Posted a few details on the thing I’m working on for the Inverse World Kickstarter.
Originally shared by J. Walton
Wanted to promote my stretch goal for Inverse World a bit and provide some more details. I don’t have a name for it yet (World of Inversion? Planarch Codex: The World Turned?), but essentially the goal is to take everything in Inverse World and boil it down into the core essentials, making a stand-alone 4-6 page version in the World of Dungeons tradition — though not necessarily using the exact same mechanics — suitable for quick-start convention play, one-shots, and longer-term play that focuses more on the fiction and player choices, since it won’t have the mechanical depth of the full game. You should be able to make characters, a starting situation, and be ready to play in 15 minutes.
I offered to write a hyper-focused hack of Inverse World partially because I’m really excited and interested in the idea of a Dungeon World hack where the core focus is on travel and exploration. Obviously there’s can be a lot of travel and exploration in Dungeon World too, but there’s a shift in focus in Inverse World: it draws more on things like Dinotopia and Avatar: The Last Airbender, where the characters are on an adventure to see exciting things, meeting exciting people, discover who they are, and experience what this fantasy world has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the grimy desperation and personal enrichment of other modes of fantasy adventure (as you can probably tell from the Planarch Codex), but I also really love things like Avatar and Dinotopia and The Neverending Story too, so it’ll be fun to really dig into this style of play and make it work in a very focused format.
Two other things worth mentioning:
1. I’m also excited by the creators’ commitment to a multicultural, multiethnic setting and will push on that button hard. If you’ve read Dark Heart of the Dreamer, this probably doesn’t surprise you! My day job is in Asian studies, and reflecting the diversity of the real world and human history in game settings is important to me. “Anthropological fantasy” all the way!
2. I am hyper-invested in “the fiction” (i.e. the things that are true in the game world) being the core focus when you are hacking Apocalypse World. My design work tends to stay mostly away from +1 bonuses and instead engage with what’s happening, pushing that forward and changing it into new and dramatic situations.
In any event, I hope you’ll consider backing Inverse World or upping your pledge if you’re already backing it at one of the lower levels. Really, between the core game, the Fate version, and now my hyper-focused 4-6 page hack, you’ll have three different rulesets to choose from, so there will probably be a version that you’ll be excited to play. The art is beautiful and inspiring and the setting is really cool, reminiscent of Avatar, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, and John Kim’s description of his “Water-Uphill World” campaign from Push.