A Roleplaying Game of Historical Fantasy
In this game, three to five players collaboratively create a mashed‐up historical or quasi‐historical setting and then people it with individual characters whom they role‐play in facing the perils and possibilities of a New World. Their actions have consequences for the ultimate fate of the New World as well as for their own individual destinies. As the game plays out, it works to create an imagined history of a New World that never was.
That’s right, if you want, play ronin samurai fighting with Mexican pirates over gold bullion off the coast of California.
New World is ready for playtest.
Bill says “It will be a colonization game, but it will the antithesis of games like Civilization IVand those of its ilk, which read history as a story of constant technological progress and civil advancement. I’m going to borrow from places like Jared Diamond’s Collapse and recent ethnohistorical accounts of pre-Columbian and early post-contact America to write a game that’s about a “New World” that emerges at the intersection of multiple “Old Worlds,” European, African, and Native American. I’ll rely on the notion that, in the early days at least, many colonies failed, with survivors returning home or making new homes in native societies. I have this vision of the game playing out in five-year turns against a backdrop of societies on both sides of the Atlantic under different levels of stress of one sort or another, with your role-playing of significant moments for your character within that turn serving to exemplify, embody or instantiate(um, represent and resolve) the larger socio-political and economic changes.
So over the course of the game, your character can be shipwrecked, go native, return home, accompany an expedition back to the “New World,” and die in a massacre, and that will represent the trends in the larger narrative at hand–trends which don’t necessarily map on to teleological narratives of American history (e.g., Manifest Destiny), but which should be fun to explore.”
Read the Designer’s Development Blog.