Mystery Town

Mystery town logo

Mystery Town is a simple little freeform game I made for my daughter’s 9th birthday, inspired by Gravity Falls, Thimbleweed Park, Maniac Mansion and other funny, weird, mysterious fiction that she and I enjoy together.

(Mechanically, it’s a straightforward hack of A Town With Pep! by Epistolary Richard, which is itself derived from Swords without Master by Epidiah Ravachol.)

[200 Word RPG] Gambling on the River Styx

Written for the 2017 200 Word RPG challenge. This started as an offhand joke, but became a real game.

Gambling on the River Styx

To cross the river Styx, you owe Charon two pennies. Penniless ghosts play mahjong on the riverbank to win passage.

Place a skeleton nearby. That’s Charon, waiting for you.

Place six matching pairs of coins into a bag. Pass the bag around. When you get the bag, draw one coin and explain why you fear the afterlife. If your coin matches a coin you already have, instead return it and don’t explain. Repeat until the bag empties.

Place the mahjong tiles in the bag. Each player draws five tiles.

Each round, everyone antes a coin into the pot. Draw one tile. Play one tile. Reveal simultaneously.

The highest numbered tile wins the pot. The winner recalls a memory of their life, based on suit:
-Dots: selfishness
-Bamboo: cruelty
-Characters: tragic mistakes

Ties: Split the pot evenly (randomly), leaving the remainder in the pot. Include the other tied players in your memory.

If you play a un-numbered tile, you lose the round. Tell a story about redemption.

If you ever match a pair of coins, you must approach Charon and cross to your afterlife. None know what comes after.

If you have no coins, you shiver on the riverbank for eternity.

[200 Word RPG] Squamous

Written for the 2017 200 Word RPG Challenge.

Squamous

You are each eldritch abominations, taking human form for nefarious purposes. Your human vessels are… weak. Disgusting. Meat. Always sweating, defecating, desiring. How do humans tolerate this?

Each abomination has a secret eldritch Goal. Write down a noun and a verb. Give the noun to your left-hand player and the verb to your right-hand player. Combine the noun and verb you receive for your Goal. Take 15 d6s. You succeed at your Goal when you have no dice.

Describe your human appearance and identity.

Each player has authority over a human Need. Things like hunger, hygiene, sexual desire, romance, social acceptance. Name yours.

Take turns framing scenes where you perform tasks to achieve your Goal. Other players roleplay NPCs, describe scenery, etc.

When they describe how their Need complicates your task, they offer 2-5 dice. Roll one die.

If you roll higher than the number of offered dice, the Need causes problems. Take the offered dice.

If you roll lower, you resist the urge. That player takes back their dice and the die you rolled.

If you roll equal, then you succeed at your task even while still succumbing to the Need. Discard all rolled and offered dice.

The Imposters anthology

My microgame LOVEINT has been expanded and revised to be included in The Imposters anthology, currently on Kickstarer. If you like any of my games, or any weird little games about conspiracies and paranoia, then you should consider backing it.

[Actual Play] The Devil, John Moulton, again

The Liberation Industries podcast is doing a second playthrough of The Devil, John Moulton. So far there are two parts posted:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

[Actual Play] Science Comics

There’s a play-by-forum game of Science Comics, my Fiasco playset, over on RPGgeek.com.

[Actual Play] Keeping on the Borderlands

There are several play by forum games of my Fiasco playset, Keeping on the Borderlands, though I don’t think any actually finished playing. Play by forum is a slow process, prone to failure.

[Actual Play] Deathtrap Dungeon

Some folks on Facebook tried (and eventually failed) to complete my Parsely game, Deathtrap Dungeon

Silent Film Larp

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 7.12.35 PM

For my wife’s birthday this year, I created a silent film larp, where the players are part of a failing movie company during the silent film era. And in the process of playing, you actually create your own silent movie, the “original” lost version of a more recent, more popular movie we’re all familiar with. You can see our “premake” of The Little Mermaid here.

You’ll need these cards to play.

[Actual Play] Bad Habits

On the Gosh Darn Fiasco podcast, they played Bad Habits, my Fiasco playset based in a convent.