Month: June 2013

  • Creating Things

    What rules enable the personae to create matsuri, or indeed anything else? Creation is a central part of the game, so it should not be resolved by a single roll. That would not give it enough emphasis in play. In addition, if creation were represented by a single roll, it would be difficult for players…

  • Matsuri

    Matsuri are the fundamental activity in Shinto. Indeed, a book recently published as an introductory text for people training for the priesthood is called “Jinja and Matsuri”. In contemporary Shinto, most matsuri are extremely ritualised and solemn, but some involve mobs of people running around the town with a giant wooden penis. There is a…

  • Options

    The third possibility for the success or failure of a single action is the creation of options. Success on one action might make it possible to take a further action, while that action is not possible if the first action fails. For example, if a persona convinces a character to talk to her, she then…

  • Possible Results

    How can success and failure on a single action affect the course of the game, without risking bringing everything to an untimely halt? One possibility is for success to give the persona an advantage on future activities. She can still succeed in those activities even if she fails this roll, but she is more likely…

  • Success and Failure

    There are going to be at least two broad types of activity in the game. The first is single actions. A persona wants to remember a fact, identify a picture, persuade someone to do something, or open a stuck door. These will be resolved with a single roll. The second type of activity is creating…

  • Core Mechanic

    Having set the scene in general terms, I’d like to start getting into the details of how I want the game to work. The core mechanic I plan to use for Kannagara is as follows. For every significant action, the player rolls a number of six-sided dice. She keeps some of them, and adds the…

  • Shinto, The Traditional Religion of Japan

    Shinto is the traditional religion of Japan. As is normal with real-world situations, every single word (even “is”, “the”, and “of”) in that sentence is controversial, and potentially misleading, but it is still the best place to start. I believe that Shinto is best thought of as a religion, but that word tends to create…

  • Why me?

    This post is basically about boasting. As I’m British, this doesn’t come easily to me, but since I am British, people might well wonder why I should be writing a roleplaying game about Shinto. Let’s handle the roleplaying game part first. I have been writing professionally for roleplaying games for twenty years, and I have…

  • What Does It Mean?

    In the last post, I explained “kami” and “jinja”, and I will return to “matsuri” in more detail later. However, there are two other Japanese words that should be explained. Specifically, what are “Mimusubi” and “Kannagara”? “Mimusubi” is taken from the name of two of the first kami to arise in the creation myth found…

  • Shinto, Jinja, and Kami

    Shinto is a central element in the setting of Kannagara, but it is not well-known outside Japan. I aim to have the game itself introduce the necessary ideas in play, but for this development blog, I fear that short info dumps are unavoidable. Shinto is the practice of performing matsuri for kami, primarily at jinja.…