The Last Tribe

An idea for a hack of Ammo, from Gray Pawn, hit me on the way home today. It’s about the Tribe, and their doomed fight against the Empire to try and find some peace before their time runs out.

The Pitch

You’re members of the Tribe, hunting game on the plains, living in harmony with nature. Life is hard, but beautiful.

There are other Tribes. Many of them have fallen, though - there is a great Empire which is moving across the land toward your home. The Empire has steam-powered mecha and rifles and body armor, while you have axes and spears and the sacred runes of your ancestors.

Among your people, there is a very old knowledge. When a thing dies, its spirit travels to the Peacelands, forever separated from the world and its pain. But to enter the Peacelands requires that you regret nothing. If you leave anything behind in this world, it will anchor your spirit.

You know what is to come. The Empire will arrive. The Tribe will be slaughtered. But you must buy them time to come to terms with their fate, and allow them to enter the Peacelands. You and the other heroes of the Tribe will have to fight. Your Bloodlust will give you power, but tapping into its ferocity will tie you to this world, rather than let you drift to the next. And you also have your own regrets - broken promises, unspoken loves, unanswered kindnesses - that you must come to terms with.

Can you buy the Tribe enough time to make its transition, and will you join them?

Some Principles

  • The game is intended to be a way to understand the price of letting go.
  • The Empire is unbeatable. There’s no scene in which you topple the Empire. Your victory condition isn’t “kill the invaders”, but “enter the Peacelands”.
  • Worldly attachments are your means to accomplish this goal, but also what can keep you exiled from the Peacelands forever.
  • Although the Tribe and the Empire could be read as the Native American tribes facing the white man in the American West, this analogy isn’t necessary and is in fact counterproductive. But it’s likely to be familiar to the typical American gamer.