City of Refuge: Power 19

1.) What is your game about?**
>>> It's about legends, torn from their homes. They've lost everything, including themselves.

2.) What do the characters do?**
>>> Struggle to rebuild themselves and reclaim their memories, then draw upon and challenge the conflicting drives of Light and Dark.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?**
>>> The players throw their characters into conflict, and they seek to gain allies in the fight against Darkness. The GM strives to create an interesting, captivating setting full of potential allies and enemies; the GM challenges the characters and pushes them.

4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
>>> The setting is large, multi-layered, complex, and loud. It's a maze of people and things, a crazy mix of everything. It's a setting defined by Light, Darkness, and the Egos of heroes and villains.

5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?
>>> The character creation occurs in-game, by testing your character and attempting to regain his memories.

6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
>>> In the early game, the game rewards placing your character into conflict as often as possible. In the later game, it rewards playing to the style of the character and walking the line between Light and Dark.

7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
>>> In the early game, every conflict gains something. Later game... TBD

8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
>>> TBD. Rotating focus player, other players do other things, and GM handles Darkness and the City.

9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
>>> It draws upon prior investment in characters that interest them. Rest TBD.

10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
>>> The early game mechanics are very simple, generally a 50/50 chance of winning - the only thing that changes is the scale and scope of rolls. Rest TBD. Insert Madness-style death spiral for Light and Dark.

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
>>> In the early game, the player never knows if he's going to win, but he knows he'll get something regardless - so it makes sense to drive towards conflict. Later game mechanics force the player to rely upon Light and Dark, but they must be careful not to go to far.

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
>>> TBD

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
>>> TBD

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
>>> A mix of sheer-awesomeness and style of the legends, and fighting against the opposed draws of Light and Dark.

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
>>> Character creation (Remembrance) is a big part.

16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
>>> The bringing back of old characters, because it's very cool to revisit old ideas in a new light. The setting, because it draws on a bunch of ideas I already like. The remembrance mechanic and ideas, because it allows character shaping in-play.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games can’t, don’t, or won’t?
>>> TBD

18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?
>>> Probably release for free online, as a PDF.

19.) Who is your target audience?
>>> Mostly me and my friends, I suppose.


City of Refuge: Notable Locations in the Shining City, Part 1

Bat's Folly: The farthest point from the Light, near Ghosthill, Bat's Folly was the fourth and last gate. Built by a mad crusader in a dark black cape, this fortified mansion is said to corrupt the guardsmen stationed there; that's probably just a rumor, though.

Bladeshore: On the far side of the Great River lies Bladeshore, the third gate. The Light Brigade's smiths work here in a great furnace, and the walls of the fortress are covered in weaponry. Also houses the Light Brigade Barracks.

Commerce District: The main sales and manufacture area, it uses a strange combination of man-power, steam technology, electricity, and magic to produce a wide range of goods.

Dragonkeep: Past the Goblin Market lies the castle Dragonkeep, the second gate. Forged from the bones of the last true Dragon, it is an eldritch place, home to the Light Brigade's magical laboratories and training school.

Eternal Spring: The primary water source for the City, the Eternal Spring sits almost directly under the Light and gives birth to the Great River, as well as numerous other small streams and rivers.

Gardens, The: The food source for most of the City, this massive complex of gardens, parks, and farms lies in the center of the City, surrounding the Eternal Spring under the Light.

Ghosthill: The massive complex of cemeteries, crypts, and catacombs used to bury the dead of the City. Severely haunted, it lies between the Spires and Bat's Folly.

Goblin Market: The other major sales area in the City, the Goblin Market sells a variety of strange, unique, and bizarre items for a variety of strange, unique, and bizarre prices.

Great River, The: This river flows from the Eternal Spring and splits into two major branches, separating Bladeshore from the City proper.

Light Brigade Barracks: Dragonward of the Bladeshore, the Light Brigade Barracks houses the volunteer corp that trains to protect the City from Darkness.

Owlwatch: The oldest gate, Owlwatch is the planing and logistics center of the Light Brigade. This fortress holds the Brightscopes, magical viewing devices used to look into the Darkness.

ShadowScience Inc.: Holding one of the few power generators of note in the city, this company seeks to fuse science, technology, and magic to harness, control, and destroy the Shadows. They're housed not far from the Goblin Market. Their mission statement is to defeat the Darkness once and for all. And to make a profit. But mostly defeating the Darkness, right?

