Style and Tone

White Raccoon is a game in which players take on the role of sentient animals living in the remnants of a human city and the surrounding area that has now been reclaimed by nature. It will deal with their lives and struggles as they prepare for a particularly harsh Winter.

The game will accommodate a range of playstyles. While much of the conflict in the game will be Player vs. Environment, with the approaching Winter being an issue faced by all animals and exploration being a big focus of the game, there will be plenty of opportunities for relationship-driven plots. The City is home to many organisations and individuals, all of whom have their own issues they are dealing with.

Overall, we will be aiming for a bright, optimistic tone in White Raccoon, though there will still be space for some moments that are dark or poignant.

Some of the main themes of the game will be:

Players will be playing as a range of different animals, each with their own traits and characteristics, and it is known throughout the City that with these differences come a variety of advantages and drawbacks. While it may be possible to solve some problems solo, at times an issue may be resolved much quicker with help from others. Players are encouraged both to work together to come up with creative solutions to problems, as well as to consider how their character may work through issues on their own. After all, sometimes there may be no-one around to help.

While each animal faces their own personal problems, there are some difficulties that affect everyone living in the City, such as the coming Winter. Many animals will be coming together to prepare, and the Helping Paw group has recently been founded to help those who might have otherwise struggled.

The City and its surrounding region spans a large space. While many animals choose to travel about the region (and are able to do so freely, thanks to the ever-stalwart taxi service), most will still have a single place they call their home. One of the themes we’re interested in exploring is a connection between characters and the environment, and so as part of character creation we ask players some questions about where their character considers home.

Of course, exploration also forms an important part of the game, so we also encourage players to consider whether their character travels, and if so, both how often and why.

In a world inhabited by sentient animals, where spirits dance through the trees and lurk in the depths, it is fair to say that not everything in White Raccoon will be grounded in reality. Player characters will naturally have limits to their abilities, as they are not anthropomorphic, and character creation will make players consider both what their character is able to do, as well as what they aren’t. Despite this, all animals are expected to possess roughly equal ability in everyday or mundane tasks, such as being able to hold objects. How exactly your animal achieves this, we leave to the players' creativity.

To this end, the GMs encourage coming up with creative solutions in order to work around these limitations.

The humans have been gone from the world for a long time, but their marks upon the world have remained. Of course, much of their architecture and many of their trinkets seem alien to the animals that now live within the City. While some tales are passed down through generations, these can change through retellings, as details are forgotten and embellished. Groups of historians may try to theorise as to the secrets of what the humans left behind, but there is no way to determine the truth of these ideas.

This idea of viewing familiar objects through unfamiliar eyes is something we’d like to explore throughout the game. An opossum won’t know what a cutlery set was used for, but may have ideas (see the Suburbs page for Professor Pancake’s thoughts on the matter). Thinking about objects in this way and considering other potential uses for them could allow for some creative and absurd solutions to obstacles, as well as possibly causing obstacles in the first place.

In addition to the many past games from which we have taken inspiration, some particular works that have inspired the design and development of White Raccoon include:

  • "A SONG ABOUT BIRDS" (YouTube video)
  • Beyond the Burn Line (book)
  • Fallout (video game series)
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land (video game)
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (video game)
  • Lost Ember (video game)
  • Moomintroll (book series)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps (video game series)
  • Over the Hedge (movie)
  • Planescape/Mask of the Betrayer (tabletop setting and video game series)
  • Princess Mononoke (film)
  • Rain World (video game)
  • Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right (board game & tabletop RPG)
  • Wanderhome (tabletop RPG)
  • Tierzoo (YouTube channel)
  • The Wind in the Willows (book)
  • Zootopia (film)
  • style_and_tone.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/10/08 12:03
  • by gm_will