The Story of Freddie the Snitch

November 28, 2008

In The Story of Freddie the Snitch, you and two to three friends will play out Freddie’s story. Freddie was a small time bookie snitching on the mob, and they want to know exactly what he squealed about. You will play the mafia enforcers that were the last to see Freddie. You will need a standard deck of cards. Take two cards of each suit and the ace of spades and make a small deck out of them. Shuffle the cards together.

Start out by describing, as a group, how your characters captured Freddie, and where they took him afterwards. Play will proceed with scenes where your characters interact with Freddie, either to get information from him, feed him, or just talk with him. Take turns having these scenes.

Choose another player to play Freddie during a scene. That player should draw a card from the mini-deck. If the card is a heart, then Freddie spends the scene in pain or gets hurt during it. If the card is a diamond, then Freddie tries to bargain with his captor with money. If the card is a club, then Freddie pleads for his life. If the card is a spade, then Freddie struggles against his bonds and lashes out at anyone who comes near him. If the card is an ace of spades, then it’s Freddie’s last scene, your character will kill him. Describe as a group how the character’s dispose of the body.

The Only Toy

November 28, 2008

The Only Toy is about several parents that are all trying to get the one toy that their child wants the most. Unfortunately there is only one left in the store. The short is written for play with four people. You will each play both a parent, and the obstacles in the way of the other parents. You will need six 6-sided dice.

Decide what kind of toy the parents are trying to acquire. Have someone begin the game by describing the toy alone on a shelf in the store and visible to all the parents. Each player should now take a moment to describe their character. While you are describing your character also describe your character catching sight of one of the others. A moment of realization that they both want the same toy.

Now each player will take turns trying to make it to the toy. Describe how your character attempts to make progress toward the goal. The player to your left should now describe an obstacle that would keep your character from making progress towards the goal. If you are the first player pick up all of the dice and roll them, otherwise roll the dice that were passed to you from the previous player.

If you rolled any sixes, then your character successfully doges the obstacle with no problem. Set aside those sixes and describe your character’s success. If you did not roll any sixes, then mark down a strike for your character and collect all previously discarded dice and add them back in to the pool. Your character gets tangled up with the obstacle and the player to your right gets to describe exactly how. Once your turn is over pass the dice pool on to the next player.

After three strikes your character is out of the race for the toy. If there is only one player left, then that parent gets the toy. After you describe their triumph, the short ends.

Cooking the Turkey

November 27, 2008

Cooking the Turkey is a short for two players. One of you will play someone cooking a turkey. The other will play any problems or obstacles that arise while the turkey is cooking. You will need four 6-sided dice to play.

Begin the game with preparation. The turkey must be prepared before it goes into the oven. The player of the cook should explain what the cook is doing to prepare the turkey. At this point the other player will describe a problem that is developing with the turkey. This begins a series of exchanges between the cook and the problem.

When a series begins, each player should roll two dice. The player with the highest die will describe an action or development within the series. In the case of a tie the cook always gets precedence. Discard the highest die and the series continues with the player with the next highest die. If the player of the cook isn’t the last player to go, then they get the final word on any exchange. After a series ends, wrap up the scene as necessary.

Play out two more scenes before the short ends. Some examples of possible scenes include basting the turkey, taking the turkey out of the oven, or presenting it to the family. The final scene should provide closure on the fate of the turkey, either with it’s ruination or confidence that it will come out delicious.


November 26, 2008

Traffic is a short for 2-4 players. In this short you will play the driver and passengers in a car that is stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, the group has somewhere to be and every minute that passes increases the chances that they will be late.

Start by deciding who will play the driver. This player will have the responsibility of setting the pacing of the short. They will interject random traffic events into play and control when traffic begins to flow and stop again.

Once you’ve chosen a driver, decide where the group is going and why they can’t be late. This should play prominently within the short, since not being late should be on everyone’s minds. Who are your characters? How do they relate to the group?

Now arrange four chairs in a square just like they would be in a car. Find and sit in your character’s spot within the “car”. Proceed by making conversation in character as you sit in the car. Some suggestions for topics include talking about the traffic, talking about what your character will do when they get to the destination, or what will happen if the group is late.

At any point the driver can interrupt the current conversation by yelling at “another driver” on the road. This should reset the current conversation moving it on to a new topic. In addition the driver progresses the short forward by indicating that traffic is moving again. Allow a short time for passenger reactions to the news, before announcing that traffic has stopped again. The third time the traffic gets moving, it does not stop again and the short ends.

Return of the Knight

November 23, 2008

Return of the Knight is a short about a knight returning to the king after slaying a dragon. There are three roles for you and your friends to play, the knight, the princess, and the king.

The Knight

The Knight has just returned from slaying a dragon. The death of the dragon was a requirement from the King for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Decide if the Knight actually slew the dragon. Perhaps instead he struck a deal. No matter what the Knight should claim that he slew the dragon, when the scene opens. In addition, decide if the Knight loves the Princess.

The King

The King sent the knight to kill the dragon believing that he would die. He will remain skeptical no matter what the Knight claims. He should demand proof and question every detail of the Knight’s story.

The Princess

The Princess is the role with the most flexibility. If you are playing the Princess, then you have several decisions to make. Does the Princess want to marry the Knight? Is she in love with him? How does she feel about her father sending him to slay the dragon?

Playing it Out

Now that you have everyone’s motivations and desires. Play out the scene in character. The scene ends when any character leaves the room.

