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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 33 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A Small Piece of the Sun  (Read 2349 times)
BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« on: April 07, 2012, 11:27:35 AM »

My ramblings coalesced into coherent shape, I hope.

A SMALL PIECE OF THE SUN [working title]
A roleplaying game about the theft of fire.

It is a dark, cold, hungry time.  The First People are sick unto death.  Their cousin, Coyote, hears their lamentations and wishes to grant them succor.  He knows a place to find the cure to the ills that plague them.  He can bring them a small piece of the sun.

This game is influenced (obviously) by Native American Coyote myths, but also by the story of Prometheus and the Greek pantheon.

This is a roleplaying game for five players.  Im not sure if it will be able to played with less, but almost certainly it wont work with more.

One player is Coyote, climbing the mountain to retrieve a small piece of the sun, so the First People may have light, warmth and food.  He is wise, but he is also foolish.  His actions, succeed or fail, will have consequences that last for centuries.

One player is the Earth God (Armadillo).  He helps or hinders Coyote to the extent that Coyote does things that please or displease him.  Needlessly killing the animals of the field, injuring a plant, or digging a hole to make a trap, for example, would be on the list of no-nos for Armadillo.  If Coyote hits the items on that list too much and the time comes to appeal to Armadillo his pleas will fall on deaf ears; or worse, on hostile ones that wish to pervert his requests.  Of course, doing things that please Armadillo, like giving thanks to a plant when it bears you fruit, would make that aid that much more likely.  However, as Coyote is quite a trickster he can sometimes convince Armadillo hes been helping when perhaps the facts dont quite bear that statement out.

Likewise, one player plays the Air God (Eagle) and one player plays the Water God (I dont have a good animal for this yet) and the mechanics work the same for their respective lists.  At the start of play all three elemental gods are default anti-Coyote as if Coyote succeeds the balance of the elements will be thrown off, likely weakening their own power.  However, each god is selfish and prone to persuasion.

Finally, one player plays Fire.  This is likely going to correspond to a more traditional GM role.  However, Im stuck between the options of Fire being the most anti-Coyote (if the People get fire it wont be sacred and it will be bent to human will) or most pro-Coyote (fire would rule the elements, be omnipresent and be revered).  What does Fire want more???

Im picturing each player with a Lady Blackbird/Apocalypse World style character sheet that makes each unique in the game world and outlines their powers and hindrances.
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UserClone
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Posts: 43


« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 11:31:48 AM »

The water god is clearly Salmon.
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jackson_tegu
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Posts: 61

what a delight / the internet, tonight.


« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 04:24:01 PM »

Yeah, you could totally do a lot of stuff with Fire.
Maybe fire has some kind of resource, or complicated not-anti-Coyote-but-anti-some-of-Coyote's-actions,
like how the MC in apocalypse world has all these specific things they're doing in the background, in reaction to what the PCs do.
Or in Poison'd, how the GM is listening like an evil genie, like "Oh! OH! you said that thing that means i have to do THIS mechanical thing to you now."

Cool idea!
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sure of ourselves, aren't we?
Lucas 'Tor' Garczewski
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Posts: 10

Aspiring Renaissance Man


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 05:11:51 PM »

Here's an idea: remember the myth about Icarus and Daedalus? Fire is need not be hostile. It might be welcoming, helpful, luring, enticing... But get too close, call on it too often, and you'll be consumed!

Also, you might want to take a look at a Game Chef Alumni Polaris by Ben Lehman. The game has a similar mechanic that might give you some ideas.

Good luck with the concept! I'm happy to see somebody took an idea similar to mine (which was bound to happen as it's hardly original) and is taking it in a very different direction.
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Lucas 'Tor' Garczewski
Game Chef entry: Lies of Passage
BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 10:51:42 AM »

...MC in apocalypse world has all these specific things they're doing in the background, in reaction to what the PCs do.
Or in Poison'd, how the GM is listening like an evil genie, like "Oh! OH! you said that thing that means i have to do THIS mechanical thing to you now."

