Mind Adventures is the name i gave to the storylines/universes i created for my players back in the 80's (and which i have been refining continuously since). It incorporates a diverse range of gaming environments and game mechanics that are each part of an over-arching integrated multiverse.
M.A.R.S. - The Mind Adventures RPG System
M.A.R.S. is an acronym for the Mind Adventures RPG System, i.e. the rules, protocols, character definitions, etc. used to determine outcomes and track character progress. One uses M.A.R.S. to play a session of Mind Adventures.
G.U.T.S. - The Gaming Utility Tool Set
G.U.T.S., The Gaming Utility Tool Set, encompasses various automated tools that i have already craeted, and more that are at one or another stage of development. My current plan is to implement G.U.T.S. as an interactive web experience. More to come... here, on this site.
Documents... ever so slowly... Mind Adventures, M.A.R.S., G.U.T.S., and our weekly game sessions.
To best get a feel for the game, read the contents in order of the navigation bar on the left. This is the 'Intro' page.
More Detail... to be moved
M.A.R.S. is a loosely defined set of rules for defining characters, the game environment, and resolving game mechanics. It promotes focus on role playing over concern for detailed record keeping or complicated resolution of succes/failure of game related activities. It is used in our sessions between the times that i get one or another set of automated tools in place to implement the more detailed/complex set of game mechanics implemented in G.U.T.S.
Role Playing, Mostly
In traditional role playing games, each player takes on the role of a character from the game environment and is then expected to 'role play' the character, making decisions appropriate for the race/gender/class/type of character chosen. One can use M.A.R.S./G.U.T.S. to help manage that kind of game, and we did just that for about 15 years, but we just don't happen to play that way any more.
My players didn't enjoy being forced to role-play their characters to the point where at times they would be expected to make decisions that were against their own 'better judgment', so i created a series of game mechanisms that allow our group members to "inject their own identity/personality/memories" into a body that is appropriate for the game scenario. The same mechanism(s) allow the character to be 'resurrected' if he/she dies in the course of an adventure. Some of these mechanisms are a bit 'forced', but i ran with the concept from a few angles, found some solutions that work in a fantasy environment, some that work in a science fiction environment, and some that work in either/both, and i made each of them their own part of the overall game system.
Multiple Groups Operating in Multiple Realms
M.A.R.S. provides a multiverse with 84 realms. Each realm is the size of what we think of as 'the universe'. Each realm has its own laws of physics and metaphysics. In some realms magic and magical creatures abound, while in others magic does not operate easily, if at all. In some realms scientific advances have taken existing technologies to their extremes, while in others as yet undiscovered properties of exotic materials have made the impossible commonplace. In still other realms, life itself has evolved far past the limits of modern species.
Our game sessions occur in one or more of the available realms. We are currently operating three loosely coupled groups in three realms: one group of space explorers, one group of cyber warriors, and a splinter fantasy group.
The Games Are For the Players
Each week we decide which group we will play, and continue with that specific scenario. I will sometimes provide a "short story challenge" to the group, for which their task is to find a solution, but the game is an 'open environment' for the players to enjoy, explore, interact with, and/or shape as they prefer.
But... The Multiverse Does NOT exist for the Characters
Some of the game realms are 'human-centric', but most of them are not. The player's human characters may rise to prominence in some realms, but in other realms that would never be possible. Our players have not yet 'solved the mystery' of the upper relams yet, so i'll just leave this at that.
There is a "larger than they know" framework in which some background aspects of the game operates, but there is no game-imperative that the players ever 'solve' or come to understand that framework. When the 'small pond' is larger than our known universe, my players are content being the big fish there. That's good, because if they ever opt to take on the powers and forces that are infitely beyond them, they would have their asses handed to them :-).