ImagiNation Preview/Discussion

So, I have a new game that uses the same system as Neverwhere. That system never really had a name but the way it works is based upon a descriptive paragraph. A character might, then, be described:

Taylor is thin and wan, she looks tired much of the time and as though she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Quiet and thoughtful she takes her time before answering any questions or executing any plan of action. Since the loss of the mainland she’s been forced to get fit and has learned to trust her intuition. She was a professional estate agent before everything went bad but she always had a great talent for poetry.

When you come to try to do something you go up against the description of your opponent or the challenge, work out what applies and roll off against it. This works a lot like Aspects in FATE or the traits in 6D6, even though it pre-dates both and took its initial inspiration from Vampire LARP and specialities.

ImagiNation goes beyond the existing Neverwhere game by allowing characters to directly interface with the descriptive system via their special abilities. Using these powers you will be able to play directly with descriptions, add to them, remove them, change them and thus to shift the world around you.

The premise of ImagiNation is one where the barrier between reality and fantasy, the physical and the imaginary, law and chaos, order and madness has broken down. A sort of psychic, memetic virus has spread throughout the population on the British mainland and reality has warped and twisted according to the whims and imaginations of those caught up in it.

Britain has all but vanished as a nation beneath this psychic cloud (The Monad) and all that remains is an isolated and quarantined rump of the lost nation, huddled on islands surrounding the mainland, cut off from the rest of the world by aerial and naval blockade.

Only those who were already damaged or creative are immune to the psychic effects and are used to venture into the madness to try and understand it, disarm it, deal with it and find a cure, supplies, information or useful samples, or just to deal with the worst imaginings of the lost populace.

Those who are able to venture ‘safely’ into the insane wonderland are able to manipulate the plastic reality of the nation according to their artistic talent and temperament or their pre-existing insanity.

A poet, for example, might be able to exchange words in a description for ones that rhyme with them or are alliterative. An artist might be able to draw something on a wall and make it real (a door for example). Someone with a controlled level of schizophrenia might find that their voices become real and offer insight and advice that is actually useful.

On my old blog I ran a poll game called ‘Patient Zero’ and many of these ideas stem from that same thought process and set of ideas.

I’m looking forward to showing it to you, especially with Aaron’s excellent art.

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