The Power 19 questions from the Forge, regarding The One Rule.
Not all of them really applied, but I tried to answer anyway, with varying results.
1.) What is your game about?
- The game is about... character interaction and discovery. Discovering things about your character, and how the past affects the present. Throwing challenging background incidents at your friends to see how they incorporate them into their character. Discovering why your relationships are what they are. It's about being surprised about yourself. It's about surprising your friends. It's about finding out that things you never thought could make any sense, do.
2.) What do the characters do?
- The characters can basically do anything they want. Before the game starts, everyone collaborates on what they want this to be.
3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
- There is no GM. Players first decide what the setting will be, and define their characters in broad strokes. Players narrate their characters, set scenes, narrate NP Cs and setting, and most importantly, narrate facts about other people's backgrounds, in character. In general, all the players decide what they want the scene to be about, and one person per scene will volunteer to set the scene so that you don't have confusion.
- If the group is too big you can cut the group into two scenes, divided how you wish. I've had good luck with rolling 1d100 and going in ascending order til you fill each scene. That said, I've played with 2 people, and I've played with 6 or 7 in the same room. So whatever.
4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
- The lack of setting makes you focus on the characters. No matter where/when the game is set, and how much magic there is in the world, it will always be about characters and their backgrounds.
5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?
- If you only have a name and a few sentences to describe your character, it leaves everything else wide open for the other players to come up with.
6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
- Cooperative storytelling, coming up with intertwined histories, figuring out how to incorporate new facts into your personality, creatively inserting facts that make sense even when they shake things up.
- There is no mechanical reward, but boy do you feel cool. And if you suck, people will glare at you. Viciously.
7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
- Through social contract. If you do something cool, other people tend to say so. If you do something that breaks the spirit of the game, you will be questioned and possibly ignored!
8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
- Everyone is responsible for as much as they're comfortable having. Nobody has to narrate anything, but by the same token, nobody is restricted from narrating. Everyone is responsible for making their own characters and everyone they narrate (including the backgrounds of other characters) fit within the bounds of the setting they created.
9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
- They never know when they'll find out something new! And they will be busy figuring out what they can say about other characters. If someone is being quiet, make up a new fact about them.
10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
- Resolution schmezzolution. Any true conflicts are negotiated socially, OOC. Don't be an asshole.
11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
- Um. They don't! I guess technically having to accept facts that other people say about your character is a resolution mechanic or something. Geez, stop being so difficult.
12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
- Not in a traditional fashion. Instead they grow more complex and nuanced as new things are discovered about them. It's probably a good idea to keep track of what these are, if you plan on playing more than one session.
13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
- complex. nuanced. etc. It's about starting out with a relatively blank slate and developing them via other people.
14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
- Excitement, discovery, messin' with your peeps.
15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
- Character backgrounds. Cause it's only got one damn rule.
16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
- The way that it produces games that can be amazingly dissimilar to eachother, and yet the spirit of the characters is still there. That's pretty badass.
17.) Where does your game take the players that other games can't, don't, or won't?
- Generally your character's history is the province of yourself only, and maybe the GM. Not so with One Rule!
18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?
- I don't think that I could really publish it in a book. It would be a really...really short book. I might publish the rule on the RPG Bakery and ask for Creative Commons Attribution. Cause I think I'm neat.
19.) Who is your target audience?
- People who want a quick one-shot game with little to no need to worry about character creation beyond concept.
- People who want a long game that can be easily broken into smaller groups of people and played with whoever is available.
- People who like to fuck with their friends' heads.
- People who don't like mechanics.
- People who are interested in exploring relationships and participating in the evolution of other people's characters.
That was long!