Dream

A solo game that takes 10-20 minutes to play

1. Write down a thing that you want to do, but haven’t done yet.

2. Roll a die.

3. Let’s see what happens!

– On a 2-6, add 3 times that number to your age. Describe a change in your life. You didn’t do that thing you wanted to do yet; explain why. Now go to step 2 again.

– On a 1, you die. Oops! No need to describe or explain anything, you’re dead.

I Like You!

I Like You!

A nano-larp for a group of people of different genders

0. What you need

If you can, get a bunch of little paper hearts. Have everyone write their name on 5 hearts. Have more hearts available, in case someone needs more during the game.

1. Setup

Divide the group into two factions, based on real-life experience, with this question:

«Hands up those who have experienced unwanted emotional or sexual attention during the past week».

If less than half have their hands up, ask about the past two weeks. Continue expanding the time window until about half have their hands up.

The people with their hands up will play the faction of the Undesirables. The others will play the Desirables. To make them easy to tell apart, let the desirables put a heart on their chest, for instance.

2. General rules

Nobody is allowed to initiate contact with an undesirable, not even those who are undesirable. (Desirables can contact other desirables to talk.)

Everyone needs to team up with another player from the opposite faction before the game ends. Those who don’t, lose the game.

There are no actual characters in this game. Everyone plays themselves. If you’re asked to tell anything about yourself, that means you, the player.

3. Phase one, 5 minutes

Undesirables lay their hearts on the line!

To initiate contact with a desirable, the undesirables need to give them a heart and tell them a truth about themselves. This must be something that leaves them vulnerable.

During this phase, desirables must consider the different undesirables in order to find out who they might want to team up with.

Desirables: You don’t have much time to find your ideal mates here. Remember, you have to wait for them to contact you! Don’t waste time if you’re talking to someone who’s not what you’re looking for.

4. Phase two, 1 minute

Desirables reciprocate to potential mates!

Desirables are now allowed to give away hearts as well – paired with a truth about themselves. Remember, desirables have to wait for the undesirables to contact them!

Undesirables should continue to initiate contact and spread their hearts as in phase one. Make sure to approach those you believe might reciprocate!

Desirables: Time is really running out now! Don’t waste time on those you don’t want to team up with!

5. Phase three

Desirables make their final choice!

Desirables, stand in a row.

Undesirables, if you have received a heart from one or more desirables, walk up to one of them and stand face to face. If you haven’t, sit the fuck down.

Some desirables may now be facing multiple undesirables. Desirables, if you have several undesirables in front of you, push them away until only one remains.

If you get pushed away, sit the fuck down.

6. Winners and losers

Anyone who’s still standing – that is, teamed up heart to heart with someone from the opposite faction – wins. Hold hands and smile while other winners applaud you.

Everybody else loses.

7. Debrief

DEFINITELY debrief after this game. For some, it will be a fun experience. Others might be pissed off. Others again might feel hurt. Sit in a circle, tell each other how you’re feeling, discuss the game.

#3nano16

Create three discrete nanogames in 2016 (well, actually it’s perfectly fine if they are related or intertwined, hacks of each other or something else).

By some definition of nanogame:

1-4 players, 15 minutes to 2 hours game time, short texts, with 0, 1 or several GMs.

Word limits are good, e.g: 200, 412, 777.

Publish somewhere. Please do share the link with us (in comments, at conventions, on microblog media). Play the games of others. Test your own.

It’s not a competition.

Night Air

“Evening falls over the siege camp. We’re getting ready to make some money. Quick and sometimes easy. We fuck soldiers and merchants in their tents. Maybe not the best job in the world, but the one we chose under the circumstances.
 
But this is just us getting ready. Talking before we go.”
 
Setup: Describe your character in one sentence. Leave some stuff out to discover during play – your gender, whether you have kids, how you got here or whatever.
 
Play: Talk in character. Talk about practical stuff, emotional stuff, your history, your make-up. Details and chatter.
 
Rule 1: You can talk about anything, except specific men. This is not about your relationships to or with men. If one of you forgets that and starts talking about men, just clear your throats and pretend it didn’t happen.
 
Rule 2: Whenever one of you feels like it, say goodbye to the others and go into the night, off to work. The game ends when there’s only one character left.
 
