King of Dragon Pass Retrospective

The folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have conjured up a retrospective piece on King of Dragon Pass, and given the high regard that people have for A Sharp's strategy/RPG, you'd be right in assuming that it has a favorable slant. A handful of paragraphs:

You'll initiate actions in most seasons, and also face random events such as a flood, an argument between nobles, or a visit from some priests. You'll eventually see events repeated, although some are extremely rare, and many are dependent on specific circumstances or prior decisions.

Advisors and named invididuals will age and die. Godly strife might spill over into the mortal realm. Creatures you meet might remember a promise your people made decades ago, and expect you to uphold it. You can often tell people to shove off, even if it's a really stupid idea. And everyone has an opinion. In one game I dismissed a petty farming dispute that spiralled into a family feud spanning two villages and three generations, and continued long after the originators died.

People and consequences. It ought to be a genre of its own.

As an introduction, you're given a potted history of your tribe. Though the world has a rich and colourful background, this isn't the usual (please immediately skip me) RPG snoozefest. It's both character creation and a hint of what to expect. Before it even starts, it demands decisions. Will your people celebrate a godly marriage by getting your men drunk, or sending your women to learn magical secrets? Will your people be bitter enemies of the trolls, or the ice demons?

It doesn't matter what you pick. It matters what you pick.

Regardless of your choices, most player clans start out about equal there are no innate racial bonuses or penalties. Instead, the decisions you made beforehand define how your ancestors acted, and ancestral spirits are close to gods. Displease them and they'll punish you, your people will be unhappy, and your magic will go all floppy and useless. And it's here where KODP really comes out as an RPG. If your ancestors remained neutral when the dragonfolk approached, you shouldn't get involved with dragonfolk. That manifests in odd ways if you find a dragon's corpse, rather than sell it, or make armour out of it, your ancestors would prefer that you ignored it.