The Big Three Questions of Game Design: Epic

Here, my answers are much more provisional. I (we, then I) started the project without these in mind in any concrete sense, and I’m only now going back and applying questions like these to what’s already in my head or written out.

1. What is your game about?

Epic is about high fantasy roleplaying in an imaginary Bronze Age setting. It is about the benefits and costs of a magical worldview contrasted with a reductionistic worldview. It is about characters growing in influence over the world. It is about the rise and fall of civilizations and how they interact with each other. It is about gods and spirits and immortals and how they interact with mortals and the material world. it is about being part of the myths and legends that will shape a future age.

2. What do the characters do?

The characters learn to harness various kinds of power stemming from their relationship to the spiritual world – summoning, channeling, using gifts that come from their ancestry, and learning to read and use the intrinsic power present to varying degrees in everything. The characters negotiate their position somewhere between the great powers that broadly influence their milieu and the ordinary people from whom they originally arise. The characters do big things with big effects in the world around them and then deal with what happens next.

3. What do the players do?

Through particular characters (a player may have more than one), the players influence the shared world directly. One player, the storyteller (GM, etc.) has the responsibility of maintaining coherence in the setting and guiding the narrative to provide the other players with surprise, wonder, fear and opportunity. The other players are responsible for coherence in their characters and for deciding how the storyline will ultimately play out – their decisions should drive the narrative forward.

I feel like these should all be more succinct, but this is the best I have right now.

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