One of the thoughts that occurs to me this morning is that the players might have done better in the Wyrd game last night if we’d arranged some of the tropes of the world first, and that this would best be handled in game-terms by putting 20 black and white stones into a bag, and having players draw them out in turns, in groups of four stones, and creating the tropes themselves.
The first turn defines Creation with four stones: The Gods, the World, the Weather, the Seasons.
The second turn defines The People with four stones: their origin, their strength, their heroism, and thier doom.
The third turn defines The Kingdom with four stones: the king, the law, the nobles, and its ruin.
The fourth turn defines The Wyrd with four stones: magic, Faery, mystery, and terror.
The fifth turn defines The Place with four stones: city, country, wilderness, and spirit realm.
In Play it might work like this (and I’m drawing stones as I do this):
Creation: 1B: In the beginning there was war in heaven between the gods, 2W: but the Lords of Light made the world a refuge from trouble, 3W a land of fair forests, pleasant hills, bright mountains and rich seas, 4W blessed with good summers and mild winters.
People: 1W The Sons of Don came from oversea, 2B Proud and imperious in their conquest, 3W fine warriors with chariot, spear and bow, 4B but prophesied to destroy themselves in arrogance.
Kingdom: 1W Maradon ruled them, a wise and good king, 2W and appointed good laws and officials to govern his land 3B but his earls were willful and eager for glory, 4B and the traitor Albrech had begun his scheming.
Wyrd: 1B The Dark Lords had servants in that place, 2B and the woods knew the tread of goblin and urch, 3B Nameless demons stalked in the night, 4W but the Sons of Don knew how to drive them back.
Place: 1W In the fair city of Galmarath did the king keep court, 2B but goblins raided the orchards and farms, 3B and the forests were in the hands of the Dark. 4W The Lords of Light anointed champions to drive back the Darkness.
Game Effect might then work like this:
During Chargen and Gathering Doom phases, players play only their own stones, but different players can modify actions from the WyrdWorld Bag, drawing out stones and putting them back in, referencing various parts of the World’s character sheet. So, to use my character from last night, Gerd, who I insert below again as a reminder of who he was…
Chargen example: I created a character named Gerd. Drawing two black stones during my first chargen round, I made Gerd an orphan — a mother dead in childbirth and a father dead in a duel. A black and white stone came next, so Gerd became a great warrior, but he lost his father’s land to the murderer. Double-white next, so he kept his father’s ship and went on a successful viking raid. White and Black next, so he became a great leader, but returned home to find his uncle murdered as well. My last two stones were black and white, so I announced my intent to seek revenge for the death of my family, and enlisted my viking buddies to help me.
There were four players last night including me, so during Chargen, the other players could modify my character a total of ten times. A player could name me a champion of the Lords of Light, or a servant of the Dark. I could get a nameless demon as an enemy, a tempter, or a familiar. I could be a willful earl, eager for glory. Albrech could be my father, or I could be a catspaw for his schemes. My home could be destroyed by goblins, and so on.
During Gathering Doom, players could use the WorldWyrd bag to affect other players actions, as well. In both cases, if you drew a black stone your action would have to reference a black stain on the world, and if you drew a white stone your action would have to reference a positive mark on the world.