What is our game about?

Well, I have already spoken about why I want to make a game.  why I am making a game And the dilemma behind making a game.  game designing dilemna   

So, now we move on to the next thing I want to talk about…what is our game about. 

The name of our game (for now at least) is Perdition.  It is a fantasy setting that deals with a culture based on elements and how it affects every part of their lives.   Yeah, part of this comes from my love of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher.  

The world was normal once, and then came what is now known to be The Fury.  The world was ravaged by the elements and after a time, it changed the world and the people living in it.  It started slowly at first, people being able to manipulate the elements.  People were terrified of this and rarely used it.  Then over time people began to see how much power it gave them, and they embraced it.  Shocking I know.  The world is also a very dangerous place since the Fury still comes from time to time to ravage the world even further.

The elements are your typical ones.  Air, earth, fire, and water.  Although I am still considering whether to add more to that such as spirit, light, and darkness.   Every single person in the world is born with an affinity of an element.  A rune  is marked on their body, like a tattoo.  There is status involved (both positive and negative) and there are a very small percentage that are born with either the ability to have all of the elements, or none.  Every character in the world has some access to the elements...even if it is just something small.  For instance if you are born with an affinity of fire, you may be able to bring up a small flame to help see in the dark.  Or if you have earth, you may always know which direction you are going.  Someone with air can use it to levitate a small distance.  Oh and if you have the water affinity, you can breathe under water.  Simple things like that, regardless of what kind of character you want to play. 

But of course there are people in the world that think they need to rule.   The Devout simply want everyone else to recognize their authority.  Is that so much to ask?  They are willing to crush anyone that doesn’t agree with them.  Then you have Perdition.  The rebellion as you will.  Though, they are not always nice about it.  This is a true rebellion, where black and white get murky and people live in the gray.  They do what they have to do to survive.  We also may have two other groups (not sure yet), one that is just trying to hide, and one that just wants to stir the pot and cause chaos.  This will probably be redone. 
We want the world to a focal part of the game.  Since it is an elemental game, we want the elements to play a big part in it.  Weather will be a huge factor in the game.    The world is a dangerous place.  Constantly there are floods, volcanoes, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes… you get the point.  You have to fight

Amongst all of this, you have the Orders.  Each person is approached at a certain age by one of the Orders of the world.  Only a small percentage of the world (maybe 5-10%) are chosen for this.  You do NOT have to join them, but again there is a prestige factor involved, not to mention a safe haven from the world.    I plan on redoing this since they seem a bit too confined and remind me way too much of class system games, which I don’t want to do anymore.  More on this later. 

Yeah, without knowing it we had created a game that seemed too much like Dungeons and Dragons.  Five years ago, this did not bother me, since that is what we played.  But times have changed, and I am not really into the old school games anymore.  I haven’t played D&D in a while and am all about the indie gaming scene now. 

So, I am in the process of reading all the notes and everything we actually did in the game.  I already know I that the game I see, is not the game I want to make.  I still want to keep the setting, and the elemental aspect of it.  I still want to have Orders in the world, but restructured and not as rigid.  I want to be more flexible in everything else.  I love the Fate system, and I think I want to play around with the game being at least kind of like it. 

Oh, the other thing I want to change (and forgot to mention up to this point).  The world was populated by five different races…humans, elves, orcs, sylphs, and saurials.  Just another indication as to how “D&D” the game felt.  I would like the world to be nothing but human (with maybe one other).  Different lands with different races of humans. 

At some point I have to talk to my co-author Henry…and see if he agrees with any of this.  J  But for now, I am just getting my thoughts in order, so I can have a plan of attack.

Everything is subject to change since my views on games have changed in the last 5 years.  Please be patient and if you can, try to keep the comments positive.  J  They can still be constructive, but I am all about the positive here.  


  1. Codex Alera is certainly a great inspiration to work from. Another good series might be The Blending by Sharon Green. It's a really interesting series, though it starts getting extremely preachy around book four. Short version: World is roughly analogous to pre-Victorian Europe. Very regimented and stratified. Every citizen has some talent with one of the five elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Spirit. Spirit is essentially empathy. Every 25 years there is a competition, in which the strongest talents compete to become a Blending (one person from each element, forming a gestalt being), and the Blendings compete to see which one will rule the land. Except, of course, the oligarchy has corrupted and perverted the process. Lots of good bits about ways to use the elements in there.

    As to the Orders, you could use them as allegiances. Similar to secret societies in 7th Sea, or covenants in Vampire: the Requiem. Taking one provides both benefits and obligations. You could also include Devout and Perdition as allegiances. A character can take multiple allegiances, but neither group likes it.

    I think dumping the nonhuman races is good.

  2. I will have to check out the book.

    Well, a lot of this was I woke up one day and realized I was just remaking D&D with a different world. That bothered me, since I don't even like the game anymore.

    That is kind of what I have in mind for them, truthfully. I want the orders to be more than just (hey i joined the thieves guild). I want them to have history and depth. I see a lot of changes in where the game is going to go.