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Roll & Writing Extravaganza!

So lately all my game design work has been focused on infusing roll & write mechanisms into the Living Saga series. One of the main aspects of the Living Saga games I want players to come away with is having been involved in an epic story (fantasy-superhero-sci fi) and that their story is different from others who played with the same material.

I don't want players getting bogged down in lots of rules and fiddly elements (not necessarily components) to manage. However, without beefing up the game play methodology I run the risk of creating an elaborate Choose Your Own Adventure experience (a la Legacy of Dragonholt) which is not quite what I am shooting for.

But, I got sidetracked this week and applied roll & write concepts to the HouseBoy game concept AND to My Get Blazed game concept that has been on the shelf for YEARS! I'm putting out a video on Monday for GAYme Speak all about the Get Blazed idea.

So let's learn a little about what got me thinking for HouseBoy R&W.

I've always liked the concept of sequential interaction with the players in either direction at the table from you. Killer Bunnies is what first comes to mind for me. Each player is trying to get bunny cards in play in front of themselves and certain cards can effect the bunnies in one direction from the bunny you target with it. A disease card can progress around the table from bunny to bunny in a circular sequence, for example.

I'm thinking there will be a deck of cards that you can write on with dry erase markers. Some of them will be versions of the characters and some will be rooms in the mansion that you are trying to work in.

The object of the game is to collect sets of the same boy, collect sets of different boys by hooking up with them and/or to collect sets of cleaned room cards.

The dice would have icons on them (and maybe numbers?). When a card is drawn it is placed on a "loop" in front of you and all the card passes to the left at the end of your turn as if on a lazy Susan turning tabletop. So most players will usually have cards in front of them, even when it's not their turn. You apply dice results to the cards with matching icons and collect any cards that you complete by filling in a category of symbol.

Some dice results might allow you to "reach" over to a card in front of a player beside you, but otherwise your dice can only be applied to the card(s) directly in front of you. Now that my brain has had a day or so away from the fervor of designing, I realize that there is very little in the way of DECISIONS to be made with the cards as depicted above. I feel a good R&W game has you trying to solve something of a puzzle in how to apply your results, which having numbers on the dice as well as icons might help open up some avenues for exploration. What I have right now is simply a roll and fill in what you can exercise.

So...more to come on this topic in the coming days. Stay tuned.

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