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Theme Chaser: Story telling game

Started by Tony Irwin, October 03, 2002, 05:43:43 PM

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Just had another thought.   I heard about a West End Game based on the Tales of the CryptKeeper tv series (which itself was quite a sad, wilted thing) but the game was supposed to be interesting.

If what I heard was right, you played a character archetype (the brooding stranger, the struggling mother, the skanky blonde) who was fitted into what was relevant for each story  - be it contemporary, historical, whatever.  The archetype returned story after story even if the person died or lived happily ever after.

I can foresee all kinds of problems already, but also an interesting idea.   Has anyone seen this game, or is it just a myth?   Is it any good or does it even have some good ideas to salvage?


Ron Edwards

Hi Scott,

The Tales of the Crypt game operates precisely as you've described it, and it's a member of a kind of "family" of role-playing games which use this technique, which I call (based on a friend's coining) the "one-step-removed" character concept.

Other games which operate this way, or similarly anyway, include Morpheus, Extreme Vengeance, Hong Kong Action Theater, and (I think this one was first) It Came from the Late Late Late Show.

My final post in last December's Displacement thread laid out the options regarding this gaming technique.


Tony Irwin

In preparation for playtesting it I made a change:

To prevent a grab fest, you can only paint a number of Stages equal to your theme strength. This takes place immeadiately whenever your theme increases. So when someone uses your painted stage, you immeadiately get to paint another one. To kick it off you get to paint one stage before the game starts, at the same time you create your trapping.

This worked well in practice - helped to ensure that the focus was on telling stories, rather than managing the elements used to tell them.

You can read about my first game of this here!