ImagiNation is going to be powered by the same descriptive system that Neverwhere uses. What this means is that everything in the game is determined by its description. There’s a few more fiddly extras but by and large if you can describe something, then it can be in the game and can interact with the players.
For example, you might be able to describe a door:
“The door is big and old, barred with a copper pipe.”
In ImagiNation your creative abilities are your ‘powers’, at least while you’re on the mainland and in the zone of effect of the mind virus. Reality there, to a creative mind, is mutable and through creative ability can be twisted, altered, or added to.
A writer might be able to change or add to the description, altering the properties, appearance or nature of a thing. For example…
“I take out my notebook and stare intently at the door, scribbling words on the page. The door was big and very old, barred with a corroded copper pipe.”
Thereby making the door easier to bypass.
Trying to get through the ruined tunnels of the London Underground in the dark, the explorers enter an area of reality twisted by the imaginings of a phobic, whose worse fears of dark and rats have become embodied.
“A teeming horde of ravenous, rabid rats come scrambling at speed down the tunnel towards you.”
A poet, even a rapper, pressed to action isn’t going to come up with anything Shakespearean but perhaps…
“Now it’s a teeming horde of gelatinous, faded bats that comes scrambling at speed down the tunnel.”
From being overrun by diseased rats, they’re now surrounded by unappetising flock of aerial Haribo.
The downside to this ability to shape the reality of the mainland with your talents is some kind of mental illness.
A manic may not be able to make sustained attempts, never trying anything twice. They might be easily distracted.
A depressive may find it harder and harder and harder to do anything and every new failure is another millstone around your neck, making it hard to do anything except when you’re already sure you can succeed – perhaps not even then.
A paranoiac’s delusions may become manifest as real and unspeakable forces that work against them.
Space may warp and shift around an agoraphobe or a claustrophobe.
The voices or visions of a schizophrenic my take on a perverse life of their own and may help, or hinder, the person who suffers from them.
A person who doesn’t believe in their own talent or ability. Considers themselves an imposter. May find themselves being run down by the Art Police, an embodiment of their own lack of self-belief.
Through these powers and this madness, through the imaginations of the players the landscape of fear, madness and wonder is constantly made and remade through description, success, failure and action.
You can still pledge to ImagiNation’s IndieGoGo and the next stretch goal will make a generic version of the rules available for anyone to use, adapt and sell.