Precious Dark and the Judicious Application of Explosives

A couple weeks ago at ConTessa, I got the chance to playtest Stacy Dellorfano’s new RPG, Precious Dark. We had a lot of fun with it; poking around in dark caves, scaring off giant moths, and defeating a giant snail with salt. Yeah. It’s that kind of game.

Precious Dark doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. The basic set-up is that literally every apocalypse you can imagine has occurred, and humanity has been driven underground thanks to the surface of our world now being an irradiated wasteland populated chiefly by denizens of a dystopian police-state. Of course, humanity digs too greedily and too deep, and we find… “something” within the bowels of Mother Earth. “The Weird”, a strange, alchemical substance that grants otherworldly, magical properties to people and things. “The Weird” seems to be the principal resource and driving factor of Precious Dark, and for our playtest, we were sent by a talking cat to mine out some crystals imbued with the stuff. Continue reading

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Characterization, Action, and Resolution

Phyllotaxis_computer_modelI’ve been thinking about the core, basic mechanics of roleplaying games recently. It seems everyone has their own unique theory on the basic particles that make up a roleplaying game universe, but I was taught that in order for a model to be worthwhile, it needs to offer some sort of insight. Hopefully I meet my own criteria.

To summarize, I believe there are three ‘core’ things a player does in a roleplaying game. Characterization, action, and resolution. Everything else; combat, story, adventure, is built from these three core aspects. Lets see if I can’t break this down a bit and show you what I mean.

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