New year, new ideas

2 minute read

We were sitting in sauna and it was getting late when we decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to play a short game of role-play. Few hours of time, and no idea of what to play. One of us had an idea that we decided to test out: each participating player would decide one element of the game, oblivious of the ideas other players would add. I would then mix them together to form a game.

It took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how everything fitted together. We had eight players so I had a lot to draw from. The elements we had were (freely translated):

  1. lots of red things

  2. a blazing desert; a shaman returning from a journey

  3. a lot of long haired women

  4. eroticism

  5. danger

  6. the game has a tragedy

  7. injustice

  8. a mysterious stranger

Somehow I ended up thinking about a larp I read about a while ago (I think it was called โ€œTribeโ€), so the game ended up looking a bit like it. It was set in the post-apocalyptic near-future where a lone matriarchal tribe was living near ruins of a town. They identified themselves with red markings on their bodies and wore long hair as a mark of status. Men were used as means of measuring status, so a leader would have several mates.

The game was interesting, and had almost all of the elements in it. There was very little danger, although some people ended up dead. Eroticism was the most difficult element, but we managed to include some. We had a lot of laughs with the reversed gender roles.

Just before the start of the game I had an epiphany of a sort and decided that to make playing with eight players easier, players would team up and play a single character together. We had eight players and four important women to play, with some male characters as their mates. The idea was better than it first sounded, and enabled some interesting internal dialogue, which you donโ€™t usually get to hear in games.

I really liked the idea of creating the game on the players inspiration combined. Everybody gets a bit of what they want, and hopefully not much of what they donโ€™t want. One thing I noted was that all the ideas I was given were narrative, although it was entirely possible that I wouldโ€™ve gotten meta-game or social conditions.