image didn't make it into the post somehow!
v0.3 Preview 2: Immortality, Trauma, and the Stack
As you can see from the preview image, hello, world integrates several Blades gameplay loops into a single system. One of my favorite things about Blades in the Dark is how the desired gameplay informs elements of the setting; the lightning field around the city enhances the feeling of urban claustrophobia and forces the players to stew in the Heat they’ve created, for example. Setting elements of World may have some similar traits for much the same reasons.
In thinking of ways to add to this tradition, I examined things that felt a little flat to me about core Blades. I’ve long felt that Traumaing out during a score in Blades was a little lacking in gravitas, and Incarceration often comes across as a slightly odd gameplay sub-loop. While concepting out the setting for hello, world it was important to me to have a system that integrated some of these gameplay loose ends and made them feel cohesive.
In addition, the factions above want to flow dynamically through the open-ended map. But that means that some are getting kicked off the faction chart to make way for others. The Stack opens up the concept space for defeated adversaries or allies to come back later in a campaign and harass the players. Not shown in this draft but still kicking around in my head: Faction Traumas. How might the Cult of Static change after a rough stint on the Stack? Do they double down on extremism, become paranoid, shift into strange new allegiances, or alter themselves entirely? More on that to follow…