Sick as a Dog

November 23, 2008

Sick as a Dog is a short for three players about a person that is trying to accomplish something despite being much too sick. Decide on who the person is and what they are trying to accomplish. Decide on four symptoms that the person has from their illness. One of you will play the sick person, one will play the illness, and the other will play people that the person interacts with while they try to accomplish their task.

The short plays out in three scenes. In the first scene, the illness should take a back seat in the scene. If you are playing the illness, choose a single symptom that will appear prominently in the scene. The first scene should show the person starting their task. Decide on a third person that the sick person must interact with at the beginning of the task. If you are playing the illness, then you describe the illnesses symptoms within the sick person. Play out this scene until the player playing the illness decides that it should end. At this point they describe another symptom appearing in the person, in a way that causes them to have to excuse themselves.

The second scene should show the person in the middle of their task when the worst of the illness hits. The player of the illness should choose two of the remaining symptoms to manifest themselves strongly in this scene. The third player should play someone that is trying to comfort the sick person and convince them to stop what they are doing and lay down. The third player is responsible for ending this scene, by either having their character either give up or convincing the sick player to lay down.

The third scene will reveal if the sick character finally achieves their task. The sickness is not done yet, so the player of the illness should use the final symptom in this scene. The third player will play one last concerned companion as the character tries to achieve their task. This character should take on a negative role, actively trying to keep the sick character from achieving their task. This scene ends when the player of the sick character decides if the character finally accomplishes their task. Play out the final accomplishment.

Wake Up

November 21, 2008

Wake Up is a short for two people about someone asleep at the bus station. The story will play out in a dream that the person is having while they sleep. The dream ends when the bus comes and they wake up. One of you will play the dreamer and one of you will play the dream. Before you start, decide who the dreamer is and where they are going. The dreamer gets a pool of six 6-sided dice.

The dream occurs in a series of scenes. Each scene begins with a sound or person in the real world that translates into the dreamer’s dream. If you are playing the dream, begin a scene by describing something in the bus station that will insert itself into the dream. If you are playing the dreamer, then describe the dreamer asleep in the bus station. Now play should transition to the dream itself. If you are playing the dream, then describe how the element of the real world manifests in the dream. Play out the scene from there.

At the end of a scene, roll the dreamer’s pool of dice. Remove any dice that come up as sixes. If the dreamer’s pool is not empty, then continue with a new scene. If the pool is empty, then have one last scene which is slightly different than the others. In this scene after the player of the dream describes the item in the real world as usual, but this time the item wakes the dreamer. The player of the dreamer should describe how the dreamer wakes up. At this point the short comes to an end.


November 19, 2008

In Debrief, you will tell the story of three operatives-in-training that were involved in a training mission that went wrong. This short is for four players. Three of you will play the operatives, and the fourth will play the debriefing officer. Each operative will have an opportunity to tell their side of the story.

The player of the debriefing officer should start the short off by choosing an operative player. The debriefing officer should ask the operative to recount events as best he can recall them.

Each operative is being kept in a separate room for debriefing, so no other operative can correct or argue with an operatives statements. However, as the operative currently being questioned, you can pull other operatives into your recollection. Their players will play the operatives within the scene, but under certain restrictions. If the operative currently being questioned, makes a statement about the other operatives attitude or behavior, then that operatives player must abide by it. For example, the statement “Fred was acting squirrelly like he had something to hide” would require that Fred be played as if he had something to hide.

The player of the debriefing officer should feel free to cut a scene at any point and switch over to another operative. This player should also ask questions about details from other stories, ensuring that the seperate narratives all have the same general events and lead to the moment when the mission went wrong.

The short ends when all of the operatives have told their side of the story. As a group, collectively decide what will happen to each of the operatives after the debriefing.

For Control of the King

November 19, 2008

For Control of the King is a short for three players. The roles for this short are the Queen, the Archbishop, and the Jester. Each of these characters is trying to control the King in their own way.

Start by determining a central issue. All of the characters will try to control the King around what they want for the central issue. A good central issue can conceivable have many sides to it. Pick a side of the issue for your character, based on how you want to portray that character.

The characters are all sitting together discussing the King’s final decision. Each player will have a turn during which their character’s machinations and their outcome will come to light. If it’s your turn, the other two players will describe in character the parts of your character’s manipulations that they witnessed. Your character can confirm or deny any accusation of manipulation. They must always describe the King’s reaction.

During a player’s turn, the other players should talk about approximately five different instances of their character’s manipulations of the King. Ultimately a player can not narrate ultimate success over the King with any of their plans.

After all of you have had a turn, decide as a group on the King’s ultimate position with regards to the issue. No one can petition for their character’s position on the issue to be the King’s. Now take one more turn in character, to discuss your character’s reaction to the King’s position.

Alone in a Crowd

November 17, 2008

Alone in a Crowd is a short for three players. In this short, one of you will play someone who has lost their companion in a large crowd. One of you will play the crowd, and one of you will play the companion.

Start by deciding on who will play each role, and some details about each role. What is the crowd? Why are they there? Who is alone? Who is the companion? Why are they there?

Play proceeds with a series of three scenes. Each scene opens with the lost catching a glimpse of the companion. Play out the scene with the lost trying to reach the companion. If you are playing the crowd narrate obstacles to the lost reaching the companion. If you are playing the the lost can not reach the companion until the third scene. If this is not the last scene, the player of the companion should end it by describing the closing of the scene in a way that highlights how alone the lost is.After the first scene, play another scene following the same guidelines.

In the third scene, the lost will find the companion. Begin the scene like the others, but this time narration should lead the lost to the companion rather than away. End the scene with their reunion.