Stories in The Newborn World narrate the struggles of the First City to tame nature, to establish a set of laws for governance, to build bonds with neighboring communities or if all else fails to conquer them. In order to allow such stories to be told, the necessary ingredients are six partially opposing elements: order and disorder, love and conflict, nature and civilization. Each word card in the game belongs to one of these elements, and the combinations of these elements form the backbone of a god's agenda.
Order: A power that defines relationships among the inhabitants of the world. Order holds the rules permeating the newborn world, and its constitution. Its stories focus on adherence to principles, conformity to a status quo, devotion to a cause, vigilance for heresy.
Disorder: The necessary evil that allows the weak to oppose regulations imposed by the strong or the many. The entropy that weakens and eventually changes antiquated structures and custom. Its stories focus on resignation to temptation, instinctive or volatile reaction, contempt for laws and morality, hunger to innovate and explore.
Love: A power of compassion and cooperation that gives birth to animals, people, and societies. Its stories focus on peace negotiation, unity between two people, persuasion to collaborate, seduction.
Conflict: A power that allows beings of the world to antagonize, fight for their rights, claim their authority and privileges. Its stories focus on hostility, jealousy, keeping a grudge, victory in battle.
Nature: The environment of the newborn world contains beautiful vistas, natural resources and dangerous beasts. The power of nature provides beings of the world with all the necessary elements for their survival: oxygen, water and sunlight. Its stories focus on encounters with predators, preservation of the natural world, travel along waterways, hunting and foraging.
Civilization: A creative power that enables beings of the world to produce artifacts and structures, that motivates self-improvement and knowledge acquisition. Its stories focus on invention of new mathematical concepts, construction of great wonders, transferral of knowledge, expansion into new settlements.
In terms of gameplay, players have control over which story elements feature in the stories they tell. There is an associated element in every word that players can choose to feature in their story. For example, some words for Love are "embassy", "veil", "companion", "convince". Based on the combination of story elements featuring in the current phase of the story, a god or apex will become ascendant and influence the next phase of the story.