16 September, 2017

#DIY30 #15

15. Write a pitch for how you would turn a shitty game into a good game. 

"World of Synnibarr with matches."

Bear with me here.

World of Synnibarr has been mentioned a few times here on the blog. It's an over-the-top gonzo extravaganza 473 pages long, so it works perfectly for this theory. Now imagine the Neverending Story as a game, where the Nothing is gradually consuming the world, and you are playing in a duing age where dreams are being obliterated. Players make characters normally at the start of play, but after that point, each player rolls d600 (with a d6 determining the hundreds, then a pair of d10s for the tens and units). They tear that page out of the book and burn it. Any monsters or character types on those pages are no longer available to the game. Any rules that might have been on those pages are no longer applicable to the game, any other rules which refer to rules on those pages have a chance of simply not working...flip a coin. If that page is already gone, the Nothing becomes stronger, the nameless void grows in power and the named world grows weaker. If the die total is higher than 473, then the world gets a temporary reprieve.

After each game, every player uses this method to tear a new random page from the book. Any monsters or characters on these pages become the villains for the piece, as the nameless void has taken their empathy, their goodness, or something similar. Any rules will become vital elements of the next scenario to be played out. If the characters win, the players may hold on to the rules they have torn away from the book. These rules become something specific to that player's characters (but they may be traded to other players diring the course of play). A player may hold no more than six pages in this way, and at any later time they may burn a page to gain a reroll on an action they have failed. If a character dies, a player may use the intact riles in the book, and the rules they've saved personally to create a new character.

Eventually there will come a time when core rules are eliminated from the game, or when the nameless void gains so much power that it is virtually unstoppable. This will be the games climax, the make-or-break session when it is decided whether the world is left to burn, or whether anything can be salvaged from the setting for a later campaign in a different game and world.
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