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[Monotheism] Tony Pace

Started by Ron Edwards, November 02, 2005, 06:08:45 PM

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Ron Edwards


This game reminds me a bit of the last scenario in Pantheon, the one that just says, "The cosmos begins, go," or something similar. A pretty good use of the term! Not for pain, though. More on that in a minute.

Basically, I'm not really seeing why determining who's the "last deity standing" is of any particular value. The rules seem to me to pose the usual consensual-storytelling problem - just an ongoing debate over what happens, reading like one big Universalis challenge. Narration and indeed the SIS as a whole is tacked on.

To put it differently, beyond "last deity standing," what are the situations of play, for the characters? Why bother thwarting or challenging anyone?

The Ethos of Affirmation illuminates the terms-problem, in that "pain" is just a resource and could be called anything, like Dissolution or Serenity or whatever. If that were the only difficulty with it, then the game would be a fine runner-up ... but since I can't get a grip on any SIS at all, then it seems to me that there isn't a game yet.



I've been mulling this over for a bit. I agree that the connection of the rules to the SiS is very weak, and essentially unslavageable because there are so many moving parts. The Gods are pretty much generic.

As for why 'last man standing' is of any value, the answer is simple - that player is essentially the winner. I didn't make that explicit in the text, which was likely a mistake, but I wanted to allow secondary goals. The whole thing was pretty much imagined as a 'make your own Magic' with some theme and such attached.

My vision for play was the four or five player RPG group with a missing player. Instead of playing Carcassone or some similar boardgame, the idea was to have a competitive one shot that combined some of the attributes of an RPG and a boardgame.

My idea was that at first there wouldn't be much of a situation for play beyond last man standing. The players would mill around creating things and making them funny and doing the random attacks that are typical for the beginning of a multi-player boardgame.. Eventually though, one of the players would enter a Pain spiral, and comeout the other end as an Ethos player. That would set off a Survivor style situation, where the eliminated player begins to drag the other players into that spiral themselves, becoming more and more powerful while the other players fight to avoid being sucked into the spiral themselves. That first Ethos player largely directs play from that point on.

The obvious solution would be to rip out the RPG stuff entirely and let it stand as a game by itself - but the issue with that is the whole thing is very dependent on a lot of RPG paraphenalia, like having stacks of multicolored dice.

Take a look at the game itself if you're curious.