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Blushu in the Capeyard
Topic: Blushu in the Capeyard (Read 272 times)
Blushu in the Capeyard
March 28, 2009, 08:02:50 PM »
Here's the playable version of a game I've been working on off and on for three years; even though I've never joined The Forge I sure have learned a lot from lurking here.
In any case, the name of this game (and the name of the thread) as it stands is based on the quartet of amazing games this one is derived from:
Dogs in the Vineyard
My goal was to create a game that used playing cards well, like Blur, was fast as Wushu (and takes its veto mechanic), had "powers" that incur a sort of debt, like Capes, and inspired a certain sense of "you never get hurt or die unless it's something worth getting hurt or dying about," a la Dogs.
In any case, I would very much like feedback. What do you like and why? What don't you like and why? What could be improved? What doesn't make sense? What problems seem self-evident? I'll take anything.
This game uses a standard deck of playing cards (with two jokers) and some form of tokens in two colors (checkers pieces do nicely). As for the playing cards, I tend to employ four-color decks for faster recognition.
All participants are called players. One player is designated the Game Master (GM) and the others are designated Character Players (CPs).
CPs each pick or create a character that they control, much as you'd control another person in a video game. You may describe the things they think, say, and do with little hindrance. The character of a CP is called a Player Character (PC).
The GM doesn't have any one character to himself. The GM instead plays the roles of everything else in the game's world; friends, foes, background, environment, fate, etc. The GM also guides the game's story and typically sets up the setting. When GMs are representing characters, they are called Non-player Characters (NPCs).
All players sit down and create a story. When two or more players don't agree, it's time for a conflict.
Player Character Creation
All PCs have a Drive. This is a single word that represents the main motivating force behind their actions. You start playing with three (Drive) Tokens, which mean if your drive is “Love,” they'd be called “Love Tokens.”
All PCs have a Struggle. This is the opposite of a Drive; it's what holds your character back. You start playing with three (Struggle) Tokens, which, like Drive Tokens, are named after your Struggle (Grief Tokens, Hate Tokens, etc.)
The four suits (Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds) represent different “attitudes” which vary depending on the game setting. A generic example: Clubs = Strength, Spades = Agility, Diamonds = Mind, and Hearts = Spirit. You choose the suit that best represents what your character's knack is and that becomes your favored suit.
Your character has Powers. These are specific abilities that your character can utilize to help them achieve victory – at the cost of weakening their resolve against their struggle! You may have to choose from a list of powers or you could make them up, depending on the game. The number of powers varies, but in general your powers should cover any possible situation between them.
Anything else your character has is called a Note. Notes don't factor into play mechanics, but they are still important. Notes are divided into several categories, which are different for each game setting. Typical categories might include Background, Talent and Flaws, Relationships, Possessions, etc.
In normal play, all players may freely narrate, with the players generally sticking to their characters and the GM sticking to the NPCs. If someone has a problem with another person's narration, they may Veto it (as in Wushu).
Conflicts happen when normal play would be boring. The stakes don't have to be set in stone; it's a general “If I win I decide how this turns out” agreement.
The GM sets a score, usually a number between 2 and 6. The first player to reach this score wins the narration rights to the conflict's resolution.
All players draw 4 cards and attempt to make the best 4-card Poker hand possible whilst describing their actions.
When everyone is done fiddling, all players put down their hand for all to see.
The player with the best hand wins a point, hands are discarded and the next round begins. Play continues until someone reaches the score. That person may dictate what happens. This player also may describe changes to other player's Powers, Drives, Struggles, and notes, as seems appropriate (this is essentially how character advancement happens).
If a CP has cards of his PC's favored suit in his hand, he may spend a Drive Token to make all such cards in his hand wild. Even though these cards are wild, they cannot become Aces.
A CP may voluntarily gain a Struggle Token when using a Power. Using a Power lets you trade out a number of cards (up to your whole hand) for new ones. This represents using your special ability at the cost of your resolve against your struggle.
The GM may spend one of the other player's Struggle Tokens to trade out a number of cards (up to his whole hand) for new ones. This represents your foe using your weaknesses against you. This is also an excuse to allow GMs to describe PCs getting messed up bad (broken arms, etc.)
At the end of the conflict, any CP who lost gets one Drive Token. This represents strengthened resolve in the face of defeat, or shared joy in your ally's victory.
If someone role-played really well, the GM may award them a Drive Token for free. This has no in-game representation but it's important to reward good role-playing in the rare moments it actually happens.
The Joker doesn't do anything unless you elect to gain two Struggle Tokens (if you're a CP) or spend two Struggle Tokens (if you're a GM). The Joker becomes wild (and can even be an Ace), but whoever wins that round (even if it's not you) gets TWO points. The Joker essentially represents something unexpected and jaw-dropping occurring; something that might make your problems worse rather than better.
If a CP voluntarily chooses to have their character die or otherwise leave the story at the end of the conflict, they automatically double their current number of points. This is just to encourage good drama.
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