Your eyes flip open with a faint click. Looming in your vision is the careworn face of a kindly old man, spectacles perched on his long, thin nose.
"Ah, there you are, my dear," he says softly. "Welcome back to the world."
"Where am I?" you ask, puzzled.
"You are in my home," he replies, smiling. "With your family."
He gestures across the candlelit room where several life-size dolls stand. The details of their construction are breathtaking: their hands delicate, their faces exquisitely detailed, their hair perfectly-styled - and as you glance at them, their heads turn to look back at you!
Somehow, this seems familiar and not at all shocking to you. "How did I get here?" You ask.
"Aha, now that is a very long tale, and perhaps best left for another time. For now, let me help you to your feet, my dear."
You have little problem swinging your daintily-clad feet off the low table to stand up. In fact, you worry that the old man would be incapable of supporting your weight. He guides you to a mirror lit by flanking candles, and stands beside you as you see yourself…
His skin is wrinkled, while yours is smooth and pale. His hands are large and gnarled; yours are small, delicate, and perfect in every way. When you reach to touch the mirror, your fingers click lightly as they touch the glass. Impulsively, you take his hand in yours, turning it over, feeling the warmth and texture that yours lack.
"I am... not like you," you hesitantly conclude.
"No my, dear. You are not human. You are avtomat."
Europe, 1778. You are part of a group of sentient clockwork automata called avtomat. Your self-awareness comes from an anima located deep within the complex mechanisms of your body. When it's in place, you are a thinking, feeling being, with a full range of emotions. If it is removed, your mind is shrouded in darkness and your body is a clockwork curiosity.
Being a clockwork automata has many advantages: You don't have to eat or drink. You don't have to breathe. You don't get tired. You don't need to sleep. You don't feel physical pain. You don't bleed.
But there are a few disadvantages. You don't heal when you are damaged. Your parts wear out. You are not buoyant. Your memories may not be complete.
Oh, and one other small detail: nearly every one of the millions of humans on the planet would likely destroy you as blasphemous products of witchcraft if they found out what you are.
This is Clockwork & Anima. The key to your survival is to keep your true nature secret from humanity as you pursue the questions basic to all sentient beings: Who are you? Who created you? What is your purpose?
I'm looking for a group of 3-6 players who are interested to try a game that's a bit off the beaten RPG path. This is a plot-driven game, but I can promise you that I am not a railroading GM. The decisions you make can greatly affect the course of events. The entire world is a potential destination, and you will be surrounded by great events of the times as you search for meaning in a hostile world.
We'll be using a very rules-light system to resolve risky actions. It's a hack of the free game Laser and Feelings by John Harper. (You can look at the original game here to get a feel for the simple dynamics of the system. Obviously, the details of my hack will be different.) Defining a character in game terms takes just a minute or two.
I would slot this game as "high casual." Lengthy posts are welcome; shorter posts are also perfectly fine.
I would like at least two posts per week.