I would like to entertain some lighthearted brain-shaking about a silly topic: help me name my game!
We all know how hard it is to name a character. Well, naming the whole game is even harder! (at least for me )
I am currently torn between different directions, different souls if you will, and therefore I can’t settle on a name that would convey them properly.
So, let me tell you about the (still in development) game, and its salient features.
It’s about delivering the OSRest game experience possible, but with zero fucks given to nostalgia and old mechanics. It will check as many boxes as it can from the Principia Apocrypha , Finch’s Primer and other sources… but will probably do it in its own way
I mean, proper focus on procedural exploration, story is there but mostly just an excuse to go adventuring, funnel-dungeon levels of lethality, play the Player not the Character, play the World not the Story, reward good ideas and creativity, etc… the good stuff
the main differences from a “normal” game of such kind are:
Players have their own play-sheet, and based on that they create on the fly a Character to play with
The game starts gmLess and in medias res… the adventure is already underway, you are already deep within the area, you have already fucked up and have been on the run. NOW you have a moment of respite to regroup. The game starts here.
(unless it’s the continuation of a previous session, optional but possible)
Whenever a PC dies, and they will die like flies, their Player takes the role of “The Enemy” … basically a GM role shared by all the dead Players.
The adventure is over when all PCs are dead, or when all survivors escape the area/dungeon. Achieving the main “quest” is nice (gives you lots of XP) but optional (no survival? no XPs!) (or at least, much less than if you survived)
The trick is that the XPs go to the Player, not the Character. This way the next time we play you can create a new, slightly better PC, or re-create the previous one with, slightly improved, qualities and equipment. A classic Rogue-lite mechanic.
The focus is on survival first, and on adventure-performance second. Combat and violence are by no means the only solution, and definitely not the best or most convenient, most of the time.
Now… I can see it played in many different styles. Very serious, or very gonzo. Very grimdark, or very bright and hopeful. And in many different kinds of settings. The core rules already (should) work seamlessly in a dungeon as well as in a city or a forest etc.
That’s where I have trouble finding a fitting name.
I would love something iconic and meaningful like Trophy or The Well. But such names come from a specific feature of their (minimal but very evocative) setting. At the moment I have no such thing, partly because I would like for the game to be as dark or as bright as the Players want… and tying it to a specific setting (with its own tone and images) might hinder that (? )
Some names I came up previously are FUBAR Dungeon and Old School (mis)Adventures.
But “fubar” is also part of some other game… better not to mix things up.
And both names mostly refer to the idea that the PCs have to deal with a fucked up situation. Funny and accurate, but not really inspiring?
Also, it feels a bit like mocking the style of play that I would instead like to celebrate