Monday, June 29, 2009

Gamebuilding #4: Prologue

So, I've begun piecing together what I have on my Othercity game into an actual word document. And... *drumroll fanfare* I actually have a system! My biggest fear with game creation was actually banging out a unique system. I decided that I did indeed want to steer clear of Othercity just being a setting within the d20 or World of Darkness universes, but to do that I needed a fresh way to organize skills, roll dice, and generally map out character advancement. I think I've figured it out!

That however, is a post for another day, as I'm still working out the kinks (*catcall*). I have however, based on the few Othercity posts I've already written, worked out a passing Prologue for the playtest copy of Othercity. Enjoy!

[Warning: crude apocalypse-induced language ahead]

- - -

The joints in Anna's fingers protested enough for the woman to finally pause - removing her fingertips from the typewriter's keyboard with such speed that an observer might have assumed the ancient machine had shocked her. The room she sat within, having just been filled with the snapping of metal type bars, suddenly fell silent. Anna nursed her hands – curling and uncurling her overworked knuckles – as she glanced over the many paragraphs that had burst unexpectedly onto the formerly blank page. Dark and organized letters, with the occasional glaring typo... Anna silently wished for spell check.

Firstlight, Cycle 8032, Count 23. Anna had learned to alter it – her perception of time – a long while ago. It began the day her watch had finally broken. Such a disaster that had been... Fairly insignificant, when it came right down to things, but a disaster to her – on that day of all days. Jeremiah would have said that her lingering attachment to the watch was just an exaggeration of some deep–seated "daddy issues". Jeremiah would have said that the watch was nothing, nothing in comparison to the other events of that day. Of course, the last thing Anna needed to trouble her mind about these days was Jeremiah.

To whom it may concern, was how she started the letters now. When the writing began, it was "Dear Diary". That wasn't the way of things here, it never had been. She wasn’t writing for herself.

Not anymore.

Everything was simple. Well, if not simple, at least normal. As normal as the world could be I suppose. Well, when held up against the "world" today, things were certainly simple back then. You woke up, had breakfast. God, I miss eggs. Went to work... I hated my job, sitting in that intolerable cubicle all day – crunching numbers. I would give anything to go back. Give me a conference call – hell, give me a drunk dial from my boss any day over this shit. This dystopian cluster–fuck. I'd take it all back – every ounce of reality's bullshit over another day down here. Up here? Ah hell.

I remember that day three years ago. I pretend I don't along with the other Terrers. We all kind of pretend to forget how it used to be. Whenever we talk about "then" – about lemonade stands on the sidewalk... about the rain. God, I miss the rain. Someone always gets to crying, and we don’t have time for that. It's not safe enough in D11 to cry. Best to keep a low profile, a slingshot to your hip and your mouth shut. We leaned that quickly.

The sun was high. God, I miss the sun. And I was late. Therapy sessions don't didn't come cheap and I hated keeping my husband (ex – husband now I suppose) waiting. He always gave me that look... that disappointed look. He was the master of making me feel like shit. Damn Saturday Boston traffic. There was this car in front of me. A yellow VW bug, Massachusetts plates. I even remember their plate number. Why do I remember their plate number??? It was 2:06 PM. Peter Gabriel just came on.

I wonder how long it as before they realized I wasn't in my car anymore. I wonder if anyone's even left. I wonder how long James waited for me to get there, or to get home. Maybe they're all gone. Global warming and all that bullshit, maybe the planet's gone nuclear.. Who the hell cares anyways, there wasn't much worth saving.

God, I miss earth.

Sincerely,
Annabelle J. Bradford


Anna always signed her full name. In some small way, it made her feel less like she was going to die the next day.

- - -

Welcome to Othercity – an urban fantasy rpg where you take on the role of a uniquely average character torn away from their ordinary life and thrown into a place of mystery, horror, betrayal, intrigue, and danger. You must survive long enough to solve the mysteries of this newfound world if you ever hope to find a way home.

Othercity is a game of creative storytelling, character development, and intense roleplaying which spans a wide range of genres – primarily mystery and horror. A game of Othercity thrives on a high level of focused devotion to the game, active player/player interactions, and a positive environment between players and the Narrator. Exploration and survival are key elements in this game, meaning that heavy reliance on dice or unique powers will only kill you faster. A keen mind and creativity will always outmatch a lucky die roll. Of course, a foolhardy mistake may be the last you ever make.

This, first and foremost, is a game of role playing – not "roll playing". If you want to talk down a gunman, intimidate a torture victim, or charm the pants off of a private dancer – be prepared to do just that. Therefore, when designing your character, try to model their skills off of traits you would be comfortable portraying through roleplaying.

Finally, due to the nature of this setting, Othercity players should be prepared for potentially adult–themed scenarios. Othercity encourages the fade–to–black sequence for any sexually graphic scenes, but themes such as murder, rape, racism, torture, abuse, and other such themes are sometimes unavoidable in a horror–genre game. Such themes are to be taken seriously and conversation surrounding them should stay in–character.

In the end, Othercity hopes to be a perfect blend of horrifying scenes, devious foes, unending mystery, gritty realism, and fantastic danger. Good luck, and welcome to Other.

2 comments:

Wim said...

Sounds very interesting; I can't wait to read more.

Oh, and welcome back! :)

Storyteller said...

@ Wim: Thank you for the welcome!

There will definitely be more updates as things go along with Othercity's development. Stay tuned!