Eran here. It's time to give the heads-up on our new direction! Managing expectations is really important .
Starting February-ish, we'll be following our four players as they journey through a roleplaying campaign, set in the world of Crystal Heart - an action-adventure, tomb-raiding, anime-esque, mystery-filled place, where people replace their own hearts with Crystals in order to gain magical powers!
They say that a person’s heart is made from their dreams and desires. The core begins to form in each of us from the moment we are born, growing along with our aspiration, hardening into a full solid heart as we come into adulthood and our personality is set. And when we die, and our dreams are forever lost… our heart fades away with them. Each person creates their own heart, their life determines its colour and shape; the number of shapes and colours as varied as the number of people in the Five Lands.
In our world there are teams of Crystal Hunters, agents of the mysterious and powerful organization Syn. They search for the ancient Crystals, incredible relics from a bygone age. These Crystals seem to hold within themselves the dreams of the world itself: the holder of such a Crystal can create marvelous miracles: one can summon the wind to his aid, another can increase her strength a hundred times, a third can force the trees to uproot and obey his bidding.
But in order to harness such powers, the person must sacrifice something dear indeed: their own heart. The Crystal Hunters overgo a delicate surgery in which their hearts are taken out, replaced with the Harness, into which they can insert the Crystal that they find so dear.
With their fearsome powers, the agents of Syn became a symbol of awe and authority throughout the world. They travel the Five Lands in their never ending search for the ancient tombs, forgotten burial mounds and ruined cities that are scattered throughout the world, since only within them one might find the mysterious Crystals - hidden behind countless traps, vicious monsters, and ancient curses.
These are the agents of Syn. Relentless. Fearless. Heartless.
We'll be showing the fantasy adventure itself, but at the same time, we'll keep our focus on the party. It's not the story of some Crystal Hunters - it's the story of our lovely characters playing as Crystal Hunters. We hope to use this dualism as the primary engine for funnies (oh yes, we're definitely going to stay light-hearted and funny), and also to show the exciting, interesting, sometimes bumpy world of roleplayers. Maybe encourage you to try it, if you've never played before.
With every strip we'll continue adding to the world through the posts, showcasing some of the mechanics, explaining the rules, revealing the character sheets, or talking about various aspects of the roleplaying experience. We can say with a large amount of confidence that the system we'll be using is Savage Worlds.
Some of you might be saying "you should use D&D because it's all the rage" or, "use Fate, it's some of the rage", or maybe "perhaps an Apocalypse World based game, with rage as a stat". These are all good points! Here are some of our considerations:
1. We should use something people might already know. The more high-profile the game we choose, the better our social presence will be, probably.
2. We should use a system that's simple and straightforward, because we don't want the rules to interfere with our story. Using a narrative-heavy system, such as PbtA games, will make it more difficult for us to make interesting strips, because these systems take so much of the storytelling duty for themselves. You also want the rules to be easily explainable to new players, because we hope to be able to draw people into the world of roleplaying games.
3. We should use a system that actually works with the atmosphere and style of the world. Action! Adventure! Powerful Crystals that also make you emotionally unstable! (apparently when you replace your own heart with a gem, your outlook changes somewhat)
So we decided on Savage Worlds! Which is fine, because Crystal Heart was originally envisioned as a setting for Savage Worlds, several years ago, because it's fast, furious and fun. Also - exploding dice.
We'll see you in a few weeks, as our players get into the action, try out their new characters, and discover, alongside you guys, what's going on in this world where people have stones for hearts. As always, if there's anything you're especially interested in seeing, or would like us to focus on, feel free to contact us in any way you can imagine. Try snails, they're generally cooperative.
Happy new year, everyone!