Shifting gears – Corona playtest approaching

While I ponder a bit more of the ins and outs of this new game, we’re approaching Gen Con, and there’s some exciting stuff to say about it, starting with the fact that Parenthesis Press is going to be there with a diverse slate of options.

First of all, for House of Cards fans, I’ll be running sessions at Games on Demand, which has been brought into the fold and given space on the second level of the Indianapolis Convention Center this year.

The most exciting part for me, though, is the announcement of the First Exposure Playtest Hall in the Sagamore Ballroom. For those who may remember me talking about Metatopia, this is in the same vein (and is in fact run by Double Exposure, the folks behind Metatopia, DexCon, Dreamation, and lots of other New York-area events): a ballroom full of new projects from indie game designers looking for playtesters drawn from the amazing crowd of gamers of which Gen Con is comprised. I’ll have (the yet-to-be-renamed) Delve there, but that’s not the biggest news – Corona will also be there. Regular followers will note that I’ve talked somewhat extensively about how the former works, its design philosophy goals, but Corona has basically only been cryptically mentioned by name with no further information.

Well, time to break that silence.

Corona is a strange specimen, to be sure, which is one reason I’ve been keeping info pretty hush-hush. It’s an RPG, but as much in the tradition of story games as House of Cards, if not more… yet it’s also very much like a board game. It’s a “strategic RPG,” to perhaps coin a term, in that your characters are the high-up movers and shakers of a solar empire, managing a domain against external threats and internal intrigue. In the tradition of Dune and its numerous antecedents, you’re a powerful and hyper-competent agent, or maybe even a psychic god-emperor overseeing the subjects orbiting the star that defines your territory and your power. When you take actions, you don’t wade into the fray personally: you give commands to legions, negotiate treaties, shape interstellar trade policy, or manipulate propaganda. The game is meant to be cerebral and stately, unfolding potentially over many different star systems, interweaving their stories with one another and with those the monumental figures that steer their destinies.

Final details will be available shortly, but the plan is to run three sessions of Corona, one each night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, open to eight players interested in getting their hands dirty with the system in its current state. If you’re going to be there, please come by and take part! For more information on the First Exposure system, you can visit their website – registration will be managed through Double Exposure directly.