Eternity Condensed Rules Release - March 2013

edited March 2013 in Make Stuff!
So... I've put this off long enough. I've been working on my epic, long-form, GM-less roleplaying game since early 2011, and it's time for me to finally put something out there. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you... Eternity:

http://www.magpiegames.com/eternity-rpg/eternity-downloads/

Here's the pitch:

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Eternity is a unique tabletop roleplaying game that allows player to tell an epic story in the style of The Iliad, The Bhagavad Gita, The Bible, and many other epics. No GM or preparation is required.

In Eternity, players take on the role of powerful, godlike beings known as The Vast. These creatures, lording over entire planets, are constrained only by their Attachments, metaphysical ties that grow stronger each time The Vast use their amazing powers. As a Vast’s Attachment to a specific concept or idea increases, she must act carefully to respect the rules of the Attachment, her hands tied by the power she wields.

In addition to playing The Vast themselves, players also portray the cast of priests, heroes, and mortals that make up the Vast’s Pantheon. While The Vast possess cosmic power, it is often the members of his Pantheon that carry out their wishes. After all, only the Vast must respect the bondage of their Attachments…
The condensed ruleset is about 60 pages long, and it contains everything you need to play the game with your local group. I've got the Age Mechanics finished as well, but I figured I would see what kind of feedback this first section gets before I polish those up for public consumption. This first set includes Character Creation, Scene Mechanics, etc, for use in setting up and running the first 3-4 sessions of the game.

(Special thanks to Stras for reading over an early draft, Eppy and Jim for excellent playtesting feedback at Dreamation, and Jason Pitre for a whole bunch of good advice about how to get this thing out to folks.)

As always, comments, questions, and feedback on this is really appreciated. I've run this game for a lot of folks over the last two years, but I'm always surprised at the excellent and interesting observations people have about the game. I'd also love to hear from anyone who has played the game at a convention: does this ruleset reflect the experience you had at the table?

Comments

  • Oh, I almost forgot!

    I'll be running a playtest of Eternity this Saturday at 10pm Eastern as part of the Indie+ March #Gamenight:

    http://indieplus.org/doku.php?id=gamenight:march_game_1

    Come sign up to snag an early spot. I'd love to have the SG crowd represent. :D
  • Here's a link to the recorded playtest from indie+

  • There's a lot of interesting stuff in the draft, including the collaborative character creation procedures and the scene structure. Worth a look, since I stole a lot of it for Spark. :)
  • Thanks, all. I'd love to hear any feedback people have about the condensed rules as they stand. I'm working on a lot of the setting elements for the game, but these mechanics should work on their own...
  • Finally downloaded them two nights ago but haven't been able to dig into them yet. If I don't send you comments soon, please come bother me! I'll try to run it this week or next week.
  • @J_Walton - Thanks, man! I'm looking forward to your thoughts. Perhaps I'll run another hangout game. Are people interested in that?
  • Hello, Mark T!

    Just downloaded the rules, and I do wish there was more interest in the game itself, as I'd like to give it a try. I live where there are scant few roleplayers who branch out beyond the D&D style games.

    With the release of Mage20 coming out, I'm trying to come up with ways to simulate the Mage experience (the parts that I liked) without the unnecessary cruft. Right now, until I see the advancement rules, I'm a little stuck, but hopefully that'll be cleared up once the game itself is released in its full glory.

    But that's just me tinkering. Right now, I'm looking for people playing the game, and I'm looking for a forum to talk about the game. Any ideas?
  • @Spookyfanboy - Glad to hear that you'd like to give it a try. Have you posted about doing an Google Hangout game? I know that some people were talking about getting one together. You might also find some luck here on Story Games if you start a thread about putting a game together.

    Do you have some questions about the advancement rules? I'd be happy to answer them here...
  • Hi Mark,

    I was lucky enough to play Eternity with a couple people tonight, and we all really liked it. We ran into a few questions using the condensed rules - I did my best to fill in from the RinCon demo you ran last year but my memory was a bit hazy. In no particular order:

    1. At the end of character primacy and at the end of a scene, style points are divided evenly among the players. If a player was not assigned a character, they still get these points?

    2. Odd points go to the banker - does that mean the bank (i.e. out of the game) or the player with the banker role?

    3. At the end of a scene, players can award a story point to other players - does this come from the bank, or from the style points from the scene? What if there are no style points from the scene in the middle?

    4. For wager primacy, do style points spent to increase rolls, activate powers, etc. go to the middle? What about those spent to invoke other characters' aspects or wounds?

    5. Aspects can be established during setting primacy - what rank are these aspects? Can other players lower or increase the rank of those aspects somehow, like they can with wagers?

