OK GRAHAM THIS IS ME BEING NOT TIMID:Growing up is trauma. Maturity is bought with blood. You will find it –in a land where magic dwells and enchantment rules. Have you bravery enough to wrestle with demons? Wisdom enough to resist beguilement? Nerve enough to grow up?
The Dreaming Crucible
is a storytelling game that I wrote about coping with adolescent trauma through a grueling magical quest. The troubled hero or heroine is trapped or drawn into Faerie and must overcome a terrible Nemesis to return to their Mortal life with body and soul intact.
There are three player roles: The Heroine
portrays the troubled youth with a transcendent Gift
and a crippling Flaw
, the Dark Faerie
portrays the Nemesis
and his dread Powers
, and describes the Faerie environment and the obstacles the Heroine faces, and the Light Faerie
portrays the friendly or helpful Allies
the Heroine encounters and befriends. The things in italics are all Elements that are written on a card, with Light Stones attached to them, for the Heroine and Light Faerie, and Dark Stones for the Dark Faerie. The Dark Faerie presents an Obstacle, the players spend their Dark and Light Stones, the stones all go in a bag and the Heroine pulls one out blindly. If it's Light, she passes the Obstacle happily, if it's Dark she passes the Obstacle painfully.
The kicker is, the owner of the winning stone gets the option to place it on the Element their opponent just used, gaining some mastery over their enemy's attribute and leveraging them against them. Also, when an Element is out of stones it is Transformed for good, so the Light and Dark players by placing stones up in each other's business, can vie for who gets to Transform a particular Element, and how! And once the stones are all gone (or more precisely, all down to one color), the whole quest is resolved for better or worse.
The Dreaming Crucible features:
So, the Directed part of the Promotion:
- Emotionally vulnerable storytelling where outcomes are not safe and tragedy lurks just around the corner.
- Simple, streamlined procedures with just enough structure to focus the story and move it along.
- Simple, streamlined presentation that gets you playing in minutes, with Story Seeds for each player and learn-as-you-go instructions.
- Low time commitment--the basic game plays in about an hour and a half.
- The very real possibility that the game book has been literally cried over by the designer (my printer loves me but it hurts me sometimes).
Currently, the game exists in the form of a "Demo" version, which is 12 pages, lays out the basic, 3-player 1 1/2 hour game, and includes game cards. I'm working on expanding the rules to accommodate longer, more complex play, with more Elements and/or more players. The game is available as a stapled booklet, for $5.
What can you do to get it, you ask? Well, get your Lincoln ready and use one of these methods:
- Spot me on the street and ask to buy it. If I've got my black satchel on me, I'll pull a book out and hand it to you, in exchange for said Lincoln.
- Call me or email me (storybythethroat AT gmail DOT com) and ask to meet with me and buy it. We'll meet up, and again make with the Lincoln. If at all possible we will also PLAY the game! This is my favorite method.
- Email me and you can mail order it. Make not with the Lincoln, but with the Paypal, and add a buck for shipping (two bucks international). This has the advantage of you not having to actually find me, which for some people may involve travel and/or stalking.
If you A) read the game, and/or
play the game, I wanna hear about it! Again, the aforementioned email works great, or you can be a big damn Internet Hero and write an AP here, or in Playtesting at the Forge (when it rises from its grave). In fact I've got a playtest report or two myself to post there once its off its sickbed.
So there you have it! Now, Q & A time: what intrigues you, perplexes you or otherwise piques your interest?