I interviewed Whitney Delaglio about her game, Prism!
Tell me a little about Prism. What has you excited about it?
Prism is a paper & pencil RPG that uses a d10 system. Its world is based on a web comic series I have been working on called Prism the Miracle. There are six realms, each with their own God or Goddess. The Red Realm, and its Goddess that represents blood, and emotion. The Orange Realm, and its Goddess that represents the sun, and storms. The Yellow Realm, and its God that represents life, and light. The Green Realm, and its Goddess that represents the forest, and earth. The Blue Realm, and its God that represents the sea, and procreation. The Violent Realm, and its God that represents shadows, the moon, and death.
There are also seven available classes (Assassin, Brawler, Captain, Healer, Hunter, Knight, and Mage) and seven races (Barbed Fish, Chameleon, Humanoid, Mammal, Plant, Shark, and Weed).
I am a huge fan of aquatic creatures, so I am excited about bringing their neat characteristics to the game, as the world is primarily water-based. I also put in an element system. I always liked that feature in JRPGs. Prism also has a 'Loyalty' system where depending on who your character is devoted to, they will be rewarded, or punished for their actions. I put this in the game to encourage roleplaying. The populace of each realm behave in a particular manor, and each realm has its own dos and don'ts. Along with religion, there is also a royalty system if players would rather go into politics. Of course, there's also opportunities for adventuring, battles, and warfare.
What sort of research did you do or development did you do for the different realms?
When I developed the realms, I kept their elements in mind for their geological appearance. For instance, the orange realm represents fire and storms, so I imaged the realm surrounded by volcanoes. I also wanted each realm to have certain mannerisms. So I developed how a civilian of each realm would behave according to their realm's code of ethics. Developing classes actually helped me to do this. For instance, I imagined knights to be rustic, and friendly. A good amount of the orange realm's funds come from weaponry and taverns. So, it made sense to make the realm’s populace earnest in nature and hospitable to others.
How do the classes and races interact mechanically?
I didn't want any one race to sound less interesting than the rest or only be suitable for one class. So, I made sure each race had fun qualities that would make more than one class selection appealing. For instance, sea mammals have a quality that make then look extra adorable. Any class could use to feint being harmless.
Could you explain your element system?
There are nine elements: blood, fire, shock, holy, plant, rock, aqua, frost, and dark. Every element is either strong against, or negates each of the other seven (ex: fire is strong against plant but does nothing to aqua), save for blood. Mages use eight of them (save for blood) to cast spells. Healers use all nine to heal, buff, or debuff others. Chameleons use the elements around then to change their body type to give them an edge in combat. The blood element is used to manipulate the bodies of others. In this world, the inhabitants of the realms are not aware of the brain, so they believe that the heart is the center of all thoughts and emotions.
What experience do you want players to get out of Prism?
I want them to above all have a fun roleplaying experience. A player having fun playing the game is the most important thing to me. I want them to enjoy immersing themselves, and their characters in the world of Prism. As I said, I wanted this game to be very roleplay heavy, so as I complete the game, I want to give the players the opportunity to do so, even in combat.