January 24th, 2010


Game dreams

Friday night, I dreamed an RPG. Or, at least, the basic broad strokes of one.

Zil and I have been watching a lot of Chuck lately. This apparently triggered a dream about secret agents and spies with weird knacks, powers and features. As the dream progressed, it turned into a game design.

The game is called Sleepers. All the players are sleeper agents for an intelligence agency. They're all in deep cover doing spy things. You go from your basic undercover spy, to guys with Intersect type things in their heads, through brainwashed Dollhouse-esque characters who don't know they're agents until they hear their trigger phrase, and down into really weird stuff.

Each character would be made with a small number of points. To get more, the character takes negative features - things like being activated by a trigger phrase, being a double, or even triple agent, having arrival agency have your loved one hostage, etc. The GM would have to figure out how big a bonus to give for each drawback. The idea is to get characters with really odd situations. In return, they can use the points on either becoming super awesome in attributes, or (in my mind, better), coming up with wacky spy powers. I had more examples from the dream, but I've lost them now.

For attributes, since we're talking spies, I figure we should assume that they're all universally highly trained in all combat skills. Any spy can take out a non-spy, and spy on spy competition comes down to finding another edge. Strength and Dexterity would have to be on the table, as would something like Intelligence (for code cracking, hacking, etc.) and maybe some sort of social/lying/acting attribute.

Anyway, this more or less popped into my head when I woke up Saturday morning. I think I could make something out of it.

Of course, I just found out that the ACUS game submission deadline is this week, so the question is, can I fill in the gaps and smooth it out by the end of the week?

ACUS games!!?!

Presumably as a side-effect of the reg page going up a month later than usual, there's only about a week until the end of game submission for ACUS.

This means I have to start and finish thinking about which games I am going to run, and soon.

Ideas I have so far;

  • Another Nano-Victorian Future game. I'm pretty confident that the setting and system are holding up for this one, since it seems to be working in my F2F game. I just need to come up with a plot, but for NVF, that shouldn't be too hard.

  • A consensual world style fantasy game using a set of diceless rules similar to the ones for NVF. I'd have to a) come up with a plot on the fly, and b) go for one of the longer slots so we'd have time to build the world and still have a game. I'd be nervous about the pacing/timing, especially since I doubt I'd have a chance to playtest it before ACUS.

  • Sleepers, a game of spies and secret agents. As previously mentioned, this needs some smoothing out still.

  • I could try to run Blood Shadow again, but I'm still feeling deflated from how last year's went, and I haven't figured out how to fix the setting.

  • I could maybe throw together a set of rules for a Jim Butcher Codex Alera game? And come up with a plot? Perhaps better I don't.

I'm interested in Primetime Adventures and In a Wicked Age, but I don't know the rules well enough to run either as yet.

I will probably end up running two games this year. One of them will almost certainly be Nano-Victorian Future. Any comments from the peanut gallery on which of the others sound good?