Posted by Nathan P. on July 7, 2008
Annalise is a game where you create Vampire stories. Most people reading this blog are hip savvy kids, so I’ll feel free to wield lingo. It’s a rotating-GM style of play, for 2-4 players, each of whom have a character. Your characters are the protagonists of the story, which means that they are the victims, servants, and foils of the Vampire. Think Mina Harker and Van Helsing and Renfield. The Vampire doesn’t really exist until you’ve played for a bit and start seeing its influence on the characters. You might end up destroying it, or joining it, or coming to some kind of agreement with it. There’s no mechanical determination, except that you might be forced to give in.
The tagline is that it’s a game about pain, hunger and redemption. Characters are attractive to the Vampire because of the pain they have experienced in their lives that makes them vulnerable; the Vampire is hungry for that pain; and it is possible that your character will be redeemed in his or her struggle against the Vampire.
The two big mechanical things are Claims, which are little pieces of the fiction that players grab and re-use over the course of the game, and Moments, which is the primary driver of the plot of the game. Claims are cool because they encode a feedback mechanism for specific aspects of the story you’re creating. Moments are cool because they direct the course of play in a really organic way, and almost always end up surprising you. Also, Moments are built on Otherkind, so it’s one of those standing on the shoulders of giants things.
I’m going to be running the game at DexCon, and I’ll have some handmade copies of the initial limited release available. Also, content is going up on the website every couple days or so. To get an idea of the atmosphere, you really should check out the website.
I’m really excited about this one.