Damn. I've got an exam coming up on 5 October, a tough one at that. And so I thought, next year. And then I thought, edge, edge. What if you make it totally non-metaphorical? How about the literal edge of the world? I'm seeing the Santa Maria anchoring close to where the ocean goes over the edge, with the edge being a tall cliff to which a city is clinging like a gull's nest, with pterodactyls roaming the open skies beyond the edge and large boulders floating in open space. That's all I got right now, but I'm exited!
I'll have to limit myself, though. I'll ponder the game this week and will allow myself an hour or two per day on the forums. If I have a solid concept by next weekend, I will allow myself one day to write it down.
Great to be doing this on the Forge, and good luck to everyone! I really like this year's scoring method.
Very rich setting idea. Any idea on the mechanical underpinnings for such a game? How would the other ingredients be incorporated? Would you include skin or desert in your game?
Look forward to hearing more.
I'll have to read up a bit on Columbus but if I recall correctly, many of the crew were actually prisoners sentenced to serve on those ships. I'm picturing player characters to be such prisoners, who desert their ship and make for the wondrous world beyond the edge. Imagine a group character generation where you play through some preset scenes (e.g. "farewells", "the storm", "at world's edge") in which we learn more about the characters. Associated on the character sheet, half finished sentences about the character for the player to answer.
I haven't settled for a mechanical system yet, maybe I'll use a Pool hack or a stripped version of Fate. Not anything with a very dominant mechanical System. I'll focus on Setting and Situation.
As far as ingredients go, the third one will be skin. I'm thinking "Selkie" right now, which should fit in well.
If they "desert" their ship, then you've got your third ingredient right there...
Heh. That's funny, I didn't even think of that. I guess I'm allowed to use all four ingredients, am I not? I rather like the Selkie idea...
So, and feel free to not answer this question, but it begs asking...
what's over the edge?
Hi Kevin, I guess that's the challenge for me, to come up with some fun and inspiring stuff to happen beyond that edge. Some questions arise, like, where does the sun go at night? If I climb down the edge all the way to the bottom, what's there? I don't know yet, but I'm aiming for something that's a bit Jules Verne and a bit Neil Gaiman, if that makes sense.
I mean, that's a big question, but it's one you don't have to answer. The setting your creating is very interesting, and people are going to want to explore the city. What's over the edge is always going to be a looming concern, but it doesn't have to be strictly defined. I personally wouldn't ever answer that question.
Let's say I'll want at least the answer the inhabitants of the edge will give you when asked. I'm not a huge fan of "no myth", myself. Though I certainly don't want to name every street and every inhabitant of the city, I do want to give the players a little bit to chew on.
First draft character sheet:
Back in Spain I will be missed by...
I was convicted for...
That night when we saw the falling star, I wished...
I joined the deserters because...
The Selkie whose skin I stole is...
I'm thinking a short scene played out to answer each. I was also pondering another set of sentences to complete later in play, but that seemed to narrow it down too much, as I really want to go for an "explorer" feel.
My idea with the Selkie skins is that there are Selkie emissaries in the City beyond the Edge who have hidden their skins on the ocean shore to take on human form, and that the characters steal the skins as they make their escape. Through the skins, a connection is somehow established between the characters and "their" Selkie so the characters will dream of the Selkies and witness the interactions of Columbus and his officers with the City's rulers. Owning the skins will give the characters a lot of power over the Selkies if they are ruthless enough to take advantage of it. I'm not yet decided whether the skin should also grant some sort of mythical power.
Apart from that, I'd like the city to be mostly a place of wonder, adventure and romance, but I've also had this thought floating in my head for ages of using various "queer" types of sexuality, partnership and family as models for fantasy races/cultures, not too bluntly but still recognizable. To confront some almost still medieval guys from the homeland of the Spanish Inquisition with such fornication might, however, be a bit extreme... hm. Much to ponder.
I've been making some first pathetic attempts at drawing a cover art but what little drawing skills I possess do not live up to the epic scenery I have in mind. Anyway, I'll have to make do with what I got. I'm also tossing around a few ideas with regard to game play and System. I'm currently not so interested in play that's strongly driven by game mechanics, so I'd like to emphasize Color, Setting and Situation. The thing is, basically, I'd just love to design the setting and some solid hooks for players and GM to engage with it. I see it working equally well with The Pool, the Solar System, or FATE/SotC, so I don't really feel a need to design a set of rules from scratch. But that's not really the spirit of the contest, now is it?
I tried to upload my little "cover art" but my scanner sucks and I need a softer pencil. If you click to enlarge, you'll at least get an idea:
I'm signing out. I don't see this coming together as a game, it works well as a scenario for existing games but I won't design mechanics that no one needs. Besides, I should be preparing for my exams. Good luck to everyone!