Welcome to Ashwick Plantation, a world of survival horror encapsulated in the woods of New England.
Ashwick Plantation takes place during a most troublesome time in colonial history: King Philip’s War. It is 1675, and the Great Sachem Metacomet – known as King Philip to the English – is about to begin a two year reign of terror through the southern and western towns of Massachusetts to repay the colonists for their treacherous role in the killing of his brother, the previous Great Sachem, Wamsutta. King Phillip’s War would unite many native tribes and bring great destruction upon the English. Ten percent of the colonies’ fighting-aged men would die, more than half of New England’s towns were attacked, and many were destroyed. Alas, the war would hit the Native Americans much worse than the colonists as the tribes of Southern New England would lose forty – yes, forty – percent of their population due to warfare and disease. It is a harrowing time indeed.
There are rampant accounts of epidemics and natural disasters during this time. Floods and tornadoes – even earthquakes – were known to have affected the area. Smallpox, typhus, and measles would come in waves of mortal ruination while influenza took children and elderly whilst wantonly destroying even the most God-fearing families. The conditions of everyday life in the New World were quite terrible: malevolent forests filled with deadly flora and fauna, an entire continent brandishing a severe lack of medical supplies, droughts, floods, and some of the harshest winters recorded in the area.
And did I mention the witches?
We started the idea of Ashwick Plantation with this goal in mind: to create an immersive game that captured both the horrors of the supernatural and the mundane. Horror – in our eyes – comes from external and internal forces. The former is that of slasher films and monster movies – the awful things that chase you through the woods and go bump in the night: being chased by a monster you can’t see, you can’t fight, and you can’t kill. The Other.
We also want to examine internal horror. Internal horror is coping with the idea that you – or the society you are a part of – are the monster: Oedipus ripping out his eyes after uncovering the truth about his incestuous relationship with his mother, Simon realizing that it’s not a creature he should fear, but the beast inside the boys around him in Lord of the Flies. That is the horror we hope you find within yourselves.
These are the waters in which Ashwick Plantation will sink or swim. We will delve into the larger issues of humanity (war, religion, slavery) as well as the intimate (family, community, personal identity), but we will also mine the mystical elements of a world where fear, superstition, and panic control much of the human psyche – all through the lens of the New World in the 17th Century during a war that would shape much of our future. We hope you will enjoy collaborating with us.
In the coming weeks and months, we will slowly be releasing information as we ramp up for our first playtest on May 6th. Rules, lore, and mechanics will all be released in due time. For now, we leave you with this wonderful scene from one of our favorite short horror films: