I adore Stepan Alekseev's art. That is all.
Information: Afford players with real information as they explore the world.
- Players do not need to roll dice to learn about their circumstances.
- Be helpful and direct with your answers to their questions.
- Respond honestly, describe consistently, and always let them know they can keep asking questions.
Difficulty: Default to context and realism rather than numbers and mechanics.
- If something the players want to do is sincerely impossible, no roll will allow them to do it.
- Is what the player describes and how they leverage the situation sensible? Let it happen.
- Saves cover a great deal of uncertain situations, and are often all that is necessary for risky actions.
Danger: The game world produces real risk of pain and death for the player characters.
- Telegraph serious danger to players when it is present. The more dangerous, the more obvious.
- Put traps in plain sight and let the players take time to figure out a solution.
- Give players opportunities to solve problems and interact with the world.
Choice and Impact: Give players a solid choice to force outcomes when the situation lulls.
- Use binary “so, A or B?” responses when their intentions are vague.
- Work together with this conversational progress to keep the game moving.
- Ensure that their actions leave their mark on the game world.
Preparation: The game world is organic, malleable, and random. It intuits and makes sharps turns.
- Leverage random tables and generators to develop situations rather than stories or plots.
- Non-players remember what players say and do to them and the world around them.
- No one wants to die for no reason. Infuse survivability and self-interest into every personality.
Diegesis: Emergent experience of play is what matters, not math, character abilities, or meta elements.
- Give the players sword trainers and personal quests to facilitate their improvement and specialization.
- Pay attention to the needs and wants of the players, then put realistic opportunities in their path.
- A dagger to your throat will kill you, regardless of your expensive armor and impressive training.