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Started by lumpley, September 13, 2011, 08:07:57 PM

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So, screw it. I've decided to be enthusiastic about playing games instead of reluctant. Take THAT, me.

HGMO is a sweet, fun, easy game. Give it a try.

GxB is a funny, fun, easy game. Give it a try too.

Now, it's possible, and I'll assert my claim, that I'm the person in the world who has been longest made awkward and embarrassed by romance rpgs. If you think you have a rival claim, you should know first that I'm friends with Emily Care Boss and I was made awkward and embarrassed by the first ever playtest of Breaking the Ice.

But here's me, riding up the elevator in the ID in Seattle, and I'm like, screw it, reluctance. What's the worst that can happen, I'll be awkward and embarrassed for an hour? That's no reason.

In HGMO, my guy was so in love, but the way the cards played kept him from expressing it until Ben's guy got shot. Ben kept inadvertantly shutting my hearts out, and I didn't even see a king until the very end. It was sweet, and pretty sad, but thank goodness there were only three aces out, not four, or it would have been not just sad but a real tragedy. We were this close to my guy having to declare his love to Ben's guy's grave.

In GxB, my guy took Momoko out to sushi in the ninja district. (It's just possible that I've been watching Pucca with my kids, yes. Why do you ask?) Takeshi Kitano was our sushi chef! I was all, "hey, Beat. Two daredevil specials, please." I won the game on the strength of that sushi, even though Momoko wound up paying for it - it turned out that my guy was all front, all writing checks he couldn't back.

Momoko made a fool of us both when we went dancing afterward. Kat's Momoko was sweet, she was always willing to unselfconsciously perform even when it made her look dorky.

I had an advantage in that game. Ben had revealed to me that it's easiest to win as the dangerous boy, Ichigo, so when Meg, Kat, Evan and I sat down to play, I chose him. The reason it's easiest to win with him is interesting, but it'll take some telling. Ask if you're curious.

Anyway, that's my new plan, to not be awkward and embarrassed, and to be enthusiastic instead of reluctant. Yay HGMO & GxB.


Joel P. Shempert

Awesome! I've played both of those games and liked them a lot.

I experienced the HGMO tension of "OH GOD WE BOTH WANT THIS TO HAPPEN BUT WE CAN'T CONSUMMATE IT BECAUSE I KEEP GETTING ALL YOUR KINGS!" It was good tension. Lots of smoldering looks and trembling bodies. It ended up all sad when I got poisoned. But I lived.

Some friends played a game recently and reported that the same thing happened but the tension felt awkward, like the game wasn't just providing fruitful resistance but was simply stymieing* the payoff of the sexual tension. Also, the Honore player DID get a King or two, but used them on stuff like "a brief caress," thinking he'd surely get the chance for heavy stuff later. No such luck!

I'm very curious about your reasons which Ichigo wins easiest.Myself,  I played Momoko, and at first it looked like the nerdy boy was going nowhere, but all his disastrous awkwardness (drunken karaoke and such) was so "d'awwww" that he got a lot of my cards. Ichigo looked at first like a sullen non-starter, then opened up about his feeeelings and racked up cards, then his stock plummetted at the pool hall with the gang fight, where I couldn't bring myself to stand by him and fled in shame. The class president looked promising as she showed me around the spring festival, but I shied away from a first kiss from a girl! And so nerdy boy it was!

Yay for kicking the ass of reluctance!


*Such an awkward word to spell, "stymieing."
Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.


Ben Lehman

Ichigo has an advantage because he starts cool. So all you have to do to get cards with Ichigo is show your sensitive side. For Takemichi, you have to show that you're cool and simultaneously show your sensitive side, which is a lot harder. (Not impossible, just harder.)

Risa is on a different scale. She starts cool, but showing vulnerability doesn't make her more loveable. She has to just keep on being cool. I'd put her after Ichigo, over Takemichi.

Of course, I might just be talking out of my ass!


Ben Lehman

So midway through our game of game of Hot Guys Making Out I'm like "C'mon, Vincent, you're not hoarding Kings, are you?"

Kings are the cards he plays to escalate physical intimacy.

He's like "god damnit, no!" And then I'm like "ok, the game has him."


Our theory after playing GxB is that to win cards you have to show how your life away from school is unlike your life at school. Ichigo has it easiest because there are so many obvious, fun, cute & satisfying ways for his life outside of school to be different. His vulnerability, for instance! For Risa and Takemichi, though, the most natural way to play them is to make them the same outside of school. It's kind of easiest to play them super cool and larger than life, or studious and thoughtful, at home too, and that puts them at a card-winning disadvantage.

Like, it's wasn't really a sign of vulnerability when my Ichigo bragged that he was 1/4 ninja on his dad's side, but it was a way that his real life was bigger than his school life. Takemichi's big moment, in our game, was when he took Momoko to a concert, and it wasn't classical music, it was a cool indie band in a cafe and he was friends with the drummer.

