At the Machine

At the Machine is a Roleplaying Short for you and two friends. The three of you will each play three people in line at an ATM machine. Normally a simple procedure, life and the machine itself will serve to complicate matters. To play you will need nine strips of paper numbered 1 through 9 and a hat or bag,.

Setting Up

Before you can begin playing, you will each need to make characters. You will begin this process by each taking three strips of paper and writing one adjective per strip. The adjectives should be ones that you would use to describe someone’s mood, like happy, melancholy, or frazzled.

Once you have all written your adjectives place them into the hat. Take turns drawing a strip of paper from the hat, until everyone has drawn two adjectives. If your second adjective seems in direct contradiction to your first, then you may put it back into the hat and draw again. The adjectives that you’ve drawn tell you the moods of the person that you will be playing.

Take a moment to consider your adjectives and puzzle out exactly who the character you are playing is. Use the adjectives and try to figure out what would put your character in his or her mood. A mother frazzled by her children,or a businessman stressed from work. Don’t take too long agonizing over your choices, your first instinct is probably best and you should trust it.

Playing it Out

Take a look at the numbers on the adjectives you’ve drawn, take the highest of the two, and form a line starting with the player with the highest number, and ending with the player with the lowest number.

If you are currently at the front of the line, then you are attempting to use the ATM. Think about how life’s distractions or the machine itself might complicate matters. Act out the actions that your character takes while dealing with the machine. Remember to play to your character’s mood and incorporate some of the elements of their life that contributed to it. After about five minutes of fiddling the machine will produce the results that your character desires.

If you are not currently at the front of the line, then your character could be trying to provide helpful advice to the person currently at the machine, dealing with any issues in their life, or simply complaining. Once again it is up to the mood and general personality that you’ve devised for your character.

Once your character is done at the machine, move out of the line. The next player in line now has to deal with the machine. Play proceeds like this until all three of you have dealt with the machine. Play ends after the last player is done with the machine.


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