Tuesday, June 27, 2017

On the Ridge - A Game Poem

I have to admit that this is a hack of Jason Morningstar's Game Poem The Last Stand. It started out with me trying to adjust it so that it could be played by email and I ultimately ended up with a different game.

On the Ridge - A Game Poem

Two to six players
Four index cards
A pen or marker to write in the index cards
Four six-sided dice per player

You are the sole survivors of your squad. You stand alone together on the ridge with the enemy coming over. You can put up a good fight but you know that you will die in the end. How well will you stand your ground? How well will you live your last moments?

Take a moment to decide the setting of the ridge. It can be anywhere. A real life historical setting, contemporary, fantasy or science fiction. Go around the table. Everyone come up with the name of their character and one sentence to describe what they are like.

Write down "SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR", "SOMETHNG TO DIE FOR", "YOUR GREATEST FEAR", "WHY YOU HATE YOUR COUNTRY", one on each of the index cards. Then roll one die for each player for each card. So, if you have three players, there should be three dice on each card.

Choose someone to begin the battle. They will take a die from a card and describe a short scene about their character in the battle, using both the theme of the card and the dice roll. Then, the next player will do the same. When the last player has taken a die and described a scene, start again with the player to the left of the start player. Continue until everyone has taken four dice and had four scenes.

It is possible, actually extremely likely that a character will die before their fourth scene. The player of a dead character will still take a die and describe a scene. However, it will describe the absence of their character, still reflecting the theme of the card.

Die Roll Table:

1 - Somehow, through some miracle of fate, you have escaped getting hurt.
2 - You try to avoid the battle via a dirty act of cowardice but you are still wounded.
3&4 - You are wounded in battle
5 - You are wounded but you have made a real difference in the battle
6 - Blaze of glory. You die but you have made a real difference for your side in your death

If a player receives their second wound, they will die during that scene.

After everyone has had four scenes, if anyone has survived the battle, which means they have taken three or four ones, that player or players will narrate an epilogue scene.

Otherwise, everyone should just nod to each other. The battle is over. 

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