Last year one of my earliest Decemberween entries was the work of my friend Leastwise, aka Erik, aka Big Scrumples Downtown*. If you don’t want to click that link (and well, hey, who has the time), I talked about how we met playing The Secret World and more specifically, in its player-driven roleplay fiction space. Leasty showed in this case that he had both an appreciation for weaving the mystical with the real, and a historical leftist perspective that was a little more conducive to recognising just how much of our world’s bastardry was directly connected to extremely bastard people getting what they wanted, and how many interesting stories there were in a history that wasn’t written by the winners.
Leasty and I bemoaned how The Secret World didn’t really have an audience interested in our kind of storytelling and roleplaying, and while I went about my business here, Leastie was doing something about it.
Leastwise made a Blades in the Dark hack, called Echoes in the Dark. It’s a system, it has lore, and it’s designed to focus on desperate efforts in desperate times, but instead of the fixation on how that’s traumatic and breaks you, Echoes in the Dark wants to focus on how small groups of individuals against impossible forces can still make change, make things good, and lift together.
The principle borrows from the urban fantasy origin of The Secret World; you have these large conspiracies with their competing interests. They’re much like the factions of Blades, but instead of a dozen small groups of potentially varied character, these conspiracies are large and powerful but fractured into their many groups.
I think Leastie’s idea is great and I want you to check it out if that sounds interesting to you at all.
* Nobody calls him this