I was too sick to title this

January 5, 2011

Well, lots of interesting ideas today. Maybe should really think about organizing this thing into some coherent whole.

First thought: So, I’ve realized that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about mood, and theme, and some in-game stuff, but I haven’t really talked mechanical details yet. So here’s how I see the game being played.

You get some friends (or you don’t, as the case may be), and gather in a place. Ideally, the place is isolated, greyscale, decrepit, cold, and poorly furnished, but that’s just for the spirit of things. You can really play anywhere.

The game is played by speaking aloud. Each player describes their characters thoughts, utterances, and actions as they see fit. Most of this isn’t terribly ground breaking.

There are probably some dice needed, but I’m hoping just one will suffice. Pencil and paper to keep track of things is probably a good idea. For single player games, I would encourage the player to keep a journal – ideally in their  characters voice – reflecting on the events and actions of each “day.” I might even encourage people in multiplayer games to do that, but we’ll see how it works out.

I recently picked up and played Ben Lehman’s Polaris and I liked the idea of ritualized phrases for getting into the fiction – even if it does feel hokey as hell. I think beginning the game with a key phrase – or one of a distinct set of key phrases – would suit Winter quite well.

The player who speaks the key phrase then determines the starting scene. I still haven’t figured out whether they determine the kind of scene (i.e., Camaraderie, Survival, etc), or whether they merely specify the details of the starting scene.

Whew fading fast. Gonna take a nap and come back to this later.


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