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Darkness and Sky Prospectus

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Apr. 9th, 2008 | 12:39 pm

What Does it Do?
In Darkness and Sky (D&S), Players take the roles of heroes with tragic pasts and great needs who have become the protectors, though not necessarily the leaders of a community in the early days of settlement in a fantasy frontier and through successive generations.  Player Character actions center around exploring the environment (including the ruins of an advanced Empire that once inhabited the land), interacting with native creatures and spirits, interacting with the settlers and with other settlements, searching for resources and repelling threats.  

As the PCs engage in the usual heroic action, they will also be facing their own tragedies and limitations and pursuing their own desires.  Each generation will face an existential threat to the settlement, which will test the character and strength of each hero, with their successes and failures linked to the success and failure of the settlement.  Players are encouraged to link their actions to the fate of the settlement, and try to save what is threatened and develop what is only potential.

How Does it Do that?
Each character in D&S is designed toward a Confrontation that they must face; their Attributes are defined by the things that seek to define and limit them (Self-Images, Tragic Histories, Disabilities); the things they desire, which can both help and hurt them and by the things they have learned (Relizations, Traits, Abilities, Arts and Secrets) which define the heroic actions they are capable of taking.  Attributes can change their nature depending on the actions of the PC, Wants can become Limits or Learning.

Conflict resolution requires escalation and gambles on the part of the PC, and even a PC who is comfortably winning a Conflict has reason to push their luck.  Structure of the game is episodic; each Conflict brings the Episode closer to completion, and each Episode brings the Confrontation closer.

The link between character and settlement becomes apparent in the wake of the Confrontation, when the PCs and GM use their successes in the Confrontation to bargain over the fate of the settlement; the generational nature of the game comes into play in the accrual, through play of "Seed Points" which are used to purchase Abilities for the next generation of heroes.

At all points of play, Characters are asked questions that encourage them to create new townsfolk, develop their connections to those that exist, and get involved in what happens in the town.

What Does it Reward?
D&S rewards players who risk with development of character.
It rewards those who pursue relationships with the people of the settlement with opportunities for development.
It rewards those who look to the future with more capable characters in the subsequent generations.
It rewards those who develop the setting through actions with a richer, more personally rewarding setting in which to adventure.

Besides development through an experience point system, there is a means by which you can turn Wants into Learning, thereby increasing your character's capabilities directly through action without experience cost.
The more you do for others, the more they are willing to do for you.  Being helpful and kind to a person rewards the player with Threads, which they can use to get people to do things for them.  If you gain three threads with a person, you automatically gain a Want related to that person, which you can convert into Learning through play.
Experience is spent at 3 to 1 -  5 to 1 for Characters in Play.  Seed points are spent 1 to 1.  'Nuff Said.
Players are encouraged to invent townsfolk, spirits, locations, items and connections in order to pursue them.  Players determine the agenda of each Episode and what the Key (the condition or item that ends the Episode) will be; Players can and are encouraged to pursue their personal agendas in play, and, to a certain extent, determine what their rewards will be.

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