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St Paul's strikes again.

No mad peal of bells this time but the woman sitting on the bench next to me completely freaked out. And it was only a tiny mouse sitting under her bench, having his lunch with the rest of us.

I had time to think about my Cthulhu variant that I wrote up some time ago in these pages. I might give it a go on Thursday.

I also thought of a new game called "A Whole Sad Sack of Shit" and dedicated to jholloway. Two reasons really, that's almost the name of his livejournal and I was watching Full Tilt Boogie the other night and both Paula and I remarked that James has the exact same delivery as Tarantino - without the whole Punch-faced nasal whine thing (click the image links if you don't believe me about Tarantino). And this game is a Tarantino sort of thing (with a nod to Baron Munchausen, and Polaris too I guess).

All the players take the parts of small-time hoods involved in some kind of caper. It could be a bank robbery, it could be a dark-elf hit on a rival clan, it could be a space pirate style raid on an ancient pyramid artifact (as in Consider Phlebas - "Easy in, easy out", yeah right). They are sitting round afterwards discussing what happened.

The first player starts by cracking open a beer and saying "Fuck me, that was a Whole Sad Sack of Shit!", he then sets the scene by giving the gist of what the team was up to with words like "Old Ma Barker's drugstore seemed ripe for the taking" or "Them colonists never knew that they were sitting on top of a fortune in dilithium". He doesn't give any details though and finishes up with "It was all going so well ..."

Play then takes the form of recounting the caper and how it went terribly wrong. The game is separated in to four phases and the scale of how bad things can get is limited but increases with each phase from minor annoyance in the first phase to full-scale death and guns badness in the last. That's not to say you can't get shot at the start, just that it won't be quite so significant.

Each player takes it in turn recounting part of the caper. They can involve other player characters and they can be challenged by other players over their reckonning. Currency is bottle-tops (or equivalent). You get credit for involving others' characters and can use it to bid for and against interruptions. Play pases on to the next player when either you've said enough (and you get a bottletop for being so generous) or you lose a challenge. When everyone has had a say, the phase is upped by one and play continues.

You could have rules for traits giving bonuses to characters, perhaps even representing these on cards and dealing two to each player which they can use to help with challenges, if they want their secrets to be uncovered.

Obviously, although your character can get severely maimed and injured, no PC can actually die during the caper.

The game ends at the end of phase 4 with the player who initiated the game saying "And I never want to see any of your sorry asses again", he pulls his gun and in a hail of bullets, only the character whose player has the second least number of caps survives.

And of course, as Mike Gentry suggests, anyone who opens and drinks a whole beer during the game gets to add the cap to their stock. And only beer caps, none of those wussy coke caps. Teetotalers, like me, will just have to put up.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC)
a) That sounds like a way fun game!
b) Many people think James looks like Tarantino. It's the chin, mostly.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC)
I like that game idea, nice twist on the ideas in Once Upon a Time and Baron Munchausen.

And yeah, jholloway does indeed talk like Tarantino. Heh.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Have you read the Pantheon game "The Hole?" Heist-gone-bad genre is a big favorite of mine.

And it's true; I have been frequently compared to Tarantino. Why I dunno. Well, OK, the chin. The chin and the profanity.

My LJ title actually comes from the Coen brothers remake of The Ladykillers, in which Marlon Wayans is trying to persuade the nice old lady that they are, in fact, an early music group. Indicating the team's strongman and sackbut player, he says "he c' play a big bitch barrel a' sackbut."
Aug. 23rd, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
I've got Pantheon but I've not read the scenarios in the hope that I might get to play it one day, but I'm probably safe from that now so I'll have a look later. I guess I was pretty much guarenteed to find other gaming examples of the genre, given that it's so made for it.

And it's not so much the chin as the way you talk. There's a passing resemblence but even at your most chiniest you don't really come near QT. It's more the staccato delivery punctuated by profanity and always with a heavy dose of emotional content, either enthusiasm or invective.

I've not seen The Ladykillers remake. It's the only flick of the Coens' I haven't. They are pretty much my favourite film-makers and Miller's Crossing my top movie.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC)
yeah, well, it's not all that great. I sort of got the feeling it was there to justify its gospel soundtrack. Has its moments; worth an evening if you're, I dunno, addressing envelopes at the same time or something.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
If you do go with bottletops for currency, there should be a rule that says a player can add the bottle top from any beer that he finishes to his personal stash... if it was beer, and if he finished it himself.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
You beat me to the "this should be a drinking game" comment.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention the Pantheon thing too. Certainly worth a glance at (it doesn't kill the game if you know what you're aiming for; even not knowing, I still worked for ages to suddenly "discover" the haul was in Confederate dollars (not in the scenario, but in genre, sort of)...)

Your idea seems to work a lot better than the Pantheon model, which suffered heavily if people broke genre.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )