Crucible is a fantasy game set in a unique world that was created by powerful forces to bring souls to Enlightenment. Players can choose from one of six playable species, and explore the world while pursuing their quest toward heroism or villainy.
When the Cosm Games team began creating Crucible, we focused on the things we most wanted to see in our gaming experiences. We want people to have fun with Crucible, but we also want to explore some of the harder questions that roleplaying gives us a chance to address in a safe environment.
In many games you choose your moral position at the start, and are punished for breaking it or have to spend hard-earned experience to become a ‘better’ person. In Crucible, issues of morality are the main method for character advancement, and they change in response to the decisions you make.
There are numerous paths to enlightenment and numerous ways to descend into corruption. Players explore the values they adopt as their characters grow, responding to the events of the game in individual ways while still being rewarded for taking action.
Diversity in Crucible refers both to the breadth of player choice when creating a character, and to the explicit acknowledgement and acceptance in the system and game world of non-mainstream and marginalised identities.
Our development team is pretty diverse in our gender identity and sexuality, and we wanted to make Crucible a game that would embrace us all. This reflects a growing movement in Indie gaming to make space for the QUILTBAG spectrum, one we are proud to join.
We also looked at representations of mental and physical health and neurodiversity, and are keen to present a system that is sensitive to issues of access and ability without lumping them under the traditional game category of ‘disadvantages’. If you want to play a character missing a limb, a sense, or who experiences mental health issues, we want to give you room to do that in a way that doesn’t brand your character as less ‘heroic’ than others.
Crucible the game, like Crucible the world, is a place of Big Things. The game system covers development of characters from talented but mortal adventurers all the way through to phenomenal beings with the ability to reshape the world. As characters demonstrate their commitment to a moral code, the world rewards them with greater power. Whether they abuse that power and slide into selfishness and tyranny, or embrace the responsibility and try to make things better according to their beliefs is up to them.
Challenges that would entirely confound a group at the start of the game become effortless to overcome even a few layers up, but new obstacles arise. The new perspective they gain from their development allows issues they couldn’t hope to affect earlier to enter the realm of possibility. This will be a challenge for GMs to manage, but we’ll be writing a whole section on how to maintain drama and tension even at godly levels of power.
What issues do you want to explore at the gaming table?