I’ve been stealing an hour here and there to work on ATTIKA, a game I’ve mentioned before. A few weeks ago, I came across an old public domain text on life in ancient Athens — one I’d not seen before: A Day in Old Athens by William Stearns Davis (1914). That brief work is a thing of genius! WSD has a novelist’s eye, and through it he brings classical Athens to startling life. It lives and breathes, full of grime and dust and glorious architecture. It would make the perfect companion to a game set in ancient Athens. By using it as the setting chapters, all players regardless of historical acumen would be on the same page as far as the game’s environs are concerned. Additionally, I could enhance the text with sidebars and text boxes filled with chronological info, quotes, clarifications, and the like.
Here’s an example, using WSD’s first chapter and a few sidebars.
I’ve also finished a rough draft of the character creation rules. It’s diceless, based upon choice and creativity rather than chance, and the game does not make use of the standard attribute scores (Strength, Agility, etc). Instead, players describe their characters in terms of Facts, Drives, Boons, Fears, and situational Plot Twists — all of which lends itself well to narrative game-play, rather than the more tactical play ascribed to games like Dungeons & Dragons.
If you’d like, read the character creation section and make a character. I’d love to see the fruits of your labor, if you’d care to post the results in comments!