Star Crossed Lovers

Star-Crossed Lovers is my submission for the Game Chef 2011 contest, an rpg based on the works of Shakespeare and utilizing the keywords of daughter, exile, nature, and forswear. It was inspired by Much Ado about Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet (of course), and the rpgs Kagematsu and Misspent Youth.

In this game, the players take the part of Renaissance suitors, courting both the favor of their father-in-law and the affections of their bride or groom-to-be. While the rules assume a group of male suitors suing a father for the hand(s) of the patriarch’s daughter(s), the game could just as easily center around a group of ingénues or a mixed group visiting the villa with marriage on their minds. The action takes place over the course of a week spent at the default setting of an Italian villa owned by Signore Torregrossa. While the match is all but assured due to careful planning on the part of the suitors’ parents, what the suitors do and say during this week will determine the future happiness of their marriages.


2 Responses to “Star Crossed Lovers”

  1. Jarad Says:

    Now, after I’ve submitted, I begin to find all the GSP errors. Sigh.

  2. Game Chef 2011 – Star-Crossed Lovers and Durance | D-Constructions Says:

    […] Star-Crossed Lovers was probably my favourite, not least because it seemed the most concrete (no handwaving here). Players take the roles of suitors trying to woo the daughters of a rich patriarch – but they must also woo their father as well. The daughters care about the passion of their beaus, the fathers about how wealthy the son-in-law will be, and you go through the game earning points in each category by risking the last points you got in the hope of earning more – although the goal is not to have the MOST points but for your scores to be as close as possible, so your love is equal to the suitability of your marriage. Also nicely, there are set rounds (through the five Acts) when certain scenes work better than others, and we get a nice progression through a Shakespearean structure (eg in Act 4, you find out a secret about your background, so the Patriarch now knows you are richer than he thought, so you get +1 to impressing him). The only problem with the game is the only way to distinguish each suitor is whether they start with more Passion than Wealth, and a mechanically-unbalanced classification of their Humour. At least it is an attempt though, and if you fix this, this looks like awesome fun. What I think I like the most about it is it has fortune at the start. There’s none of this “set a scene, tell a story, roll a die if it matters” or “a messenger arrives and then you make up the rest” – the rules say You’re At a Party, you’re Suitor A trying to impress a Daughter or a Patriarch and then you roll and then the roll helps you come up with ideas. Plus the GM/Patriarch gets to have a lot of fun in a supervisory role, which is what I like too. […]