Primal Pathways in depth

Today’s World of Legacy is Primal Pathways, written by Laurence Phillips and illustrated by Juan Ochoa.

Primal Dawn

Primal Pathways begins at the dawn of life. As alien creatures make their first trembling steps onto land, they find ethereal spirits waiting for them: denizens of the Primal Plane, Guardians formed of the raw energy and power of life. Each spirit, focused on one aspect of life, picks a species to uplift, granting them sentience. So your first choice as a player is twofold: what sort of creatures are you, and who was the Guardian who uplifted you?

So, maybe you’re a herd of armoured elephantine creatures, empowered by the Devourer – the Guardian that favours creatures who consume without pity or remorse. Or perhaps you’re a hive of flying, stinging insects, chosen by the Hunter – the Guardian of those that seek out greater and greater challenges for their skills. Or maybe you’re a nimble race of tunnel-dwelling scuttling rodents, who draw on the genetic memory of their ancestors as they follow the edicts of the Otherworldly – Guardian of those that seek to understand the metaphysics of the world.

As you begin your game, your species barely know what it means to be people rather than animals. To guide them, you have a viewpoint character – maybe a Chosen, particularly empowered by the Guardian, or a Magus able to channel the Primal Plane. As you form new bonds with the other characters and explore this new world, you’ll improve your tribe’s lot – pushing back the threats that menace them, getting the resources they need to grow and prosper. Or maybe you run into problems, and things go badly for the tribe. How you’re tribe’s doing has its greatest impact when the Evolution move is triggered and generations rise and fall. If your mood is high, you can choose between experiencing fortunes or evolving new traits. If mood is low, you can only evolve if you also experience calamities.

Each Guardian has its own tree of evolutions, split into three pathways. Here’s the Builder‘s. Each evolution is another choice from the next tier, giving your creatures new traits, making your people more effective when working together, or giving them entirely new moves.
When you pass thresholds in the tree your People reach new stages of development, from Tribe to Realm to State. Making each jump brings new powers and new tags for your gear, but also its own problems. How will your people deal with a new need for Alliances, Mass Media, Energy?

And as your People become more and more advanced, maybe they start toying with the fabric of reality with Primal Pathway‘s new Wonders – The Grand Temple, The Primal Gate, even repeating the uplifiting process on another species with A New Awakening.

So that’s Primal Pathways – telling the story of how your People evolve, and how their way of life shifts and mutates as the scope of their society exponentially grows.

But maybe you don’t want to be the servants of intangible spirits. Maybe you want to play the gods themselves – or their servants. If so, tune in tomorrow, when I’ll be talking about Godsend.