The game where every player is the Game Master
The game where players can create
and populate the world as they desire as they play
The game where everything that happens,
happens because a player wanted it to happen
The game where suspense comes
from the actions of other players, not from a random roll.
The game whose plot evolves as you play
with no random tables, rail-roading, or scenario books
The game which requires absolutely
no set up or preparation time
The game where it doesn’t matter
if all of the players show up on time or at all
Begin play with only sheets of blank paper, pencils, ten-sided dice,
tokens, and plenty of imagination.
Lots of interesting statements above. The experienced RPG player may well wonder how all of it can be true. Well, it has to do with the fact that Universalis is quite different from any game that has come before. It’s mechanics have been arranged in a unique fashion that allows all the power that the above bullets imply.
What does play look like? Play is shaped by a set of rules that determines who is in control of each element of the game (from characters to environment to the plot itself) at any given time. The rules also determine how this control changes during the game from scene to scene and even within scenes. Play passes from player to player as each takes control of the action and drives the story forward. This is much less chaotic than it might sound as the rules provide a framework to ensure that everything remains orderly (more or less; sometimes chaos is a good thing) and that play proceeds towards creating a story.
For that is what Universalis is all about, real time, on-the-spot creation of a story.
The more you play Universalis, the more it becomes the game you need it to be. This is one of the game’s strongest features. Many games don’t grow with you as you play them. You’ll discover things that you don’t like, or can’t do, and eventually the task of modifying the game with house rules becomes too much trouble. Universalis, over time, actually becomes more the game you want it to be to fit your style of play.
Interestingly, the hardest thing for a lot of players to get is the fact that they really do have control. The hardest thing for players who are usually GMs to get is the fact that they really do have to share that control.
Try it. In no time you’ll see what we’re talking about.