Many of you will recognise the fact that I am creating my own game called Detritus from previous posts. Well, last night saw an awesome step forward in that it was the first time that we actually gamed in the setting. We were not actually playing the game system attached to the game but doing something a little left of centre that I will describe below. I also have decided that I will be within the month migrating my blog discussion on to it’s own website to try and make this blog a little bit more focussed on the games I play as opposed to the game I am making. This will hopefully help those of you interested in one portion of my blogs to another focus on what you would like. If the game is to get off the ground it needs it’s own web page anyhow.
In developing the game I was talking to one of the players who is assisting me develop the game by being a sounding board. He asked a pertinent question to the game which came out of right field but was a valid question that I had an answer to. He did not particularly like the answer which came from the written history background that I had created and he gave me an alternate version. I liked his version and went and had a think about the conversation. I got out my notes on the history and saw a lot of myself in it and wondered if there was a better way that would make that history more dynamic, more alive.
I remembered in the early to mid 90’s I had bought two gaming books called Aria and Aria Worlds which were to be the next big thing in gaming. It was a game where you would play multiple personas through a world that the GM created in concert with the players creating a high level of detail with realistic responses to circumstances that made a cohesive backdrop to a game. The system is terribly complex in reality and laden with specialist terms where in reality there were no terms really required. But still, these books had the genesis of the idea I was having so I dug them out of my storage chest in the garage and started to read them. The game itself works exceptionally well for fantasy settings strong in physical conflict and attempts to model magic as well but it is not its strength. So, I hunted down a few snippets out of the book, read them and devised a kind of freeform approach to how this was going to work.
Detail in the game is needed. I have a definite idea of what the game is and why it is this way and I realised to achieve this the roleplaying would need to begin at the point of creation for the reality that is Detritus. Last night with the volunteer +duncan mcphedran we began this process. I created some specifics of the race that I want to track through the history of this game called the Erudite. They are immortal spirit like creatures with a list of abilities that were granted them from a “higher being” that they meet in the creation. The Erudite have a very specific task in the game and will affect the history in a major way over time.
I have never role-played a society before so it was new to Duncan and I but I really liked what we got out of our session last night. We moved from creation through several millennia (seven to be exact) to the point where they received their final gift. Through the millennia we discussed what they would achieve in this time and more specifically what I would like to receive from Duncan in the longer term for this period. The things I wanted were not small either but Duncan was quite keen and interested in where this went.
After the hangout closed I had a great rush. I had finally role played in my own unique setting. Sure I did not exactly use the setting devised for it but that is a step that will soon come. It is refreshing to stop thinking about playing and just play it. I thoroughly enjoyed the small part that we did although it is nowhere near what the final setting will be like it is really good to role-play through the pivotal points in the settings history. It does feel like this history is more alive than the one that I determined because rather than writing a couple of sentences about what occurred in the beginning, we roleplayed it. I know even what was said!
So, next up we are introducing a “new race” next which is being taken on by +Dan Hall tomorrow with me. This will be a turning point in the game as this inclusion will introduce the beings who I foresaw as being the most numerous in the final setting. We will have to wait and see how the interactions map out though.
It is an exciting time in the game. The rules for actual play exist and the setting is forming quickly. I received some proofs from my artist for the very first original art literally made for Detritus and they look great. Things are coming together nicely. We will play-test the system in the next fortnight and the first public play test/game will occur at LUGCon!