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Son of Iron Game Chef!

Started by Mike Holmes, April 12, 2004, 07:29:35 PM

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Snow Day - Core Mechanic

Characters are defined by one stat - their age.  Age can be as low as 5, or as high as 15.

All rolls use 20-sided dice; you are encouraged to use a sparkly white d20, because they kind of look like snowballs.  There are two types of rolls; Fantasy Checks (roll under your age), and Reality Checks (roll over your age).  If you roll exactly your age, then that is a success for regardless of whether it was a Fantasy or Reality Check; plus, you get a Gold Star.  (Haven't decided what Gold Stars do yet.)

Fantasy Checks are used for: Discovering secret tunnels, Sculpting Ice Monsters to assist you, Figuring out what other peoples' Ice Monsters can do (and how to beat 'em), and Making Up True Stuff.

Reality Checks are used for: Throwing Snowballs, Running Real Fast, Avoiding Parents, Sneaking Out Of The House, and Knowing Lots Of True Stuff.[/b]
Hans Christian Andersen V.
Yes, that's my name.  No relation.

John Harper

Shouldn't younger kids be better at Fantasy Checks and older kids better at Reality Checks? I think the rolls are backwards.
Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!


Talysman enters the Roleplaying Arena a bit late, still recovering from a recent illness... and perhaps a bit feverish, since he seems to be muttering setting ideas to himself and viciously rejecting them. "maybe a 19th-century artic explorers discover a Conanesque Ultima Thule, magical tropical island surrounded by ice and mist? nah, too many forgotten island entries already... a floating ice-island? nope, someone just covered that one, too..."

wracked briefly by a fit of coughing, he has a sudden inspiration and begins mixing ingredients in a large bowl. "I only hope I have not wasted too much time!" he exclaims.

IceRunner: a dweomerpunk fantasy setting

concept: life is brutally pseudomedieval. the serfs work the land until they collapse in the dust, the nobles rule their subjects with an iron hand. towns are small and few, with a few simple craftsmen plying obvious dark-age-level technical trades. the Church keeps a tight reign on knowledge, especially magic. no one's ever seen an elf or a magic sword, although people believe in them.

but hidden from the mainstream is a whole underworld of illegal sorcerors practicing the Forbidden Arts, communicating via an astral void scattered with islands of pseudoreality. pure sorcerors forget the gritty reality entirely and focus on exploring or constructing astral isles; others sell themselves as assaultmages to politically ambitions nonmages, directing their curse powers against enemies, for a price.

but the most sought after socerors specialize in moving contraband into or out of the astral void, especially that most sought-after magical powersource, the astral diamond, known in sorceror's argot as "ice". if you trade in ice, you're an icerunner.

and that means respect.
John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects:


I didn't think I'd have an entry, then this sprung fully-formed into my mind.

Island at the Dawn of Time

A chilly wind picks up as the sun begins to rise; you feel the first touches of warmth on your cheek.  It is the first time - your first sunrise, the first sunrise ever, and as you awaken you look over the island on which the Creator set you before he turned off the lights and walked away.  The ice is melting on the island, but as you look out upon the frozen sea all around you, you realize there is so much work to do.

It is the dawn of a universe, a world waiting to be born, and your characters are its Adams and Eves.  It is your job to name the things in this world, and in doing so give them form and purpose.  But the long night before the first day has frozen those things in the sea, encased them in ice.  And the ice will not give up its secrets easily.

Armed with nothing but your Names, you and your fellow children of the Creator prepare to make war with the ice, to free the world that is waiting to be born.
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming


QuoteShouldn't younger kids be better at Fantasy Checks and older kids better at Reality Checks? I think the rolls are backwards.

Quite right, John.

It figures that Iron Game Chef shows up the same week that I switch to decaf.[/code]
Hans Christian Andersen V.
Yes, that's my name.  No relation.

Paul Czege


In past IronGC competitions we've had folks not announce their intent to participate until they'd basically already completed their entry, which then comes as a complete surprise to spectators and contestants alike in the very late stages of the competition.

I'd like to suggest that this isn't very conducive to odds-making and side-betting among spectators. What can be done?

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans


BADASS the roleplaying game
every man is an island.

The Measure of a Badass is his Enemy.
The GM is gonna throw fearsome shit at you.  You're ready for it, or you're gonna go play some weaker game.

Chef schmef!  I'm'a serve up bloody raw red meat!



Well, I think I'm gonna throw my hat into the arena

Look forward to it.

Rich Forest

Alright, dammit, wow. I go to bed, get up the next morning, and look at all these beautiful games that want to be played. And wow.

Jonathan Walton

Wow.  This is an amazing array of cooking talent we have lined up here.

