Monday, November 6, 2023

Looking at a couple tiny RPGs

I have been looking at the Magus by momatoes as a journaling game for November and I decided to look at what else they had written. The first couple games I looked at were Mint & Minotaur and Rock Paper Scissors Duet.

Mint & Minotaur is a universal system. More than that, it’s really a FUDGE variant that uses a coin flip instead of dice. Which should mechanically work just fine but doesn’t inspire me. 

That’s the thing about universal systems. They tell you how to resolve a conflict but they don’t give you a world to play in, an inspiration to create a story with. No one fell in love with GIURPS because it was a universal system. They fall in love with it because of its vast library of setting books.

At the same time, Mint & Minotaur has some whimsical touches that make me go hmmmmm. One aspect of a character is their fondest memory. Too manu successs will have negative side effects. There’s a very narrative driven leveling system.

If you want an RPG you can fit in your pocket, I’m still going with the first edition of Name of God, which consists of four cards and no other components and is dropping with theme and narrative concept. But I can see Mint & Minotaur working as a dreamy, slice of life game.

Rock Paper Scissors Duet is a two-player game about a relationship. You define the relationship and then play Rock Paper Scissors until one person wins three times. Each round is a beat in the relationship with the winning symbol defining what the event is about.

I actually find this more interesting and, quite frankly, more brilliant than Mint & Minotaur. It’s simpler and also doesn’t have a setting  but it creates a very specific story structure and theme.

I can see Rick Paper Scissors Duet creating some interesting stories.

And, as I slowly play through a Magus Campaign, I can see how all three games were made by the same person.

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