Archive for April, 2007

Avatar Is Finished But Ugly

April 29, 2007


Judd “Mu” Karlman spent the last couple weeks watching all of Avatar: the Last Airbender and asked about my Avatar-based game. So I decided to spend part of today creating a summary of the basic rules, which have been 75% done for over a year, but never really written out.

The character sheet posted above is an ugly version I hacked together from older versions of the sheet. It exists solely for explanatory purposes and will soon be replaced by a pretty one, once I have time to fiddle with InDesign for several more hours.

Love the Show

The Avatar game is an engine for creating fanfic, basically. If you have not watched the show extensively or if you’re playing with some folks who aren’t fans of the show, it’s just not going to work as well. If you want to play this game with non-fans, make them watch a bunch if episodes and make sure that they really dig the show. If not, play with other people.

Imagining a Character

1. Forget About Roleplaying And Think In Terms of Avatar: Remember that Prince Zuko, Princess Azula, and Uncle Iroh are amazing characters. If you want to play someone like that, who is distant from or antagonistic to the other characters, awesome. Even if you don’t even up having many scenes with the other primary characters, it should still work just fine.

2. Basic Info: Discuss a basic character concept with the group. Which nation are you from? What kind of place and family? How old are you? Are you female or male?

3. Greater Dharma: What are one or two of the long-term goals of your character? Are you trying to save someone or destroy something or what? Having tangentially related Greater Dharmas among the characters is good, but avoid making them all related. Goals should pull people apart and put people in opposition as well as bringing people together.

Character Traits

1. Four Kinds of Traits: There are four kinds of traits, each one associated with a particular element, based on the four Chinese characters that are associated with the elements in the intro sequence of the series.

2. Virtue (善): Associated with Water, this box contains traits that describe your character’s personality, promises they’ve made, past misdeeds that they are atoning for, and how they view themselves and the world around them.

3. Strength (强): Associated with Earth, this box contains traits that are concerned with more practical things, the skills you have, your education, your weaknesses, your physical and mental abilities or failings, and material objects that you treasure and keep with you at all times (Kitara’s necklace, Sokka’s boomerang, Aang’s kite-stick).

4. Intensity (烈): Associated with Fire, this box contains traits that reflect your prowess with bending, martial arts, the spirit world, healing, or other supernatural or spiritual abilities.

5. Unity (和): Associated with Air, this box contains traits that represent important relationships with other people and beings, including (potentially) the other primary characters, allies (Apa, Suuki), enemies (Firelord Ozai), spirits (Heibai), pets (Momo), organizations (White Lotus), governments (Northern Water Tribe), previous incarntations (Avatar Ryoshi), and anything else.

6. Initial Traits: Before play begins, create a few traits. I suggest three to five. Write them in the appropriate boxes. I’ll post some example traits in a revision.

The Avatar Cycle

1. Get a pawn to represent your position in the Avatar Cycle, the chakra (which will eventually look more chakra-like) in the center of your character sheet.

2. Your pawns starts each session on the same element as the nation you are currently in, no matter where you are from or which nation holds your allegiance.

3. On your turn, frame a scene. The scene can include any primary characters, including your own, but doesn’t have to include any of them. Assign other players or yourself to play any secondary characters in the scene. You might want to keep some notes on the secondary characters, since they don’t have sheets of their own. I’ll probably have some guidelines for doing this eventually.

4. Any primary characters in the scene must be in the process of dealing with whatever Dharma Path is attached to the element they are currently on. If they are on an element for which they have ascribed no Path, they create one before the scene begins. Dharma Paths are described in detail below.

5. Play out the scene. Scenes should be unnaturally short by roleplaying terms. Five minutes or less. Imagine it as a single sequence of shots during an episode. During a scene, only one important thing should happen for each primary character in the scene, and sometimes less than that. If there are no primary characters, the scene should be about revealing information of some variety and, once that info is out, the scene ends.

