Fanged Games

Starchilds: first draft

Somewhere out there in the vast nothingness of space,
Somewhere far away in space and time,
Staring upward at the gleaming stars in the obsidian sky,
We’re marooned on a small island, in an endless sea
Confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape,
But tonight, on this small planet, on earth
We’re going to rock civilization…
– Lyrics from “Prelude/Slam”, Pendulum

Starchilds is a scifi game about teenagers. The main idea came to me while looking at the stars and wondering whether I would gaze at them at the same way if I were living among them.

Turmoil: second draft draft

Turmoil is an unofficial fork of Monsterhearts. It keeps most of the interesting bits but it changes profoundly the way they behave. It takes inspiration from Masks and the Rustbelt. One of the core belief behind this game is that players should never lose completely control over the game, even if their characters are helpless, but that control must be relinquished in some measure in order to make the game interesting.

Turmoil: first playtest part 2

Yesterday we had the second session of Turmoil, with a new character: A ghost named Caroline, left to die in an infected orphanage a century ago. Lake Havasu city isn’t that old, but who cares?

By putting the game under more stress we found a lot of things that weren’t working as intended. I’m calling this playtest a success.

Turmoil: The Ghost

The ghost is lonely and spooky. Their moves are about alienating others. Their darkest self is about craving and obtaining attention.

Turmoil: first playtest part 1

Yesterday we had our first playtest session for Turmoil. I usually consider a playtest successful if it highlights problems that the rules create or can’t go around it. Given that it’s a campaign game, most of the problems will probably come out later. I asked the players if the game ran like Monstehearts. I received a yes, a no, and a non-committal shrug. It’s probably too early to know for sure.

Turmoil: The Queen

The queen is the leader of a clique of other youngsters. Their moves are about control and popularity. Their darkest self is about abusing power and trust.

Turmoil: The Ghoul

The ghoul is a monster that feels the urge to feed constantly of flesh, fear or chaos. Their moves are about morbidity and death. Their darkest self is about fighting the temptations.

Turmoil: The Chosen

The chosen is someone with great powers and a duty to fight evil. Their moves are about doing what’s necessary and steel themselves against hardships. Their darkest self is about refusing help and carry the weight of their responsibility alone.

Turmoil: first draft

Turmoil is an unofficial fork of Monsterhearts. It keeps most of the interesting bits but it changes profoundly the way they behave. It takes inspiration from Masks and the Rustbelt.

One of the core belief behind this rehaul is that players should never lose completely control over the game, even if their characters are helpless, but that control can be relinquished in some measure in order to make the game interesting.

The roleplaying gloves

Roleplaying can be dangerous. Ok, maybe not “Juggling venomous snakes blindfolded” dangerous, but still, you can encounter some pretty awful situations and you can hurt yourself.

Imagine you’re playing a game and you encounter a situation that reminds you of your recent heartbreak, or a theme comes up that makes you slightly uncomfortable.

The X-Card is a good emergency button, but it’s a nuke. Sometimes you need softer options, for example if you DO want to tackle this theme or situation, but you want to have fun, instead of anxiety.

Here’s a collection of techniques that can help you tune the distance between you and the game, in order to find the spot that lets you feel more in control, more safe.

They’re like gloves, that allows you to touch itchy and stinging things without hurting yourself.