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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 47 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Gems] Slapstick Heist  (Read 1803 times)

Posts: 49

« on: February 10, 2011, 07:50:58 AM »

Okay, I've got a terrible habit of clashing with The Ronnies, but you can download Gems at... http://www.mediafire.com/?b23i33au266k66u

I was thinking tonight about why Secret Hearts hit a design wall. I realised there are simply too many moving parts. I'm new to this design lark, and definitely bit off more than I could chew at this stage.

So I returned to the original idea: turning the Hearts mechanic into a roleplaying game. That is, Hearts the card game, which you can probably play on your computer right now. I think there's something really neat about these mechanics, but my previous attempt really took things in the wrong direction. I wanted something cleaner, with more humble ambitions.


It's a one off storytelling game, although each player "owns" one character. Each character has a specific area of weakness: mental, physical, emotional, or social.

There are three rounds of hearts (Scope, Heist, and Escape) and whenever a player wins a heart, their character has screwed up in some terrible way related to their weakness. Blame counters are then passed around like hot potatoes, and everything should get really crazy really quickly.

If that sounds good, check out the link. It's a tiny document at this stage.

What I'm After

Hopefully, Gems is such a simple game that any flaws will be readily apparent to fresh eyes.

Does the system promote drama, or merely allow for it?
Is this the sort of system that needs a specific setting, or is the heist structure inherently flavourful?
If I'm tapping into "slapstick heist," what movies am I talking about? I assume the genre exists, but for some reason all I can think of is Home Alone meets Ocean's Eleven.
How much chance is acceptable in a gamist system? Is it acceptable that somebody is shafted because of a single bad hand, or should victory always be at least possible?

Is there really anything in this Hearts mechanic? What could it do? What couldn't it do?
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