I find myself at a crossroads I do not recognize.

As suggested last week, I’ve reached a point in the development of my game system where I have more content than should reasonably be. I’ve given it some thought since then but I haven’t turned my full attention to the problem.

I find myself asking the question, “what is my game about?”

Unlike previous iterations of this question, not only do I have a playable game, I am in a position of having more mechanics than I know what to do with — I must begin the process of removing mechanics to complete my game.

To answer the question, I might go down the list of mechanics and suggest how the game might be different without them — a process of elimination.


The seven states of magic are central to the game’s aesthetic. The seven states are forever in a state of imbalance — one flowing into the next, creating a wheel that is forever turning — driving history forward into the next epoch.

If I want a fantasy heartbreaker, I could retain those things which are most like D&D and integrate my best innovations to create a game that is at once familiar, and also updated, renovated, revised, steamlined, or whatever.

For example of what I’m talking about — in building class archetypes to enable any ability score to be used effectively, and in any of the four ‘combat roles,’ I inadvertently rendered ability scores themselves obsolete.

I went a step farther and created a seventh type of “no ability score.” Removing ability scores means that a player could hypothetically (and easily!) build their entire character without ever rolling dice.

This is the opposite of what I desired from the game. What I desired for the game was for the dice to inform character creation without impeding it.

So the obvious first choice would be to retain ability scores.

What then, must be removed?


The ten Faces, or Masks, are central to the Rumor system I’ve been developing to move the game along quickly. Allegiances present a quick-and-easy conflict in which the players can work for or against their given Mask.

The Rumor system is not just an innovation that I want to keep for its own sake — it is quite simply one of the integral parts of the game I’ve designed the game around: intended for the rapid delivery of new ‘quest’ content.

Based on these points — that I should want ability scores (all six!) to be rolled, the seven states as a means to keep the world turning, the Masks as a means to enable Rumors — it’s to be a game of “endless adventure.”


But what of trades, and settlements, and economies?

This is a complicated question indeed.