venerdì 25 settembre 2009

:talking about Steamdance

I hope my English wasn’t too bad in my previous post.
So back on topic, let us speak a little more about Steamdance. The idea came during a sleepless night, after a long, long period in which I had been working on some game concepts. And like all sleepless nights’ ideas, it was totally unrelated to any previous idea I had been having.
The idea is that of a competitive roleplaying game, one where players are against one another in the pursue of a goal. I recognize, the first flash of insight came from a card from the splendid boardgame Mission Red Planet by the french authors Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti ( It’s a wonderful steampunk game, and I was especially inspired by the character card “the Spy”. Hmmm. Steampunk spies. How about a game about them?
Now, this wouldn’t be the first game ever written on the subject. Not at all. Even just considering the indie rpg world, there is Ron Edward’s Spione, and Jared Sorensen’s Lacuna could be easily drifted into a spy game. But both lacked, in my opinion, that competitive element I wanted to see in a game about spies.
I wanted to center the focus of the game on that, rather than the external elements of conflict the characters might encounter. The result is a highly competitive game, player vs. player. I also did not take the realistic stance Spione has, rather focusing my attention on romantic spies and thieves of fiction.
During a steampunk industrial revolution, spies and thieves compete among each other in order to make industrial espionage, steal plans, inventions and discoveries for a ruthless, powerful master who employs them.
Considering the focus of the game, it’s not important where the action takes place. It can be anywhere from an ucronistic european city to a completely fantasy setting. Things don’t change much, as rules don’t, either. So now I’m also developing a part of the manual in which I’ll give guidelines on how to create one’s setting.
This is going to inspire a discussion on settings in roleplaying games, which I’ll do in a separate post.
So that’s all for now.

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