Story Pillars and Mini Playsets

Hi, gang!

One of the things I really hope will happen after Home by Dark releases is this concept I'm calling "Mini Playsets." To understand what those are, I'll first walk you through a core concept of the game: Story Pillars.

Story Pillars

A Story Pillar in Home by Dark describes a core plot point of the game you're playing. There are always three Story Pillars: the Secret, the Pursuer, and the Danger.

The Secret describes the being that the players are attempting to protect. This being could be anything sentient: a robot, an alien, a person, a ghost. The group's imagination is the limit! This being has some sort of supernatural power. It could be magical or scientific. This power is what makes the Secret special. It also makes it harder to convince others that it's real. The Secret also has a great fear. This fear describes something that terrifies the Secret enough that it'll trigger a fight or flight response.

The Pursuer is an organization or band of people that are searching for the Secret in order to catch it. The Pursuer requires a motivation to capture the Secret. This is the immediate reason he wants to capture the Pursuer. It also requires a goal. This is the long-term purpose of the Pursuer beyond the short term desires of the motivation.

The Danger is a larger threat to the game that will grow in the background of the story until it threatens all. The Danger could affect everyone, such as reality collapsing. It could also just affect the Secret, such as the Secret may never get home. It also could just affect the players, such as they need to be home before their parents notice they're gone. The scope and stakes of the Danger are deliberately as much or as little as you want so that you can control the tone of the story.

These three Story Pillars define the plot of the game you'll play and are crucial to the game.

Playsets and Mini Playsets

In a default game of Home by Dark, the players will create their Story Pillars during the setup process. Sometimes, the group will either want to start the game quicker or they may want to try a preset story. That's where playsets come in.

A playset will give you all of the details you need for the Story Pillars and location. It'll also include examples for creating assets and locations to streamline the setup process. With a playset, you'll only need to create characters and you can immediately start playing. Playsets are fairly detailed, giving detailed backgrounds for each of the Story Pillars, the Setting, and even suggestions for how to resolve the final confrontation of the game. Home by Dark comes with three playsets and Protagonist Industries will release more on is website after the game releases.

A mini playset is less detailed and requires a bit more setup, but are easy to create and share with others. During the setup of a game, you'll create a card for each Story Pillar and the Setting. Those four cards make up a mini playset! What's more, you can take a picture of your mini playset and share it with others! As a matter of fact I've started a hashtag on Twitter, #HBDMiniPlayset, for sharing them! When I see cool mini playsets on that hashtag, I'll make sure that our Twitter account retweets them!

So make sure to watch that hashtag for new mini playsets that you like! It's a way that our community can create new Home by Dark games for everyone!

Here is an example mini playset from the #HBDMiniPlayset hashtag. Note the three Story Pillars and Setting cards. That's all you need to make a mini playset!

GeekGirlCon this Weekend!

Also, just a reminder that I'll be at GeekGirlCon running Home by Dark all afternoon and evening on both days in the open gaming area! Come on by and join in on the fun!

Introducing the Schedule Page

Now that we're starting to show up at cons, I thought it was time to have a schedule page. This page will show where PI will show up. Streams, cons, releases... all of it!

Jason Olsan

Noir Game Studios