[Game Chef 2011} The Night, the Wilderness, and the Power

Started by WPTunes, July 15, 2011, 08:38:27 PM

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This is my first Game Chef, and my first stab at Game Design. I can never do anything without a deadline.

Ingredients: Daughter, Forsworn, Nature

[This is a rough, mostly non-mechanical sketch. The ideas are there, but the actual resolution mechanics are not, yet. I'm leaning toward a tally pool of d6 with 4 or better counting as a success.]

You are a respectable daughter of your community. You have made promises and lived dutifully, but there is something you desire that cannot be found in Town. You have heard that there is a Power in the Wilderness, unbridled and dangerous, that may be able to help. On this Night, you and other girls from your Town have decided to seek out this Power. What will you risk, what promises will you break to gain your heart's desire?

First, the group chooses their Night, Wilderness and Power from a set of lists - either randomly or by consensus. The current lists are:

  • Night: Moonlit, Dark, Overcast, Stormy, Foggy
  • Wilderness: Forest, Moor, Ruins, Riverbank, Crag
  • Power: Herne the Hunter; Titania, Queen of the Fairies; Ariel, Spirit of Air; Three Witches; A Ghost


Each player except the GM plays a respectable "daughter of the community". They are defined by their Four Humours (based upon the traditional Elizabethan idea), a Promise, and a Desire.

Each humour has a rating that gives the player a pool (of d6) that they can expend in order to narrate the outcome of a conflict or situation. In general each humour correlates to a particular way of dealing with the world:

  • Sanguine = social/gregarious
  • Phlegmatic = emotional/intuitive
  • Choleric = physical/active
  • Melancholic = intellectual/rational

If any humour's current value exceeds the others by a certain amount, the character begins to take on the negative attributes of that humour - someone with an out-of-balance Sanguine humour might find themselves overeating, getting drunk, or trying to seduce someone inappropriate; someone with an out-of-balance Melancholic humour might become depressed and withdrawn, or might take suicidal risks. (This will be enforced mechanically by the rules.)

If any humour's current value falls to zero, that resource is not available to the player. (Again, this will be built in to the rules.)

In addition to their Humours, each character has a Heart's Desire. It is this which drives her into the Wilderness seeking supernatural aid. This Desire must be defined by the player before play - achieving it is the "win condition" of this game. There may not need to be a mechanic for this - it's the brass ring, I don't think it needs to be pushed by the rules, but maybe I'll decide that's wrong.

Each girl also has a Promise - this is specifically a promise the girl has made to her father, one that means a great deal to her. The effects of breaking this promise would be serious for the girl and her family. During play, the player has slight advantages if the character acts in a way specifically related to keeping this promise, BUT by breaking the promise, she can gain a significant one-time bonus that might at some point mean the difference between achieving her Heart's Desire and returning home, dutiful but unfulfilled.

GAME MASTER (or whatever flavorful thing the GM gets called):

The GM's job is to portray the Night, the Wilderness, and the Power. Each of these will have its own pool, from which the GM can draw to provide challenges for the characters. There will be lists for the GM for Night, Wilderness, and Power containing Shakespearean quotes to set up the challenge faced by the characters.


A pool of d6. The girls count any roll 4+ as a success. Girls always roll 1d6 (for their desire) and can add in any number of dice from ONE of their Humour pools, describing her actions in a way appropriate to the Humour pool chosen.

The GM counts any roll 5+ as a "success". The GM always rolls 1d6 (for the story) and can add in any number of dice from ONE of the Night/Wilderness/Power pools. The GMs "successes" get subtracted from the girls sucesses, and the final result determines how the conclusion to the challenge is narrated:

Less than 1 success: The girl's actions do not succeed. The player (or GM, if the player is particularly shy, I suppose) describes the failure.
1 Success: The player describes the success, the GM or another player adds a "Yes, but..." that complicates the success.
2 Successes: The player describes the success.
3 Successes: The player describes the success, another player (or the GM) adds a "Yes, and..." that improves upon the success.


Pool size (relates to pacing) for both GM and players.

Can players refresh their Humour pools under any circumstance?

What mechanical effect does the Promise have? (The story effect is clear.)

Ways of mechanically reinforcing the "Balance of Humours" idea.


Thanks for taking a look at this!



I was totally going for a four humours aspect to one of the game ideas that's been bubbling away in my head, but by using a card based mechanism I can ink the suits to each of the humours.
A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.

The Magus

I like the idea of humours also.  I've moved away from that but really interested to see how this develops.  Good Luck!


I really like the idea of the Promise mechanic - and the benefit of breaking it. I'll look forward to seeing it when the game's drafted.


This game sounds really cool and I'm completely looking forward to seeing more of it.  I really like the way the humors are used and the build in conflict (which overall does a great job of incorporating the various ingredients).


Well, it's here. Not only my first Game Chef, but my first game design. I will probably tweak the "oracles" - now referred to as Scene Cards - before final submission, but it's definitely ready for a look.