Recently I began working on my first game, Timeless. This is the first time I’ve ever done more than mess around with some minor mechanics or re-skin something and it’s been an interesting process. Things have been simultaneously easier and harder than I expected. I’ve had to learn to look at mechanics and design choices and ask myself “What does this really say about the game or world?” Something I probably wouldn’t have done without the help of John Adamus, who’s been gracious enough to patiently answer all of my newbie questions and encourage me as I’ve been trying to work things out.
The game started out as a random idea for a Highlander game hack, but has evolved into more of it’s own thing. I love the old movies (Well, maybe not the second one) and the tv show, but for the most part they gloss over how horrible it would be to watch everyone and everything you care about age and die. I’ve shifted the focus from “Look at all the incredible things you get to experience!” to a darker tone that looks at that as more what you have to endure. In short, immortality is a curse.
How people become a Timeless is also more open too. Some might have discovered a potion that granted them immortality, others may have made a deal with some sort of spirit, while a few might have a trace of something not entirely human in their lineage. I like the idea that almost every Timeless sought out immortality, only to find it to be more than they bargained for. A very literal “be careful what you wish for” scenario.
After a bit of circling I settled on FATE for the system. I love the Bring the Pain! mindset it encourages in players, which will make the curse a source of fun rather than frustration, and how easy it is to make deep, rich characters. I’ll post more specifics over the next few days, specifically character creation and a few custom mechanics.
I’m hoping that other folks will find this idea as interesting as I do, but I’m enjoying the process regardless. I’ve just started play testing, so things are still very much in flux, but I’m going to start blogging about my progress here, so be sure to check back for more!