So I wrote a game about culture clashes that is a little bit DOG EAT DOG (now in a shiny new edition) and a little bit DIALECT (holy crap it got $100,000 wtf how do I get that kind of cash?) and a little bit Microscope (actually a link to Ben Robbins’ latest game which has just a few hours to go on Kickstarter) and some people think it’s cool.
At PAXAus I got to play it for the first time since its release (which raised a bunch of cash which helped me out immensely). We didn’t have time to roleplay very much or let everyone have a scene in each era, but it’s a very expandable and compressible game. In 25 minutes, we told the story of these two cultures, presented here to preserve them and tantalise you about this exciting game that is only available under special circumstances.
The original culture call themselves the Boomiputra. Their land has very bountiful soil, but is troubled by floods. They are confused by the newcomers because their blouses are too flouncy. Their culture has no priests, for they find religion strange; their ways are kept by a rule of law and the stories of culture, not some mumbo jumbo about sky gods.
The new arrivals call themselves the New Romantics. They find this land full of beauty and are horrified to see the Boomimputra tearing it up to plant seeds. The land lacks cafes, however, which is quite disappointing. They find the Boomiputra odd because of their unreasonable superstitions about werewolves (ie that they are no big deal). The New Romantics have no low born in their society as they are very big on equality and let none go hungry or be denied beautiful landscapes or delicious coffee.
The Laws of the Boomiputra are:
It is forbidden to remove the soil from one’s skin or one’s possessions, for it is life.
It is forbidden to tamper with the soil, for it is life.
It is forbidden to besmirch another person’s reputation unless a crime is proven.
The Laws of the New Romantics are:
It is forbidden to make non-picturesque landscape.
It is forbidden to cut down trees, for they are pretty.
It is forbidden to do science that may cause autism in children.
The New Romantics laws prevent the Boomiputra from farming and caring for the land, and the laws of the Boomiputra make having a clean cafe and a nice view impossible. Eventually, the Boomimputra try to create a new kind of plant that can survive in soil without trees, but soon the New Romantic press accuses them of causing autism in children. This is libel against the good name of a Boomiputra citizen – so the newspaper is closed by an act of force. Protests break out. War is prevented, but a Boomiputra farmer suspected of having these dangerous seeds is killed by a New Romantic activist.
Is that a crime, or a necessary act to save children’s lives? And under whose law will the criminal be prosecuted? Those questions had to wait as time was up.