Now that the free preview is finally out, I can start digging into the specifics of Swords Without Master in these posts. So let’s start by talking about this:
Our objective is to toil and struggle together to craft an enthralling sword and sorcery short story.
This is the most important sentence in all of “The City of Fire & Coin.” There’s a ton of things packed in there that may require some unpacking, and I’ll probably get to all of that in future posts, but right now I want to focus on the fact that it is an objective. Like a boardgame or a sport, Swords Without Master has a win condition.
The goal posts for that win condition are set by the participants in the game. I can give you some idea of what sword and sorcery is like. And I can give you some idea of what a short story should look like. And I can even give you some idea of what makes one enthralling. And you can bet your bonnet you won’t be able to shut me up about all these things and more. But ultimately, what qualifies for a win here will be up to you.
In this way, Sw/oM* is a bit like a triathalon. There are people who enter triathalons to be the first across the finish line. There are those who are just trying to beat their previous time. There are those who just want to finish or to prove to themselves they can overcome some personal difficulty. Each person is in that race for their own individual reason. And their reasons must be a compelling reasons, because each and every one of them is going to piss themselves while competing. That’s World of Warcraft levels of commitment right there.