The Withering Heat and the Trembling Hand: More Talk of tremulus
I’ve been derelict in posting for a handful of days due to the horrible heat which has been sweeping across of lot of the country. Now, I have been working away, busy scribbling down materials for tremulus. The thing is, after that, I am markedly exhausted. I’ve been putting in long days, and I’ve thought to hit the RWR the first thing in the morning, but I have been so excited to work on this project, everything else has been pushed over to the side. I’ve been getting in playtests as often as I can. I’ve been having conversations with folks. I’ve parsed out Apocalypse World and closely examined Dungeon World for things which I feel will and will not work for the type of play experience we want to have when playing this game.
The moves have been distilled and refined for both the player and the Keeper. I’ve created a lot of unique playbooks (characters) for the game, and I keep assessing all of this as I move forward. As has been asked and answered elsewhere, this game will be self-contained. There are some changes found within this game which depart a great deal from what is found in the other iterations. For example, I’ve dispensed with the present experience point system. I find it very interesting for the type of play experiences other folks want to put forth. For tremulus, however, it’s not about accumulating experience. It’s about solving mysteries and, ultimately, the collection of lore is essential to resolving some of those mysteries. Therefore, experience is simply handled by the Keeper, so it does not serve as a distraction. Every player is not concerned about doing certain types of moves to earn their experience. They work together to figure out what is going on. Extending that out a bit further, even the way advances are handled are tailored for this game, and for you.
Lore is very much a commodity in this game. The currency is used to power your Lore Move (a special move each character begins with) as well as to safely perform rituals and rites a character may learn over the course of play. Of course, if you don’t have enough lore and have learned a ritual, I suppose you can still try it, just remember this isn’t the type of game where those things are easily accomplished. The repercussions are often severe and can result in permanent disfigurement, mental disorders, and more.
I’m working towards getting a playtest document together, but having a cohesive whole overrides external playtests at the moment. Once all the pieces are firmly in place (which they very nearly are), I’ll be able to review the document and decide what goes into it. I know I need to construct a framework consisting of hazards (which people familiar with the other games mentioned know as fronts and threats) for use in trying out the game. The town of Ebon Eaves (with all its permutations) lends itself more readily to Keepers experienced with tremulus (and there are none other than me, presently) and for games which are going to run beyond one game. Certainly, I’m going to address how to handle pacing so Ebon Eaves will work with one-off games, but that is non-essential for the playtest doc. I’ve got everything remaining outlined, so it’s just a matter of putting dead flesh on ancient bones and saying the words so that it may animate.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!