towerlands

Towerlands Pitch, analysis

Okay. I’m going to look at my original pitch with fresh eyes now. I actually wrote the first draft four days ago and I’ve gotten feedback from two people I trust.

First, let me reread it and give my first impressions. My first goal is to maximize the “awesome ideas per sentence” ratio. How’d I do? I’ll go section by section.

Intro

I don’t think this helps pitch the game. I’m excluding it entirely.

A Broken World

These three paragraphs are okay. A magical apocalypse. The Planefall trapped spirits and changed things magically. Stormdragons destroyed old cities and prevented new ones. The last paragraph is weak.

I could drastically shorten the first paragraph. For a pitch, I probably don’t need more than “It’s 60 years after the apocalypse.” “It brought new kinds of magic to the world” doesn’t buy me anything. Cut it. The third paragraph is good. Leave it all. The fourth has to go. Cut it.

Rewritten:

A Broken World

Sixty years ago, the Planefall crashed the world into a magical apocalypse, trapping the spirits of the dead, cutting off contact with the gods, and changing the magic of the world. Every city fell to the stormdragons, who made them into their nests. Now everyone lives in towns and hamlets.

Spiritbound

The first two paragraphs are okay. Your deeds attract spirits. This is what leveling up is. The third paragraph is really about NPCs and isn’t what the pitch is about. The last is a cool call to the players.

Rewritten:

Spiritbound

You are special. You are spiritbound. Your deeds attract wandering spirits, who bind with you. This is what happens, in game terms, when you level up. These spirits might be ancestors, dead heroes, mythical creatures, or whatever want!

What will you do with your powers?

A Broken Monarchy and The Shambles of Today

My goal here was to get players excited about the initial situation in the kingdom. Talking about farmland is snoozeworthy. Erik tells me that all the specificity in terms of names doesn’t sell it. I suspect a reader gets lost in the name salad. This needs to be chopped down to the basics and presented in a way that makes a player say, “I want to play this!”

I suspect little of this is interesting for a pitch. I’ll save it for the Player’s Guide. I’ll combine the two sections

Rewritten:

A Broken Monarchy

The Monarchy of Junnia faces serious internal problems. Queen Margrid just died, probably poisoned, leaving no heir. The Baron Palatines and the oligarchs control the north. A voivode tyrant controls the south. The nomadic halfling horseriders are in revolt. The dwarven settlers are uneasy.

Three strong contenders vie for the throne. The Holy Light of the Torchbearer backs a 12-year-old. The barons and oligarchs back Venselelf III, the husband of the recently deceased queen. Margrid’s granddaughter Sofia is raising an army.

Who will you put on the throne?

Planar Secrets

The first and third paragraphs seem solid. Towerlands are named for the mysterious towers. The world is cracking and opening portals to other planes, including Earth. I’m not sure I should be talking about Hungary here — at least, not like this. The second paragraph is basically filler. I think it can all be compressed.

Rewritten:

Planar Secrets

The Towerlands setting is rife with mystery. What are the dozens of doorless towers that appeared in Junnia? What caused the Planefall? Are the gods dead or just cut off and what does that mean for the world’s religions? Who are these visitors from “Earth” who claim Junnia is like their world’s “Hungary”?

What secrets will you uncover?

Campaign

This section is intended to explain what play is like and get the rules stuff out of the way. I think it does this adequately, but it could be better. Here’s a rewrite:

Campaign

The Towerlands focuses on politics and intrigue, exploration and mystery, adventure and warfare. You’ll play rare spiritbound people who become the shapers of civilization, tilting the balance of power in whatever direction you choose. Your actions will make or break a monarchy!

We’ll be using the Pathfinder (1st Edition) rules, starting with 1st level characters. More information is available in the Towerlands Player’s Guide.

Are you ready to enter the Towerlands?

The Whole Thing

Here’s the revised pitch. Tell me what you think!

A Broken World

Sixty years ago, the Planefall crashed the world into a magical apocalypse, trapping the spirits of the dead, cutting off contact with the gods, and changing the magic of the world. Every city fell to the stormdragons, who made them into their nests. Now everyone lives in towns and hamlets.

How will you survive in this world?

Spiritbound

You are special. You are spiritbound. Your deeds attract wandering spirits, who bind with you. This is what happens, in game terms, when you level up. These spirits might be ancestors, dead heroes, mythical creatures, or whatever want!

What will you do with your powers?

A Broken Monarchy

The Monarchy of Junnia faces serious internal problems. Queen Margrid just died, probably poisoned, leaving no heir. The Baron Palatines and the oligarchs control the north. A voivode tyrant controls the south. The nomadic halfling horseriders are in revolt. The dwarven settlers are uneasy.

Three strong contenders vie for the throne. The Holy Light of the Torchbearer backs a 12-year-old. The barons and oligarchs back Venselelf III, the husband of the recently deceased queen. Margrid’s granddaughter Sofia is raising an army.

Who will you put on the throne?

Planar Secrets

The Towerlands setting is rife with mystery. What are the dozens of doorless towers that appeared in Junnia? What caused the Planefall? Are the gods dead or just cut off and what does that mean for the world’s religions? Who are these visitors from “Earth” who claim Junnia is like their world’s “Hungary”?

What secrets will you uncover?

Campaign

The Towerlands focuses on politics and intrigue, exploration and mystery, adventure and warfare. You’ll play rare spiritbound people who become the shapers of civilization, tilting the balance of power in whatever direction you choose. Your actions will make or break a monarchy!

We’ll be using the Pathfinder (1st Edition) rules, starting with 1st level characters. More information is available in the Towerlands Player’s Guide.

Are you ready to enter the Towerlands?