Friday, November 05, 2010

Playing at being godlike

Last night at the NC State tabletop gamers meeting, a large group was playing a "game" called "Dawn of Worlds". (Google the title with quotation marks for the PDF.) I put game in quotation marks because it's actually a cooperative--or mostly cooperative--way for a group of people to create a world for a role-playing game. The brief rules provide guidelines for using power points to create terrain, create races and cities, create godlike avatars and armies, and use catastrophes and other methods to reshape the land and the people. This is all very free form, in the end there's probably one person who is the main guide and settles disputes.

Eight people played for more than three hours and did not finish. Some who had played before said it was fun. Most of what happened was cooperative, but a couple guys held all their points for most of the game and then created mayhem. (The game provides extra power points for players who use their points regularly, probably because this storage and mayhem tactic had been used more than once.)

The purpose of the original creators of the "game" was to enable a group of people to create a common fantasy world so that everyone would understand what it was like and what its history was. This would be easier than each person creating their own world that the others would not be familiar with.

Me being me, I was trying to think how this could be integrated into a board game something like Populous, the original gods game by Peter Molyneux from back in DOS days. The young participants in Dawn of Worlds had never heard of Populous, but I have for years had the notion of creating a boardgame something like the video game.

Dawn of Worlds, created by a considerable group of fantasy gamers, has been around since 2005 but I had never heard of it.

1 comment:

Russ Williams said...

More than once I've seen the boardgame Gheos compared to Populous. (I think the comparison is superficial in the sense that they only have the same theme.)