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Mechanic idea: build and break consequence graph

Started by hyphz, April 09, 2002, 06:42:17 PM

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This is largely based on the "quick silly gaming" style I mentioned in my last post and especially on Joe Murphy's response to it - for quick cartoon (or similar) episodes in which many bizarre things occur but are quickly resolved by the end of each episode:

- Each player has a 'stash' of ten tokens, and a 'pool' which starts empty.  Each player's tokens are of a unique colour.

- The game starts in 'build mode'.  In this mode, PCs take actions that have some persistance.  They do not need to be permanent or have anything in particular forcing them to stay persistant, they just need to have some continuous effect.  (For example, going to the shops would count because it does have an effect - it changes your location and this change persists)  

- Any time a PC takes a persistant action that affects only themselves, they put one of their tokens into their pool.

- Any time a PC takes a persistant action that affects another PC, they put one of their tokens in that PC's pool, and the affected player puts one of their tokens in the affecting player's pool.

- There is an extra stash and pool representing "the environment"/"the situation"/"the big bad" etc, or whatever external aspect the players want.  Because it has no player, it only ever gets tokens by being affected by PC's actions.  Also there is only one of these and when it is decided what it represents, that decision sticks.

- This building continues until one player runs out of tokens.  Then the game cuts over to the break phase.  Any tokens players still had in their stashes are lost.

- In the break phase the idea is to resolve the situation in the most spectacular and entertaining way possible.  

- A player can only (initially) resolve an action that has a token in his own pool.

- When an action is resolved the player gets to take the token and put it in his stash.  

- If the token was the player's own colour, that is all, but if it was someone else's colour, the player can also take their token back from the appropriate other player's pool.

- The biggie: whenever a player has resolved an action and taken a token coloured for a player other than themselves, they can then (in the same action) resolve a token from that other player's pool, provided they can describe how this occurs as a consequence or a minor extension of their original action.  If the token they take is also not their own colour, this recurs until they run out of ideas or they take a token of their own colour.

- When all the pools are empty, the 'winner' is the person with the most tokens in his stash (of any colour).

The problem with this is that I can't see how to represent characters or give 'bonuses' within it, nor can I see a good way of dealing with non-fun actions.. and people who set up the most situations can be penalized because there will be more 'paths' leading to their pool.  I am not sure how big the 'graphs' could get.  Do people think this could work?  Any suggestions for fixing this up?