6. Traits are not really invoked in play so much as used to structure the narration. If your character can bend plants or hates fish or has a pet platypus-bear, those can be easily narrated into the scene. If your character doesn’t have a platypus-bear, you’re less likely to have platypus-bears show up all the time.

7. Primary characters in the scene should choose to deal with their problems in a way that reflects the element they are currently on. Each element is a complex and diverse thing, however, so an element is not so much a limitation on player actions as a perspective through which to view them. Eventually, the players will decide how a character dealt with things, described at #10.

8. At the end of the scene, write down any critical info about secondary characters or any information that was revealed.

9. At the end of each scene, the player of any primary character in the scene should decide whether the scene represents a development along the Dharma Path tied to their current element (as described below, generally the answer is “yes”). If so, they write down a new step along that Path.

10. Also, each primary character in the scene is judged by all the players, who decide whether the character better embodied their current element in it’s Yin or Yang aspects. These aspects are as follows:

    Water: Determination (Yang), Adaptability (Yin)
    Earth: Endurance (Yang), Subterfuge (Yin)
    Fire: Aggression (Yang), Planning (Yin)
    Air: Recklessness (Yang), Wisdom (Yin)

If the group decides a primary character acted more in accord with their current element’s Yang aspect, their pawn moves Yangward around the Avatar Cycle. If a character acted in more of a Yin fashion, their pawn moves Yinward. The two halves of the taiji (yin-yang) symbols on the chakra point in the appropriate direction. For those who don’t know, Yang is white, Yin is black.

Dharma Paths

1. This is the core of the game.

2. Get a sheet of ruled paper on which to keep track of your Dharma Paths.

3. A Dharma Path comes in two type. One type is What You Want a Trait to Become. For example, if my character has the trait “Beginning Firebender” I might create a Dharma Path called “Become A Firebending Master.” The other type of Path involves Creating a New Trait and are much more common when you first start playing the game. When creating a Path for the second type, just name a trait that your character wants to gain, like “I Want to Learn t
o Love My Siblings.” In either case Dharma Paths represent the metaphorical paths my character wants to go down. Dharma Paths are named from the character’s perspective, usually, not the player’s. You can’t have a Path like “I Want to Discover That My Father’s a Murderer” unless your character has some reason to suspect the crime. You could have, however, something like “I Want to Figure Out Why My Father Can’t Sleep At Night.” Be creative.

4. Each Dharma Path is assigned to a particular element when it is created. You can have up to four Dharma Paths at any give time, one for each element on your Avatar Cycle chakra. Assigning a Dharma Path to an element means that the way you progress along that path will generally be in a fashion consistent with the elemental characteristics mentioned in #10 above. Mismatches are fine. If your character decides to use Fire (Aggression/Planning) to “Win the Heart of My Crush,” awesome.

5. Steps along the Dharma Path happen when you work on your Path in a scene, which will generally happen every time you have a scene in the element associated with that Path. Occasionally you may have a scene in which you don’t get around to addressing your Path. That’s cool. But any mention of your Path, however slight it may seem, may be considered a step. When you gain a step, write down a short line about how your Path was addressed in the scene on your sheet of ruled paper, right under the name of the Path. For example, if my character hits her crush with a snowball in my first Fire scene, I could write down “1. Hit Crush With Snowball” under “Win the Heart of My Crush.” Next time I have a Fire scene I might write down “2. Spied on Crush Checking Out Another Girl.”

6. You decide when your character has completed a Dharma Path. Completion means that they change or gain a trait, based on the experiences (steps) they’ve had while struggling along the Path. However, the trait they gain or the trait their existing trait turns into… it can’t be the trait they asked for. It has to be a somewhat different trait that reflects the unexpected things that happened along their journey. Sometimes a trait is completely different. A character starts out with the Path “Win the Heart of My Crush” and ends up with the trait “Brokenhearted” or, even more different, “Apprentice Shaman.” Traits are often in a different box than their Path originally indicated, as a proposed Intensity trait change becomes a new Unity trait.

