At the start of a game of Worldfall, you have just founded a colony on an alien world. The trip has been extensive and transformative, and the first thing you decide is the politics your cabal of colonists formed during the journey.
Maybe they were the Officer Class, in charge then and looking to keep control now? Or the Workers Intergalactic, the labourers keeping the ship – and now the colony – running and finding solidarity with each other?
Or maybe they tended to the culture of the ship, whether they’re the new religion of the Keepers of the Flame or the anarchist upstarts of the Scum of the Universe?
Together, you build your cabals, making choices about the society of the fledgling colony and the world you have landed on. It’s a strange and wonderful land, bursting with life. What will you make of it? To answer that, you make Characters. Each character is the key viewpoint we have from that Cabal at this moment in time. You could go with a match for your Cabal (a Gasoline Fire from the Scum, maybe?) or something that’s orthogonal, like a Priestex from the Officer Class.
Your character explores the new world, makes deals with other factions, builds grand art projects and battles for the soul of the colony. As they do so, they’ll win or lose your Cabal points of Reputation – a marker for their influence over colony society. You play in this mode until someone completes Worldfall‘s signature Wonder – the Constitutional Convention. Once it’s completed, you all take turns to choose the colony’s negative and positive liberties. What things does it swear to provide its citizenry? What does it forbid? Each choice comes with its own government institution that you now control, as well as effects on the wider colony. Once you’ve divided them up between you, you move the clock forward a generation – and see what your choices have resulted in.
That’s how Worldfall plays: shifting between the challenges of colony development and the struggle to build a more perfect union. As generations pass, will the colony grow and thrive? Or will it shatter and wither? And all the while, maybe the planet is pushing back: learning more about you, sending its own emissaries to interfere, and try to co-opt you into its own ecosystem. Particularly if someone has chosen to play the Worldsoul – the gestalt representation of life on this planet.