Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the good guys

a roleplaying game by liam burke
and you
you could be mean
and I
I'll drink all the time
--david bowie, heroes

Choose a thing -- that's a noun that isn't a person or place. Examples: Sword, Fire, Sun, Refrigerator
Write down that thing. Make a name based on it.  That's your name. Examples: Heriko, the Sword; All-Consuming Fire; Peri, Refrigerator of Chaos
Write down two Verbs that are associated with that noun.  Examples: Sword - Cut, Parry; Fire: Destroy, Warm; Refrigerator - Freeze, Contain
Put an exclamation point after one of those Verbs.  Example: Sword - Cut, Parry!; Fire: Destroy!, Warm
For each of those Verbs, put down an Asset -- some great artifact, powerful organization, or immense magic that you control utterly -- for now.  Come up with a story as to how you got that Asset by applying your immense personal power in the field of whatever the verb in question is.
Example: Peri, Refrigerator of Chaos, lives in the Citadel Polaris, created when he prevented the Deluge by freezing the rain as it fell to earth, then stacking the shards in the form of a great icy fortress.
Example: Heriko, the Sword, commands the Ten Thousand Warriors, due to an oath they swore that they would serve forever any hero who could face them all at once without missing a single parry.
Share your chararacter sheets with one another.  Together, you are the last best hope of the universe. You're the good guys.  You've come together to fight a great and devastating evil from beyond the known world, which will not directly appear in the game.
Choose two Assets owned by two other players.  You Covet them. Come up with a reason why. If desired, roll on the random motivation table below:

1 - Sex
2 - Hatred
3 - Fear
4 - Envy
5 - Pride
6 - Sex
Feel free to make your motivations sound more positive.
The awesomest player goes first.

When it is your turn, you frame a scene in which you try to Acquire something you Covet.
Of course, because of The Evil, you've all agreed to join forces, so you can't just go out and beat the hell out of your erstwhile ally and take their stuff. Before you can actually do an Acquirement scene, you need Casus Belli.

That's Latin for "a reason to fight."  In a Casus Belli scene, choose somebody you want to mess with, and go mess with them.  Come up, between the two of you, with something that that person cares about, and horn in on it, as dramatically as you want to without directly attacking them.
That person can let you do it.  If they do that, they have Casus Belli against you.
Otherwise, they can come in and try to stop you.  If they do that, there's a conflict.  The OTHER player is the attacker, because they're the one trying to stop you from doing what you want to do. Regardless of who wins the conflict, you both have Casus Belli against each other.

When two characters disagree about what ought to happen, there's a conflict.  Here's how you resolve that:
1) The attacking party describes what they are doing. Here's a place where they might look to their Verbs.
2) The defending party does the same.
3) Both parties roll one die if what they're doing corresponds with one of their Verbs, plus one die for each exclamation point after that Verb.
4) The highest roll wins and describes their action being successful.
5) The loser can choose to Escalate.  If they do so, they describe being violently unwilling to accept their defeat.  If not...
6) The conflict ends.  The winner describes achieving their goal; the loser describes their failure.
If the loser chooses to Escalate:
5a) The winner can immediately choose to concede.  If they do so, they become the loser.  Go to 6.
5b) If the winner does not do so, collateral damage occurs, and conflict continues.  Go back to 1.

Every time the loser chooses to Escalate and the winner does not concede, the conflict becomes more destructive to everything around them:
First Escalation: A bystander is injured; maybe a cup is broken
Second Escalation: The room is wrecked; a few people might be injured
Third Escalation: The building is demolished; at least one person is killed
Fourth Escalation: The neighborhood is levelled; countless injuries
Fifth Escalation: The city is ravaged; hundreds of people die
Sixth Escalation: The entire nation is devastated; widespread chaos and loss of life
Seventh Escalation: The world is destroyed; everybody dies
When this happens, describe how the unwillingness of both parties to cease their conflict leads to suffering for those nearby. The winner now has Casus Belli against the loser.  To explain this, make sure to wreck more of their stuff.

When you Escalate, you can undergo Apotheosis.  Write down another Verb that is associated with your noun. Describe how you use THAT Verb to avoid defeat and cause collateral damage. The first time you do this, add an exclamation point to one of your Verbs.

Acquirement scenes work exactly like Casus Belli scenes, except that you must describe how you use your Verb to attempt to seize their Asset, and if the other party does not get involved or loses, you gain the Asset and they lose it. The other party adds an exclamation point to one of their Verbs, and has Casus Belli against you, and Covets the Asset they just lost (in addition to anything they already Coveted). At the beginning of your next turn, if you still have the Asset, choose something new to Covet.