Spires, The: A massive living complex in sky-piercing towers. Generally a nice place to live... just watch your step.

Undercity: Near to the only dark place in the City, this maze of rooms, caverns, chambers, and so on lies under the City proper. Home to outcasts, thieves, and the semi-monstrous (especially those... allergic to light), it's a dangerous and wonderful place. Also, it'd be a great place for the Shadowed to attack, if only they had a way in, you know?

Wall, The: The triple-thick holy blessed steel-and-concrete-and-dragon-bone wall circles the City in it's entirety. At the cardinal points lie the four gates, though these aren't really gates in a strictest sense, since nothing gets in or out. Usually.


City of Refuge: Notes 1

Thanks to Jacob, I've spouted a few more ideas. These are just rough notes jotted down, to later be incorporated with the rest. (Everything here is by me, except the bit near the end labelled "EspynWislyn", which is Jake. Thanks J!)
Mind that it changes them physically as well as mentally. The starting state for a Faceless is pretty similiar to a Doppleganger in it's natural form, whereas the end result is essentially the character you are modelling, probably with some aspects changed or over-emphasized.

The Awakened are defined by their ego, their legend, their spirit. They are, to a man, larger than life.

So you might base your character on Batman, and he might be like Batman, but maybe his cape is living shadow or somesuch.

Well, the stuff at the end of rememberance is a start.
The idea is at first you roll a pool of dice to do anything important, only needing more successes than failures (4,5,6 is success).

So using more Spirit doesn't increase your chances of winning, actually, it just makes things bigger or more epic or what have you.

After all characters Awaken (have traded nearly all of their Spirit dice for Memories), there are different mechanics, where your memories make up your abilities.

I don't know how that'll work yet.

EspynWislyn (7:18:58 PM): You know, it'd be kind of cool if there were minor memories and major ones. Like, you start out remembering minor details, but then you have, like, major revelations that completely change who and what you are.

Maybe set a lock on dice spent? So that, in the first contest, you can spend 2 Spirit? Then more as you go? This would mean that bigger / more defining / more powerful / more important memories would come later.

City of Refuge: Lexicon 1

Ambiguous - A term for a Spirited character who straddles the line between Hero and Villain. Those with total Heroic and Villainous Drives within 1 of each other.

Awakened - Spirited who have remembered their pasts and been shaped by them.

City, The - The massive metropolis, the City of Refuge is the final home for all those whose worlds have been Devoured.

Darkness, The - The overall term for the Shadowed and the Sea of Darkness.

Devoured - Destroyed or changed beyond recognition by the Darkness.

Drives - The core goals enforced by the City upon the hearts of the Spirited.

Faceless - Spirited, newly arrived at the City. They must Awaken, or they will be Lost.

Heroic - A term for a Spirited character who embodies the Heroic Drives. Those with total Heroic Drives 2 or more higher than their total Villainous Drives.

Light, The - The spirit, ghost, element, entity, or force protecting the City from the Sea of Darkness. The closest to a God around here.

Lost - Those whose spirits have been Devoured. They are stereotypes, hollow shelves of their old lives.

Lost Worlds - The multitude of realms that have been Devoured.

Portal - A mystical doorway, the City is full of these. Keys, however, tend to be in high demand.

Sea of Darkness - The mass of Darkness outside the City, chaotic and all-consuming.

Shadow - A small, self-contained bit of Darkness.

Shadows, The - The whispers and intelligences of the Darkness. Sometimes synonymous with Shadow or Shadowed.

Shadowed - Living Shadows, or those corrupted by the Darkness to a point of becoming a Shadow.

Spirit - The shard of Light within the Spirited that keeps them from being Lost or Devoured.

Spirited - Those whose uniqueness, will, and ego raise them above the Lost. Divided into the Faceless and the Awakened.

Villainous - A term for a Spirited character who embodies the Villainous Drives. Those with total Villainous Drives 2 or more higher than their total Heroic Drives.

City of Refuge: Drives

All Spirited characters (both the Faceless and the Awakened) are driven by certain powerful, subversive goals. Decide whether your character is Heroic, Villainous, or Ambiguous.

For a Heroic character, set one Heroic drive at 3 and one at 2, and set one Villainous drive at 1.

