18 Card Legacy – The Theme

This is a post about the design and development of an 18 card legacy game. This is an adjunct to a larger project of a currently unnamed Shipwreck Game. You can see the other Blog posts at the Index for the Game.

As per my last post, I’ve been developing the games of the campaign in order, to build towards the final battle. I was toying with the idea of releasing a new PnP when some of the early games were ready, but I have since reconsidered. It now seems best to release the full campaign, so it’s full steam ahead until I can put that up. In other news, I have been thinking about the story within the game.


There are an awful lot of placeholders in the current prototype. All the master villains, villains and rewards are labelled just that for the moment. There is no point wasting time on naming specifics. There are much bigger fish to fry right now. But by the end of May, there needs to be a compelling story built around the mechanics. So let’s get that underway.

Qi (sometimes spelled “Chi” and pronounced “Tchi”)

For centuries traditional Chinese medicine has focused on the balancing of the Qi, or the life force and ultimate measure of a person’s vitality. The Yin Yang symbol represents the ideal balance of any two opposing energies. Two energies, which seem initially to be at odds, are actually complimentary, and can be found at the center of their opposing number.

yin yang symbol

Many ancient disciplines throughout Asia focus on acquiring and maintaining the balance of the Qi. Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation. Gentle arts of posture, movement and breathing to ease the Qi towards balance. But a (Editor: currently unnamed) sect was founded on the ways of deliberately unbalancing the Qi. Moving the energies within deliberately out of alignment, to create friction, tension and agitation. Building up an excess of an energy. And then quickly and violently bringing the Qi into balance, to expel the excess energy with force, directed at a specific target. The mastery of the Qi made the sect a force to be reckoned with.

From their initial humble beginnings, they consolidated a position of power, and started a push to expand into the surrounding lands. As they grew in number and audacity, they met opposition. Masters of the gentle arts tried to subdue them, but no-one was found who could stand in their way.

Two original members of the sect, who had left for a journey of exploration and growth, rejoined the group as it began its rise to power. These members brought with them new mastery of the Qi, and a promise to teach the others these new skills and abilities. They were welcomed back into the group and called …

The Prodigals

But the prodigals did not return to rejoin this growing sect, but to end it. Concerned that the power of the Qi would be abused by the sect, they left to work on a defense. They taught themselves how to use their Qi to safely the absorb energy from an attack. And then, how to use that energy against their attacker.

After infiltrating back into the group, The Prodigals attempted to bring it down from within.

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