Gonna drop my game ideas here, since they are getting in the way of my other notes.
The players are Archivists, and have been commissioned to gather materials to document the founding of the Nation for an anniversary.
The idea is each chapter looks at a different aspect of one or more groups of people, and the event is played through and documented. Then, as an editorial board, the players decide which part of the narrative fits as the next chapter.
During chapters, each archivist takes on one or more roles, including being a GM-type role. Some of that troupe-style gameplay we always hear about from Ars Magica.
Characters can be carried between chapters, but the format allows for one-off chapters, gaidens, dual plots, opposing viewpoints, or ya know, like, photo essays or long form epic poetry. Nation’s are into weird documents.
The format can be tweaked to genre, for example:
- Fantasy: Archivists can experience the aura of objects kept
- Cyber: Virtual landscapes are created and destroyed as fast as quantum processors phase, and you have N decades of hi-res media to construct your realities
- Horror: the document is a dark pact that keeps the evil forces at bay, each archivist shares a secret with a demon. They think.
- War: each chapter happens on a grid, when a character dies they get to somehow talk as long as they need to make a really great historical anecdote
- Weird science: the Archive is accessed Stone Henge, Area 51, and all Waffle Houses on Thursdays, and you are pretty sure one of your coworkers is an alien, time-traveler, or figment of your imagination. But certainly not all three.