You Can't Go Home Again: A Revisiting Mechanics Tech PackProject Update ·
I entered the Tech Jam on Itch, hosted by Adam Vass and Will Jobst of the Brain Trust podcast (among other things). My submission is You Can’t Go Home Again: A Revisiting Mechanics Tech Pack. I think the idea of a tech pack is very cool. It’s sort of like an asset pack or an artist’s sketchbook, offering pieces of mechanics and game design that is not tied to a particular game. Tech packs can provide value to other game designers by offering licensed content to hack or design into their own games.
My pack offers a number of new mechanics for solving a common problem in game design: how to refresh and update prepared content or adapt the fiction to show the effects of the PCs’ actions on the wider world. It tries to make it easier to prepare and present content, e.g. hexes, locations, NPCs, etc., that the players “revisit” more than once. The goal is to make the PCs’ actions feel impactful and to make prep easier for GMs.
This tech pack includes 20 pages of content, including reviews of existing mechanics from popular systems like Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Blades in the Dark, and Tenra Bansho Zero, and four new mechanics:
- The Player Legacy Table (for hexcrawls)
- Returning to the Crew’s Lair (for Blades in the Dark)
- NPC Motivation Table
- Off-Camera NPC actions
The Tech Pack
I approached the issue differently than many of the other submissions. It seems like submissions fell generally into two categories:
- New mechanics around a particular theme or design challenge
- System-agnostic generators or tools for bolting on to other games or using in prep
I took a third approach, choosing to review existing mechanics around a particular design challenge and then offering some new approaches. It felt a bit like a more polished blog post as I was writing it. My pack in particular is designed to be helpful to game designers and GMs (also designers!) trying to tackle the revisiting problem in their own games. I decided not to go too system-neutral, since I tend to prefer games where the system is tightly linked to the gameplay and setting. That said, I think the mechanics I came up with could be adapted to other systems.
I hope you check it out. Let me know what you think in the Itch.io comment section. Thanks!