    6. Can aspects be established outside of a scene? For example, I had some Guardians that another player established as Very Intelligent during character creation. How would that player or I make this not just a fact, but an aspect to be used in scenes?

    7. We only had 3 players, and set up a scene with 4 characters. One player volunteered to take the extra character, but how should this situation be handled? Can a player be assigned a second character, or should any extras be left to the Keeper? Who gets to assign the extra characters?

    Thanks for making your game available, and thanks in advance for clarifying. I'm looking forward to the full rules!
  • Hey dude!

    First, thanks for playing. I'm glad you all had a good time. I'd love to hear more about your Vast!

    1) Everyone gets points because every person should have a character. When you did the character primacy, each player should assign a character to another player, so that each player has a character. How did you end up with a player with no character.

    2) To the bank, not the banker.

    3) It should come from the style points in the scene. If there are no style points in the middle, players must use their own style points.

    4) Yes. All points spent go to the center. Think of it this way: if the expenditure is non-collaborative, it goes to the center.

    5+6) Generally, I don't use actual Aspects for anything besides the Blessings. All the other facts established in the game are fictional elements that drive the story. If you established that Guardians are "very intelligent," I would note that on a card and use that during the game to maove the story along.

    7) Extras usually go to the Keeper, but the Keeper can redistribute those character to whoever wanted to play the character. Sounds like you all did it just fine.

    Does that help?
  • Yes, I see! I thought characters only appeared if they were put into the scene by whoever won setting primacy, or someone spent a style point to suggest one in character primacy. I can see how you intended it now, a character should be assigned even if one has not been suggested. (I suppose I was thinking of it like Fiasco, where some scenes only have two people.) I am a bit disappointed at aspects not getting much use...I'm tempted to make them worth 1 or 2 by default, but maybe we'll play some more and see how it goes.

    I went with a very Hawaiian theme this time. Makuna is a god of creation and the ocean. He rules over a world of mostly island chains, a low-tech but wealthy trading world. He presents himself as a fancy Hawaiian-style chief or king, with rings of many precious metals on all his fingers, ornate gem earrings, necklaces of coral, etc. He likes ruling, but is more interested in having more wealth than others. He also enjoys playing tricks on others, which may be why his world is so disloyal. His realm is an endless ocean, full of the usual life, but anyone entering it finds they cannot reach the surface, no matter how far they swim. His attachments are Creation at 3, Elements at 2 (for water and precious things), and Dream at 2 (for manipulating people). Probably my favorite part of his pantheon is my Appointed Kolani, who controls the Gate (and thus the foreign trade) of my world...she doesn't get along with my coral golem Guardians, and she's hydrophobic.

    Nascia focuses on her world and people - the only Vast with a world of Loyalty 6, and attachment to Laity. She doesn't ever manifest to people though, usually acting through her Appointed. She has two of them, Belenus who is a hero of the common people, tirelessly roaming the land and mediating between them and their god; and Brennus, a warrior-prince whose army the people fear and respect. On the whole, Nascia is a Nature god that tries to maintain happiness and peace (sometimes with Dream). At the end of character creation, Nascia wanted mutual Passage with both the other Vast, but had to make contracts with each of us to get us to agree. As Makuna, I wanted her to improve the Loyalty of my people at least once per age. Zio basically did not restrict her, but he gets credit for any good works she does in his world, so she cannot convert them. This was after he found out about his Archon, as you'll see...

    Zio is a Vast of Vengeance and Elements, plus some Lineage. Zio's player rolled very high for his world, everything is 5s and 6s except Loyalty at 2. He explained that Zio doesn't care for his common at all. For this reason his daughter Dalia tries to overthrow his rule and get Nascia to take over. Dalia also has the Convincing blessing, naturally. I really like how his Realm turned out. It started as a featureless stone area, but through character creation we added a tower in the middle from which Zio watches everything, Denizens of mechanical stone automatons that attack anyone who doesn't belong in the Realm, and stone buildings to house his Guardians, which are Roman-style warriors that he must pay in gold. Oh, and one of them is courting Makuna's Appointed, Kolani.

    Of course there was a lot more established than that, but I think those are the highlights. The character creation process gives a lot of stuff to work with!
  • @aaronF - Yes! One of the ways new characters get introduced is during character primacy. If all the major characters have been assigned, then someone might create a new one to add to the scene.

    I get what you're saying about aspects. In many ways, I think of the character descriptions in Eternity as fictional positioning. If you'd like to make them more mechanically important, I think treating them as a free aspect worth 1 die and limiting players to 1 aspect per roll would work well.

    YOUR VAST SOUND AMAZING. :D Seriously. I love this game because I get to watch cool people put together amazing worlds.
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