Psychopomp is another of the many initial/proto game designs that Justin is musing over and playtesting, and he wanted to make sure it got into the scorching too. I had to think pretty hard about how to go into it, because it fits so strongly into a particular aesthetic and an existing set of variables, that I couldn’t see any way to address it “on its own.” So I took a risk, setting the whole conversation as a series of comparisons with existing games. I know this isn’t the best move for most consulting, but Justin and I have been through a lot of thought together lately, and we took a few minutes at the start (included in the video) to establish why and how it could work in this case.
So, our heroes are dead, they’re in Hell, they help lost or desperate spirits, they fight terrible monsters or whatnot, they have some strong memories which are a source of suffering and strength, and they’re trading off identity with power and also erasing both as they continue. I used le mon mouri, The Whispering Vault, Cold Soldier, and Inferno to investigate why unstable-memory mechanics seem to work better when they’re not tied directly into resolution and improvement, at least not as an explicit/equal participant to the those mechanics.
The recording is divided into four parts for easy viewing, now (at last!) formatted at YouTube to flow through in order.
I’ve attached my writeup of Cold Soldier below (permitted by Bret).