A Game of Abstraction
Fourthland is the game that I've now been working on for some months, and it is bearing more fruit than any of my previous attempts. It has gone much further than I thought it would, and I hope to see it become a full-fledged Tabletop RPG, one you can buy and hold a copy of in your hand. We're still a ways from that goal, but it is in sight.
What IS Fourthland, you ask? It is a game of abstraction. Imagine a world where everything you knew was wrong. Where the fundamental aspects of reality were different. A world of creativity, ingenuity, and alien-ness. In this strange, bizarre world your preconceptions of reality will likely not suffice. You will need to learn. To think in new, and novel ways. This is NOT a game for the unimaginative. It is a game of glorious innovation, a game of teamwork, of ideals, of thoughts and beliefs.
Due to me wanting to actually produce this game, I am limited in what I can say about it. I have said a few things openly, so I'll post them here for anyone taking a look for the first time:
1. The world is centered around 12 "Energies" that define most of reality. Character stats are the first 8.
2. There are things kind of like classes, called "Shapes". There are three tiers of these, and they are independent of one another. "Combinatory Characters" is one of the features my game espouses. Any combination of Shapes should be a viable character.
3. Play starts with all players having blank character sheets. As they play through the beginning of the game, they gain the defining features of their character. This is what I call "Progressive Start". Players don't need to do any preparation before the game. No hours of character-building. Just straight on to the fun!
4. The rules are divided into discrete "Stages", increasing in complexity in each stage. This allows new groups to not be immediately overwhelmed by how profoundly weird Fourthland is. Once a group has progressed through all the stages, later games can start at the last stage (Utilizing the entire body of rules). The first stage involves solely the first four energies, as well as a bit of interesting lore about the world.
5. "Shape does not confer function". Functions are attributes attached to the being of an object, not its physical shape. This means that you could make something that looks like a sword, but unless it has the intrinsic property of a sword, it does not function as one.
6. Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock, Tock, Tock, Tock, Click, Click, Click, Click, Clack, Clack, Clack, Clack, Arc, Arc, Arc, Arc, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, Cycle, Cycle, Cycle, Cycle, Grand Cycle, Grand Cycle, Grand Cycle, Grand Cycle, Father, Father, Father, Father, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother.... Tick
7. There seems to be some recurring theme about the numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8?
8. For example, I needed 8 facts about the game.
I frequently post my musings and progress in this thread, so if you're interested, do follow! Don't be afraid to post either! Responses on this thread help ensure that others hear of it. Plus the people that hang out here are generally pretty awesome.
Quotes of Importance/Humor:
Because they deserve to be out of the spoiler:
"Welknair's Thread: Side effects may include: Immediate loss of SAN, questions regarding our fundamental assumptions of the world around us, perpetual motion, blackholes, paradoxes, ponies, food-ified objects, piercing boulders, bludgeoning spears, and time clones. Consult your doctor if you feel that any of these may be a problem, or if any portion of your body has been chronofragged."Spoiler
For those curious, I am still alive and well, and I'm still working diligently. I have recently had a wonderful slew of ideas for a game called "Fourth Land" which incorporates the main ideas I've been striving to work into my previous WIP-games. Out of all the ideas I've had, this seems like it is by far the best, most unique, and most likely to fulfill the criteria I wish to fulfill.
Bonds that hold, bonds that break, bonds that only few do make.
Bonds that kill, bonds that save, bonds that cause some to be brave.
I am hesitant to disclose too much as I hope to one day publish this game, and the way things are going, this may be a possibility. Suffice it to say, the game does something I talked about sometime ago - It embraces the abstraction inherent in games. It drops the pretense of trying to simulate reality, because that's not what I want to do. By escaping from the framework of the real world, I can avoid such unpleasant things as grappling rules. As a result, I am free to make an entirely new universe with its own laws of physics . And that is exactly what I have done. I've spoken with my friends and players and they loved the bits that I told them.
In the twists of time, follow your friends. Form a Bond, or you shall meet your ends.
So from time to time I may make a post in this thread, just making sure that everyone knows that I'm still alive and still designing. Just on my own terms now.
Some will live, some may die, but never will you say goodbye.
And of course, anyone and everyone is free to use the homebrew that I have created. That's what it's there for.
One cannot fall without a second, and a second without a third.
Edit: And if I decide that it'd be okay, I may disclose some more details about the game. But, as I said before, I hope to publish it. Copyright law doesn't like posting ideas online before copyrighting them.
Only together may death be deferred.
Edit2: I will also endeavor to check this thread at least once a week, in case anyone wants to get a hold of me or talk to me for any reason.