For a Villainous character, set one Villainous drive at 3 and one at 2, and set one Heroic drive at 1.

For an Ambiguous character, set one Heroic and one Villainous drive at 2, and set one Heroic and one Villainous drive at 1.

Heroic Drives
Fight Back The Darkness: You strive to defend the city and any other worlds you may find from the Shadowed and the Sea of Darkness. You seek to expand the barriers of the City and slay the denizens of Shadow wherever you find them.
Make Safe The Streets: You desire to protect your new-found home and it's people from the madmen, monsters, killers, and thieves that lurk in the city.
The Return Home: You seek to find a Portal home or some other passage through the Sea of Darkness. Most likely, your home has been Devoured - you can try to reclaim it, but it'll not be an easy fight.

Villainous Drives
Corrupted: You've been tainted by the Darkness. The Shadows call to you, and your own flesh and mind betray your Spirit. You may think that you control the Shadows within yourself, and perhaps you do - for now.
In My Image: You seek the means to warp the Light of the City to your own ends. You believe you can impose your Spirit upon the Sea of Darkness to create a new world - one that fits your every whim.
Power Broker: You don't really even care about the Shadows, or the Lost Worlds. You seek to gain power, control, and prestige within the City (or beyond it's borders, as it serves you).

City of Refuge: Remembrance

You woke up in the [Oracle A], [Oracle B]. You're dressed, thank the Light. You may be equipped, not that you know what all of this stuff is. You don't remember much; for instance, you've got no clue who all of these other people are.

You are one of the Faceless. You have, at best, now, normal human capability or slightly above it. You will remember, and your memories will transform you. You have only your Spirit.

When you act, and it matters, draw dice from your Spirit and wager them on the contest.

If you lose the contest, return the dice to your Spirit, less one. Then write a short description (1-3 words) of what you were actively doing during the contest on an index card, along with the words "Memory of Failure".

If you win the contest, write down a short description (1-3 words) of what you were actively doing during the contest on an index card and place all of the dice you wagered upon it.


Magic, Game-Games, Story-Games, Jacob, and Me

I've posted a massive rant over on SG. It's actually kind of interesting. I did this instead of reading "Only Revolutions", so I hope someone gets some use out of it!

(I may expand this, either here or there. Any ideas, folks? Tell me stuff!)

Two personal thoughts.

Some time ago, I created an RPG ("Struggle") with very competitive elements. It was designed for two players, very quickly, and it wasn't perfect. But it had some good bits. My friend and I tried it, and had an interesting story. We both enjoyed ourselves; but it was clear that I enjoyed it more than he did. He seemed kind of... let down, after. But he decided to play it again.

So we did, much to the same result. He said to me after, "I think you've got some good ideas here, and this could be a good game. But it's not a game for me.". He stated the competitive elements (and the fact that they overwhelmed the story at times), as one reason. I think Rob had a similar moment here ("I'm sure this is great, but it's just not for me"), and it's actually got me thinking about a few things.

The other thought involves Magic. I've played that for longer than I've played RPGs, but probably less often - at least 7 or 8 years, though. And every time I play in a "serious" environment, like a tournament or at a card store (with strangers), I feel kind of "meh". Not bad, but not great.

But when I'm with friends, playing, I enjoy myself much more. And it's not just who I'm playing with. We still play to win, always, to the best of our ability. But A) We try to do it in fun ways, and B) We don't really care all that much.

But, primarily, the "fun" I get when playing Magic is the same "fun" I get when playing many RPGs (Beast Hunters comes to mind, as does Baron Munchausen) - throwing each other into tricky situations and watching them escape. It's racing to find the right solution. It's doing something clever or tricky. It is, on occasion, drawing the right card at the right time.

I'm rambling here, but the main point is this: Both RPGs and board/card games have spectrum of playing styles, both within types of games and within a particular game. This isn't really news, but it affects people all the time - and I daresay there's interesting, not-fully-explored design lessons in that fact.


The Foundations of Gamism

In my mind a so-called "gamist" game has certain requirements to be truly effective and engaging:

First: Each player (including the GM figure, if any) must have equal opportunity. Not equal power (effectiveness) but the equal chance for power.
Caveat: If there are "sides" or "teams" (player VS GM, for example), each side or team must have
equal opportunity. In a case of one GM and five players, for example, the GM's opportunity for
power should be roughly five times that of a player.

