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The Subtle Fist

October 1, 2008

Hold a Subtle Fist
Walk Among Many
With Greatness, Inspire

10 years ago the King came to ask for our Queen’s hand in marriage. With 300 boats of treasures, oddities and wonders, performers, servants and slaves, gifts, all to woo the Queen.

But she saw into his heart, and that he came not to give himself, or his heart to her, but to take her, and add her to the many things he had taken from many lands, and that our great Island would just be another port, another stop for his armies to go to other lands, other places, and take even more.

And so, she refused.

And so, he came with 300 boats of soldiers.

The fighting was fierce and strong, but he laid siege to our Island for 2 years straight. Unable to get supplies from outside, eventually, our defenses weakened… and broke. At this point, the King had poured so much into it, it was a matter of vengeance. But our Queen is still free, somewhere on the Island. And though we are not free, we still fight back.

Our defenses fell, but our hearts will not.

Soon, all five of the Holy Artifacts will be gathered, and the Goddess will wipe these fools from the Island, and peace will return.

At least, that’s what your master said. Before she was betrayed, along with the other Masters. And now it falls on you and the other disciples of the Subtle Fist… for your people, your land, the Queen and the Goddess, you hope you’re up to the task.

Themes, ideas, etc.

I’ve been wanting an Avatar-ish game, and part of it has been taking time to really think about what appealed to me about the show. Aside from the geek squee over martial arts, fantasy, POC protagonists, etc. and general squee over 80’s-ish “Youth go on a quest” type stories, I really dig how it addressed serious issues in a non-triggering way. You’ve got war, colonization, and splintering cultures in the process.

So those are all things I want to have this game do.

But in the more abstract themes, the heart of the stories that I dig is when you have to choose between your ideals, which was what we saw Season 3 of Avatar heading towards and sadly drop at the very end.

System/design stuff

The system stuff is super vague and unformed right now, but I have some definite goals.

I want the system to be rock solid in helping the group find what’s interesting conflicts quickly and reach a good pacing point for episodic play.

I want the smallest episode cycle to be “Deal with this problem now”, the next up being, “Stressing your beliefs/challenging your issues” and the biggest climax being “Choose between your ideals”. How exactly that does/doesn’t fit with “Save the Nation” is something I’m still working out.

Anyway, more as I figure it out.

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