Tonight at 8:30pm EST is your chance to join into a game of Timeless: Creatures! to get a peak at the dangerous monsters that roam when science and nature go horribly wrong. The game will be run from Google Hangouts and is looking for 3-6 players. No experience with the game necessary, it is simple to pick up and we’ll go over character creation at the start.
In this game you will find yourself living a solitary life in the remote village of Bathurst deep in the tundra of northern Canada. Suddenly a local is heard shouting and firing into the air, covered in blood. Though neighbors are not friendly here, the dozen residents of this haven for guilt ridden recluses pull together to find out what could have done such a thing.
So if you are looking for danger, excitement, and a whole lot of laughs, leave a comment at this link to get the event details!
Every group treats this concept differently. It depends mostly on the type of story that the GM wants to tell. If this is a dark world, especially a Lovecraftian world, then it is expected. That character’s death was written into the story the second his name was jotted down on a piece of paper. Lighthearted games tend to treat character deaths as a mistake. The players scramble to finish off that last cave troll so they can drag their comrade back to town that day. But there’s often more to it.
The group itself has something to say. Sometimes a group works against the GM. This GM’s job is to kill the players with the challenges that come around. This challenge means that death is always a possibility. Another group might fly in the face of death at all times, but they are all advocates for the same story. The insane misadventures of their superhuman protagonists is greater than death. Even if a character dies in any game, there just may be room in that story to seek out a magic powerful enough to raise the dead. That character’s story doesn’t end, it sits on hold as a new story spawns from it.
The prevailing ideas in every scenario are to penalize the player in a small way. Either by rolling a new character or sitting out the rest of the session. But what about a new approach?
Timeless: Creatures! has a fascinating approach, similar to the dark one described above. Characters are expected to die almost every session. Whether sacrificing themselves for the group, getting separated and ambushed by the monsters, or just plain being overpowered in a last stand. Players don’t have nearly the same supernatural longevity as most games allow. But every character in this game is an actor playing a role. When an adventure ends, even if that role has died, the character lives on to play his next part.
If you’re wondering about the strange fellow behind the Timeless Books, there’s one thing that stands out. I love play testing game systems. Seeing the raw design of new dice mechanics and hearing the inspiration behind creative minds is awesome.
In order to experience more of these great games, I’ve run regular online events called “Playtest Fridays!”. Each week a creator takes the reigns and we put his or her invention to the test. Timeless: Creatures, of course, made regular appearances.
The beauty of Google+ is that events like these can be recorded. So here are some of the many misadventures that fed into the design of Creatures!