The setting comes to you
This game takes place entirely within the walls of the great city of Chanceway. It’s the capital of the human Gathering of Erthwylder, so it’s mostly humans. But as “the city in the center of the world” it is a crossroads for travellers from all over the world, not to mention diplomats, traders and … opportunists.
When we first started planning this game, the idea of the “Babylon 5” or “Deep Space Nine” of fantasy games kept coming up. That the setting and the heroes remains static, while the world comes to it. This plays especially well with our Making it up as we go policy, since each week new species can arrive, pirates can invade, structures can be destroyed and deep, lasting relationships with NPCs can be formed.
Rather than provide weekly adventures, the game is divided into three types of events that better represent the heroes “static” position in the world. Story Threads are things that happen in Chanceway with or without the character’s involvement. These could be a person’s agenda or desires, or a major event or celebration. Each can be thrown at the heroes and act as a weekly adventure, or if the heroes are pursuing other things, they may run into these " quests." Many involve an NPC that can be killed, made an enemy of or convinced to be an ally depending on what the heroes do. No one is safe.
The second events are Tilt Events which are stand-alone conflicts that are kept in the GM’s pocket and occur as they are triggered. These are usually tied to a geographic location (e.g. “the characters are on top of something very tall when they spy a building burning”) or an action (“the heroes enter a bar and suddenly everyone goes quiet and eyes them.”) These typically produce a single encounter with little lasting effects. But who knows?
The third kind of events are Hero Threads. These are personalized character arcs to each PC. These can be played with the group or in stand alone adventures and follow a prescribed path that takes the hero closer to a long-term goal of theirs. Players can work on their Hero Thread side quests as they wish, even in tandem or part of another adventure. These climax with the hero reaching a new echelon in their development, gaining political power, fortune or a reputation for something.
In summary, every adventurer will have a long-term Hero Thread (5-7 adventures) they are following for themselves, they are likely investigating one or more medium-length (1-2 adventures) Story Threads at a time and are always subject to sudden, short-term Tilts (single encounter).