So that gives me my strategy for next time I play!



Hot Guys Making Out: Yeah. I would have started the game hoarding kings (as you guessed), but by scene 2 I was wishing for them, and especially wishing I could draw a high heart for once. My guy's poor unexpressed heart!


Jake Richmond

My experience after.... 30 or so games is that Ichigo wins the most in games with mostly men and Risa wins the most in games with Mostly women. It hadn't occurred to me that Ichigo has an advantage until Ben pointed it out. Ichigo is the character I play the least, since he's almost always someone's first choice. The downside of the Ichigo is that he's usually the least interesting of the characters. Everyone takes Ichigo to (roughly) the same place, where Takemichi and Risa are much, much more difficult.

Here's what I've seen so far:

Ichigo: Unrepentant biker punk,takes care of his mother, takes care of his grandparents, secret orphan, secret chef, gang connections, fondly remembers childhood, depressed over childhood, can't remember childhood, willing to let Momoko east sushi off his naked chest.

Risa: Not interested in girls at all, looking for a best friend, looking for a sex slave, timid and unsure of herself outside of school, gun collector, part time job, not sure about her sexuality, super sexually aggressive, allergic to boys, intent on dating every girl in school at the same time, child like wonder at neighborhood festival.

Takemichi: Computer nerd, gaming nerd, anime nerd, likes the zoo (I've seen Takemichi take at least 7 Momoko's to the zoo), can't sing but can totally dance, accidentally buys drugs, works at a coffee shop, has an older woman who is in love with him and jealous of Momoko, collects "hug pillows", allergies, lives with three older sisters.

Momoko is actually pretty interesting, since the entire game hinges on her. I've NEVER gotten to play Momoko by the way. Anyway, something that happens sometimes is that if Ichigo has the first date (which is nearly always the case for some reason) sometimes Momoko will just go all in and embrace a life of crime and deviancy. Which means that Risa and Takemichi get to play catch up.

Recently I've found that it's fun to play to lose. my last Takemichi was the president of the Momoko fan club, populated solely by himself and giant body pillows with Momoko's photo taped to them. he chased Momoko through the halls, shouting out his love confession while she fled in terror. Good stuff.

Anyway, the neat thing about both these game is that they're fast and fairly universal. Everyone likes to fall in love and everyone has an hour to spare. I ran 5 games at PAX, and even my most reluctant players (who had came in wanting to play Dominion) were able to have fun and embrace the idea.
Panty Explosion Perfect, Sea Dracula, G x B, Classroom Deathmatch, Ocean, Modest Medusa, Cel*Style


There is a game called Hot Guys Making Out? Man, I am not well versed in the indie scene... but that sounds scary to me! O_o

Good to hear people are having fun with it though. Tehehh.

Joel P. Shempert

So, Vincent, on Google+ you billed this thread as being about "the oppressive social footprint, and innovating to overcome it." (OSF = RPGs have huge barriers to participation in terms of time commitment, regular long-term scheduling, and learning curve)

What insights did you glean from GxB and HGMO regarding that?

Both games have these assets that I can see:

*Plays in an hour
*No prep, including no character generation
*Simple rules framework that can be learned quickly then run smoothly without centralized direction
*Uses a deck of playing cards, which is even MORE ubiquitous and accessible than 6-sided dice

In GxB's case, also:

*eye-popping artwork, including explanatory comics, that drop you right into mood, situation and characters.

Presumably HGMO will have some of this in final form, as well!

Anything else?

Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.

Jake Richmond

Joel, I'll add that both games are about romance/love/relationships, which is a pretty universally acceptable theme. If we're talking about accessibility, theme keeps people away from some games just a s much as complexity, format and body odor. My experience is that people don't have the same objections to G x B that they do to my other games ("sounds violent", "sounds perverted", "sounds railroaded", "I can't dance").
Panty Explosion Perfect, Sea Dracula, G x B, Classroom Deathmatch, Ocean, Modest Medusa, Cel*Style

Jake Richmond

Of possible interest: My long story about designing "Yaoi Explosion", G x B and B x B and why traditional design sucks.
Panty Explosion Perfect, Sea Dracula, G x B, Classroom Deathmatch, Ocean, Modest Medusa, Cel*Style


Hi -

a) Thanks for pointing out HGMO to me!
b) Thanks for reminding me that some of the slight dissatisfaction over rpgs in general and scheduling issues in my regular group are, in fact, directly related to the kind of games I play and that rules do matter here, too. Yes, people do get older and to take on more responsibilities (and just get less enthusiastic about getting their asses in gear in general, it seems) - but apart from personal or intra-group issues, rpgs with lots of prep time, lots of rules, lots of character creation, i.e. "story sometime later, maybe just between sessions, actually" - games tend to make that situation even more complicated. Doesn´t seem like such a great insight, but I somehow forgot about that til I read this.