09 May, 2018

Walkabout Rebirth

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

It's a science fiction cliche, but it stands out because it's so similar to what many of the world's religions claim to teach. The problem is that those in power have always lived by the adage of "do as I say and not as I do". It has always been the problem in the western world, and most other civilisations across the planet for that matter.

Power breeds corruption, corruption breeds power. Imbalance leads to individuals with power, and the only way they see to gain more power is through further imbalance.



Walkabout has always been about restoring the balance. That means It's always been about sticking it to those in power. Confronting the bullies, giving hope to the masses, toppling the tyrants, allowing nature to take it's course.

Years of study with Australian Indigenous peoples from various parts of the east and south-east haven't shifted those thoughts, they've reinforced them.

Many groups have traditional stories of things going wrong and needing a hero to restore things. In almost every case, there is an imbalance, a disease, a bully... and often these stories see the hero setting things right by confronting a situation that others have been avoiding, or that others simply can't see.

Mad Max Fury Road, Immortan Joe has the power, we don't know how he got it, but hope is restored when he is confronted and eliminated. It may even bring the green back to the world.

In Walkabout, I can't reveal certain things I've learned, but I can ensure the spirit of the game is right. The Aboriginal people of Australia did not own the land, they were it's custodians, they made sure to tread lightly on it's surface, even if they did have shelters and permanent communities (which are rarely recognised in colonial journals). They didn't clear-cut the land to plant monoculture crops, because the Australian land doesn't facilitate that farming style. In one sense they were hunter-gatherers, in another sense they were careful gardeners who used tools like fire and a deep understanding of their world, rather than an arrogance and desire to impose imbalance to gain power from the land.

Everything about this game is about restoration, regeneration, rebalancing... not all invaders and colonials are evil, most are simply ignorant. It's only those who are willfully ignorant that are at fault.

This game is about life after the fall of Western civilisation. The spirits are more prominent, yet many refuse to believe...instead considering the spirits to be devils and monstrosities who seek to claim their hard won power. It is a game about perspectives, about difficult choices, about acknowledging the past and using it as a foundation for moving forward rather than a series of incidents to be embarrassed about and hidden.

I'll probably run with my SNAFU System for this game, since it really excels at creating tough decisions for players to consider. It's also freeform enough to adapt to a variety of situations with minimal need for retooling the system.

A new version of the game, should be available soon. 
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