Jutland, In the Closing Days of an Age…
Ten years ago, Daxo murdered his beloved older brother, Baldr. Exiled by his father for his crime, he's spent a long decade wandering. But now he's heard that his dear grandfather has died, and he's returned home to claim his inheritance.
Inheritance tells the tale of two families coming to terms with forgiveness, debt, religion, law and death. In three acts, the game presents a powerful drama that is always unique to the players and their decisions.
It is a roleplaying game for nine players (no more, no less) and one facilitator. It takes place in two rooms (or a similar location outside) over two to three hours.
Each of the nine players takes on the role of a family member or one of their close associates. The tenth player takes on the role of the facilitator.
Players each receive a booklet and a deck of eight cards to represent their characters. In addition, a few of the characters have special cards or decks. The facilitator also has his or her own rule book, but does not use the cards.
There are a few other elements like the rune staves depicted above and a few other special cards. But that's all you need to play. No dice, pencils, paper or costumes required.
During the game, players perform their parts as the facilitator guides them through the scenes. Each character book gives the player goals and guidance. Some even have special rules that allow the player to affect the scene in a particular way.
Once all of the scenes have been played out to the group's satisfaction, the game concludes. Typically, there is an obvious dramatic conclusion to the events, but the ultimate outcome is up to the players. Sometimes the game ends in joy, sometimes in tragedy.
Inheritance is difficult for me to describe in detail because there are tons of spoilers. Even describing how some of the rules work is a spoiler! Like all of my designs, it is a game best experienced in play. But after you've played once, you'll want to play again.
I have been working on this design since 2007. It originated as a scenario for my roleplaying game system, The Burning Wheel. Thor Olavsrud and I developed it as a convention event for 10 players. But it rapidly outgrew the constraints of the table and thus Burning Wheel, so I set it aside. After letting it lie dormant for a few years, I returned to the scenario and redesigned it as its own self-contained game. Its system is completely novel. It doesn't match any of my other designs.
In its current form, I've playtested it about a dozen times (including independent tests)—at PAX, at Burning Con and even at Ropecon in Finland. I've received valuable feedback from incredibly smart people like Terry Hope Romero, Rachel Walton, Lizzie Stark, Jason Morningstar, Vincent Baker and Meg Baker.
I've commissioned a set of beautiful artwork from my long-time collaborator, Jordan Worley. We've aimed to use Danish, Norwegian and Swedish art from the period as our inspiration. And also to show the art as it was, not faded or distressed by time or our imaginations.
After having worked on this game for nine years, releasing it now feels like sending a child from home or setting a caged bird free. I'm terrified, and I don't really want to do it, but I know it must be done.
This project is to create 100 sets of Inheritance materials. Without this project, Inheritance will languish on my hard drive—I want to make the game real; I want to get it out in the world.
After I fulfill any rewards, I'll sell the remainder at conventions and from my website. In addition, Wyrmwood Gaming has agreed to help us produce a fantastic deluxe version of the game. We'll show off more details on that as the campaign progresses.
Here are some thoughts on the game from some of my friends:
“Let us pray the Father of Hosts be gracious to us! He granteth and giveth gold to his servants… He giveth victory to his sons, to his followers wealth, Ready speech to his children and wisdom to men, Fair wind to captains and song to poets; He giveth luck in love to many a hero.”
—a prayer to Odin from the Saxo Grammaticus
Risks and challenges
Inheritance is a materials intensive project. There are many booklets and decks of cards. While I've produced all of these elements individually, combining them into a complex whole is a challenge. I've tried to collect all of the estimates and information I can about the game's production. Hopefully, I've got everything right, but inevitably something will go wrong.
Lastly, in the spirit of the age this game represents, the real challenge is for the backers. We are going on a journey together. We're going to explore a new design space and create a new game. Once you pledge, you join our viking band and step aboard our ship. While on this journey, I will brook no complaints. None. No questioning our ability to deliver, no nervously asking where your package is, no second guessing our decisions of what to do with the game. Either you are onboard with us as we sail to new lands, or you are not. It is that simple.
Feedback, insight and criticism are welcome. That all makes our band stronger. But worrying, complaining and bickering make us weaker. Let us create something unique, strong and strange together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)