No, really, I don’t tend to synch up that well with other people creatively. I accomplish far more as an auteur, or given some instructions and left to get on with it. I think any collaboration or group effort would suffer in both quality and focus for it…
I have TRIED to work with other people to create games and the end result has either been an aborted project, or me finishing it by myself. This is pretty remarkable in and of itself, thanks to my mental health issues which can impact negatively on my capacity to work…
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This is a game for two players. Each player describes a superhero in broad, general terms such as ‘I dress up as a bat and punch people, with gadgets’. They then describe three key events from their character’s past.
My parents are dead, murdered in a mugging.
A superpowered drug addict broke my back.
I was born into wealth and privilege. I never wanted for anything.
Each player then takes it, in turn, to present the opposite hero with a heroic dilemma, such as a choice between saving the woman he loves, or a bus-load of nuns.
“I spend many nights praying for a just, benevolent god to bring back my parents, or to reveal who it was that murdered them. My prayers went unanswered. Fuck those nuns. Fuck them in their stupid arses.”
Using the engine of a flashback, that fits a key event, the player must describe something related to it, that informs their decision upon how to act. Play continues until both players have made three dilemma decisions, no key event may be used for a flashback more than once. This ramps up the challenge as play continues.
When the sun sets it’s time to clean The Tube. Not only do you have to clean fast food wrappers from the third rail, but there’s the giant roaches, armed tube mice, vampires, Victorian cannibals, ghost trains and ‘The Gap’. All this for minimum wage and the pick of lost property.
Blood!, All Flesh Must be Eaten, Chill, The Laundry Files
Art by Haruki Design
There’s so many…
I’d really like to tear apart and remake Dust Adventures. I don’t think it did a good job at all of transitioning between the wargame/board game and an RPG and I feel it failed to capture the spirit of the game and its aesthetic. My version would have been virtually directly compatible and would have played out far more pulpy, almost a more gritty version of Feng Shui in a lot of ways, with Nazis dying left and right in droves, taking on units rather than individuals. I even wrote a version of what I would do before the official game was announced. Given all of Dust’s issues and the likely length of any license, getting a crack at that seems unlikely though…
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Non-Newtonian fluids are well known. Non-Einsteinian fluids are loose in space and time and coalesce around FTL drives and other space oddities, ageing everything they touch and always hungry for more. Worse, they’re time-displaced waste from the same FTL systems they attack.
Starblazer Adventures, Starfinder, Star Wars.
Art by Eric Pfeiffer
After an encounter with a grumpy magician, you are left cursed with good luck. Yes, cursed, because while everything you do seems to come off flawlessly, everyone around you suffers terrible luck to compensate. Somewhere out there is your opposite and to end the curse you must meet.
Unknown Armies, Mage the Ascension, D&D, Pathfinder, Legends of Anglerre.
Art by Raquee Najmuldeen
Because that’s what I enjoy.
Oh, you want more?
Well, besides the fact that I tend to enjoy complex and well-defined worlds, conspiracies, plots, horror and emotional attachment, there’s the fact that these are hard to engender in a game. ‘Delve into the Dungeon of Prolapse the Underwhelming to fetch The Headpiece of Fring’ is pretty simple, ‘Take the Buttplug of Doom to Mount Snoozemoor’ is longer, but pretty simple. Overthrowing a government, rooting out a secret society, making your neighbourhood a better place or falling in love against the odds and raising a family, running a mercenary company during a conflict between many parties – these are more difficult.
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The Alderman house looms large. At night the moans of Alderman’s son and wife can be heard drifting from the windows. He allows almost no-one in. Soon he will die, take over his son’s body and seek a new wife to continue the cycle, or the reincarnation of his lost Toringi love.
Call of Cthulhu, World of Darkness
It is the far future. Mankind has spread throughout the stars, mingled with other species, and become part of galactic society. Every planet has its own culture, of course, but some of them resemble ancient Earth history, such as the gladiatorial fights on Cestus-2.
The game is played by two players with internet access and social media accounts, along with a referee to handle disagreements and to interpret what happens.
Find a picture of your sci-fi gladiator, name them and post them to your social media, telling people you’re playing the game and use the tag #RUNOTENTERTAINED in all your posts
The referee now describes entering the arena and facing off, then combat begins.
Each player describes their ‘move’ and posts it as a poll to their social media followers, asking ‘Do I succeed or fail?’
Total up the succeed/fail numbers for each player to determine the winner of each round. You can set a cut-off point of 5/10/15 minutes for voting to end.
Whoever gets the highest vote (Succeed-Fail compared to the other player) wins.
Three victories total and you get to land your death blow – or spare your opponent. Your choice.
Art by Garrett Post
The Mirror Palace was to be the jewel of the city. It was, for all of 48 hours and then it shattered. The King is superstitious. By conservative estimate, the kingdom just inherited 2.1 million years of bad luck. The race is on to counteract with lucky charms of any kind.
Art by Leon Tukker