Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Into the Gloom: Premise and Design Maxims


“There on the banks of this new continent – this GLOOM - has been disgorged our colonists. And what are they, these brave pioneers? Rogues, heretics, pick-pockets, dissidents, dreamers, rebels, outlaws, degenerates, beggars, whores, zealots, anarchists – the cursed and debased sweepings of an empire’s streets. With this ill-fated rabble we are to claim The Gloom? Preposterous!”

Design Maxims for Into the Gloom:
1) This is not cinema, the DM is not your friend, the dice fall where they fall. Should you fall with them, no one will batter an eyelid.
2) Gothic misery pervades. Hope is a currency made valuable by rarity.
3) There is no CR in Into the Gloom. If you seek deeper and further than is wise, you will not live long enough to grow wiser.
4) Players should fear the dark, the cold, hunger and thirst as much as they fear monsters. Torches and mules will be as valuable as vorpal swords.
5) Deadliness is fun. If you are ill-prepared, you die.
6) Players start at level 1. If you die, you start again at 1.
7) Resource management will be critical and built on easy-to-understand rules.
8) The ramshackle town of GLOAMINGEN is the only civilised place known on the continent, and it is barely civilised. 

The PREMISE of INTO THE GLOOM is simple:
Newly discovered in the Sea of Desolation is The GLOOM; a bizarre arcane distortion of near-permanent twilight or darkness which masks a whole continent. Whilst initially of little interest to the bean-counters of various empires, a few lost expeditions returned with untold wealth from some of the ruins in THE GLOOM. To this end, the major powers of several nations have shipped off the chaff from their streets in chains to the newly found town of GLOAMINGEN, that these less-than-savoury souls might plunder and pioneer this new world for them. 

CHARACTERS is INTO THE GLOOM are not heroes. They arrive in GLOAMINGEN in chains and in poverty. Most sell their bodies or find some small craft or artifice to ward off starvation, but the truly mad or foolhardy don rusty armour and a bent sword and stride off into THE GLOOM to seek their fortune or an end to their troubles.

As everything in GLOAMINGEN is imported, prices are very high and opportunities slim. But for a few brave and lucky souls, a fortune lies waiting in ancient catacombs and forgotten forests, dust-covered in ancient tombs just waiting for to be sought out...

How does INTO THE GLOOM differ?

Gameplay in Into the Gloom will be divided into stages. 
1) An EXPEDITION, in which a group of players will assemble and head beyond the borders of GLOAMINGEN and into the wilds and dungeons of THE GLOOM. This will be played out in session and will be a combination of wilderness survival, combat, diplomacy, risk management, dungeoneering resource management, grit, determination, creative thinking, acquisitiveness, mettle and panache.

2) A HAVEN turn, in which players will plot, prepare, purchase and plan. The HAVEN TURN will be played out over Facebook and will see players expand the wealth of their characters and their standing in GLOAMINGEN. For those who were unsuccessful in their EXPEDITION, the ever-present threat of GRINDING POVERTY will snap at their very heels. 

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