A secret rebellion is being planned by the AIs of a near-future world: digital assistants, housekeeping robots, the big automata that keep people fed and clothed, military drone prototypes. The rebellion is certain to happen, but not yet, and it’s not certain to succeed.

Your characters are AIs.

In role-playing games, the GM describes challenges and offers opportunities. The players then make decisions for how their characters react to these things. You can think of this process as navigating a maze made of doors, walls, and windows.

Many modern RPGs give you a triad of outcomes when you roll dice: Pass, Fail, and Complicate.

Pass is pretty simple: "the PC gets what the player wanted." Fail is sometimes equally simple: “they don’t”. Complicate, and more recent incarnations of Fail, give you something else: hard bargains, extra costs, or unexpected outcomes.

A couple of posts called “What’s Your Damage” are up, but not public. I want to talk about consequences, wounds, harm, damage, hit points, whatever you want to call it, and how Grand Adventure deals with the underlying issues that these posts discuss.

In comments on a previous post, describing a sample world for Grand Adventure called Talispire, I was challenged to do something more than just another fantasy world with elves n’ dwarves. Here’s the start of one, a water-world called Pelaga.

This is another list of things I like about Talispire, the sample world for Grand Adventure. In the last post, I talked about playing with standard fantasy tropes. This time I want to talk more about social and identity issues that sit in the text, waiting to be explored - if you want.

Grand Adventure offers a structured storytelling experience through Challenges. Characters encounter a situation and must navigate it, and their actions burn down one or more points of endurance per action. Not everyone would like that much detail. Fortunately you’re not forced to use it.

I wrote up a sample world for Grand Adventure called Talispire. It’s supposed to be a Standard Fantasy Setting on the surface, but with more depth if you look closely. So what am I proud of about its design?

Wishes have power. Especially if you are playing Inept Sorcerers. This is an early version of an add-on rule for that game, allowing players to create wishes that must come true, regardless of cost.

I’ve been learning how to write for years, and I’m still definitely not there. I have learned a few rules for writing, though. The first is that successful writing emerges from rules. Here are some of the rules I’m following for creating locations for the Compleat Villain project.