So, after the first post, here's where we're at:
tactical, punchy, exciting combat(well, we have half the equation anyway, need baddies) armor and weapons that feel dramatically different weird, evocative spells and interestingly limited spell schools(the Magic Type classes get us pretty close) encroaching madness, but also a pull to the dark side
- learnable enemies
PC flexibility, but also interesting starting classes that tell me about the world and make players excited to get into it respawns, but without losing the drama
- deadly, tragic, complicated bosses that drop drool-worthy weapons
- deadly, tragic, complicated NPCs that capture the beauty, horror, and well tragedy of it all
- Expeditions start at a bonfire in the middle of the action
- Each expedition focuses on exploring a small region with 2-4 encounters plus a boss
- Each player has a region, each GM a character.
- Games scheduled as a group, rather than by a main DM. One offers to run their region, and players take turns.
- The world is built at the table as each player reveals the secrets of their region.
- Player/GMs seeking the unifying tone of a SOULSBORNE setting, but giving leeway to each other to explore the lore and backstory of the setting, building it together.
- A unifying hub to tie the otherwise disparate sessions together.
Nice! Wasn't too hard to come up with those once the skeleton of a setting is in place. Room for tons more tied to those existing landmarks (king, serpent, etc) but also for factions unrelated. I don't think I checked much off the list, but I think this sets the stage for creating the dungeons/bosses/enemies we're looking for.