Experimenting with D&D

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I found an article on an experiment that was run in the online Environment 'MINECRAFT' in which the Players were restricted to the limits of where they could go and as a consequence things became a nasty little fight between factions over everything from clay to the last patch of grass.

I was thinking has anyone attempted to do something similar in a RPG game? For example the PCs are trapped in a dungeon and there is only enough in the way of resources for half of them to survive for thirty days in the dungeon while they fight it out with cave dwellers and the folks on the surface dig down to rescue them - Unfortunatly they must scrounge for the food and water and what ever to live.

Source: www.kotaku.com.au/2012/08/30-players-emb...
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
I wouldn't even try it in D&D 4e, because it basically cannot handle PvP in any remotely satisfying/meaningful way (it inevitably devolves into striker/controller rocket tag).

I wouldn't try it in D&D 3.X either, for similar reasons (replace "striker/controller" with "wizard/cleric/druid").

To make the experiment worthwhile, I think you'd need a system that's actually designed for PvP conflict and in which characters are well-balanced against each other so that the outcome is not predetermined at character generation.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

I wouldn't necessarily run a game where there is not enough supplies for the party in the whole dungeon (see Duskweaver's points above), but a suitable adventure hook (Most likely for low levels) would be an earthquake/cave in/abduction into the underdark where the players only have the objective of escaping.

It would be fun to see what they did without supplies and trying to figure out the way home from that. Assuming they weren't able to just fly/teleport straight out.

I may try that, thanks for the idea!
No real reason this can't work. If the players think the characters would turn on each other, go ahead and allow that. Don't use the rules to resolve disputes, because that tends to go bad fast. Have the players agree on what they think the outcome between their characters should be. Until they can agree, nothing happens to their characters.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I was thinking has anyone attempted to do something similar in a RPG game?

I think this is exactly what WotC is doing with D&DNext.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
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