EKB's Game Thread

Started by Eoin Keith Boyle, September 14, 2010, 12:15:27 AM

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Eoin Keith Boyle

another fun word in there - soujourn: to reside briefly in a place

Crunch: a 10-place scale between "Desert of the real" and "City-as-simulacrum" with some sort of token/mark-off system to show how far the character is between the two concepts. When a compentency check is called for by the story-guide or another player, the narrating player states their goals for the scene with the ritual phrase of "I'm seeking..." and a consequence is offered by another player (not story-guide) with the ritual phrase "yet ... stands against you." The SG counts down to the Vote: the narrating player shows how many points are on the side of the scale that are most appropriate to the challenge, the player who offered the consequence shows the points closest for the opposition, and the other non-SG players then vote by pointing at which outcome they think is more interesting. If either total is 10+, success is complete and clear. If it's between 7-9, then the success is not complete and there's a complication.

Positive and negative conditions or relationships can be used to modify the totals. Success moves the edge-token to expand the range of the tested stat on the scale, can be used to add positive conditions or remove negative conditions, or applied to another character as a shift/condition. Play then shifts to the next narrator & story-guide at the end of the challenge (or at the end of a short time (2 min?)).

A character goes out of play when either end of the scale have been reached - they are either fully enfolded into the real or embracing the simulacrum.

What it's about: the characters are trapped in the conceptual spaces between the Real and the Simulation. They establish TAZs and various constructs to assist them in either returning to the Simulation or to finally enter fully into the Real. It will be in some character's interest to assist some while hindering others. The actual setting is being left deliberately open - the players can build various solipsist dreamworlds and dystopias as they see fit. The interest lies not in the scenery so much as in the fact that the characters are on an edge that will no longer hold - the options are closing down for them and one or the other must be chosen.

How it does this:
as simulation: The crunch very clearly implements a "crab bucket" approach to character/player interaction with temporary placement on a relationship map. The story of the character fiction is the journey from a third-place to a final disposition. The characters represent the edges of both outcomes - the City (simulacrum) and the Desert (the real).
as mechanic: The players are seeking to reach an edge of the scale rather than remain in the middle of the range. The interactions of the players reinforce the social contracts in a manner consistent with Eco's description of the City, while still keeping the objectivity of the Real (is the total over 7? over 10?) while not rejecting the possible absurdity of having both Acheivement and Consequence happen simultaneously. As the only tools needed are paper and pencil, the game could feasibly be played while travelling on a journey.

Now to change this from rant to game... ;)

Eoin Keith Boyle

Real life is choosing to intrude on the festivities of GC. So I'll likely develop this at a later date...