Second: This opportunity must work in the system, and it must be enforced.
Example: 3.0 & 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons - The CR system should match the GM's opportunity
to that of the player-team. However, it doesn't work very well and isn't enforced.

Third: There must be different domains (physical attacks VS magic attacks, power VS quickness, etc...) and different choices within each domain. Some choices should be better than others, especially situationally, but each domain should be roughly equal in opportunity.

Fourth: Choice is the basis of the game. Some choices NEED to be better than others. Choices will fall roughly into two catagories: Pre-Game/Between Game (for example, character building) or during game. Some games will emphasize the importance differently, but different players will enjoy the pre- or during- choices in different ways.

Fifth: Randomness is not needed, but may be useful. The game should not really too heavily on randomness, however - it should rely on player skill.

Sixth: There must be a way to "win" or at least some clear indicator of success, and players should not be made to feel bad becasue they are more effective (or "win") more than other players.

There's more, but this is a start to me putting some thoughts together. More later. Any ideas, folks?


Union City Chronicles: Issue 0

Union City Chronicles
Issue 0: No Laughing Matter
Part 1
A young (though not as young as his appearance implies) prodigy begins investigating a series of robberies on behalf of The Organization. The robberies are being perpetrated by a small time member of the Clown Mafia, Bozo the Pogo.
The detective, one Dex Scott, captures Bozo and interrogates him, discovering a link to John Freight, JR, the son of a rich businessman. Both Scott and Bozo are found dead soon after.
Part 2
Two Orginization members, Dr. Benjamin Scott and the Phoenix Avenger are briefed regarding Dex's murder and are asked to look into it. They first talk with a man who's name changes every time they hear it. This man is a Clown Mafia member turned double agent, and he points the finger at Frieght and another, shadowy partner. He warns the heroes and off they go to confront Freight.
After being asked to wait for a time, our heroes meet Freight. At first he denies any involvement, but after he sees the heroes are immune to his fearsome presence, he takes a more direct route - slugging the good doctor out a 39th floor window. Luckily the Phoenix Avenger has his fair share of tricks up his sleeve.
He transforms into a blazing phoenix, torching Freight's office, and swoops out to catch Scott. Our heroes return to the window for a moment, trading threats with Freight, and a vendetta is born.


The Resistance

"Take up arms, my friends! Write your promises out on the walls of the city and let the people know that there is still freedom!"

It began two years ago when MegaCorp ruled a lockdown on the city. No people, goods, or even ideas got in or out.

Sure, they had been heading this way for a long time. Some people hoped this wouldn't happen. Some didn't care.

But now it's too late, and we all suffer for it.

The government has been bribed. The police are little more than mercenaries. The rescue workers are heroes for hire. Artistic expression, scientific thought, and even love... all these are forbidden, except when they are mandated.

The old and tired will not save us. They are too set in their ways and too reliant upon the establishment to fight. We must save ourselves. We will - nay, we must, for it is our responsibility - use every tool and weapon at our desposal to rid this city of it's oppressors and return freedom to our people - body, mind, and soul.

The Resistance is a game about underground cells of artists, musicians, fighters, lovers, destroyers, leaders, haters, masterminds, cons, acrobats, hackers, and much more... they all have one thing in common. They wish to free their city and prevent the destruction and decay they feel is iminent.

Inspirations include (in no real order) Grey Ranks, Jet Set Radio, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns/Strikes Back, Misspent Youth, Punkerslut's Writings, Bomb The Suburbs, Fight With Tools, and a few other things.

Characters use music (particularly pirate radio), art (graffiti and flyers), public demonstrations, private lectures, sabatoge and on rare occassion violence to attack the company and inspire others to join the cause.

Gameplay is only roughly developed, but I'm imagining some sort of hybrid between Grey Ranks, In A Wicked Age, and something that hasn't been written yet.
Working on it!



Disclaimer: Other dudes thought of this stuff. D. V. Baker's In A Wicked Age gives use the owe list, and the basis for the dice method comes from a thought on a Story Games thread.

So, here's the basic idea.

Roll some dice. You pick the size. Bigger size is bigger risk, but better chance of narration.

Ah, ah, ah. Let me explain, folks.

