Another week, and another new post from CAS with regards to the game that he’s working on: Mummy: the Curse, the upcoming new game from White Wolf for their World of Darkness line. I have to admit that after the discussion on themes last week, I’ve been chomping at the bit to see what comes out this week. Let’s check it out (and as with last week, I’ll be applying bold text on the things that jump out at me)
First, I just want to say thanks for the feedback and enthusiasm you’ve shown thus far. Thanks to you, getting the word out on Mummy is starting to look like it might not be the Sisyphean task it otherwise could have been, and that is just as encouraging as it is appreciated.
After theme, the most pivotal element in storytelling (and thus, in Storytelling) is character. Who are these protagonists of ours? Of course, the wise-acre answer to that is, “They’re mummies!” But in this case, that’s not even entirely accurate. Without dropping in elements from any other Storytelling game, the world of Mummy is already chock-full of its own protagonists, antagonists and secondary players. It’s a cohesive, singular vision (or iteration, if you prefer) of the World of Darkness, and the choice of which role a player assumes in the setting depends on which framework the Storyteller establishes at the chronicle’s outset. In the default framework, for example, all the players are roleplaying not only mummies, but a particular category of mummies known colloquially as the “Arisen.”
Put simply, the Arisen are old as dirt. They lived out the meager span of their mortal lives long ago, but as the cliche’ goes, death was only the beginning for them. In the world of Mummy, the Arisen are the beneficiaries and victims of the most powerful magic ever unleashed by mortal hands — a process both sacred and occult that bound each Arisen soul to its own mortal remains… forever. Yes, the Arisen can die, allright, but not for long. It is their burden and their purpose to return, to arise like dark phoenixes from their own ashes to walk the living world once more. Immortality comes at a price, however, and to be Arisen is to strike a balancing act while crossing a tightrope through time, with only the emptiness of space below should one fall. Not only are the demands on such souls high to begin with, but the living world doesn’t make it any easier on them. Their mere presence is a violation to some, an opportunity for others, and along the way many of the souls with whom they interact threaten to push them off the rope, intentionally or otherwise. They are deathless, but know precious little of life. They are eternal, but must be so in a world that has moved on, and will keep moving on.
Until next time…
Looks like it confirms some of the things that were discussed in last week’s preview. The Arisen are the default protagonist group, which might imply that the term “Deathless” might refer to a larger population of immortals, including the aforementioned antagonists and secondary players. That said, the concept of them as being reincarnating souls is fascinating, and the toll of immortal existence (and repeated trauma of dying) will be certain to leave more than a few mental scars that will cause the players to experience a certain dissonance with the world around them. Add the fact that the world is moving at a pace that they must try to desperately keep up with and you get the sense of alienation present in many stories of immortals.
I’m curious however if Mummy will try to force-fit a political system to this game in the same sense that Geist did. That was one thing that left a bad taste in my mouth with Geist: the Sin-Eaters… the society they had felt largely artificial and contrived, and no matter how much I read and re-read the books I couldn’t make it work in my head. I see that the Arisen will probably have precious few in terms of peers, so politics might not necessarily take center stage.
Still that’s a lot of early speculation on my part, now begins the long wait to see what comes out next week and we draw ever closer to the release date of Mummy: the Curse.