You can pass on your turn, and choose not to do a scene.  The first turn cannot be passed.

If one person has five total Assets, they win, and everybody else loses.
If everybody passes in a row, the person with the most Assets wins, and everybody else loses.  If this is a tie then they tie instead.
If the world is destroyed, everybody loses twice.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

pretty girls

a terrible roleplaying game by William Burke

Character Creation
Characters have four stats, and a name.

Charm -- your ability to convince other people that your shit is dealt with.
Denial -- your ability to ignore your shit rather than dealing with it.
Sleaze -- your ability to take advantage of systems you're not part of and make them deal with your shit for you.
Violence -- your ability to make other people deal with your shit by threatening something they care about.

Divide fifteen points among these stats. No stat can be higher than 6.

The Challenge Rating of the game starts at 0.

The Game
The game is made up of rounds, which are divided into turns -- one for each player. At the beginning of each round, roll a d3 and add the result to the Challenge Rating.

Each player in turn comes up with a goal he wishes to accomplish and explains how he will use two of his stats to accomplish said goal. He then adds his two stats together and rolls that many six-sided dice. Fours or higher are successes.

You must roll at least as many successes as the Challenge Rating to avoid Bad Shit. If you do so, narrate accomplishing your goal. Any additional successes are spent on having sex with girls.

You may divide up your additional successes between Girls as you see fit. Write each Girl down on your sheet along with the number of successes spent on her. If you spent at least two successes, give her a name (otherwise, she can never have a name). For each Girl, narrate how you meet and have sex with her.

Miguel has just started playing a game of Pretty Girls and the Challenge Rating is at 3. He describes how his goal is to get to the Post Office, and how he will hitch a ride with a friend of his, using his Charm and Sleaze. He has a 5 Charm and a 3 Sleaze, giving him 8 dice to roll -- he gets 5 successes, so he has two to spend on having sex with girls. He could spend them on two Girls with one success each, but he chooses to put them both into one Girl. He names her Deirdre, marks down Deirdre: 2, and narrates how he meets a girl in the line at the Post Office, talks about mail, and ends up fucking her in the back of her car.

Bad Shit
If you fail to get enough successes to equal the Challenge Rating, Bad Shit happens. Narrate how you totally fuck up your life by not getting stuff done. For each success you lacked, subtract one point from one of the stats you were using, until they reach 0. If your stats both reach 0 and you still have lacking successes, you have two options. First, subtract one point from each of your other stats for each lacking success. Second, gain one Shit Point for each lacking success. (You can mix and match.)

Fortunately, you can use Girls to prevent Bad Shit from happening....

Using Girls
At any time, you can use a Girl on your sheet to help accomplish your current goal. Immediately narrate how you call her up and convince her to help you out with whatever you're doing. Roll a number of dice equal to her rating, then reduce it by one. You may use multiple Girls on the same turn. You may, if you wish, spend additional successes on having sex with a Girl you've used this turn -- add them to her rating. A Girl whose rating is reduced to 0 can no longer be used (but don't take her off your sheet.)

Abusing Girls
If using them is not sufficient, you can always abuse them. You may abuse a Girl you've already used this turn -- narrate how you do something obviously hurtful and fuck up her life for your own benefit. Roll a number of dice equal to her rating, plus one, then cross her off your sheet forever. You may abuse a Girl whose rating has been reduced to 0 without using her first.

Whenever you abuse a Girl, you get a Shit Point.

Later in the game, Miguel is trying to avoid being arrested, with a Challenge Rating of 14. He calls up Deirdre and asks her to hide him in her apartment for a while, which gets him two dice, and reduces her rating to 1. Against a 14, though, this isn't going to be enough -- so he steals her savings and books it while she's out getting them takeout food. This is worth two more dice (her new rating of 1, plus one die), and he crosses her off his sheet. Miguel gets a Shit Point.

Ending the Game
If your stats all drop to zero, you decide to get a real job and a real life. You're out of the game.
If your Shit Points are ever higher than your total stats, your life is fucked up beyond your ability to hold it together -- you end up in prison, in the morgue, or in Mexico. You're out of the game.
(If both conditions obtain, both consequences occur.)
Otherwise, the game ends when nobody can stand to play it any more.

Playing As Girls
Replace every occurrence of the word girl in the text, except the the one in the title and every occurrence in this section, with boy. Fix the pronouns.

(influences: MLwM, Bacchanal, Nicotine Girls, this guy I know)