Whoever rolls the highest narrates the scene however they like, except they shouldn't be too much of a jerk and they need to remember who won what.

Whoever gets a prime number succeeds on their action. If opposed actions both get successes here, higher number takes the cake with lower getting a lesser success.

D4 - 1,2,3
D6 - 1,2,3,5
D8 - 1,2,3,5,7
D10 - 1,2,3,5,7
D12 - 1,2,3,5,7,11
D20 - 1,2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19

If you neither get a success nor narration, put your name on the owe list.

You can do some stuff with the owe list. I need to work on how this game works, more.



A (really, really quickly made) game inspired by K. Not quite what he wanted, but on it's way, I guess.

Character Creation
Each player plays a spirit. I don't know what sort of spirit. I don't care. Figure something out, kthx?

You have 4 stats and a bunch of traits and something called Karma, and like... a goal or some shit.

Your stats are Community, Greed, Need, and Rage. Basically, all living things are motivated by one (or more) of these four things. No, I don't have any science to back it up. It makes sense here.

Put a 1 in one of 'em. 2 in another. 3 in yet another. Can you guess where the 4 goes?

You have a bunch of traits. Pick three and rate them at 1,2, and 3. Star one of them. These are things built into you... I dunno, shit like "I am the ghost of christmas past" and "Seen the fall of nations" and "Cold-Blooded Killer". Stuff about your spirit. Make it cool, and have it make sense in the context of the current game. Your friends will appreciate it.

Goal: Make up something your character wants to do. It should be big (You're like... immortal or something), but manageable in small chunks. See above about being cool and making sense.

You start off in a basic shape, some sort of creature you've possessed. Pick something from Rank 1, below. Yeah, they suck. You did some bad shit to end up down here. You have a trait, "I'm an X" with it's rating at the animal's rank. It gets a star, too.

Doing Stuff
So you want to do some stuff to accomplish your goal? You can't. Hah. You're a spirit. Good lu... Oh, wait, you have a possessed form?

Okay, you can tempt that form to do stuff. Choose a stat. Try to roleplay (I'm not going to explain that) tempting the creature using that stat. Roll the stat against the creature's rank. If it's something important (to your character), you can choose to fail to gain Karma. You can't like... roll to see if the animal takes a piss and then auto-fail to farm Karma. That's dumb.

If you fail? Nothing happens. The animal does what it wants. Sucks to be you. You do get a point of Karma, though.

If you succeed? Roll (Used Stat) + (Creature's Rank) against some difficulty. The GM will pick it. Don't know what a GM is? Probably this isn't the right game for you. Ask me, I'll recommend something cool. Oh, yeah, and winning sucks too. If you succeed in tempting a creature, lose a point of Karma. Karma can go negative, too. That'd be real bad, though.

Traits are cool. You can use a trait to reroll any number of dice up to the rank of the trait. You cannot, obviously, reroll dice you didn't use in the first place. You can only use each trait once per scene (whatever that is!), and the trait has to make some sense in the current roll (narrate it, whatever the hell that means).

Starred traits also let you roll a new die in addition to rerolling some dice.

You narrate actions before you roll. You reroll dice after you roll them. You narrate traits when you reroll. Figure that one out, folks.

You can bet Karma to try to win a (non-tempting) action. Pick a number, up to your current Karma - as an absolute number (one good thing about negative Karma? Probably not). Add an additional number of dice equal to 1/2 the Karma bet to your roll. If you win, lose Karma equal to that bet. If you lose, instead only lose half as much. Yeah, it sucks. Only do it if the roll means something to you.

So you want to be something more powerful than a flea? Well, you can switch form at any time, under two conditions - A) The form must be somewhere near your current form & B) It's rank squared cannot exceed your Karma.

When you change forms, you can spend a point of Karma to gain a trait "I was an X" at one point.

If your Karma drops (probably because you're an asshole who likes to win or something) below your current form's Rank squared, all your stats and traits drop to 1 until you move into a form with a lower Rank. And you cannot increase your Karma until you do so.

Appendix 1 - Supernatural Shit
Once you reach 25+ Karma, stuff gets weird. You can turn Karma into dice at a 3-for-2 rate, act without tempting your body (you don't add it's Rank to your roll, though), and you can use the Mystical Ranks (5-8). Using a Mystical Rank creature pisses off reality, though, so you lose 1 Karma whenever you attempt to tempt it. But you get to be cool and magical.

