Pregame prayer

Close your eyes if you wish. Hold hands if you wish. Someone reads.

Breathe.

Together we will ascend to the sphere of imagination.

We will meet angels and demons, gnomes and elemental spirits, maybe even gods.

They all stem from ourselves. They all gain reality by our words. We will see them, with our mind’s eye.

Yesod is the sphere of dreams, the unconscious, sexuality. Of the Moon. The word means “Foundation”.

Our journey is not without dangers, the creatures we will summon are real, after a fashion. And it will be us, speaking these words.

For the duration of the spell.

But we are armed with the sword of discernment, the cup of compassion, the wand of creativity and will. And our feet are firmly planted here, on this material floor.

Now, let us open our third eye.

And begin.

 

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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.

A GM’s Guide to Session Prep and Play

200 Word RPG Challenge contribution: Supplement.

You have characters, setting and system. You’re running a game tomorrow. What do you do?

Pick two (or roll 1d8):

1. Skim character and campaign notes. Note ideas.
2. True dilemmas: sketch situations the characters must react to.
3. Outline 3-5 NPCs. Names and keywords only. Link some to characters or plot (adversaries, helpers, obstacles).
4. Countdowns: events that will unfold unless the characters intervene.
5. Keywords about scenes/locales, groups (with agendas), special items.
6. Extrapolate ideas from specific character agendas/abilities/backgrounds.
7. Organize some of this info on a mind-map. Keywords will suffice.
8. Detail one element you really dig. Delve into it.

If more time:

* List(s) of names. People, places, items.
* Random-tables: monsters, events, weather, locations, etc.
* Maps.

(May be recycled in later sessions).

_GM Principles (during the game)_

Practice two each session (pick or roll 1d8):

1. Ask questions, build on the answers.
2. Accept, and add (go with player ideas).
3. Decline, but offer.
4. Reincorporate elements.
5. Be obvious (say what comes to mind).
6. Discrete scene-framing and cutting.
7. Throw curveballs.
8. Sometimes delegate responsibilities (like NPC control).

And:

* Take breaks.

Sources: Imagonem, Old Friends, AW, Sorcerer, Håken, Play With Intent.
Thanks: You guys, David Schirduan.

20.000 Little Islands

“I have, with no exaggeration, lost track of Archipelago. There are now hacks and translations that I only find out about by chance, and I don’t remember all the stuff that’s been done with it.

All is as it should be. The game is officially out of my hands. Who would have thought it.”

–        Matthijs Holter

Archipelago is a story/role-playing game where each player controls a major character. Players take turns directing and playing out a part of their character’s story, leading them towards their selected point of destiny, while other players interact with and influence that story. The latest edition also utilizes fate and resolution cards, as well as the ritual phrases.

(The majority of the games and downloadable documents linked below are for free download, as usual here on Nørwegian Style):

Playsets

In other languages

Hacks, expansions, adaptions

Summary

It’s hard to know with these things.

Put together, the Archipelago II and III main landing pages have gotten 19.650 page views since 2009. Dropbox doesn’t provide download statistics, which would be even more “proof of the pudding”. Many sites link directly to the Dropbox documents, so we just have no way of knowing the exact # of downloads over the past seven years.

If we missed your favorite hack, adaption or translation, please let us know in comments.

Cover photo: Høgåsen, Hidra/Hanne Feyling/Visit Sørlandet (CC BY-ND 2.0).