Welcome to Messiah

“The Messiah has come to break the world, but who will break the Messiah?”

For the Ashcan Front 2008, I have decided to enter my latest creation, a game I call Messiah.  Messiah is a pretty readical departure from my comfort zone and the game I have been concentrating on recently, Mecha (formerly Neoborn Genesis Honor Blade), which is a much more traditional anime mecha game, but I am really enjoying the creative challenges each poses.

Anyway, the basic premise behind Messiah is that the Messiah, the actual avatar of god has come back to the world to bring it back inline with the teachings of god.  The players each take on the role of a faction who has a vested interest in either maintaining the status quo or by slightly modifying it.  These factions each see the arrival of the Messiah not as a change for spiritual rebirth, but rather to remake the world in their own image.  The Messiah is but a tool and one that can be disposed if the Messiah becomes inconvenient.

Messiah is based off my game chef entry (also called Messiah) which can be found here: www.canonpuncture.com/games/Messiah.doc

And the feedback (which was helpful if not overwhelmingly positive) is here:
http://game-chef.com/af2008/comments.php?DiscussionID=553&page=1#Item_27

The thing that everyone said across the board was that there was something interesting about the premise and that there were pearls in what I had.  So that gave me some hope.

I also took the feedback to heart and have decided to make Messiah GMless.  Which is a pretty radical departure from where I’m at as a player/designer and it also presents a very interesting set of design challenges.

After talking with Paul Czege, I committed to doing the game as an ashcan.  I really feel like what I want to do is going to need a lot of outside comment and feedback, so I feel like its the right decision.  Now I just need to get the game from 30% to 90%.

The issues I am dealing with right now:

  1. How do make the Messiah an independent entity without a GM?
  2. How do I govern the interaction between Factions?
  3. How do I measure the influence a faction has on the Messiah?
  4. How to I offer the players an interesting and mechanically relevant set of options?
  5. Can I add NPC factions which can influence the Messiah or be allies to the PCs.
  6. Is it okay that I am not going to ship the game with a setting?  Does that hamper the game.
  7. How do I model a game world in a way that is mechanically relevant.

I’ll attempt to answer each as I go along.

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~ by Chris Perrin on June 21, 2008.

11 Responses to “Welcome to Messiah”

  1. Chris, this sounds very interesting. I cannot wait to see how you figure out a workable system for dealing with the Messiah. Very cool stuff.

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