...but the Masters have always been lackluster or literally sit at home
    The key, I think, is to have a plot that keeps the Master relevant. They have to be able to participate in ways that a Servant can't. We have a ton of Servant sheets in the Create-A-Servant threads and it should really be the players' focus to work on a Master who's interesting.

    Just an idea of a potential story gimmick that I wrote down in the IRC, I'll post it here just to keep it around. I don't know if it's worth expanding on, I would hope it is, but I'll leave that up to the masses.

    Some magical artifact appears. It has properties similar to a grail, but it's an anomaly of sorts. For instance, it appeared seemingly on its own--it wasn't put wherever it is by humans(mages), and maybe it even created the setting in which the game will take place, i.e. it pulls an island out of the ocean or creates a fortress in the sky, some shit like that. The Characters are chosen by this Grail-thing not through command seals, but rather because it steals something or someone important to them. What/Whoever it is, they'll have vanished, and the artifact is calling out to the Character somehow. Anyway, the game will require the players have to explore the interior of this (island,castle,labyrinth,gargantuan frozen dessert, etc.) to find this magical artifact, as well as whatever they lost. their Servants come along, and from there, Things™ can Happen.
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    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Just outright giving someone a literal plot device but perhaps giving them a secondary goal would be more engaging,alternatively give them new abilities as it progresses. For example in one RP I saw one of the Masters transformed into a Dead Apostle (which is what the character was researching to loop it all in together)
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  12. #12
    Kopf is kaputt aber Outfit is nice I3uster's Avatar
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    I personally prefer duos because the powerlevel disparity can result in less agency for the Master player though if you have a nonstandard setup like Verg did for M/W you can go ahead and do that.

    That imo is the main thing though, you need some way to have GM agency and not just have a player dukeout arena. Once it turns either into a game of chicken or a massive battle clusterfuck the whole thing will just die. Think of a good setup and actually try to make it a story. In every Fate spinoff the war part itself is the least interesting thing about the story which is why Apocrypha is bad. Logistics are secondary to getting the basic necessities of an RP down.
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    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    hey hold on get this nobody has tried a grand order rp yet
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    hey hold on get this nobody has tried a grand order rp yet
    I'm sorry...


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    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    hey hold on get this nobody has tried a grand order rp yet
    That sounds uniquely painful in a way few Replace Shirou fanfics ever achieve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

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    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    [x] don't need to have masters, no power disparity, people can have fun with servants
    [x] varied campaign settings
    [x] completely variable player counts
    [x] up with the kids
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


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    Kopf is kaputt aber Outfit is nice I3uster's Avatar
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    That'd be kinda PvE which does kinda cut into the appeal of GWs specifically doesn't it
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    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    everyone says they want to pvp but nobody wants the consequences, dudes need to look into their heart and just have a happy dungeon crawl
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  19. #19
    Guys, I got it! Apocrypha Grail Wars but both sides have been Amakusa'd!


    • Competitive PvP between Factions
    • Teamwork and interactions within Factions
    • No need for masters since they've all been Amakusa'd, no power disparity, full servant fun
    • No finger in two pies dilemma; There's only two pies and you have to be in one
    • Currently relevant and contemporary


    There are definitely no weaknesses with this idea.

    I'm like time travel servant dungeon crawling though


  20. #20
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Then the RP turns into "how can I kill my own Amakusa".

    - - - Updated - - -

    Verg's M/W had a good thing happening, but it was the players, as with most RPs, that let it down. One person deciding not to post can screw over everyone else and, with how many people are typically needed for a Grail War, that's almost guaranteed to happen unless you've deliberately picked people who won't stop posting or can be bullied into it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually nvm M/W died because the GM did. Just pick any other Grail War RP then.

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