7. Note that this also means that attempts to change a trait can end up creating new traits instead, leaving the existing trait unchanged. Or attempts to create new traits can end up changing existing traits. That’s fine. However, to make sure primary characters don’t become bloated with too many traits to easily keep track of, try to limit them to just the blanks on the character sheet. Change or replace less important traits if necessary.

Ending an Episode

I aim for an episode to happen in little more than an hour. Avatar episodes are 23 minutes, so an hour should be plenty. Eventually, I may come up with some additional guidelines for episode and season framing, but this is good for now.

That’s It

That’s the whole game. No dice. No resources. Nothing with any real mechanical weight. Just pure structured freeform. And, in my experience, it runs amazingly smoothly, though I haven’t playtested this incarnation of the rules yet. Hopefully I’ll do that at Camp this weekend, if nobody does it before then.

Frustrated

April 26, 2007

Yeah, so this week has been frustrating, which is lame because it started out really well.

Creatively I feel kind of stymied and unappreciated, though that’s mostly subjective, I think, and not what’s actually going on.

The annual Game Chef competition just entered its final phase and there’s been some discussion about how it went this year relative to times in the past, with a lot of miscommunication and hurt feelings on the part of both long-time participants and those who starting participating more recently. Everyone feels a large degree of ownership of and investment into this collective tradition, though each person understands it differently based on their own experiences. This makes talking about it difficult.

I’ve been helping to organize a StoryGames Boston, a weekly group that supports small-press games, but lately I’ve been less satisfied with what we’ve been doing. It’s not that we haven’t been playing fun stuff, but I feel like, in the past few weeks, I’m not growing or learning as a part of play and that’s critical for me. Every week I’d like to either:

1. Play a game I haven’t played before.
2. Play with several new people I haven’t played with before.
3. Play something that I can get invested in for more than a single session, where it’s possible that play will go somewhere really interesting.

I don’t mind that one of these doesn’t happen every week. I don’t expect it to. But none of these has happened in the past several weeks and that’s what’s beginning to get me down. Play has been fun, but unfulfilling. Like a light beer.

I’m going to try to get more sleep, participate less in online conversations (which generally makes me happier), and focus on doing things that I enjoy, whether other people care or not. Hopefully, that’ll make me less frustrated by the time the weekend rolls around…

Giger Counter: version 0.3

April 24, 2007

Here’s some variant rules for the slasher movie game, to run cosmic horror in the style of the Alien movies. Most of the rules are the same, except…

Brainstorming

Before the game begins, brainstorm a really horrid situation for the PCs to be in. Perhaps your spaceship crash-landed on an unknown planet and are making repairs or waiting for someone to pick you up, as in Pitch Black. Perhaps you are an exploratory or military team investigating some mysterious ruins out in the arctic, as in Alien vs. Predator. Something ridiculous like that.

Conditions

1. Each player picks 3 possible Conditions from this list:

    Trapped: You cannot leave your current location.
    Alone: You cannot be in scenes with non-alien PCs.
    Unprepared: You cannot use any objects.
    Foolish: You must put yourself in needless risk.
    Bloodied: You roll an additional d4 with every trait.

2. Additionally, every PC gets the following chain of Conditions, which must get taken in order:

    1. Compromised: You have been injured/tainted.
    2. Crisis: You are dying/hatching.
    3. Gotcha: You are now dead/alien.

3. Losing a conflict with the aliens means you take a Condition on the second chain, starting with #1 and working down. When Taking The Blow, players can decide which Condition to take (though Conditions on the chain must still be taken in order).

Playing the Alien Menace

Until the aliens start taking people over, the current scene framer is responsible for playing the faceless alien menace. However, the aliens do not have real physical presence, do not have actual “faces,” until they have taken over a PC, who then plays them. If your aliens don’t take over humans or hatch from human bodies, this just means that the aliens cannot be clearly shown until they have killed one or more PCs.

Scene framers start with 8d10 in “unnamed dice” to represent the alien menace, but they can only roll 2 unnamed dice in any conflict. This matters later on when more and more of their dice are named.

