Nibiru Update #13 - About the MEMOs System
Aaaand we are past the £12.000 mark! The end of this week will most certainly see us unlocking the next stretch goal, and then we'll be on our way to unlocking those awesome dice.
Today I wanted to talk a bit about the MEMOs system, and the things we learned during playtests and games ran these last two years.
It's this system above all other things that make Nibiru a character-driven game. This is mainly due to the fact that each mechanical bit that makes your characters unique has a small story written in. A small piece of background that relates to each modifier, and that makes those numbers much more significant. But then, that's also something you already know.
One of the things we slowly learnt was that that ever-growing story gives a lot of gravitas to the characters themselves. Say you play a game for about a year. In most other games, you'll only get to know so much about those characters when looking at their sheets. In Nibiru, however, you'll see their worldview, moments, memories, all written in—the character's life unfolding before you.
When players invest their creativity in such a way, they develop a strong connection to their characters. This means that situations of risk and danger feel all the more tense, nerve wracking and significant. The stakes are so high! This relates to the fact that Nibiru has a pretty deadly system, which is by all means intentional.
It encourages groups to try to tackle issues in a variety of ways—only resorting to violence when it's the last possible measure, and (hopefully) if they feel confident doing so. After all, we've observed that character death in Nibiru has a stronger impact than in other games (given the reasons above).
Another interesting thing we've observed is how, as players get more and more into the game, they put more thought into their backgrounds. This is specially rewarding when there's a shared habitat (for example, people from BrightTown came all from the same place, or maybe you have two Vagabonds of the Wild who belonged to the same species and the same pack). These tend to result in joint efforts to build a cool background, then explored via the characters' memories.
We'll have more to say later, specially when we discuss Revelations and how they enrich the base MEMOs system!