[The Simurg] It is said...

Started by C. Edwards, April 07, 2012, 11:18:40 PM

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C. Edwards

The Simurg is a creature ancient beyond our understanding and immortal, the source of all that is, was, and will be. It slumbers deep within its lair, and dreams. Those dreams become our hopes and our sorrows.

It is said that the Simurg will make a gift of three of its feathers upon true believers, those brave enough to attempt the journey to its lair. Upon these feathers are writ the dreams of the world, and in a time of greatest need they may be burned to invoke the Simurg's wisdom and power.

The tides of Fate are the Simurg's to command, and it is said that if the bravest of the brave should be true enough to find the Simurg that it will grant an audience and a boon. So go forth brave ones, believers, and wake the Simurg!


Ooooooh! *eyes shimmer in firelight*
sure of ourselves, aren't we?

C. Edwards

Last Chance

Let me put it to you frankly; you are dying. Every second of every day of every year your cells regenerate more slowly, your skin becoming less elastic, your bones turning brittle. Eventually, the grave for you. But that death is not the one of which I speak. You are also, just as inexorably, dying inside.

I know, I know, "But my inner child is robust and vital!" you say. That may be so, but compared to when you actually were a child? No, compared to that magical dreamtime, your inner child is but a shadow cast by the flickering light from the embers of a dying fire. Every second of every day of every year your childhood becomes more distant, your memories becoming less sharp, your innocent dreams fading until they are lost.

Before you despair, understand that there is still hope. If you are reading these words it means that you have been gifted with a last chance. A chance to relive, possibly even rescue, the essence of your childhood self.

The instructions within these pages will lead you upon a journey to find the lair of the mystical Simurg, a creature with the power to change fates, alter choices, and restore dreams. Only the most dedicated will see their desires realized. Be certain that this is a journey you wish to undertake, for peril lay at every turn.

If your childhood was of the sort that was more like a show of horrors, this is a chance for you as well. I hope that what follows will help you find and capture at least a little bit of the magic that you were denied.


Wow. It was inevitable. A game that sounds like exactly like what I'm going for, only WAY better presented. :/

Seriously though: WANT. Keep going! :D

C. Edwards

After reading your thread I see we definitely have a similar vibe going. Some of my ideas are incredibly similar to yours. I'll also be making exactly one physical copy of the game, after Game Chef is over, but it won't necessarily be used up during play.

The journey to the Simurg takes the players through The Outlands, a place made of dreams, imagination, hopes, and fears.

C. Edwards

Also, thanks for the kind words. :)


Absolutely. I'm pretty sure we're both going to have good games. And I can nigh-unto-GUARANTEE that we will have vastly different mechanics, so there's that. ;)

C. Edwards

The Lantern

Once you step into the Outlands, the candle becomes your lantern. This lantern is your guiding light, and should this light go out all hope of finding the Simurg is lost. The lantern is fueled by the fading ember of childhood dreams. When you have possession of the lantern you and it become one. You imbue it with the remains of your own inner spark and become an illuminating force for your companions.

C. Edwards

Three Feathers

You are about to embark upon a difficult and dangerous quest therefore you must be brave and determined souls. In acknowledgment of your courage, the Simurg has gifted you with three of its feathers. The feathers of the Simurg are inscribed with all the words of all the stories of all the dreams of everyone everywhere for always and forever.

The feathers can be used to unleash great power. In your darkest most needful times you may burn a feather, setting it alight with the lantern flame, to call forth and channel the magic of the Simurg. It is also possible to invoke the energy of individual words that are on the feathers.

C. Edwards


Place the brazier in the middle of the table, or where everyone can reach it, then read the following passage out loud to your companions:

"Today we undertake a perilous quest to find and awaken the ancient and immortal Simurg. Should we succeed, one of us will be granted an audience and perhaps the revigoration of fading childhood dreams.

Our journey to the Simurg's lair will take us into the primeval and surreal world of the Outlands. A place where dreams and nightmares collide. Where our hopes, fears, desires, and secrets give strength and substance to our surroundings.

By working together we are going to open a mystical doorway. We will step through this doorway into the waking dream that lay beyond. We will sustain and navigate this waking dream using the power of imagination and narration."

C. Edwards

After about an hour and a half spent wrestling with technical difficulties I finally got my game uploaded to Google Docs. Foul weather and mobile internet don't play nice together. Anyway, I had planned on adding a page of design notes, like which ingredients I used and how, plus the parts of other games that I requisitioned. But amid all my cursing of the internet, technology, weather, etc. I completely forgot. So I'm going to put that stuff here.

I also just realized this very moment that I forgot to add one fairly important sentence to the very end of the game. Isn't that always the way?

THEME: Last Chance
The Simurg is about you last chance to relive or revive childhood dreams and memories.

For the physical format of the game I envision making a box out of the actual hardback book that I have also called "The Simurg". All the components and game booklet would go inside this book box. I already had this sort of craft project in mind when Game Chef started, so it felt natural to blend the two together.

But what does this have to do with the theme? Well, the secondhand store I go to has books. Many of the same books sit there on the shelves, unread, ignored, for months and months. I'm sure some of them have been there for years. So I see the physical format of the game, which also integrates some of the book pages into the game, as being a sort of last chance for the forgotten dreams represented by these forgotten books. A last chance to escape those dark shelves and maybe affect people in a positive manner.


My only word ingredient, it is represented by an actual candle. This candle transforms into a sort of magical lantern when you enter the dreamworld. Whoever bears the lantern becomes the Guide, and "illuminates" the dreamworld for their companions. If the candle burns out you've taken too long and without your lantern you'll never find the Simurg's lair. So it serves as a sort of talking stick, crude pacing mechanism, and a wonderful bit of color.

[Gamblin' Men] A possible new system: http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=13623.0
From this thread I took the concept of gambling (surprise!) and, through a link in the thread, the idea of player voting. The gambling is presented in the game through being able to accept risk for increased odds of success, a la Ghost/Echo. As for player voting, at various points in play all the players must vote on each other's performance according to simple criteria.

[d8 system] Using a playing card pool instead of dice:http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=20174.0
The main thing I took from this thread was adding cards to the game. The Simurg doesn't use standard playing cards but it does have cards that are an important component of play.

Ember [game concept]:http://indie-rpgs.com/archive/index.php?topic=16542.0
This is the thread that really gave me the seed for the entire premise of the game.
Quote"The world was a paradise that has suddenly become a shadow of its former self, much like a fire that has been unexpectedly extinguished, but a small spark of hope does remain."
From that I grasped on to the idea of fading childhood dreams, with some hope of being able to recover them. That idea, along with elements from the myths of the Simurg, pretty much outlined the game for me.

I also took one other element from that thread: ember. I use the imagery of fire, flame, and embers throughout the text. Fire is also used during the game as under certain circumstances some of the game components must be burned. Ember can also refer to the fading remains of a past emotion. So that got folded in with the similar ideas I already had going on. In that thread someone says that ember also means "human" in Hungarian. That felt very appropriate for what I wanted to convey with the game.

Mechanics-wise the game is very simple. The bulk of which I borrowed from Ghost/Echo, Archipelago, and Apocalypse World. With just a few things thrown in to integrate the mechanics with the color of the game. Given more time to tinker and ponder, I'd like to find a way to integrate the Simurg feathers and make them more central to play, and probably remove some of the borrowed stuff.

It's been fun and interesting so far, but I'm way done with thinking about my game for now. Sick of it, actually. But I do look forward to getting some of the other contestants' games to read and review. I also want to thank Jonathan for handling all the madness around the deadline scramble. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had difficulties and unforeseen disasters.