Appendix 2 - Necromancy
You can possess corpses. You can possess a corpse at one rank higher than your normal limit, but you still can't possess Mystical Rank corpses unless you have 25+ Karma. Possessing corpses pisses off reality, just like possessing Mystical Rank creatures (see above) and possessing a Mystical Rank corpse pisses it off twice as much.

Appendix 3 - Objects
You can possess an object or even an area or something. Once you do though, you can't do shit (unless you have 25+ Karma and can act supernaturally), and it actually costs you a point of Karma to leave (you can leave for free if you somehow have 0 or less Karma). Items have no rank. You can add any of your stats to anyone who uses the item/acts in the area and you can use your traits on their rolls.

Appendix 4 - Swarms
You can control a group of creatures all of the same type. This counts as one rank higher, and you can only use "Community" to tempt them. You get like... I don't know, a free die when actually doing stuff with them (not tempting).

Appendix 5 - Ranks
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! These are just samples. Make shit up. It's what this whole thing is all about. This list is probably horrible inaccurate.
1: Domesticated Cats & Dogs, Harmless Birds, Insects, Wimpy Fish
2: Harmful Birds, Wolves, Wild Dogs, Dolphins
3: Big Cats, Bears, Whales, Sharks
4: Humans, Really Big Cats
5: Bugbears, Owlbears, Other sorts of (Word)bears, Goblins
6: Unicorns, Golems
7: Chimera, Dragonish Things, Basilisks
8: Dragons

Appendix 6 - GMing Advice
Hey, I didn't say it up in the rules, but you should reward players with Karma and punish them when the do stuff that's "Good" or "Evil". Define these yourself, in the context of the game, and don't be a total ass about it. Be consistent.

You're most important job is finding out what the character's care about and challenging that. Also, messing with their Karma so it fluctuates. Make them make difficult choices (succeed here or keep my Karma?). Tease them with Karma betting. Look at their goal as a starting point.

I don't know what a good difficulty is for non-tempting actions. Between 2-8 at normal levels. Once you hit Mystic Levels, I'd say 4-12 would do. Look at what ranks everyone is using, and base things off that. Mix it up once in a while to mess with things.

Final Thoughts
24 Hour RPG? Fuck that. This is like a 1/2 Hour RPG. Comments and suggestions, are, of course, welcome. Try playing it, maybe?


Fire from the Mount

Okay, I want to make a game about (fantastical, not real) early Christiandom.

You've got competing Acolytes, each with an agenda. They spread the word of Christ (modified to suit said agenda) throughout the land.

You'd have stats like Charisma, Clarity (how much your words and writing make sense to the common people), Miracle-working (either fake or real) and so on.

But Christianity as a whole would have a stat of Coherence. If anyone's teachings stray too far from another's, people notice and are less likely to convert. Or, alternatively, you have feuding and infighting. Either way, not good.

So you have a constant balance between pushing your agenda and staying close to what has already been established.

Furthermore, as the game continues and teachings are fleshed out, it becomes more and more likely that any given teaching will contradict another (I imagine this might give an advantage to anyone who had a high "initiative" or something).

Sounds pretty interesting so far...
What do you all think?

Graceful Wicked Masques: The Magic Storytelling Game

Ok. So here's how it works. The characters are Fair Folk out in the Wyld, competing through dream-stories created out of the Wyld's essence.

The players create Magic decks, but change the flavor and names of the cards ahead of time. The flavor must match the mechanics and color of the card, but is otherwise open.

Then you play a game of Magic. After each turn, the player who's turn it was describes what happens in the story based on the events of the turn.

Creatures are actual creatures that can come into play, but spells (such as enchantments, sorceries, and instants) can either represent A) Magic used by characters in the story, B) Spontaneous magic in the story, or C) Other events that match the story.

At the end of the game, the winner narrates the ending.

Oh, and at the start of the game everyone agrees on starting points (such as premise) for the story and states the goals of their Fair Folk.

Cool, huh?


The Great and Secret Game

"Damn it!" cried the long-bearded man in simple linen cloth as he ran through the jungle. He clutches a book covered in runes tightly to his chest. Cries in a mixture of English and Pashto come from a group of lean, muscular teenagers following him. The man turns and raises his hands, snarling at the boys, and begins to chant in rural-accented Russian. The line between dream and reality blurs psychedelically as he says - "Sons of Kim? Prepare to die!".