Just a brief tease of what's coming.


Materials & Setup

To play Seadog Tuxedo, you will need the following:

1) A table that you can get wet.  Either some kind of plastic one, or you can cover your expensive wooden dining room piece with a vinyl tablecloth.  Whatever.  Just something you can get messy.

2) Walk into a liquer store or other dealer of alcohol.  Buy the cheapest rum you can find.  [EDIT: Yes, I mean literally the cheapest rum that's being sold.  I don't care how awful it is.]  You're not going to drink this because you like it.  You're going to drink this because you're badass.  If you're underage, find something that is sufficiently badass, like real ginger ale (the spicy kind) or high-class root beer/cream soda.

3) A few coasters or other small objects to represent the Summer Isles.  Arrange them all on one side of the table, in an archipeligo.  Arrange the players seats around the opposite side of the table, far from the Isles.  The GM's chair goes opposite, since they're in charge of the sun-worshiping shaman-wizards.

4) You're going to need some small things to represent ships.  If you have pieces from Wizkid's upcoming foam pirate miniatures game, that would be great.  Otherwise, just use whatever you can find.  They need to be small, like two inches long at the most.  Legos might work too.

5) You're going to need lots of icecubes.  If you have trays, make sure you fill them the night before, but an electric machine (like in most up-scale refrigerators) is better, so it'll keep refilling during the game.  You're probably going to want to play in the kitchen if you can.  Otherwise someone will keep having to run and get more ice.

6) You're going to need basic pirate gear for each player.  A hat or an eyepatch is plenty.  Just something simple and noticable.  When their character is in badass pirate mode, the gear stays on, when they become a cute and adorable penguin, that stuff comes off.  This keeps you from having to use a character sheet (superceding what I wrote previously), which would probably just get wet and fall apart.  Lacking proper pirate gear, baseball caps work.  Just turn them around backwards when you're a badass pirate and forwards when you're a cute penguin.


More soon...


Quote from: Paul CzegeIn past IronGC competitions we've had folks not announce their intent to participate until they'd basically already completed their entry, which then comes as a complete surprise to spectators and contestants alike in the very late stages of the competition.

Conversely, a couretsy question: how certain should I be of completion if I want to announce a potential entry? (This could be a reason for the not announcing.)


Quote from: Guest Sumo Wrestler Commentator
I'm wondering if the rum needed for Walton-san's penguins needs to be further clarified. I mean.. if you think about it.. if you go into a store and look, there are the gold rums and the silver rums, and they're usually the same price.
Quote from: Fukui-san
Yes, that's true! And there's a difference in how they're made, correct?
Quote from: Guest Sumo Wrestler Commentator
Correct, but in the very cheap rums, the gold rums are made by adding food coloring and other additives, while the humanely decent gold rums are made in oaken casks. The cheap gold rums can really do a number on your system!
Quote from: Fukui-san
So I guess we need to ask Walton-san if it's more in the spirit of his game to choose a cheap gold rum over a cheap silver rum?
Quote from: Guest Sumo Wrestler Commentator
Yes, yes, that is what I'd like to know.
You see:
Michael V. Goins, wielding some vaguely annoyed skills.


Rum-guzzling Penguinista Buccaneers?  That's a hell of a tough act to follow.  Here goes...

Snow Day!  Making Ice Monsters:

Describe the Ice Monster you want to make.  It can have as many abilities as you want it to, but you can never make the same Ice Monster twice.  As an exception, you can make a whole bunch of the same Monster all at the same time; an army of Snow Goblins, for example.

Now, you (and any other kids who want to help you) need to go collect Pieces so that it can have the special abilities that you want.  For example, if you want to make an Icicle Dragon that can Breathe Fire, Fly, and is Impervious to Snowballs, you might first go swipe Uncle Mel's cigarette liter (for the Fire Breathing), then borrow the wings from your kid sister's old Halloween costume (for the Flying), and then grab a piece of corrugated tin from the workshed (for an armor plate that is Impervious to Snowballs).

You can only hold two things at a time; one in each hand.  If something is particularly big and heavy (like the piece of corrugated tin), then it will occupy both of your hands.  So if you have to get a lot of items to make your Ice Monster, you'll have to stash them somewhere; you can't carry them all at once.  Watch out for Joey's Gang, as they might want to steal your unguarded Pieces to make their own Ice Monsters!

If you have an existing Ice Monster that has an ability that lets it Carry something, then it can hold on to a Piece for you.

Also, if you know exactly where to find a piece, you can send any existing Ice Monsters to go fetch it (assuming that the existing Ice Monster can Carry), but remember that Ice Monsters can't go indoors where it's warm; you have to do that yourself.  And when you go inside, watch out for Mom & Dad, because they might catch you and make you clean your room or something.

