Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 26, 2022, 10:08:45 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: roach theme cards  (Read 4237 times)

Posts: 449

Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland

« on: October 30, 2006, 06:26:06 AM »

A significant number of people have been telling me they like the roach but for the lack of an overarching structure. So, what I'd like to do is collect a number of Theme cards one can either draw at the start of the game or the beginning of each event to give people something to work with. In an ideal world, one would need about twenty to thirty different cards, or as a game component it would be too limiting. In addition, the themes should be generic enough to avoid cutting into the veils and limits discussion of the game.

In the spirit of the game, adhering to the theme should have a mechanical advantage that is different for roached and un-roached characters. I'm not totally sure about that. Basically I am imagining. opportunity/command cards that are overarching and valid for all players/characters.

So, what I would like to collect here is cards and mechanics. Card ideas that come from actual play reports and other sources of inspiration:

  • The University Library:The renovation, catalogization or building of a new university library is the focus of conflicts and narration. Example: The founder's day wine and cheese social might be the right place to scheme for the inclusion of one's favorite authors, or to position one's cronies for important library positions.
  • Publication/Scandal: Either a scandal is publicized, or the publication of works is a scandal, because of political content, plagiarism or plain bad reputation of the works one is publicized in. Example: The homecoming of the football team is the grounds for discussion about the appropriateness of an article by a respected professor in an illustrated sports magazine that is well known for it's swim suit issues.
  • A Monument: The building of a monument. This could either be the infamous Ziggurat Builder scheme where the roached characters work together to build a temple to the roach all the while scheming against each other for reputation (makes for complicated back stories, no?), or the monument to the founders. Example: For the christmas ball, it has to be decided where the carol singers will sing - on the lower stairs of the Ziggurat, or in front of the founder's monument for a good photo for the Pemberton Herald.
  • Friendly Competition?: Welcome to the world of university competition, be it drinking contests by fraternities, sports competition, spelling contests or whatever. Example: This is most easily combined with the homecoming event, but it might also be about winning new students for the various teams at the beginning of the semester or whatever.
  • Arts Exhibition: Pemberton has been selected as the center of this year's statewide art exhibition. Will the staff succeed in getting their favorite pieces of work there? Why are visitors missing? What about the newly found fondness for ancient sumerian steles?
  • Theatre Production: A variation on the previous theme, but the inclusion of performance gives this a whole new world of mayhem.
  • University Ranking: Pemberton is only ranked #12 in the university ranking. Who will be able to improve the university's ranking so more ivy league students will make sure enough money comes in? Who will use a roach or three to manipulate the evaluation board that visits the campus this year?
  • Science Fair: Pemberton has been asked to send their most promising students to an international science fair. Will the fair arts be able to subvert the scientific weight of the event, or will science prevail? What about the replica of an ancient sumerian steam engine is it Engineering or Anthropology?
As you can see, I tried to keep the ideas to concentrate on the academic setting. Some of the ideas might be of an advantage for some characters, but it might turn to their dismay if the event in question is damaging their reputation considerably.


Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2006, 06:48:57 AM »

I have only little experience with Roach at this point, but I always thought that the event structure was intented to do exactly this - it gives a location and implies lots of different activities that are reasonable in that context. Perhaps the different events should have more elaborate descriptions, with some suggestions for materials that could be introduced during the event? How do you view your theme cards as not overlapping and contradicting the explicit and implied content of the different events?

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Jason Morningstar
Posts: 1428

« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2006, 07:20:45 AM »

I'm definitely in favor of players agreeing on an over-arching theme to guide play before beginning if they prefer, and several of your suggestions would make great ones.  If you want a stack of themes to choose from, I might suggest choosing broader concepts like "sex", "loyalty", "duty", and so forth.  I think having an explicit theme would lead to less insanity over all.

Eero's correct that the individual Events are intended to provide some situation - the Pemberton Follies, for example, must appear in play and duplicate one of your points.  I don't see any reason why you couldn't substitute out one Event for another, with everyone's agreement - they are sequenced in loose time order and to encourage alternating Power/Status and Everything Else conflicts, but beyond that they are flexible.  If you found the Christmas Ball unappealing, for example, it would do no harm at all to substitute the annual Winter Carnival or another sporting event. 

Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!