The 9th Age, a great article talking about the design philosophies that are going into the game.
Background design philosophy
Calisson Wednesday, 4:22am - The 9th Age+8
Besides the game's rules strictly speaking, the Background is developed with similarly tough constraints.
As I type, the background has not yet been released, but it is getting close.
Existing models is the predominant constraint.
Many players have vast existing collections of miniatures. We want to provide rules and background adapted to those collections, albeit with new names and different spirit.
This forces the background to support these models, as a starting point.
In the future, we intend generally to avoid the introduction of new units or factions, which would not be supported by model companies.
Of course, we respect Intellectual Property rights. To that end, we have created an entirely new world. That is even more exciting for us!
Luckily, many players have expressed a taste for a rather realistic fantasy setting, which allowed us to use the very rich folklore taken from the world heritage of stories and myths as an inspiration for us, and as a gap filler for hobbyists.
Some realism is a desired quality.
We do not want to have a background describing small villages producing every year vast invasion armies, or highly civilized societies sustained despite a permanent cut-throat sadistic temper. The world must be believable.
The reference for the quality has been set very high by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord Of The Rings. It will take us many years before we achieve anything of that quality!
Another source of inspiration was Forgotten Realms, created by game designer Ed Greenwood around 1967 and made famous thanks to the Roleplaying Game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).
Those two settings are a great source of inspiration for the level of detail. However, we deliberately made our universe geographically more similar to Earth to enhance the sense of familiarity.
T9A must be playable according to the background.
All factions should have a believable reason to fight all other factions, and must be physically able to reach them.
Every unit described should be transposable to playable rules. We do not want nearly all players in a faction to use all the time a one-of-its-kind monster.
The background is not designed for eternity.
That would be boring!
There will be campaigns, leading to some evolutions in the World.
Potentially every 5 years or so, the world's History will move forwards, some special characters may die, new ones may appear, new technologies or new tactics may be developed in various factions etc.
Meanwhile, we will provide always more depth to our world.
More in: The 9th Age Background
End of the teaser.
I am sorry for all of you who are waiting for T9A background to be released. A little more patience is required. The release has been planned sometime next fall.