Interview with Vince D. Weller

RPG Italia has posted an exclusive interview with Vince D. Weller, lead designer on the upcoming wRPG Age of Decadence.

From the sound of it, this is going to be an extremely open-ended game with a strong emphasis on role-playing. Interestingly, they’ve decided not to include a traditional magic system in the game at all:

Will it be possible to utilize magic? If yes there will there be even not-combat spells (for exemple to utilize in “social” context or to resolve determinate quest)?
No spells.
The magic in the game is a form of energy. You can’t cast fireballs or summon monsters, but you can use it to power up some relics of the past, ranging from “power” armor to entire locations. Something like:
You carefully insert the power tube into the opening. For a long time nothing happens, but then the console lights up and a low humming sound spreads through the cave.
[lore] Recite an appropriate mantra.
You put your hands on the controls and recite “commanding fire elementals to bless ore” mantra, performing the rite as you speak the ancient words.
The mantra doesn’t require you to understand what you are doing, but it does a good job leading you through a series of steps grouped into chapters. Some chapters require you watching the dials and adjusting the valves to achieve divine harmony; other chapters warn about dangers of overheating and tell you how to keep the fire elementals under control.
1. Complete the ritual.
2. Overheat the machine

So far, it seems like they’ve made all of their design choices quite deliberately; it will be interesting to see what effect a “no magic spell” approach has on the game’s feel.

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