This is my current sideproject, which I’m submitting to the codex as a pitch for publishing. I’d love to get some thoughts on it.
Down the River Styx
Play as lost souls in a metaphorical Grecian afterlife. The PCs have no memory of their past lives, all they know is that they are venturing down the River Styx. Things aren’t quite as we’ve been told on this River, it isn’t a cozy passage to the realm of the dead. Your journey down the River Styx will be filled with trials and choices. How you deal with them will determine your final destination in the afterlife.
Characters start dirt simple, blank slates perfect for drop-in play.
Memories are Progression
Discover who you were in life as you play. Experience points are literal, unlocking memories that provide you with new skills and abilities to use in the game. These will be determined by rolls on random tables. Discover you were a Mad King, losing mental stats but gaining the power to command others, or a Vicious Murderer that knows her way around a knife.
Character flaws are also Attributes
Tests of character are literal. Players will have stats for various character flaws, inspired by the concept of Hamartia - the term used in Aristotle’s Poetics to describe the tragic flaws that bring about a hero’s downfall. Hubris, Cowardice, Greed, etc. Players will be asked to test against these flaws to see if they fall to weakness or temptation, and these flaws will become more serious or reduced based on their choices throughout the game.
Grecian Horror on the Oregon Trail
The game’s structure is more in line with a videogame like Oregon Trail than a linear campaign. Players will roll random encounters to determine the tests/trials they encounter on the journey, as well as other passengers. This series of events, encounters, and choices will leave their mark on their characters as they try to reach the river’s end having comported themselves in accordance with the virtues that will earn a glorious afterlife… Or at least avoid doom in tartarus. The system will provide a table of example encounters, each structured to work like a simple miniature adventure, which will also be useful for any GM wanting more tables of cool encounters to run into while travelling in spooky settings.
Is this something you’d be interested in personally? Is there anything that jumps out to you as a cool opportunity? Are you familiar with any similar games I should look to for inspiration?