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Author Topic: [Game Chef 2011] Hammlet & The Book of William  (Read 1047 times)
ADGBoss
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« on: July 15, 2011, 08:22:50 AM »

It was in the dark days after the great plague when the Feeders left us and we had to fend for ourselves that the strangeness befell us. We had changed, our world had changed but not one of us understood its true meaning. <snort> Some of the bulls and the shepherds talked about putting us back in our cages, for our protection. <snort> Protection hell, that made us easier to eat and easier to control! In those days to try and read the words of the Feeders was a death sentence. <snort>. Then one day Hammlet came down from the Feeders house and in his snout he carried The Book of William. I remember as we all gathered and he dropped the book in front of us. He rooted through the pages until he came to the one he wanted and in a slow voice, the first real voice any of us had heard since the Feeders had gone, he read to us.

"To be or not to be."

It changed everything.


Hammlet & The Book of William is a Fantasy Game of Self Discovery through the eyes of farm animals given intellect (and vocal chords) via some plague that destroyed all human life on Earth. For those who have read The Book of William (rightly titled The Complete and Uncut Works of William Shakespeare) they find  that the simplicity of their lives has been forever altered and to be, they must to do.
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MatrixGamer
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 11:11:06 AM »

Back in the 1980's there was a really cool King Leer done at Shakespeare in the Park in Louisville KY. All the nobles were birds and the peasants were lizards. Bizarre! But very fun to watch. Which means you can do any animal thing with Shakespeare and it works.

Chris Engle
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Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
http://HamsterPress.net
ADGBoss
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 11:41:31 AM »

I was thinking the same thing, that the uplifting of animals just sort of screamed Shakespeare at least to me. I have also added a bit to the theme / title:

Hammlet & The Book of William -  A Fantasy Game of Self Discovery &TTragic Absurdity

I intend for their to be an element of absurdity as opposed to outright humor. A mild form of Monty Python woven into the fabric of what will be a life and death kind of game. Fatalism is another word that comes to mind.

I definitely think the game is already leaning heavily in the narrative direction
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ADGBoss
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 05:59:08 AM »

Okay a question for those interested...

I am at a point where I am defining the farm animal types players can choose from and I sort of knee jerk started making lists of traits for each animal. Then I stopped myself. That will be a lot of work and in some ways it may limit the players and even the characters. There is supposed to be an element of absurdity involved and so I thought perhaps I should just give each player 3 trait slots and he or she would make up the trait. That way three legged pigs, hornless man-cows, and flightless chickens could all be possibilities without too much ado.

So either...

Chicken, Domestic (Standard)
-Has Wings, limited flight
-Falls asleep when head is put under wing
-Beak attack

OR

Chicken
-Has wings but cannot fly
-Is a nightowl and goes to bed at sunup
-Has sensitive beak for -1 with beak attack

I am leaning towards Option 2 with a simple caveat: "Players are free to make their three traits as absurd or mundane as they wish, but they should try and remain plausible. The Poet and the other players have the right right to say 'Ok maybe that is too outlandish or impossible.' if the trait stretches possibility too much."

Thoughts?
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ADGBoss
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 06:39:10 AM »

Invoking the Power of William

-Characters will be able to invoke the uplifting words of The Book. To do so they have to speak in Iambic Pentameter. I am thinking though that they get bonus dice if they make up something original as opposed to just using something already written.  Think that could push players to tap further into their creativity.
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Hans Chung-Otterson
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 12:06:21 AM »



I am leaning towards Option 2 with a simple caveat: "Players are free to make their three traits as absurd or mundane as they wish, but they should try and remain plausible. The Poet and the other players have the right right to say 'Ok maybe that is too outlandish or impossible.' if the trait stretches possibility too much."

Thoughts?

I like leaving the traits open. I have a question, though: why plausability? I'm not saying that's a bad thing to need for your traits, but tell us what plausability in the traits does for the game, and then we'll know why we should try and remain plausible, as opposed to just being told to "do it".
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ADGBoss
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 05:37:17 AM »

I see plausibility as the last thin hold on reality that makes the absurdities that do occur have more impact. It also creates a unique image for each type of animal that cannot necessarily be copied by another animal. Other than their improved human like vocal chords and intelligence, the animals in the world have not undergone mutations. They are still chickens and pigs and goats and cows. So some level of plausibility is needed to keep things just grounded enough.
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