Epilogue: Close your eyes for a moment. Feel the freedom of walking into the night with the cold air on your face. Take a deep breath, open your eyes. Say goodbye.

 

Deal

1. it is possible there is love. let us pretend there is. but not in this game.
2. you still need love. or money. or something else. you need.

characters
your character wants something. they are driven by it.
they might admit it to themselves.
they might not.
you will play with one other person.
their character also wants something.
you have it.

examples
you want love, to be loved. you work hard and make money.
they want money. they can fake love.
you want to be good. you can provide a house, stability.
they want safety. they can fake that you’re a good person.

the lie
you never, ever, ever say out loud what you want. you never, ever, ever say out loud what you provide.
neither do they.

the scenes
1. you meet. you talk about whatever, do whatever.
underneath it all, the animals inside you sense that the other can provide what you want.
keep on talking about whatever.
do whatever.

2. you are apart.
the need.
you have found someone who can provide.

3. you meet again, and again.
let’s see some short scenes. montage. just sentences, vignettes.

4. now what?
how long do you keep it up?
let’s see some more scenes.
and more.
and more.

5. did you say it out loud?
did you mention it?
what happened?
what happens now?

6. can you live with each other, and with yourself?
this might be a happy ending.
or a redemption.
or splitting up.

7. epilogue
fun! will you fall into the same pattern?
will you break free?
who the hell are you, really?

Meetings of the Learned Strawmen

So you thought the Strawmen weren’t real?

That they were fictional beings? Collections of opinions that nobody actually held? Of plans that nobody had actually laid?

You were so naïve.

They do exist. They meet in secret places to lay their sinister plans. To discuss YOU. To find out how to control YOU. To make YOU think and act the way THEY want.

Let’s take a look and find out what they’re up to.

Continue reading

The Patriarch’s Head

 

Image
 
I wrote a short storytelling game based on the mysterious murder of Patriarch Lukijan Bogdanovic. They said it was a suicide at first, but then they never found his head.

 

It’s for 2 or more players, super easy, no prep, takes 10-60 minutes depending on how much people describe stuff.

 

If you read it or try it, let me know what you think!

 

 – Matthijs

Get it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0zJCxuo8_cy5msWCA1KALecTNpUWrdRXv3az7Epo2U/edit?usp=sharing

 

Small talk the RPG

A conversational role playing game for 1-∞ players.

Characters: The player’s play themselves, so there’s no particular character set-up process.

Small talk is a game of conversation for its own sake. It’s a collaborative game. The reward is opening for deeper conversations, affirming relationships and avoiding silence.

It’s good practice to play the game with new acquaintances.

The game can last as short as a casual greeting or as long as it takes to get your hair cut at the hairdresser’s. Or the length of a taxi ride, as the case may be.

Some rules:

* Greet the other players in a friendly way.
* Try to keep the conversation upbeat and positive.
* Casual compliments are ok, but keep it superficial. Don’t get creepy.
* Try out some casual eye contact now and then, but don’t stare.
* Smile.
* Respect the other player’s personal space.
* Be polite and respectful.
* Find common ground. Be politely inquiring about the other player’s interests, and see if you can find some topic of conversation that will interest you both. Or that you can endure listening to.
* Ask open-ended follow-up questions starting with words like «how…» and «what…». Or make relevant statements.
* Share some stuff about yourself and your day, but don’t over-share. Don’t get into symptoms, diseases, sensitive subjects and extreme negativity.
* It’s ok to bitch and complain as long as you don’t do it about sensitive topics. The weather is a very good topic of conversation.
* Notice your surroundings. You can riff off of them for further conversational topics.
* Avoid sensitive subjects like religion, politics and sex. You can also drop death, divorce and diseases. You know what I mean.
* Humor is good. Just remember the taboo topics.

You can even play the game without anyone knowing you’re playing a game.

To round of, here’s a quotation from Keith Johnstone’s “Impro – Improvisation and the Theatre”, which you may or may not find relevant:

“Many people will maintain that we don’t play status transactions with our friends, and yet every movement, every inflection of the voice implies a status. My answer is that acquaintances become friends when they agree to play status games together.”

Sources: Slik blir du god til å småprate, How to make Small Talk, Wikipedia.