The Fen

There are always ideas going through my mind where I combine the concepts that have been produced by other people, into something new, or maybe just a new interpretation of something that that I think wasn't necessarily executed as well as it could have been. I guess that's just the curse of being a game designer.

I'm currently working on the equipment book for The Law, but another nagging side project has begged to be written during the course of NaGaDeMon. I don't know if I've mentioned this side project before, but it's something that has been tinkered with for a few months now... it's working title is simply The Fen.

The basic premise of The Fen is bayou rentpunk.

A bunch of people struggling to survive, with little opportunitu to get ahead in the world, are simply trying to survive as they struggle from meal to meal, facing all sorts of environmental threats and hazards that constantly threaten to take them down. This isn't a game about heroes, or saving the day, it's more about surviving as long as you can, trying to learn something about the characters before they meet their (seemingly) inevitable demise.

As I've been working through these ideas again today, I've come to the conclusion that this is fairly similar to what Kingdom Death did with it's beautiful figures and incredibly expensive boxed sets.

But what I'm planning isn't quite as elaborate as that in some ways, but adds detail in other ways.

First, The Fen is intended to play out over hours and days, rather than Kingdom Death's sessons and years.

Second, this game will have a very simple combat system, because it's more about exploring the world and getting to know the denizens as they mature, but before they probably die horribly.

There will not be a victory condition in this game, it's more an endurance test to see how long the denizens survive in a perpetually dark swampy wasteland.

The two dominant elements of the game will be scavenging wood to keep the fire going, then claiming wood from the pile to make torches for hunting and gathering food and fresh water. Once the fire goes out, the monsters come...relentlessly. While the fire burns well, parties with torches may leave the encampment to find more wood, scavenge for edible roots and leaves, hunt for animals, encounter other survivors, ir discover elements of the mystery which they find themselves in.

Also, players will gradually fill in a hex map with the thing they encounter on their travels. This will describe the world, showing where dangers lie and where potential resources might be found.

Characters generally start amnesiac, with a few remembered skills, but we pick up elements of their former lives through flashbacks as they "gain experience" and remember who they are.

There's a bit of work to do on this one,


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