Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let's talk about Roll Playing Part 3

Why is your game about Exploration and Philosophy?

I have to keep reminding myself that this is the setting for a game and not the game itself. I've made games in the past, none with any success, and I'm done trying. So what we have control over isn't the mechanics of the game, but the setting, and Annalow is ripe for this for two reasons.

Alpha: Because we can apply differing, even opposing philosophies to the races, themselves.

Beta: Because we can have differing factions within and around the city hold opposing yet valid views.

Mandra's totally on the same page with me on this. Great opposing philosophy makes for great conflict and growth that comes from within that. The exploration of the city is easy enough, with the Marf Catacombs in the plateau and the districts on the surface and in the docks. Let's start, then, with the nine races by basing them on some basic personality archetypes for flavor:

Borcs (Bear Kin): Wariors. Champions of hard work and brave in the face of all conflicts. Oversimplifying, but honorable.

Crynt (Crow Kin): Wise Men. Fill a mind with knowledge as a canvas with paint. There is so much truth to learn, but the biggest surprise is how everything is part of one thing.

Dryads (Tree Kin): Mothers. The planet suffers because the Anaviated work against the natural cycle of life and death. They must nurture and protect life. (Ironically the protection of Death)

Felfs (Fox Kin): Scholars. Curious and exploring the nature of time, truth, life, and the crevices of the world. These are the born philosophers that ask that enduring question: Why?

Ixxar (Dragon Kin): Fathers. Stern and stubborn, believing their way is the most beneficial. They know what's best for everyone's prosperity so they should be in charge because they're clearly smarter than everyone else. Worse yet, they might be right.

Marfs (Mole Kin): Soldiers. Tho ugly and misunderstood, they work in terms of duty. The rules are already set and following them is more important than their morality. Without law or duty, the world would fall apart. Slow and enduring, like tectonic shifts.

Moblin (Mouse Kin): Tricksters. Liars and deceivers (not the same thing). There is no truth of the world because the world is wholly subjective. Might as well have fun teaching everyone this.

Mumes (Mandra Kin): Artisans. Creative and expressive also emotional. The highs are really high and the lows are really low, but everyone can relate. Expresions must be perfect, even at the cost of practicality.

Tame Effee (Rabbit Kin): Servants. Like Marf, they have their loyalties, but work to make everyone happy. Everyone else is more important than them, which means someone needs to look after them.

Wild Effee (Rabbit Kin): Liberators. Anarchy and freedom. Not only should everyone be allowed to choose, they should be made to choose. DOWN WITH OPRESSION!

Worry not about stereotypes and being shoe horned into a certain race by personality. Jungian Archetypes have a tendency to shift and overlap like masks. Also, like dogs and cat, all races have room for individuality. After all, what about the Dryad who thinks the world owes them something? Or the no nonsense Mume who's big in accounting?

At least this is a start.

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