Thanks to summer classes and a Jewish holiday I’ve had to take a small break from the game, though it’s come in handy, as I needed time to ponder all the feedback I received on my post about the dice mechanics for the game. It also allowed me time to think about what I had set down already and what I still needed to address. Let’s make a list, shall we?
- The Hunger – Perhaps the singlemost obvious vampire trope I have not dealt with yet is the hunger for blood. I am very torn on this issue as I do not want the game to be about having a life meter like in videogames, yet if there is no mechanical weight behind the need for blood then I have failed in my design.
- Immortality – Or rather long-lived-ness. One of the biggest boons of vampirism is the ability to be nigh-immortal, yet at least in my experience, most vampire characters tend to be fairly young, if not downright newborns-to-darkness. Yeah, there’s a story to be told from that angle, but I want the angst that comes from centuries walking the night. I’ve an idea on how to incorporate this already.
- The Name – And by this I mean finding a name for the game. Seriously, I need to call this game something and I have not had any ideas! Not true, a name keeps floating around in my head, but I don’t know if it is right. I may crowdsource this, who knows.
- Weaknesses – This item was brought up to me in the comments by JJ Lanza. What about the traditional vampire weaknesses, like sunlight, crucifixes, garlic, etc? Quite simply, I’m not touching that with a 10-foot pole. There’s a reason: for this game, I am not locking down the particular expression of the vampire beyond “a creature that feeds on blood, has some powers derived from it, is immortal and has a Beast that wants to consume it.” I want this game to be able to handle different expressions of the vampire, from the classic Nosferatu, to Dracula and its derivates (including the Anne Rice vampires and those of Vampire: The Masquerade/Requiem) as well as the new breed of sunlight-immune vamps like in Twilight or True Blood. I know how I’ll handle this, but I’ll write more about it later.
A tentative items #5 would be figuring out a role a bit more active for Humanity to parallel the way that there are minimum Beast dice that need to be used for some actions, as well as finding out what is the down side to Humanity (even if remaining Human is the goal of the game, being Human is not all days of wine and roses.
Likewise, an item #6 would be the revised dice mechanics. The feedback I received was fantastic and invaluable, and though I won’t be using all of it, it did make me think hard about what I wanted the dice to say about the game, about the conflict, about the choices to be made. I’m sure revisions will still come afterward, but it will be nice to have a basic system down to start playtesting.
But these are more an elaboration of existing concepts rather than something that still needs to be tackled, which is why I did not list them outright, though include them here.
My goal is to have a playable draft by Gen Con (Aug 5-8) and maybe even playtest it while in Indy, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.