While I’ve been unemployed, I’ve been utilizing some of my non-job search/home renovation time to work on a little gaming project of my own. Except for a few close play testers, it’s been classified Top Secret – until now!
I’m getting close enough to a final second draft that I feel confident enough to share a few hints and teasers. That’ll help me get some more external feedback while keeping this blog updated much more frequently. So, here’s a few of the key features that I can tell you now:
- Title: Corporia
- Time/Setting: the near future, give or take 30-50 years. The location provided with the game is simply referred to as “The City”
- Type: A twist on modern/cyberpunk/fantasy. Includes mega-corporation rulers and private police/security forces common to this genre, but The City isn’t grungy, gray, and gritty. It’s clean, with glittering white skyscrapers, and a utopian appearance. A future event similar to the current Occupy Wall Street movement ended in the “Park Riots” (a la Bloody Sunday) and led to severe crackdowns on protests, with corporations gaining even more power. Most people accept their place in hopes of climbing the corporate ladder, but a large number of common workers, drones (indentured wage slaves), and radicals resent their place on the bottom rungs.
- Fantasy twist: The time of the oppressed may have ended, though, as that which was foretold so long ago has come to pass. King Arthur is returning, and the Knights of the Round Table are being reincarnated – their memories awakening in new bodies – but the King has disappeared. To make matters more complicated, Arthur’s return seems to have unleashed magic back into the world. Rumors of walking corpses, spirits, werewolves, vampires, and other mythical/magical creatures are more prevalent, while virtual intelligences are gaining sentience. Geeks and hackers are now the warriors of the virtual world, dabblers in magic are surprised to find their spells actually work, and corporations secretly rush to master these new energy sources.
- Gameplay: I’m favoring simplicity. Those of you familiar with RPGs will understand this: six core values, twelve skills; actions resolved by [core value + skill + highest of 2d6 roll vs Target Number or opposed roll]; combat is one move and one attack action (or two move actions) per turn. Spells are: anything you can envision, you can cast, but each ‘school’ of magic (8) has several common sample spells of varying TNs.
- Design: I’m utilizing a very modern design style, as appropriate for a near-future /mega-corp game. Many of the expanded game sections are even designed as documents from the setting itself. For instance, there’s a character creation guide designed like a memory-retention questionnaire you have to fill out after waking in a hospital following an accident. The list of spells is a mega-corp research document involving the study of arcane energy. The setting appears as a tourist guide. Sample PCs and NPCs will appear as portfolios and data sheets. The weapons, armor, augments, and such are presented in a weapons catalog/magazine format (see cover image below). And so forth. Some of these may end up being free PDF promotions for the main book, as well.
I hope to have the first beta playtest version ready to go on Kickstarter in this first quarter of 2012, but that’ll depend on how well the job hunt and other high priority ‘life’ projects go. Feel free to comment and ask questions, and tell your gamer buddies to check out this blog for future updates!