What is This Place?
Without a lot of people noticing, a revolution is underway in roleplaying. It's a slow process, but a gradual increase in the growth of understanding - understanding of what roleplaying is, why it rocks, how to make it do what it should do - has been underway for a few years.
Even as you read this, a soft watershed in game design is bringing us games which do a number of subtly astonishing things. I'll talk about this more on a theory page once it gets going. There's no hard line. Older games did some of this. Yet as I see it, the last couple of years' games have had an increasingly high success rate, and have set - and met - progressively higher goals.
Writing as the Harlequin, I've been doing my best to follow and contribute to the theoretical understanding. I like to think I've helped shape some of the theory.
This is me putting my money where my mouth is.
The albatross of my efforts to date has been a project to create the Heresy RPG, based on the CCG by Last Unicorn Games. Heresy has gone through so many incarnations to date that I've lost track; it has served as a lens through which my own progression in understanding has been focussed. This site exists in part as a recognition that this project is simply too important to me, and too large, to do from a blind start. You will not find it here. You may, however, find a number of things which once were part of that design, filtering their way down the food chain. Someday. Someday we tackle the big guy.
Scoring as one of the two runners-up in the 2005 Iron Game Chef competition, and to be developed further into publication, The Last Supper is a one-evening LARP where players take the roles of the apostles of Christ during their last meal together. Through a series of narrated cutscenes the players explore not only the opinions and interpretations they form as apostles, but also the world that will develop as a result. For more information check out the IGC forum.
Negotiations are underway with the guys at Drifwood Publishing to put out The Oath of Stars, a romance of starfighters, a space opera in the Arthurian tradition. Using a variation on The Riddle of Steel's engine, dogfighting becomes the honorable battle which proves truth, glorifies love and defends the weak.
Building off of a finalist entry in the 2003 Origins 'Iron Game Chef,' you get A Swiftly Tilting City. On a world where the weight of moral deeds is real... In the city of Dé, where every man is a scholar and an artist, a thinker and a duellist, a lover and a lord... At the axis of the world... right and wrong can tip the very planet and send the stars' dance into new arcs. A game of nobility, treachery, and art, where every mask hides two faces. Currently under revision to include a core mechanic based on the Prisoner's Dilemma.
Some of the most recent work on Heresy deserves to break out and stand alone. With a working title of Apocalypse Hajj, this game will explore the concept of pilgrimage and the question of how people choose to live when the chains of the past are broken.
July 21/05 - Website launch... welcome aboard. Those of you expecting to find All But Malice (my blog) here, it's now here instead - or use the cool mask logo to get there. You will need to adjust your bookmarks but the new location should be permanent.
August '05 - Welcome, GenCon visitors! Hellequin Games is off to the Con, but can be reached via the Ad Astra Games booth for the curious. For inquiries feel free to email me and I'll try to check it during the con. Those of you seeing the Last Supper ads will find more complete information on it here after the con.