Whenever a PC Takes The Blow in a conflict with the aliens, their player can choose to do one of two things, representing the group’s increased understanding of how the aliens operate:

    1. Name one of the d10s rolled in the conflict, based on how the alien inflicted a Condition on their character. This turns the d10 into a named trait like “Leaping 1d10,” which, in subsequent conflicts, can only be rolled when it is appropriate (when leaping is involved).

    2. Lower the die size of a die that has already been named, such as lowering “Leaping 1d10” to “Leaping 1d8.”

So the aliens’ dice go from being mostly unnamed d10s to being named d8s and d6s and even d4s. This represents that, as the humans find out more about the aliens, they know about their potential weaknesses and they aren’t so mind-numbingly terrifying anymore. They are specifically and understandably horrible, instead of unspeakably horrible.

Players whose characters have died or become aliens lose all of their existing stats and any of their traits which no longer apply. If their character has become an alien, it’s possible that some of them still make sense. However, instead of drawing on their character’s traits, they are responsible for rolling dice for any aliens who are in the scene and describing the alien’s actions. Alien players should try to follow the general guidance of the scene framer, but I’ll figure out exactly how during the playtest.

Destroying the Aliens

After the aliens’ dice have all been named, you can render a die inoperable by winning a conflict with the aliens. For example, you might discover that they hate cats or are vulnerable to bells or loud noises. Or you might destroy their egg hatchery or some other important alien resource. When all the aliens’ dice have been rendered useless, the alien menace has been destroyed.

Players should feel free to call for “wrapping things up” at any point after a couple major battles have been won by the surviving humans, especially if it looks like they’ve escaped the aliens’ clutches. That means the next scene can’t have any aliens in it, and is an Epilogue of sorts. However, if the aliens have any remaining dice left, they can still come back in the scene after the Epilogue! Maybe they snuck aboard your escape pod! Maybe they’re hiding inside your chest!

After the final Epilogue — or if the group decides, after a particularly end-worthy Epilogue, that the movie is over — the game ends. At that point, if the aliens have any dice remaining, they are added to their initial 8d10 pool as unnamed dice for the sequel.

Thoughts on Continuum

April 18, 2007

First off, the game fiction in Continuum is the best I’ve ever seen anywhere, period. Like, it’s actually good fiction, not just good game fiction. It reminds me a lot of The Time Traveler’s Wife actually and vice-versa, because it deals with many of the same themes with similar poignancy, especially on knowing the future and being unable to prevent it.

Second, I think Continuum has strong potential to support GMless play. Characters in the game basically have 5 “levels.” At Span 1, you are a member of a time-travel militia, basically, and learn stuff from your Mentor, reaching Span 2 when your Mentor says you’re ready. At Span 2, you join a special forces branch, basically, and learn more specialized stuff from the head of your unit, reaching Span 3 when a branch commander says you’re ready. At Span 3, you are the Mentor or unit leader of a group of Span 1s and 2s, and go to Span 4 once all your pupils advance.

So, basically, there could be a way for the “GM” to play a Span 3 character trying to fulfill the requirements for Span 4, while all the other PCs are Span 1s and 2s. Basically, the requirement for reaching Span 4 would become “GM a Continuum game, with your character as the Mentor, until all the PCs are Span 3.” That’s hot hotness and sorta Bliss Stage– like, in fact.

I was talking about the requirements for advancement with Shreyas last night, and decided that The Shadow of Yet is going to approach Secrets & Keys in a slightly different way than standard TSOY. The distinction between them is going to be less clear, I think, making them more like the Loresheets from Weapons of the Gods. Also, instead of just having Buyoffs, characters will have to fulfill certain conditions before certain traits can be gained. Like in order to get the Key of Conscience, they have to do something that they feel really bad about and try to make ammends. This is, in effect, the Cost of the trait.

Finally, I really like how Continuum spotlights the complexity of destructive acts. This is hitting me particular hard in light of the events at Tech. The society of time travellers in the game are ruthless at containing or killing those who lash out destructively against their society, against those who flaunt acceptible norms of social behavior in a way that harms and potentially kills others. These people must be stopped, no question, because they are a immense risk to themselves and others.

