200 Words

I heard from a few friends on my G+ feed about this 200 word RPG challenge. Looks like it was started last year in 2015, and in fact a local LA con-goer / friend won! (Stephanie of Mortaine fame.)

Having played many more small form RPGs this last year, I thought why not give it a go. I have submitted my game, which I originally called We Are Character (since the players all take turns playing the same character), but which I've renamed We Are Cadavre Exquis (due to playtesters observations that there is similarity to the Exquisite Character game of surrealistic artists). This makes it sound extra artsy-fartsy.

I first play-tested it with my daughter, who loved it. I think that's due to its very simple nature and the control she has during play (so far she hasn't gone too much for GM-run games). I think the simple story cues are just enough for her to handle.

I also play-tested it with 3 adult friends on a game night, and got some cool feedback that way, including a few of the modifications that I added at the bottom, including the ones I called "Poem" and "Synchronicity".

After reviewing many of the other submissions, up on the G+ community feed for the contest, I have to say I'm both impressed, and intimidated, by some of the awesomely cool ideas spewing forth. Impressed by the creativity and the way some of the concepts and ideas have been so concisely summarized and distilled; intimidated because my idea seems so simple and basic and almost lackluster. But don't get me wrong, I still like its simplicity... for no other reason than my daughter keeps asking me if we can play!

Here's my submission (at 195 words) for the 200 Word RPG Challenge, 2016:

GM-less story game where we take turns playing the same character.

1. Separate card deck into Diamonds (RESULT) and Clubs (ACTION).
2. Shuffle decks separately. Place face down in two stacks.
3. Choose an adventure start:
“Opens the door into the depths…”
“Heads into enemy headquarters…”
“Enters the desolate space station…”
4. Go clockwise while cards remain:
a. Reveal Diamond card.
b. Look up RESULT cue.
c. Use cue to describe result of last action, in ONE sentence.
d. Reveal Club card.
e. Look up ACTION cue.
f. Use cue to describe next action, in ONE sentence.
5. When cards run out: next player describes the ending.

A - Key - Fall
2 - Blue - Discover
3 - Cloud - Fear
4 - Rough - Break
5 - Portal - Hurt
6 - Root - Test
7 - Energy - Hear
8 - Pain - Fly
9 - Arms - Pound
10 - Dark - Fire
J - Light - Cut
Q - Hook - Run
K - Ground - Face

SYNCHRONICITY: Reveal both cards before describing results.
POEM: Rhyme as a couplet, sestina, or in style of haiku.
CUSTOMIZE: Create your own adventure start or cues.
WORLD-BUILDING: Change character to: city, culture, planet...
EPIC: Do not limit player sentences.