I want to make a game based on the secret war between Russia and England fought in India and parts of the middle east. Ideally, it'd contain spying, adventure, intrigue, and so on. I also want to add a twist of the supernatural - Russia and England are competing over mystical energies surrounding India, here considered the seat of the world.

Rasputin's (above) death was faked, and he was sent to India as a Russian agent. He and his followers face off against the psychically trained Indian street urchins known as the "Sons of Kim", as well as British Mages.


Hacker, Slacker, Phreak, Crook

(Apologies to John le Carre)

So, yeah. Listening to professors talk about computer security and such...

I wanna play a game about a group of underground punk slacker/hackers...

A sort of "heist" movie, you know? Like "Ocean's Eleven" meets "Clerks" meets "What We Do Is Secret", except behind computer screens.

Fund it!

(All ideas and suggestions and so on welcome! Please?)

Pickup Gaming / Dedicated Gaming

I've been thinking.

I need to have two groups.

Group One will be the pickup group. This will be a "loose"-er group, in the sense that it's not critical whether people show up or not. It'd probably be dungeon-crawling D&D 4 game. Everyone knows the rules, so if you feel like coming any given week, just right up a character and come. It'd be more just hanging out, playing the game for the game. For the folks that don't really care or just want to play a game.

Group Two will be the dedicated group. They're the ones who are interested in trying new games, discussing games, and flexing their play styles and ways of thinking. They want to help develop and test games, think critically about their games, and be more involved.

I think this'd be a fine way of things for everything. Here are the problems I see.

A) Not enough people for Group Two, right now. I know of one definitely, and maybe another one or two maybes.
B) Scheduling. There's probably one or two people interested in both, but maybe too busy to work both into a schedule. I've got about enough time for it, but...
C) People have too-high expectations of D&D. Essentially the game would be what it is (a game about exploring areas, combat, interesting tactical encounters)... Not anything else (Especially not making a story! No, no, no!).

Well, there are some problems. But assuming more people can be found for Group Two, I think this is close to an ideal solution.

Any ideas, please?

Howling Wolf Rages at Moon

So, yeah.

This guy wants a game based around fighting an inner beast
The "flavor" will be vampires, maybe, or werewolves, he says.
I hear Rob Bohl is working on one (a werewolf game) called Obvious Monstrosities...

But I have a few ideas for my own, so...

But that's not really the point. Vampirism or lycanthropy are just metaphors, like.

So, I want to base it on Sorcerer. This is easy, I think. Sorcerer is all about having access to power. What are you willing to do to gain power, and what do you do with it?
Power costs you humanity. Power also has requirements.

Power thirsts.
And you've got to feed it to stay strong.

Or you can choose to hang on to your humanity.

But here's what I want:

To base the "good"-ish werewolves on them using The Law of the Jungle as some sort of creed or something.

Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter -- go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle -- the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken -- it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father -- to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;"
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is -- Obey!

Quite a few things here work; primarily I have this vision in my head.
A "heroic" werewolf attacks a "villainous" one after the "villainous" one kills a human.

The "hero" growls "But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man!"
And as he says that, he scratches twice across the "villains" face diagonally, then once straight down.
Leaving seven scars, representing the "seven times never".

The "hero" then throws the "villain" against the wall, and storms out.

I think it sounds cool. Maybe it's just me. Any comments/ideas, folks?


Megaman: The RPG

So, here's a cool idea.

What if, instead of one GM and many heroes, what if you had one hero and many villian/GMs.

And set it as Megaman, with the GMs being the boss monsters and controlling/designing a level.
Granted, I don't see much actual roleplaying happening, but it could be cool as a "challenge game".

Also, biggest problem is: What do the extra BMPs (Boss Monster Players) do on off levels?
They'd have to contribute somehow....


Well, I'm starting up a new blog.

It's not for the faint of heart or those who don't give a fuck what I think.
But for everyone else, it's a place to get a bit of insight into my mind.
It should also be considered an open discussion ground, so feel free to say absolutely anything in a comment to any of my posts.

So far, I've talked a lot about poetry (especially Kipling) and a little about how crappy my life is.
I plan to expand the topics somewhat, soon.

Get there here: Disaster-Lysander.