But it also speaks to the possibility of intervention, of the ability of people to work through negative feelings and isolation and to bring people back from the brink. It talks about the fucked up shit that can happen to a person and the depths of suffering it can drive them too. Some people, it says, can be saved from total self-destruction and inflicting massive harm on others. But it also recognizes the pain and difficulty of such things and that sometimes, even though it breaks your heart, a person goes over the edge and you have to bring them in or, worse, bring them down, even though they may be your friend.

All of that, to me, is very powerful. Some of the best Dogs in the Vineyard play also revolves around similar issues: How do you help those who have strayed? How do you convince them to come back to a safer, healthier path? When do they become a lost cause? When do you let go, watch them destroy themselves, and try to prevent their destruction from harming too many others? I don’t think those questions are ever easy, but I think it’s very important that we continue to explore them, both in fiction (including games) and in real life.

The Shadow of Yet: version 0.1

April 17, 2007

This is a hack of Continuum, inspired by the rules of The Shadow of Yesterday. This post is a work in progress and I plan to update it regularly as I go. Right now, it’s just an outline. I’m also planning on simplifying and remixing the Continuum source material as I go.

POOLS

BODY instead of Vigor
MIND instead of Reason
QUICK instead of Instinct

ABILITIES
(Innate in italics, Aquarian in [brackets])

BODY: Endure, Athletics, Melee Weapon, Thrown Weapon, Unarmed Combat.

MIND: Resist, Anthropology, Bureaucracy, Computer, Etiquette, Finance, Firearms, History, Investigation, Languages, Law, Locality Knowledge, Medicine, Observation, Projectile Weapon, Science, Security, Survival, Teaching, [Clairvoyance], [Hypnosis], [Photographic Memory], [Telepathy], [Pyrokinesis].

QUICK: React, Art, Dreaming, Drive, Hypnosis, Stealth, Swindle, [Levitation], [Telekinesis].

SECRETS

Spanning

Span 1: 1 year, 1 mile
Span 2: 10 years, 10 miles
Span 3: 100 years, 100 miles
Span 4: 1000 years, 1000 miles
Span 5: 10000 years, 10000 miles

Knowledge

What Time Is It?
Up, Down, Level
Gemini
The Maxims
Your Corner
Slipshank
Instant Skills
Surviving Death

Strategems
(Narcissist tricks in [brackets])

Attacks/Defenses

Gemini Flush
Harbinger
Hit and Run
Patch
Hide
Isolate
[Pocket]
[Reverse Engineer]
[The Fix/Statue of Liberty]
[Surrender]

Information Control

Cobweb
Frune
Iron Man
Measure
Oracle
Rendezvous
Rendezvous la Reve

KEYS

What Side Are You On?

Continuum/Swarm: XP for fixing Frag, lots for getting Narcs
Crasher/Narcissist: XP for making Frag, lots for crashing free

(NOTE: You can have both of these or the wrong one for your side. It’s not like they’ll be able to know… Or will they?)

Spanner Fraternities

Antiquarians
Dreamers
Engineers
Foxhorn
Midwives
Moneychangers
Physicians
Quicker
Scribes
Thespians

Crasher Philosophies

Artisans
Hitchers
Lotus-Dancers
The Order
Pilgrims of the Kings
Acolytes of the Gods

Personal

Everything else, including all the basic TSOY Keys.

NOTES
– Transcendence means you’ve become an Inheritor/Exalted
– Guidelines for teaching spanners new information?
– How to increase your spanning Secret?
– Starting abilities relative to home locality
– Are the Maxims a Key for Continuum spanners?
– Stuff in your Yet gets added to a list
– Spanners get XP for completing their Yet
– Crashers get XP for avoiding their Yet
– Loresheets, not Secrets!
– The opposite of a Buyoff, a Cost!

Slasher Hiatus & Rethinking

April 17, 2007

So I need to stop working on the slasher movie game until it stops reminding me of what happened at Tech.

