Version 3: Pivoting to Be Better
Version 3 brings some of the biggest changes in development in the game.
The short list of major changes are:
-Changing Backgrounds to Labels, redefining the central metaphor of the game
- Sheets to help generate the setting and communicate it to players who haven't read the rule book
-Improved support to help players share the GMing tools geared towards supporting people who are less comfortable coming up with ideas on the fly and figuring out what is happening
-Other quality of life fixes in the document itself in terms of layout, some text editing, some other stuff to support these changes to the game
The change from Backgrounds to Labels comes from a very early issue with the game, which is that the Backgrounds giving you magic and describing how society treats you leaned heavily on existing stereotypes and some early readers were concerned that it could propagate the stereotypes instead of using them and discussing them effectively. Backgrounds originally described an ethnic group or way you were atypical or part of a minority and also influenced your magic and this created many problems. The idea that backgrounds could influence your personalized magic as well ended up creating a system that said "the default is you accept societies beliefs about you and those beliefs about you are true" and that went against the intention of the game.
The new Label system decouples magic and Background. Your magic is your own and you describe it, much as happened in the first game in this series Cast A Queer Spell. Instead, the labels let you describe your character and and background then pick the labels that apply to you, creating a more specific and tailored experience. What I found in playtests and in discussions with early readers was that this created a much more accurate, vital, and interesting dynamic for the characters without encouraging stereotypes. It also still met the need of having specific experiences being a part of the game world and the story.
The sheets came out of an issue that I discovered early on: that grounding the world and wanting the table to help create a personalized setting for each table was time consuming and not clearly described. So taking inspiration from Dream Askew, Dream Apart, and other Belonging Outside Belonging games, I created specific setting sheets to help the table define what the setting is like in terms of the Authority, Mundane Culture, and Magical Society. I added a fourth sheet to help create the opening scene since the game is supposed to start with a notable crackdown by the Authority on the player characters and their community.
The third thing was looking at the idea of players who might be new to role playing or new to games requiring them to share in the gming duties. I revisited already existing part of the game: principles, the impacts of the labels, and the existing stances that describe how well things are going for the characters. I combined these and added explicit rules for using them to help decide things when you or another player asks a question like "Is this door locked?" or "Is this person friendly?" These are used to both help when deciding things as a table but it also will help you play the game solo.
I'm very happy with this particular update and feel this is close to the final form of the first full version of the game. There are some questions about a few of the rules still, such as refining the revelation and question systems that are inspired by Psi*Run's rules for questions so that they fit better in the sort of game and setting that No Crime is trying to be. I hope you like it too.
Please feel free to contact here in the comments or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @thousandheads on twitter.
Get No Crime But Living: Fleeing Fascist Wizards in a Modern Magical Police State
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