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[The Early Hours] Closing the Box

Started by knicknevin, February 20, 2006, 07:40:11 PM

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I'm not ready to do a Power 19 on this yet, but here's what's buzzing about in my mind at the moment:

What is your game about?
It's the early hours after a long night at the bar and only the most dedicated drinkers are left... something in the mood makes people reminisce about their pasts, but particularly those things they would never usually talk about. The subject turns to loss, what's wrong with their town and, ultimately, whose fault it all is... for one amongst them is not what they seem and may not even be human at all...

What do the characters do?
Each character unearths some old, long buried pain, linked to some extent to unusual events in their town (e.g. the time they had their leg broken by that madman who escaped from the asylum in a stolen ambulance, shattering their dream of getting a football scholarship). As the game unfolds, these secrets become bigger, develop cross-links and build a picture of some terrible evil that has made its home in their town.

What do the players do?
Each strand of narrative allows the player to take another drink from the Barman (the GM), with each drink represented by a standard playing card. These cards can either be spent to interrupt or steal other narratives, or kept and built up into a powerful hand (I haven't decided yet whether to make this a poker or rummy mechanic). Whoever gets the Black Joker actually IS the evil in their town; the end game requires the other players to try to beat the Evil's hand with their own.

There's a bit more that could be said, but I'll leave that for now and come to my question:

One aspect of interrupting other player's narratives depends on a relationship between the Secrets and currently, I have these divided into 3 types: Grief, Guilt and Resentment.
Grief: A loss, something that was tragically taken from you.
Guilt: A burden, knowing that you have caused pain to others.
Resentment: Anger & hate, blame or accusation of others.

Now, what I would like is to 'close the box' here, because I think it needs a 4th type of secret: any player could start a narrative with any of these Secrets, but if you interrupt them, you have to respond with the next type around in the cycle:

Player 1: "I can never forget the way my 1st wife upped and left me to bring up my kids on my own" (Grief)
Player 2: "Dammit Bob, it's my fault for introducing her to the man she left you for!" (Guilt)


Player 1: "All that damned gambling; it broke me and left my family with nothing" (Guilt)
Player 2: "Yeah, and left all of us poor saps who worked for you out of a job, you b*st*rd!" (Resentment)

So...what would top Resentment and be topped by Grief? The best i could think of was something like Hope, e.g top Resentment by saying "Yeah, but it gave you the chance to get better jobs!" and topped by Grief like, "Its nice of you to say that, but it doesn't bring my sweet Emily back..." Only that sounds a little too upbeat & perky for this game! Any suggestions?
Caveman-like grunting: "James like games".


I can't really think of much to fit the theme... maybe Frustration? I feel like Grief and Guilt are somewhat linked, so maybe Anger and Frustration could be the matching pair. The problem is that they're probably too similar. I really just came up with it because I tried Googling all three terms and came up with this.
QuoteContested divorces can cause resentment, revenge, anger, fear, stress, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, loneliness, frustration, grief, guilt, hate between two people who, presumably, used to love each other enough to get married and have a family together.


Well, the answer came to me the day after I posted anyway; if I just turn Hope round, it becomes Fear, which fits in nicely.

So, the game is now well into development, I'm ironing out a few other wrinkles which I may post about soon.
Caveman-like grunting: "James like games".