Monday, June 6, 2011

Critical!: Go Westerly - Why you should check it out

This is the part that I'm not good at, trying to hype up games that we're making that are awesome. I'll play the hell out of it, I'll run it again and again and again for people at a Convention, but I'm just not that good at talking about it in a public forum. The curse of the writer I guess.

This changes. Geasa got a lot of good reviews from Critics, but that's all well and good. I want Critical! to do really well, really really well. In order to do that, I've got to convince you, the reader, that you want to buy this game. I'm going to try to explain why you'd want to do that kind of thing.

TL;DR or more commonly known as the elevator pitch

Critical!: Go Westerly is a fun, humorous fantasy romp that doesn't rely on being self-referential for it's humour. It also has a mechanic that helps create a desire for more gold as well as critical situations where the players will find out that something good has happened, and so has something very, very bad.

The Longer Version
The Mechanic
The Critical! System is a Creative Commons licensed game. It isn't a BY-ND-NC license that's basically "you can share this with people" but it's a living breathing BY-SA license. That means you can take the Critical! system, modify it as you see fit and publish your own game. Everything that Firestorm Ink comes up with that's our own original material we want to share with people, because the more you share with people the more they tend to share back with you.

Beyond the fact that it's a open game, the Critical! system works like any normal system, where you want to beat a target number, but it plays on the age old question that all TN games tend to gloss over. What happens when you meet your target number? In Critical! you get one really good thing, and one really bad thing. That is unless you can bribe your bartender to let you have two really good things, but that price depends always on the mood of your Bartender, and how often you've asked for their favour before.

The World
I'm biased, but I think the world itself is pretty damned funny. It's so funny, that I'm also making it a CC license. It's going to be a BY-NC-SA. We want you to tell us all the stories you have when playing in Westerly. Character blurbs, short stories, poems, plays, actual play events, novels. You name it, we want it. If we like it enough, hell there's a good chance we'd publish it. We want to really push the world and let people explore and put out on the net what they'd like.

Back to what makes the world funny, it's a fantasy world that doesn't rely on being goofy or self-referential in order to be funny. Things happen that are rather serious: border wars, blood feuds, separation movements, mysterious dukes rules from behind a curtain, pirates. However, what makes it different is that each element has a certain twist that makes it funny. The border war is between who doesn't have to control a patch of land. The blood feuds are over a school, and who was named Gwendolyn first. Things like that which give the world it's humourous edge. What also helps is that everyone in the world takes everything very seriously, for the most part humour depends on characters being able to keep the wall up and accept things that we might find ridiculous or outlandish.

I think these two things really drive Critical!: Go Westerly and are two big reasons why you should check it out if you see it being played at a Con, or if it's on the shelf at your FLGS (eventually!).

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