In the first of a few post-Conception posts, I'd like to address Lady Blackbird.
I'd heard about this game tangetially over the last couple of months but I dismissed it as a 'joke' game akin to Sea Dracula, but when I actually saw it in play and read it online it is far far more.
In a 15-page pdf, the game delivers characters, system and specific kicker situation for 1-6 sessions of play. It even manages to squeeze in an advancement system as well. The setting is a steampunky-magic-science-opera thing which is beautifully realised within the document. There's art - colour art - that adds to the package. Its really quite inspiring. However, what makes this sing to me more than anything else is that it is Part One.
There will be more stuff and there should be. There are little nuggets of implied backstory within the text - Noble house names, for example - that may be addressed, and promises of further expansion options for the characters. There will be other adventures and I imagine if they are anything like this, they too will advance this newly formed world.
Something like this really excites me as it is a model that is totally new to me and yet isn't. Its a format that has worked for many years in comic and TV format and the drip, drip, drip of information is reminicent of both CCGs and MMOs. From a setting point of view, it allows for a slow burn of creativity and gives the players of the game room to work around the setting thats there and appreciate it fully.
I've been searching for the solution to modular game publishing for a while now. I love the idea of simply publishing a small amount of something over time rather than in massive chunks. This seems to scratch that itch exceedingly well and whats even more impressive for a product of this quality is that the author, John Harper, has not tried to monetise the entire affair. The game is available for free download.
I still haven't played or ran Lady Blackbird but from a conceptual point of view, it excites me no end. Have a look at it and see what you think?