Tag Archive for freeform

[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.

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.

The Divided House and other stories

divided-house
The Divided House and other stories is a game I wrote for Giacomo Vicenzi’s Spooky Design Contest 2016. It’s a loose, freeform narrative game, inspired by “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbus Tertius”, The Twilight Zone, House of Leaves, Archipelago III and the board game Power Grid.

Interstellar Diplomacy

Interstellar Diplomacy is a freeform-ish game I wrote as an entrant into the Golden Cobra Challenge. You play alien diplomats, meeting on earth to decide whether or not war will destroy the galaxy. I’m voting against it, but you might have other concerns.

The formatting for the game is just whatever raw text output that Google Drive created, because Scribus crapped out on me several hours into working on the game. Stupid Scribus, I’m beginning to really hate you. Juan Manuel Avila was kind enough to make some nice looking cards that should be helpful if you choose to play.

Nameless Horror version 0.2

nameless horror

I made an update to my old nameless horror game. In the process, I expanded the rules several times over. But it plays much better now!

Nameless Horror 0.2 core rules
Nameless Horror Scenarios
Yes / No cards and Questioner card

I haven’t substantially changed the oracle deck, so that’s still cool to use.

[Game Chef] Afterlife, Incorporated final draft

I think that my Game Chef entry is about as done as it is going to get. So here is Afterlife, Incorporated.

Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut

Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut is a little game I wrote about Russian fairy tales as a quick game design refresher. This version of the game is still pretty rough, but it playtested pretty well. (as always, there is a lot I’d like to tweak about the game.)

I’m still using a modified Deck of Many Things for my fate deck. Mostly, this is because I didn’t spend as much time crafting this game. You could easily substitute various Tarot and Tarot-like decks or the cards from Once Upon a Time.

[House of Masks] New playtest version

House of Masks 0.3 is the latest revision of my (award winning) 2008 Game Chef game. The idea with this one is that it is a series of cards to be read out loud as you play to explain the entire game. (The last few pages are the backs of the first few pages, and act as a FAQ/commentary track.)

I’ve been using a modified version of the Deck of Many Things for the tarot-like cards in my playtesting. That deck may change eventually over time, but for now it seems to work pretty well.

Here are the sheets for the player characters.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The art is copyrighted by the fine artist Dale Horstman and Wizards of the Coast.

Return to Maniac Mansion

Return to Maniac Mansion is a game I made for Johnathan Walton’s Stage One. It’s a fictional internal memo among some unnamed Lucasarts employees, and also a playable roleplaying game.

Once I Was a Warrior

For my brother’s 30th birthday, I made him a roleplaying game. It’s a meditation on fate, growing older and how people change over time.

Once I Was a Warrior