• James C. Marston

Staff Introduction to Fifth Gate

This was the first few things I ever wrote about Fifth Gate. After initially pitching the concept to a few people, I wrote this document to be an introduction to the game and cosmology. I’ve added a few comments along the way about what I was thinking, what worked and what didn’t work.

Generally, having a coherent, consistent cosmology is a tent pole of the games I run. There's something about being able to understand how a world works, and using that knowledge to understand or predict how things will go in the world that adds a lot for me. When something happens, and players nod and say, "That makes sense," it makes me incredibly happy. Cosmology isn't enough alone to be a good game or a good story - but I think it adds a layer of complexity than enhances a game and enriches a story for those who are invested in understanding it.

For me, pieces of cosmology are like treasure - it's part of the reward system for games I run. In a table top, sometimes, you're rewarded by drama, story, experience points, treasure, and influence - those tend to be the things that drive engagement and provide positive feedback to players. In LARPs, it's a similar list - opportunity for drama, understanding of story, treasure/magic items, CP (to a lesser extent), influence over the course of the story, personal attention, and satisfaction in overcoming physical/mental/social challenges. By keeping the cosmology consistent and semi-mysterious, you make each bit of information another source of reward and positive feedback.

So, here was my attempt at communicating a consistent, mysterious cosmology to discover.

Introduction to Fifth Gate


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