To paraphrase Patton, ‘I have returned.’
Returned to what, you may ask? I have returned to working on my Magnum Opus. Oneirokos: Chronicles of the Eternal Cycle.
Oneirokos: Chronicles of the Eternal Cycle is a troupe-based role-playing game of collaborative world-building, grand storytelling and communal fantasy.
So what does that mean?
Troupe Style Play:
In O:CotEC, everyone and no-one is the Gamemaster (GM), or Guide in the parlance of the game. Following in the foot- steps of Universalis, Ars Magica, Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth, and particularly Rune. Each player facilitates and empowers the play of the rest of the group, in turn. Each player has the option to take control of entities in the game, and narrate and shape the results of the character’s progress in an unfolding narrative.
The most important character in O:CotEC is the shared game-world that the players create. It serves as the focus of play, much like the setting in a shared-world anthology. Of all the entities in the game it is the game world’s advancement that is the driving force of play.
World-building in O:CotEC is crunchy and detailed, the result of players efforts in advancing the gameworld are the various game-entities created by the various design frameworks. The result of play are artifacts of the game world, templates and packages representing the various races and cultures of the game-world, it’s profession’s, and speculative details. This detail is explored by the life-path system used to create Persona. The world itself is detailed in terms of its physical characteristics, it’s technologies and meta-physics and how it is related to the other worlds of the game’s metauniverse.
O:CotEC draws upon many influences in it’s setting and world design, including Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth, Traveller, Torg and Multi-Verser, as well as newer games such as Fantasy Craft, Other Worlds, and Diaspora.
It’s many entity design systems are influenced by effects based systems such as Traveller (Particularly its Technical Architecture supplement), Silhouette and Heavy Gear, GURPS, HERO, EABA/CORPS, and Mutants and Masterminds. in the creation of its Metabilities, vehicles and weapons present in a game world.
The game focuses on grand-storytelling. Players focus on not just single iconic characters, but organizations, households, movements, nation-sates, and other large-scale entities within the game-world and their progress over time. Creation of the world’s myth and legends and history Major influences here are Aria, Ars Magica, and PenDragon.
Finally, O:CotEC places the emphasis on the shared game-world created by the players, its is the major character of the game. This sub-creation and myth-making enmeshes the players in a numinous reality of their own devising, a shared ritual that will capture the imagination and bring them together, as story-telling has done from time immemorial.
O:CotEC is an encapsulation of the elements I find most engaging in role-playing games. It builds upon the newest ‘indie’ thinking and ideas in the hobby, a play focus that have thus far seen expression in a only a few games, Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth and Universalis, though elements of it stretch all the way back to the little black books of traveller.
I will be chroniciling the design process of O:CotEC and talking about tabletop game design, and rpg’s in general in this design journal. I look foward to your input during this process.