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Author Topic: [Grofafo-challenge] Goochelaar Meisjes  (Read 3115 times)

Posts: 20

Dortmund, Germany

« on: August 24, 2006, 02:03:38 AM »

I've read in GroFaFo that some people here at The Forge are interested in the results of the German Grofafo-Challenge (see this report for details). To make it short, it was a German game contest where you had to write your game within 72 hours and to use at least 2 of 4 key words (cave, law, mother, sensuality - I went for the last three).
What I offer here is a translated version of my contribution "Goochelaar Meisjes". It managed to reach the 3rd rank in the challenge, so it should give you a good insight into the quality of the shortlisted games. It's the original version which was created within 72 hours - the only change I did (besides translation) was clarifying some fuzzy sentences.
(I'm already planning some changes, but I won't give them away right now. I want to read what people who're unbiased by my plans have to say about the game - otherwise I would fear a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.)

This game tries to catch and parodize the style of magical girl anime shows like Sailor Moon, and to cooperatively produce funny over-the-top stories.
The characters are Japanese schoolgirls with magical super powers who stick together in a coven and fight the Evildoer Of The Week like a demon queen, Godzilla or a brain-eating math teacher.
The players play their characters and drive the plot by their rights of narration, while the GM introduces the start of the adventure, demands attribute checks, decides when rewards(Kami dice) are given and lays back plot-wise (besides throwing baits and giving impulses in case that the game gets stuck).

Major influences are InSpectres (meta structure, basic dice-roll mechanic) and The Pool (gambling mechanic, reward system), although Risus ("your cliché is your equipment-list", tricky usage of inappropriate traits) and Wushu (coup de grace rule) influence it a bit as well.

I'm sure that not everyone is eager to read a 16-page PDF, so here is a summary of the mechanics to start with:

Game Prep
- define collaboratively the shared environment of the group (school, mentor, HQ)

Character creation
- invent name, moniker, look and short background
- allocate 4 points between your three attributes, which range from 0-3: Eager-beaverism (everything mental), Elegance (everything physical) and Empathy (everything social)
- find a descriptor for each of the following fields: Super Power (a broad key word like "fire" which allows you to do everything with the chosen element), Cliché (hobbies, special interests or unique talents) and Drive (a protégé whom you protect or a vow to strive especially eager for a special kind of "goodness")

- simple stake resolution
- roll a number of d6 equal to your attribute
- add 1d6 if either your Cliché or your Drive descriptor fits; add 2d6 if both fit
- look what's the highest result (the higher, the better)
- refer to this chart to determine if you won the conflict, how well you succeeded or failed and who has the right of narration:

* 1 - What a shame! Player narrates.
* 2 - Failure. GM narrates.
* 3 - Narrow failure. GM narrates, but player adds a positive side-effect.
* 4 - Narrow victory. Player narrates, but GM adds a negative side-effect. 1 success point.
* 5 - Victory. Player narrates. 2 success points.
* 6 - Clear victory! Player narrates. 3 success points.
(If you haven't piled up any dice to roll because your attribute has a value of 0 and no descriptor fits, assume that your best result was 1.)

- success points are collected by the whole group; if there are 15 of them, it could bring the adventure to a positive end (although nothing prevents from continuing, e.g. to round off the plot)

Kami dice
- every player starts an adventure with 3 of them; they have a different color than dice from attributes and descriptors
- you can decide before the dice roll to use them to boost your roll; this allows you also to roll even if your attribute has a value of 0 and no descriptor fits
- if at least one of your used Kami dice shows 1, you lose all your used Kami dice
- before the next adventure, your Kami dice are reset to 3, what means "use them or lose them"
- you gain a Kami die at two occasions:
=> if you roll a 1 as best result and narrate a disgraceful outcome for your character that is either especially perceptible in a sensual way (turning extremely red, crying so hard that your tears spray everywhere etc.) or sexually humiliating (lifted skirts, "pleasing" tentacles etc.).
You can do that also if you roll a 3 by replacing your positive side-effect with a disgraceful outcome as described above.
=> if you play out the Romance an other player has given to you in a kitschy fashion through the course of play.

Story structure
- the introduction of the problem
- the gathering
- investigations / complications
- prep for final
- the final

The PDF offers better explanations, advice, examples, more exact mechanics (how to give Romances, what if an adventure is aborted before 15 success points are collected etc.) as well as some crunchy bits (using Super Powers, using Combo Powers, supporting the check of an other PC etc.), but this summary is enough to show a rough picture.
If this summary makes you interested in the whole game, you can download it *here*, but you can give feedback even if you haven't read the PDF yet.

I thank for your time and effort to read and comment, and I really look forward to read your feedback and criticism.

- Stefan
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