Close — RPGaDay #28

You shouldn’t get too close. Your character is not immortal. They’re not a hero. They live day-to-day thankful that they didn’t hang on the gallow or rot in a jail cell. Witchcraft is a serious business and you have been given a second chance to right your wrongs.

Like The Cthulhu HackThe Dee Sanction is a game where the campaign matters. How close you are to the campaign happens to mean a lot more than getting bound up in the fate of a single character. That’s why keeping notes — even a Journal — matters; the details of your investigations and exploits will have an impact. The individuals serve as catalysts, nothing more.

If you pick up the histories of the period, you will see that time-and-again individuals have flown high and then crashed like Icarus ignoring Daedalus and flying too close to the Sun. The favourites of Court all too quickly find themselves ignored, side-lined, or even imprisoned. John Dee was not immune to this treatment, so why should your characters expect better?

As with The Cthulhu Hack, you’re better to consider The Dee Sanction a Troupe-style game with a dash of the West Marches, where characters come and go, but the game continues nevertheless. For flexibility, the history and Journals mean it’s also possible to not only push on with different characters, but you might even hop back and forth in time.

The core book contains a brief timeline that sets out some of the key periods, from the weakening of the veil into other realms following the break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries (in the 1530s and 40s), to the decline of Dee (in the 1590s) and the rise of the School of Night. The table can work to tell tales and create stories across the whole period, revisiting old characters or making new ones.

But always thinking, you should never get too close.

Every day during August, I’ll be writing something new on The Dee Sanction and aim to connect the word prompt of the day with the development of the game. Check out the concept, the list and the graphics over at AUTOCRATIK.

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