Willow Palecek

The Secret Lives of Serial Killers

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Secret Lives of Serial Killers was written for the February 2011 Ronnies, based on the ingredients of
“Murder” and “Morning.” It is a horrible, brutal game, that no one should ever play, based on the concepts
of “abusive game design.”

In The Secret Lives of Serial Killers, two players deceive a third player into thinking they are playing a
game called “Sunshine Boulevard,” a feel-good structured freeform game about quirky recluses in love. In
fact, they are setting up the third player as the serial killer’s victim, to be killed in play.

Sword of the Skull

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

An entry for the 2011 Ronnies

The Sword of the Skull is a game for two players. One plays the adventurer, a stalwart hero who
searches ancient ruins and dungeons for potent magic items. The other plays the GM, who designs the
dungeons and provides the adversity.

The Sword of the Skull

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Sword of the Skull is a two-player game of searching for magic items in a dungeon-crawl environment, with one player playing the adventurer, and the other playing the gamemaster.  It features rules for budgeting the gm’s design of the dungeon, based on how difficult the adventurer wishes to make the challenge- and how lucrative his reward.

Council of the Magisters

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

The players take the roles of the Magisters, supremely old and powerful wizards that control the mystic city of Magicant. The leadership of the city is empty, and the Magisters must choose one of their own to rule. The Magisters are the mystic equals of one another, and their conflicts can only be resolved by a vote of the group as a whole. Council of the Magisters is a game for exactly five players, for exactly four sessions of exactly two hours each.

Each player takes the role of one of the Magisters, empowered with that Magister’s sphere of influence. The Council of the Magisters meets both in-game and out-of-game for four sessions, each two hours long. The purpose of these meetings is to choose one of their own to be the Supreme Magister. Each session, one of the players will become ineligible for the position of Supreme Magister; but they still attend the sessions, and vote just like anyone still in the running! (Note: the terms “Player” and “Magister” are used fairly interchangeably in the text. Council of Magisters assumes that the players will be using Actor stance, and being fairly immersed in their roles. In addition, several rules refer to the ages of the Magisters. Magisters should be considered to have the same relative ages as their players.)

In Council of the Magisters, Game Time and Real Time takes exactly the same amount. If it takes the Players of the Magisters an hour to resolve a conflict, that’s how long it took the Magisters themselves. For the most part, the players of the Magisters should sit around and talk in-character, acting as the Magisters themselves, engaged in a tense debate for leadership. (This is known as “General Debate,” as opposed to “Vote Debate.”)