System Assumptions


Whom is this game for? What is this game about?

This game is played by several people sitting at the table – usually between two and five. All those players have a single goal. This goal is to make a shared story. The story is going to be made emergently, with inputs from all the players.

In typical role-playing game, one person creates a story and the other people live it. Here, everyone creates a story – every single person is responsible for creating the story and input of every player changes the shape of the narrative. All roles are empowered to have a strong influence upon the story.

How does it happen?

This game is designed for the people who want to create a story together in a structured way. This story will not come from any person sitting at the table. This story will be emergent, it will come from all the participants and not a single person sitting at the table is able to fully control the story. There are some story threads which are easier to be changed than others – if no one is invested in a particular thread of the story, everyone can change it. However, the more people are invested in the particular thread the more important it becomes.

If three players want the same story thread to happen it is quite likely it will happen. However, if several players are invested in the same story thread but with different outcomes, it is pretty likely that the result will be completely emergent and unpredictable to any person sitting at the table.

Think about this game as of structured way of making a story happen. In those areas all people are invested in the same outcome, this outcome will happen. The moment the expected outcomes – expected story is going to differ, the mechanics of the game – the rules of the game – will resolve which story thread has become a reality in fiction.

What roles does this game contain?

One person creates a sketch of the world. That sketch is what would happen if other players did nothing. This sketch can be emergent – it is enough to have five actors (fictional characters with set motivations) or the sketch can be more elaborate in terms of a sequence of actions, sets of motivations and a dead frog in a glass of wine. That person is called a prototypist and in usual role-playing game it is called a game master.

Prototypist has an enormous control over the game sketch, but is pretty weak in terms of mechanics. It is a wide (in terms of scope) and weak (in terms of forcing their vision) role.

The other people control single actors with the environment around those actors – their connections, resources, skills and history. Here, they are called engineers. In usual role-playing game they are called players.

Engineer has an enormous control over the details and is very strong in terms of mechanics, but the scope of freeform creation for an engineer is not much compared to a prototypist. It is a narrow (in terms of scope) and strong (in terms of forcing their vision) role.

In short, prototypist creates a wide sketch which becomes a canvas for the engineers (as people changing that sketch) and prototypist (as an animator of the world). From the dance between the prototypist and the engineers a story is forged where every single person has created something and changed the world in a way.

What does this game support?

So the primary group of people for whom this game is designed is people who:

  • want to tell the story together, want to see the emergent story to happen
  • are willing to let the rules resolve what happens in case of disagreement
  • are willing to push towards their own vision of the story, accepting when it does not go as they want to
  • want to be proactive
  • are willing to accept that not everything can be won

This game:

  • lets all the people at the table improvise, generate things on the fly, see what sticks
  • lets the players take risks, prioritize which story threads are most important for that player and protect the components of the game world which the player is invested in
  • dynamically changes the future and the past to create consistency in the game world at cost of chronologic predictability and the details of what actually happened

On the other hand, this game is not designed to do the following and does not promote the following:

  • one person creates a story, other players live this story
  • a player wants to be deeply immersed in the game world or in the character
  • passively live the story which has been created by someone else
  • any person plans meticulously what should they take for the expedition; detailed preplanning
  • equipment list (if something is declared, it happens as declared. If something is forgotten by the people at the table, the characters do not have access to it)

Game primarily in the sphere of meta-gaming

In the typical language of role-playing games, there exists a concept of meta-gaming. Playing is talking between the characters in the game world or performing actions as that character. Meta-gaming is talking outside of characters between the players, outside the game world.

This game is operating mostly in the world of meta-gaming. Talking as characters and interacting between characters and game world are a very important part of the game – but most rules of the game operate on the meta-gaming level.

To sum up

If you like classical role-playing games, where one person creates the story and other people live it, where rules operate mostly on what your character can do, if you like deep immersion and emotions coming from living as someone else - it is unlikely this game will give you what you want.

If you want to be a co-author of the story, if you want to create an emergent story where not a single person knows where it goes, if you want to fight for your story threads and forge the destiny of your part of the world – this game is designed to give you exactly that.

O ile nie zaznaczono inaczej, treść tej strony objęta jest licencją Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License