In the meantime I have, I think, committed myself to writing new games or hacks of existing games for StoryGames Boston to play, rather than writing with the intent of publication. I’m really happy about this development. Less pressure, more awesome. I mean, the slasher game is totally ready for playtest and just needs some minor polishing to be ready for any group to play. That’s productivity that I’ve never had on any of my projects intended for dead tree versions.

I’m not quite ready to do the Exalted hack now, though that’s definitely coming up in the near future. I wanna do a few more smaller things first, escalating until I’m sure I can finish it without running out of steam.

I was talking with Shreyas a bit about doing the Shang Dynasty game as a kind of metaphorical kaiju battle between the royal diviners and the unruly river, sky, ocean, and earth gods of primordial China. But that may be based on the slasher game, so I want to wait and playtest that first.

So… next project? Converting Continuum to Clinton’s “Solar System.” What’s it called? Why, The Shadow of Yet, of course 🙂

Aliens in the Vineyard… Wait, I Mean YOUR CHEST!

April 16, 2007

Alien vs. Predator was on TV last night. Which got me thinking about the structure of the alien horror genre and how it’s often very much like a slasher movie. Alien horror often combines slasher movie stuff with zombie stuff, in the sense that aliens often take over people you know and turn them into aliens. The Alien movies do this literally, of course, having the aliens use humans as hosts for incubating their young.

In any case, I was thinking about how to hack my hack of Vincent’s hack (the slasher movie game, which I’ve revised and updated) to emulate the Alien movies. I think you could have a series of conditions that had to be taken in order, like a modified damage track:

– attacked by face hugger
– i have an alien in my chest
– the alien is about to erupt
– death
– i am now an alien

So the PCs would gradually transform into aliens, one after another, and be tasked with killing the other PCs by turning them into aliens as well. Very much zombie movie in that sense, except the surviving PCs would not be fighting faceless hordes or the husks of people they knew, just demonic beasts emerging from the dead bodies of their comrades.

I’m actually really into the idea of GMless survival horror games (slashers, aliens, zombies, natural disasters, kaiju) running on the location-based, modified Afraid engine that I’ve been messing with. I like the potential to have a series of closely related games where you can swap out the premise and change a few rules — like in the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill — and have a different play experience.

I also dig the fact that they would run in a single session, potentially in two hours, just like a movie.

Yo! Game Chef Raps!

April 15, 2007

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I wish indie game designers would battle rap more,” fear no longer. The time in now at hand.

The Game Chef rap battle took place in this thread, and I’ve posted my recorded verses and invited others to do the same in this thread.

Afraid: Teen Slasher Version 1.7

April 10, 2007

So here’s how you make Afraid handle Scream and similar takes on the teen slasher genre.

Characters

1. There is no GM.
2. Everyone makes a character like this:

    – 10d6 Stats (Social, Fleeing, Fighting)
    – 3d6, 2d8 Traits (half undetermined)
    – 2d4, 2d6, 1d8, 1d10 Relationships (half undetermined)
    – No objects; these must be acquired during play

3. Anything sexy (trait, relationship, object) gets an extra d4.
4. Avoid NPCs, but use new Dogs NPC rules if you must:

    a. 6d6+2d8, 4d6+1d10, 3d6, 1d8+2d4
    b. 5d6+1d10, 3d6+2d8, 3d6, 1d10+1d8
    c. 7d6+3d4, 4d6+2d4, 5d6, 2d6+1d8
    d. 9d6+1d10+1d8, 2d6+2d8, 2d6+1d4, 1d6+2d10

5. Any NPC dice that are not d6s must be named before they are rolled, for example, before rolling a C-style NPC, you would say: “This 3d4 is for being Overzealous.”

Conditions

1. Each player picks 3 possible Conditions for their PC.
2. Additionally, every PC gets Dead and Pursued.
3. The playtest Conditions are as follows:

    Dead: You cannot do anything.
    Pursued: You are being chased by the Slasher.
    Alone: You cannot be in scenes with non-Slasher PCs.
    Unprepared: You cannot use any objects.
    Foolish: You must put yourself in needless risk.
    Bloodied: You roll an additional d4 with every trait.
    Lame Duck: All your traits count as d4.

