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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Ascend the world tree and die, my friend (Downfall)

Ascend the world tree and die, my friend (Downfall)

user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 53
Who: Martin, Caroline, Alex
What: Downfall (playtest #2!)
When: Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Downfall is a game that's been in the works for nearly a year now--and it's fabulous to be finally playtesting.

The premise of the game is that the world is changing--and through its collapse something new is coming. The impetus for the change is called the Flaw--and we explore the flaw growing within one person (protagonist) as it grows in the rest of the world.

Our flaw was ambition, and we decided to create a super awesome fantastic tree world. There are many components to world-building, but my favorite is creating symbols (which are subsequently used in further world-building and character creation). Some awesome symbols of ambition were stars, bright colors, blossoms, roots, broken wood, a bow and arrow, ladders, and fire. Some symbols of tradition (countering ambition) were grey hues, leaves, warmth, storms, plant fibre clothing, dew, and free-climbing.

Our protagonist was a feisty Night Watcher, Nyx, who, in her wood carved mask, protected the warren from various tree-cat predators with the help of her bow hewn from fallen wood. Her foil was a fellow Night Watcher, Wren, who understood that ambition should be tempered with the acceptance that all things must end.

Nyx was interested in catching the eye of Pyr (antagonist), a craftsman from a neighboring warren, and so convinced the rest of her people to allow her the honor of representing the village during the Sharing Festival--traditionally a time of gathering, sharing, and peace but ever more a time to compete for renown in craftsmanship. Nyx flaunts her strength and sharp vision, winning her the opportunity to attend the festival, and we have the beginning of Nyx's ascent to power.

Fast-forward to the end of the festival, and Wren comes bearing news that Nyx's child has suffered a grievous wound, costing her an arm. She will never be able to free climb and will be left behind when the time comes to move the warren in search of more food. Pyr, a crafter of ladders and spires, then proposes companionship with Nyx, and thus offers an opportunity for Nyx to extend her daughter's life through ingenuity and triumph over nature. Wren warns against the folly of trying to overcome nature, and Nyx becomes convinced that her old friend would rather let the child die than change their way of life.

Eventually Nyx becomes the leader of her warren, and Pyr is overshadowed by her strength and charisma. Together, the build a spire that pierces the top of the tree, and Nyx carries Wren to the top of the canopy. Wren, though, does not wish to ascend to the very top to see the stars--for she has seen all of them that she must through the small gaps in the leaf-canopy. There, in the stairs of the spire, Nyx sits with her former friend as she breathes her final breaths, and the fulfillment of her ambition has been achieved.

Super awesome story you two! I got a lot of valuable feedback and am very much looking forward to playing the game again soon. :D Watch out for jaguars!
Olympia, WA
Post #: 36
Woah, cool. Send me a copy to look at!
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 54
Hey neato wait for just a few more weeks ;P
A former member
Post #: 40
Important facts I had to look up after this game: Nyx means night in Greek- the Latin is "Nox". And jaguars can in fact climb trees, but they don't really like to.

This game was fantastic, in spite of the challenges of roleplaying people who don't believe anything should change, ever, and who don't have words for fire, minerals, bodies of water, commerce, or leadership. Will definitely be interested in playing again.
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