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Now Everybody's Died

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:43 am
by Onix
I'm working on a game where you all meet in a tavern, but not to take on one more job. Each player is the last surviving member of an adventuring group and you've come here to drink your sorrows away. Only it's a comedy! (Maybe it's an Irish thing)

This is what I've figured out so far.

The main mechanic is that left to yourself, you can only afford bad alcohol that will kill you. To survive the night you have to tell the tales of your now dead companions. The other players will give you prompts in a mad libs style that you need to incorporate into your story. If you drink mostly bad drinks, you'll die. If you drink mostly good drinks provided by the patrons, you retire from adventuring. If you drink mostly fine drinks and feel the support of the patrons, your spirits are restored and you return to adventuring. There are five rounds total, one story for each member of your party.

I have a simple system for rolling to see how you do when telling your story. That will determine how good of a drink you could get from the bar patrons for your sorry tale.

The thing I'm trying to figure out is how to reward good storytelling. I'm thinking of some kind of bidding system. The other players toss pennies to you for the drink according to how good they felt the story was. Only I don't know how to penalize a stingy players yet. The idea is that you don't want to look stingy or the other patrons won't buy you drinks. Maybe the donations are just going into a pot and you're basically going to win them back if you bid highest? I don't quite know what'll work yet. Why not just max out your bid each time? The idea is you only start off with a little cash (10 pennies) which isn't enough to do everything you need to do. You need to tell stories and win rounds to expand your buying power.

Re: Now Everybody's Died

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:30 pm
by madunkieg
As for the bidding system, I've got a completely different idea. You have enough money for the drinks, but if you drink alone, you'll be ruined.

Instead, you tell the story. Each tale of a fallen teammate may sway someone else to take pity on you. Get enough people to help you, and you won't fall into ruin. Money doesn't need to be simulated, but making friends does. Even one friend would be enough if they last a couple of tales.

Re: Now Everybody's Died

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:46 am
by Onix
I'd go for that. But what would prevent you from just teaming up with someone and riding out the game safely?

Re: Now Everybody's Died

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:32 am
by Onix
Ok, I have a functional concept of how to play the game. It moves away from rewarding narration unfortunately and moves into strategy. It's going to require a small logical leap though that I need to properly explain. I'm a little worried that some players might not get it.

When a player succeeds in their roll, all the other players are called on to contribute to buying a drink for them. The other bar patrons contribute also and make up any money that's missing.

The reason why this becomes tricky are some caveats that now I'm thinking of making optional but encouraged rules.

A player can refuse to contribute in a turn but they can't get an upgraded drink that turn. This works for a player if they already went and couldn't get an upgraded drink. It could also work in a few situations tactically. Not contributing doesn't hurt the story teller, it all has to do with how much money you have and need to keep. You may be forced to not contribute if you run out of money.

Another rule is that the story teller can, instead of taking the upgraded drink, take some or all the money that the other players donated. This reduces the quality of the drink they can get but replenishes their funds.

Finally, there is an issue with drink costs. Specifically the bad alcohol (which I'm thinking of calling Goblin Ale) costing 1 penny. What happens if a character starts the game, buys a fancy drink and is out of money? Could they decide to not drink anything for the rest of the night? Maybe the Goblin Ale is free? That's a little strange. It would make more sense that someone will always chip in a penny to buy you a drink (probably goblins at this point who are immune to the bad effects and more than a little malicious).

It's a little more mechanical but for this game I think it works. The narrative fun comes in with the mad libbing during the narration and changing out words. The way things are written now, there's a narrative strategy in mind but that might be too complicated. It's intended to be a kind of paper scissors rock strategy but getting players to follow it might be too hard. I'll have to playtest and find out how the players want to use the narration and write around that.