4. PCs start with no Conditions active.
5. A PCs number of Conditions never decreases.
6. On your turn, you can change which Conditions are active.
7. If you Take The Blow, activate an additional Condition.

Conflict Resolution

1. In a conflict, roll all relevant traits.
2. Highest two dice wins stakes, unless…
3. PCs/NPCs can Take The Blow and keep struggling.
4. Roll more traits, next highest two dice wins.
5. This can continue as long as both sides have dice remaining and are still alive.

Scene Framing & Locations

1. Choose how many locations you want in the game.
2. Have index cards equal to the number of locations.
3. Split up 10d4, 14d6, 6d8 among the location cards.
4. On your turn, you will frame a scene.
5. Scene framing starts by picking a location & characters.
6. If you pick a new location, write it on an unlabeled card.
7. When you are out of cards, there are no new locations.
8. You cannot frame a scene that includes your own PC.
9. Framing must include each character’s active Conditions.
10. Place pawns on cards to show where the characters are.
11. The slasher has no pawn and can be anywhere.
12. The group decides when any given scene ends.
13. Generally, each scene happens in a single location, but…
14. Characters can switch locations in the middle of a Chasing/Fleeing conflict. Any characters currently in the new location are now in the scene and may join the conflict.
15. Characters can move between locations based on whatever logic the group decides makes sense. If a fair bit of time passes (“Okay, so it’s the next morning…”), allow everyone to move their pawns around before play continues. When framing a scene, take into account previous locations, but don’t feel bound by them. If you really need characters to be in the attic instead of the basement, talk with your group and then figure out how to make it work.

Acquiring, Moving, and Using Objects

1. The dice on a card are objects in that location.
2. Label the dice as they are identified (“Chainsaw 2d6”).
3. The framer can veto unlikely objects (sword in the bathroom).
4. Movable objects can added to a character’s sheet.
5. If a character takes an object, erase it from the card.
6. If a character drops an object, mark the location card.
7. Unmovable objects are only usable in their location.
8. Remember the extra d4 for sexy objects.

“It’s You!”: Identifying the Slasher

Until the slasher is identified, the current scene framer is responsible for playing them. Unidentified slashers have the following traits:

    – Cannot be in Social conflicts
    – Chasing (Fleeing): 2d10
    – Fighting: 4d10
    – Traits: 3d6, 2d8
    – Relationships: 8d4, 2d10
    – Possessions: one or two to start.

None of the slasher’s trait or relationship dice are labeled when play begins. Instead, each time the slasher appears in a conflict, the current scene framer can choose to label one or two of the slasher’s trait or relationship dice and then roll them in the conflict. The scene framer can also choose to roll any of the slasher’s previously labeled trait or relationship dice, assuming they are appropriate.

Once all the slasher’s trait and relationship dice have been labeled, the slasher can be identified. The slasher is almost always one of the PCs, determined by the consensus of the group (or some other method I’ve yet to determine). If the group decides they want an NPC to be the slasher, the player whose character was the first to die should play the identified slasher.

When a PC/NPC is identified as the slasher, they gain all the unidentified slasher’s Traits, Relationships, & Possessions. The slasher’s Stat dice are added to theirs. If multiple PCs/NPCs are revealed to be slashers, they divy up the unidentified slasher’s Traits, Relationships, Possessions, and Stat dice. Identified slashers can choose whether they want to engage in Social conflicts or not (don’t have to).

It is the responsibility of the identified slasher to try to kill every character they encounter, most especially the Protagonist, once they have been identified.

“It’s Just You And Me Now!”: Identifying the Protagonist

Once all the other PCs are dead, the last living PC becomes the Protagonist. It is the responsibility of the Protagonist to kill the slasher and, subsequently, they roll an additional +4d10 in all conflicts.