Saturday, January 8, 2011

Growing the Domain Game From the Bottom Up

Turn one of the domain game is now underway. Fifteen crazy-quilt expeditions are now moving nomad bands, erecting cabins/long houses, chasing game, exploring ominous ruins, and generally scouting new vistas throughout the new world of Nowhere as I type.

We are less than a week in and I am already feeling at a gut level the both the sheer joy and the sheer amount of busy work that Tony Bath gushes about throughout his writings on the Hyborian campaign. Anyone putting up there hand to play Assistant Deity out there haha?

From a game design perspective I am pleased as punch on how this is shaping up. The bottom-up, build-as-you-go approach which aims at answering the rigorous questions flying around so far is tough, labor-intensive work, but satisfying. I have been deeply impressed by the creative drive and hard work players have already put into creating their bands—and for pushing me to keep expanding the bounds of this project. Pat yourself on the back readers.

(BTW those interested in following the game as a spectator can find a sample of the first turn sit-rep and turn sheet here. For time-to-time I will be posting non-spoiler observations on what's going on in the strange new world. )

Tomorrow I will post about the four major play areas that this whole domain game experiment is exploring. 


  1. That's a cool beginning, and you went with a portal type I hadn't expected. The mention of the redder, melancholy light is reminiscent of The Magician's Nephew and instantly communicates the change of location. This is shaping up to be good for the audience too - thanks for thinking of us out here!

  2. Thanks Porky, I realized that I have such limited experience recently writing fiction that it was fun to do.

  3. Guess I picked a bad time to take a break from blogs for the first week of school....

  4. @Red
    I know, you helped get me into this mess too. Maybe we can draft you on the second round of play-tests?

    Also reminds me that I need to still get that session report written from y'all's open world drop-in game in the HC.

  5. Yeah, this is a good time so far. Lots to do, but it's really got me fired up, creatively-speaking. Incidentally, I vote we use joesky's massive combat rules in this game:

    I particularly love the "you go to the part of hell for shitty leaders with Custer and Saruman".

  6. Since I started playing this game, I find that when I lay down to go to sleep, my mind starts thinking about what I might do in Turn II. I just lay there, staring at my ceiling, wondering what I should build, or what actions I should take, that make sense for my culture, and so that they survive... I'm glad each turn will be separated by two weeks, because it gives us time to think about what to do next, and to read the extra and revised reading material.