(And be very careful about stopping for a cup of hot cocoa, because if you stop indoors for any length of time, all your Ice Monsters melt and you have to make new ones.  Ideally, get Mom to give you a Thermos full of cocoa before you set out.  With the disadvantage that thermos-cocoa can't accommodate marshmallows.)

Also remember that anywhere you go outside, you might be spotted by Joey's Gang, so keep a snowball handy at all times.  And a snowball occupies one of your hands

Once you've assembled the various pieces, you can spend some time sculpting your Snow Monster.  All of your Snow Monsters have Snow Monster Power equal to your Age, and all of the abilities that you were able to scrounge up Pieces for.  Newly created Snow Monsters follow you around wherever you go until you tell them to do something else.
Hans Christian Andersen V.
Yes, that's my name.  No relation.

Spooky Fanboy

Quote from: talysmanIceRunner: a dweomerpunk fantasy setting

I'll be wanting the recipe for this one, regardless of the outcome of the contest...
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!

Eero Tuovinen

Huh! I'd like to give up rather than confront this kind of superior design, but that'd be dishonorable. I'd better show some mechanics from my humble design effort for a change. Really hard to be noticed with so many classy acts in the arena. I should have brought some penguins too, werewolves simply aren't in season...

The following is the central mechanic of the Battle of the Frozen Waste. I'll keep on the character creation for a little while yet.

The Bag and stones

In addition to creating characters and setting details the players will need to prepare the Bag: this is a normal bag suitable for stone-drawing mechanics, accompanied by different colors of stones. The stones are put into another bag heretofore referred to as the reserve and mixed. From now on the stones from the reserve are drawn in random.

   The stones themselves are different colors; at least two and no more than five or six colors is probably suitable. The rules will often refer to a fist of stones: this is any amount of stones a player can comfortably close his fist around to conceal them from the other players. There is no minimum to a fist, and if the players should be giants or the stones really small nothing stops from using something else than player's fist as a limit to stone drawing, as long as the stones are concealed comfortably. There should be at least five fists of stones per player in the reserve at the start of the game, though all colors need not be in equal amounts. If the players have particularly luxurious stone collections the reserve can be made by each player simply grapping a full fist or two of preferred colors. The goal here is for the players to have some rough notion about how many stones per color there are, but to still allow for uneven distributions if that should be preferred.

   A fist of stones is always open to the player himself and secret from the other players. The Bag is always secret to all, except for rough evaluation by weight, feeling from the outside etc. The reserve is likewise secret. Anything else is public. A player may reveal secret information known to him as long as he doesn't include numbers.

   At any time during the game the players may add stones to the reserve by the fist: each player may take stones of a preferred color and add that fist in the reserve. This can be done any time all the players accent, and must be done when the reserve runs empty.

   Before play starts each player puts a fist of stones from the reserve to the bag, checking the colors. Thus each has some notion about the colors of the stones making up the Bag. While it's permissible to talk about the colors, it's considered bad taste to reveal exact numbers. If preferred by all, a second round of fists may be added to ensure a longer game.

The last part of the preparation is for the players to assign meanings to the stones. Stones will act as randomizers and a kind of an oracle for deciding how the play will progress. Most of their meaning is generated during play, but as with the characters, something will be fixed at the start. Each player will choose one quality for one color of stone in accordance with the following explanation. The decisions are made individually and may all concern the same stone color. Any non-sensible meanings are redecided until an agreement is reached.

The stones are used for multiple purposes through the game, but the most common one is as a help in interpreting actions through the /meanings/ of the stones.

   Every color has multiple meanings that are defined through play. Players keep record of these with pen and paper. Meanings are only ever added, never reduced. The same color may never have two completely and clearly contradictory meanings, as defined by consensus. Only meanings relevant to a given situation are ever considered, while relevancy is judged by the player doing the consideration.

When choosing meanings for the colors the players should first consider these, most basic ones. A color should have at least one meaning from these examples, and a color may ever have only one meaning from a given list, as others are always considered contradictory.


Frozen waste


(others to taste)

(others to taste)

When assigning additional meanings the players are almost completely free to invent any they care to. Meanings incomprehensible to other players are almost useless as others won't use them. Contradiction is judged most strictly, so for example "Order" and "Werewolves" are not in any way contradictory, although werewolves are setting elements associated with the Ambassador. When in doubt, if two players are for any meaning it will be accepted.

   Meanings hold to the same non-limiting principle that regulates general description. No meaning may be universal, such that it applies to any and all situations. All spheres of meaning have to be divided in at least two parts when assigning them to colors. In other words, there must specifically be something that doesn't belong under a given meaning.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.