Game Design in the Woods

I work as the narrative designer of Agemonia. The lead designer Max and I spent a weekend in the Finnish wilderness, talking about the plots, characters and factions of Agemonia, eating good vegetarian food, and of course playing the game.

We had time to play two scenarios, one each night. Both of them were new to me, and I got to play characters I had not tried out before. I had written about them, but not played them in the game. 

Zuva’sai is a korallian mentalist who has escaped his oppressive underwater society. Max played Drenosh, a fire worshipping outcast from the Megeian Empire. We had not planned to combine the opposing elements of water and fire, but it was a nice accidental touch. Since Max had designed the scenarios, I got to be the leader, coming up with strategies and making decisions.

In the second scenario, we had to harvest a moonflower from a huge plant in the swamp. Too bad the plant was a giant flesh-eating monster with moving vines and telepathically controlled sporal podlings. 

To avoid the dangerous swamp water, we built ourselves impromptu rafts from the turf. Standing on them, we tried to tame the tentacles as best we could, and make the flower open up. Fortunately, Zuva’sai had a levitating artefact he could use to explore places and channel magic through. Drenosh was a skilled fighter, endowed with fire magic.

In the end, all our mana and vitae was gone, Zuva’sai was doing his best to escape even remotely alive, while Drenosh succumbed to the power of the angry plants, grabbing the flower we had come to obtain. We would have lost, if Zuva’sai had not found a scroll of telekinesis, which allowed him to get the flower, and escape, leaving poor Drenosh to perish in the dirty water.

The weekend was really useful, but also great fun. Poor Drenosh, though!


-Mike Pohjola

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