Perhaps I have been hasty.
I promised daily updates, and yet, the moment I go live, I miss one.
Now, I could give you excuses, such as having had a busy past couple of days. A good kind of busy, mostly, but, still, busy, and thus lacking in time to sit down and slice open a vein and just pour all that game-designy goodness over the lot of you.
You know you want it, tho.
But you're not here for excuses, which is good, 'cause I ain't here to give them. I missed a day? Yeah. I did. And you know what I'm going to do to make up for that?
That's right: SPECIAL DOUBLE-SIZE FRIDAY LATE NIGHT EDITION MOTHERFUCKERS LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOO
Twice the words.
About the same amount of just ridiculous levels of intoxication before hitting the keyboard as ever.
So settle in and get comfy, cowpokes. We're here for a long time. Not sure yet if it'll be a good time, but I'll give it the ol' college try.
It was around this time some twenty-odd years ago that I realized I'd be a college dropout, now that I think about it.
Don't worry about it.
Let's just pick up the design threads we left lying around here-
DAN TELL US ABOUT THE VAULT IS THE VAULT DONE DAN WHERE IS THE VAULT DAN
-ah, right, we were debating the pros and cons of separating the goblin side of the array of lists that is, at its heart, a goblin, and the array of lists that are, at their hearts, the worlds through which goblins prance and gambol and probably commit their fair share of murder and, if my experience running several 3GiaT games at cons in the Before Times, far more than their fair share of seduction attempts on unsuspecting guards/townsfolk/anything with a pulse.
Now, as not just a game designer, but a creator of worlds, imbued not just with the power to craft entire realities through nothing more than a whim and the will to make it happen, but also the deep responsibility that such awesome power carries, not to mention a not insubstantial amount of artistic pride in my own unimpeachable vision, that one should not separate these two aspects. One should inform the other, the other should shape and constrain the one- in the end, you are given a cohesive whole.
Why turkeys? Because Revolutionary War goblins!
But our goal here is not to create worlds that are, out of necessity, sensical. Or with any sort of artistic truth to them. No, holding my use of these mighty tools to such constraints is a limitation I place only on myself.
Much like the Goddamn Batman, I know that, should I break that one rule, even once, I would be no better than the filthy criminals out there in the streets, who won't think twice about using a list for creating water-based goblins and then using a list for a desert-based setting and goals.
Actually that'd be fucking hilarious, do it.
And I think that's the point here. I am an artist. And so I approach these tools, these lists, like an artist approaches their brushes and paints and pencils. But that is not the only, or, in fact, even the correct way to approach these tools.
As we've established before, I am very good at analogies. And metaphors. Also similes. Like, all of those. So, let me toss another one at you here: rather than picturing them as a painter's tools, think of them like lego blocks. Think of them as pots of tempera paint, and all you've got is your fingers. They're clumsy- little sharp-edged blocks, pots of bright paints. They get underfoot, they get on your fingers, you lose one, you mix them up and get weird new colors, you paint on the walls with those messy fingers and you build a dick, yes, just a blocky lego dick because you're a goddamn adult and you're adult enough to admit it, to put it out there openly and shout it out to the world, not just with your words, but with your motherfucking ART:
DICKS ARE FUNNY
And funny's what we want, when we're thinking of gobbos.
Goddamn, it's over 700 words now and what a hell of a line that would be to end on, right? Just drop that bomb right there, just that utter blast of brilliance, and walk away, not looking back, fucking fire and flames behind me, and so, oh so damn cool.
But, you see, I'm not done yet.
Back at the beginning of all this (and gods, it feels like such a long time ago, we were so young, we were such beautiful fools) I made you a promise. Double the size. About the same amount of the pleasure.
... dick jokes, yo. Never not funny.
... uh, hey? 'Sup?
DAN. WE ASKED YOU A QUESTION.
I, uh, don't remember any que-
WHERE IS THE VAULT, DAN?
The, uh, THE VAULT, you mean?
YES, DAN. THAT THE VAULT. WHERE IS IT, DAN.
Jeez- you're really not gonna drop this, huh?
GIVE IT TO US DAN. WE'RE PAYING FOR IT, DAN. GIVE. IT.
... ok, ok, fine, fine, but only because you're paying for it.
YES, DAN. WE UNDERSTAND HOW THIS TRANSACTION WORKS. YOU WERE VERY CLEAR ON THAT. WE GIVE YOU MONEY. YOU GIVE US THE VAULT.
That's... entirely fair, actually. Ok. Look, you've actually been far more patient with me than I would have been, had our positions been reversed.
My original position, eg, that you are all bad people, and you deserve this, remains unchanged. And in fact, as I grant you access to THE VAULT, I feel that there is no contradiction in this belief. You are all bad people. And you do deserve this:
THE VAULT (but like for real this time).
Yup, that's it, the lot of it for now, but sure to oh so slowly grow. Have at it, members of the Uncivil Union.
So, back to the topic at hand- funny. It's the strong force to regular goblinity's weak force, if you'll forgive me making a reference to something from literally days ago. It's a foundational element of the game, a special sauce, if you will. A glance at the ruleset of both the original text and its later expansion quickly reveals a certain lack of fucks given, a commitment to "the bit" above that of any kind of so-called "game balance" or "how would this actually be played at a table" or "playtesting" that so-called "game designers" will come at you with.
It's punk af, and as the creator of the work being referenced here, I think I am qualified above all others to be the judge of its punk-ness. Punkitudinousness.
Y'all can have that word for free, not even gonna make you join up as members or anything for that one. Gratis, my friends. Quality content, just free, can you believe this shit?
It's that punk ethos that the kids these days are so into that gives you, yes, you, the developer of a...
... ahem, wait for it.
Take a breath. Okay, here we go:
The developer of a game Piloted by Goblins. Y'know, like when your game is Powered by the Apocalypse or Forged in the Dark.
I dunno man, I'm still workshopping it. Yell at me about it over on Twitter.
Unless you're reading this in like a few months because by then I'll have settled on a name. Stop yelling.
But I think this one's pretty dope? Maybe?
Piloted by Goblins. Piloted by Goblins. Hrm.
Anyway that's what we're creating here sort of isn't it?
Fuck, we're creating playbooks.
We're empowering players (who, if they are following the instructions of the game properly, should be drunk, I need to remind you) to effectively create playbooks- but we're going a step further, because we're also playbooking the setting/scenario side, ain't we?
Look, it ain't 1:1, granted. But it's there, if you squint at it.
And I'm real good at squintin', let me tell you.
Now, we've made a hell of a lot of progress. We've dug through some really deep layers of design here, peeling away and getting to the real core of a game that, I'm going to be honest, I wrote in about an hour and a half while fixing some servers for a client which says less about my brilliance as a game designer and more about what a broken game 3GiaT is.
As I draw closer and closer to the magic number of words I owe you people (that being: fifteen hundred words. And it shows, doesn't it?) I see a light up ahead, and that light may well turn out to be the proverbial train. Because in stripping this game down to the nuts and bolts of it, we may have discovered that the trenchcoat was empty inside all along.
Are you enjoying this bullshit? You are, aren't you? Hot diggity! Well, did you know you can encourage Dan to do more of whatever the hell this is by joining the Uncivil Union over on ko-fi? It's true! Not only is this a signal to Dan that people want more of this, but you'll also get immediate access to The Vault, where you can pick up free copies of every single game he's written, and exclusive access to the in-progress docs for upcoming games.