Set Me Free… is based on the role-playing game “Lacuna: Part I, The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City” by Jared Sorensen. Well, based on isn’t exactly right. Lacuna is half of a game. The mechanics are all there, at least for the Blue City side of the game, and it is playable. The story isn’t and it is a game with a story. Every character is part of the Mystery. Part of the Game. Except what their part is doesn’t exist. In fact, what the Mystery is doesn’t exist.
I have a copy of the first attempt at the game as well as the second attempt. Still, I consider the first attempt to be part of the entire Mystery. The setting, the flavor, the story is the same but the mechanics, the rules, the game is different. I don’t think the fact that the rules have changed means the Mystery has. I don’t know if Jared intended for someone to use both together but I don’t think he’d disapprove.
I’ve sat on my copy of Lacuna for months and my copy of the first attempt for even longer. I liked the game. I loved the ideas, the concept. I just didn’t know how to play it. I understood the rules but it was the story that eluded me. At first, I thought about running a game “by the books”. Character investigated, encountered, reacted, and ultimately… would be bored. The game has style, substance, flavor… but I didn’t know how to get to it.
Then it occurred to me. Every game is half-finished if you think about it. Sure, they put out adventure modules and you can get campaign settings but even those are half-finished. Nothing accounts for the characters, the players reactions, the parts of gaming that make it memorable. Lacuna doesn’t even try. It gives you half of the game and lets you finish the rest, except it doesn’t mask it.
I knew how to finish Lacuna. I knew how to run the game. I knew what to do to make it a fun experience. It all came crashing down. I would just take what the book(s) gave me and make it my own. I’d write my OWN mystery. I’d do the Creation of the Mystery and decide who the Girl from Blue City was. It was easy once I thought about it and just… wrote. I don’t know if what I have is good or not but I’ll let you know what my players thought after it was over.
After I realized HOW to run the game another thought struck me. Obsidian Portal is fantastic. If I ran the game from Obsidian Portal I could use it to build the game. I’ve made Obsidian Portal PART of the Mystery. I made Obsidian Portal hold secrets to the game, to the story. Players who study the portal, find its clues, and solve its mystery will be the only ones able to find the REAL answer. Who is the Girl from Blue City?