Definitely going to try as hard as I can to rip off Vincent's games. I'm a big fan.

Here's an idea: remember the myth about Icarus and Daedalus? Fire is need not be hostile. It might be welcoming, helpful, luring, enticing... But get too close, call on it too often, and you'll be consumed!

Oh, I definitely think fire can go both ways; a bane and a boon.  I'm also planning on there being an epilogue/coda where the players describe how Coyote's gift of fire ends up destroying the First People.  Every time Coyote displays folly it gets put on a sort of "owe list" (yes, like In A Wicked Age - I told you I'm working as hard as I can to make a lumpley game) and it gets reincorporated as the players describe the fall of the First People's society.  From the brink of extinction, to flourishing, to extinction full stop.

Quote
Also, you might want to take a look at a Game Chef Alumni Polaris by Ben Lehman. The game has a similar mechanic that might give you some ideas.

Which mechanic are you talking about here?  I've only read reviews of the game, but I'm wondering if you mean how it uses ritualized phrases and if one player says X then another play must reply with Y or Z.  Is that what you were thinking of or was it something else?
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BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 11:28:00 AM »

The water god is clearly Salmon.
A great thought - but is it too closely associated with the Pacific Northwest instead of the implied setting of the Southwest?
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Lucas 'Tor' Garczewski
Member

Posts: 10

Aspiring Renaissance Man


WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 11:59:34 AM »

By pointing to Polaris I meant that game has one player plays the Protagonist, two players play a mix of opposing or supporting NPCs (Full Moon and New Moon), and one player plays the antagonists and demons (I believe this role was called the Mistake or something similar).
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Lucas 'Tor' Garczewski
Game Chef entry: Lies of Passage
UserClone
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 01:27:00 PM »

Hmmm, the water god should be Saguaro then, since cacti are the most readily available water source in the desert, if I'm not mistaken.
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BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 06:34:05 PM »

Hmmm, the water god should be Saguaro then, since cacti are the most readily available water source in the desert, if I'm not mistaken.

That's also where my thinking went!  You're freaking me out a bit.  However, as I am kind of kitbashing a pan-American Native mythos for this game I feel like it's OK to draw from here and there.  The water god I've decided on is Beaver.  I also replaced Eagle with Crow.  Incidentally, the gods' first initials are now A, B, & C.
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UserClone
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 02:31:13 AM »

Oooo...beaver. I like! And Crow has more powerful imagery for me that Eagle, too! Very cool!
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BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 10:54:41 AM »

I've been thinking about the Fire player and I might eliminate it.  I was originally thinking he would be the one to do the bulk of world creation, but I have been increasing the roles of Armadillo, Beaver and Crow and it seems that they can do that via the obstacles they throw in front of Coyote.  I do love Jackson's description of how "the GM is listening like an evil genie," but I think to some extent this game could have three evil genies.  And three is better than one, right?  You know, unless your Coyote.  Good luck, sucker!
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desiderata
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 11:47:55 AM »

Question: you have your players enacting from what I can see folklore.  Do you plan on getting them to transcend or transgress the traditional narrative?
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BlazmoIntoWowee
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 05:54:54 PM »

Question: you have your players enacting from what I can see folklore.  Do you plan on getting them to transcend or transgress the traditional narrative?
Very much so.  The goal is not to recreate the myth, but to create your own.  There are certain givens (such as Coyote stealing fire) but how it happens will and should be different for every group.  Hopefully the mechanics and setting background will make that clear.

Also, on a side note, I'm thinking of going with a simpler, more direct name: "How Coyote Stole Fire"  Any thoughts from the group?
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desiderata
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 08:07:15 PM »

A Small Piece of the Sun sounds nice.  Keep it.
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UserClone
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 02:17:19 PM »

I definitely agree. Keep the name as is. I on the other hand, prefer my game's new name to it's original. It was called Ephemera, and now it's called Becoming. Yours already was pertinent to your game's content. To make it quite so straightforward would be a disservice to your reader, I think.
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