Saturday, 2 March 2019

On Setting

Since we are in one of those periods where Grey is at the layout millstone, I thought it was time for a good old fluff entry:

A friend of mine asked me about how I wanted BREAK!!'s setting to presented. His concern was that thin line between presenting too much that it bogs down the game, and too little for it to be of much use. I'm pretty well familiar with that line admittedly, as it's one I've crossed back and forth a lot in my many, many years of running (and more recently) writing game-stuff.

One thing to say right off the bat is that a lot of the heavy lifting for this sort of thing comes a game's art, and I've been gifted with a talented and imaginative co-creator whose not only excellent in conveying the ideas I have, but also contributes a lot of his own into the mix. I feel like if there wasn't a single word on the Outer World in the main book, it would still be a pretty tangible concept thanks to Grey's art alone.

But there are words in the book about the Outer World. A short atlas of sorts, but also a lot that's baked into the gameable bits. The setting is revealed through character options, gear, monsters and such as much as it is explicitly stated. Part of this is because I really don't want to be boring and linger on one thing for too long (it's already a pretty big book) but also part of an overarching idea of mine.

I say it a lot but I'm a fan of a sort of "Toy Set" style approach. Your handed the pieces of something, and a guide on how it is intended to be used. You have everything you need to run with it and make it your own - even if the direction you go in isn't something we would have ever thought of. Additional materials will try to stick to the same method. Ultimately, our goal is for BREAK!! to not to have one setting, but lots, all reflected differently by the (hopefully) many people who enjoy it.


  1. That's exactly the approach I want to see. My days off devouring dense settings are all but gone, and I prefer an open, quick, flavourful setting. Half of the dense setting material out there never saw use anyway.