Monthly Archives: August 2006

3 Card Mindgame

Rellated to my idea of a card-based RPG, and general thoughts on what direction I want it to take, I’ve been doing a lot of pondering considering these types of games.

Consider the following case:  both players have a 1, a 2, and a 3 card.  Simultaneously, they choose a card and play it. Both cards are discarded, and whoever had the higher card gets a point.  On a tie, neither player gets a point.  After three rounds, whoever has the highest score wins.

Before reading any comments, take five minutes or so to consider what strategy you might take in this game.  What are games between two players of equal familiarity of the game likely to look like?  What common game is this effectively equivalent to?  What changes if each player has five cards, numbered one through five, and the game lasts five rounds?

(I promise that I am going somewhere cool with this, but I can’t get there without YOUR help.)

Kitty Health

Munkie! and I went to the vet today.  She was pretty brave, but not too happy about going.

At the vet’s reccomendation, I set up an appointment to get her spayed.  I also found out that Munkie! has Feline Lukemia, which is very not good, but there’s nothing I really can do about it.  She seems healthy, so I think she’ll be ok.


So, I recently became a proud cat owner.  My kitty’s name is Munkie!  Yes, the exclaimation point is part of her name.

As it happens, the boy next door to me also owns a cat.  We both live on the second story of our apartment complex, and we have balconies that overlook our parking lot.  He leaves his exterior door open, and sometimes when I get home from work, his cat is sitting out on the balcony.  Its pretty adorable.

So I was trying to sleep, and Munkie! starts meowing all crazy like.  I get up to see if she needs food or if she threw up or something, and then I see it:

My next door neighbor’s cat is sitting outside on my balcony, looking at Munkie!, and Munkie! is having a fit.

Those balconies are positioned such that jumping from one to the other doesn’t seem very easy.

I pinned the drapes shut, so Munkie! couldn’t see the other cat, and that seemed to calm her down.

Card-Based Resolution System

Crossposted to here: 

Here’s an idea I have kicking around: an rpg with a resolution system akin to the 2 player Lord of the Rings game or the Game of Thrones board game:  I have some number, you have some number, and we both play a hidden card and add.  The card has a number, and maybe a special ability.

Your character gives you an innate special ability, and a deck of cards.  So a D&D-style warrior takes less damage from physical combats, and his deck has more cards that get bonuses in physical combats.

The problem is, I could refine that all day long, but it seems to minimize the roleplaying aspects.  Right now it seems and awful lot like a ‘parlor-narration-game,’ with a very heavy rules component.  That’s not a bad thing, but the characterizations seem shallow.

Thoughts on how to inject some premise exploration?

Lay Down teh Beatings

You sir, are crusing for a brusing.

Yeah, I see you looking at me punk.  Let me tell you how it’s going to go down:

I will start by giving you a hyper-spanking.  Oh, you don’t know what a hyper-spanking is?  Oh, you better believe I’m going to tell you what a hyper-spanking is!

A hyper-spanking is when I hit your fool ass so damn hard that you actually travel back in time.  Thanks to quantum physics, I will give you the beatdown of a lifetime*.  Or more.  This is the beatdown frenzy.  Yeah, I see you sweating.  I’m’a gonna go get my whompin stick.

So like, the hyper-spanking, this isn’t no kind of “fun” go back in time, like the land of the dinosaurs and a tropical vacation, or the middle ages where you can “invent” gunpowder (you poser, you) and conquer the known world.  Oh no.  Your ass is getting sent back in time to 1980.  Yeah, you heard me, 1980.  Bad hair, bad music, bad movies, and Ronald Reagan.  Shaking in your undies yet?

Then, when you get back, and are 26 years older and are all decrepit and stuff, I will point at you.  And laugh.

*Assuming you are 26 or younger.  If you happen to be 13 or younger, it’s the beating of at least two lifetimes.

Game-y Game Design

This is what I want.  Its not Gamist design, because DitV is Gamey.

I want a design that lets me, as a player or GM, make really cool tactical decisions- that forces me, as a player, to play the game.  (To Step on Up or Die)

DitV does this with the dice mechanic in the narration.  My experience with D&D is that it often fails to do this- the tactical options are too obvious.  Burning Wheel is another game that is game-y.

Note that gameiness is not crunchiness: D&D is very crunchy.  When most of the decisions are front loaded (i.e. chargen), you have a highly Strategic system, which I believe D&D is.  However, it is not a very Tactical system.

Any system I design will have to be very Tactical to support this.  I’m just really unsure about how to go about doing that.

Tres Bien

I recently discovered that Aqua Teen Hunger Force has subtitles in French.

I cannot begin to describe how much joy this brings me.

Now That’s Service!

Here’s an excerpt from an actual email sent to the reservations department at the hotel I work at:

“Thank you – you guys were by far the easiest, incest hotel I have worked with so far.”


Yesterday I GM’d Dogs for 4 people who had never played it before.

Response was good- people liked the structure of the game quite a bit, and I saw some good roleplaying out of a player who usually plays murderous hack ‘n’ slash psychopaths.  It was also my first experience with wanton violence in Dogs, and I found something out:  guns kill the fuck out of people.  (And the stakes “Do I kill you?” also tend to kill the fuck out of people.)

Must Be A Regional Thing

I found it funny that in the finale of Buffy season 2, when the police are talking to Buffy’s mom, she says, “I think she went to stay at her friend Willow’s house,” and the police are all like, “Hmmm… Willow… could that be Willow Rosenberg?”  Like there might be more than one Willow in Sunnydale.