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Story Telling Games 1 of 2 - Crime Scene (Yeah, I need a better name)

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MarcJWaters
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Joined: 06/08/2011

So, I am at it again. I have been posting on here with my ideas, and each time I post, when I go to playtest, I get discouraged. Mainly, the simplistic ideas that I have are usually overshadowed by a similar game that has already done what I have conceived... but better. Its a problem, but I have taken some time to reassess what I want to contribute to the world and I would like to say that I am back.

Looking at the gaming community as a whole, there seems to be a definite lack of story telling games. I say that in the context of RPG's are abundant, but Story Telling games are majorly lacking. You have some good ones... Fiasco, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Long Live the King, Accused!... and thats about it. Even if there are more out there, they are not really readily available without paying an arm and a leg for collector value. I would sincerely like to change that.

With that, I have been brainstorming and two ideas have been nagging at me incessantly. The first is a crime type of game. Definitely intended for a mature audience for sensitive topics, 2 players would take on the role of the estate of the deceased or the estate of the affected and the other party would take on the role of the Defendant or suspected possible party. Other players play a group of investigators uncovering clues. With each discovery of combing the area, the plaintiff speaks saying what they think happened, and the Defendant then tries to explain why that evidence is there.

I would have character roles that are assigned at random at the beginning of the game which would determine the ability to extract information from the clue. IE: Only Lab techs could analyze Blood samples whereas All players could analyze foot prints and tire treads. Also, each clue would have some sort of modifier tacked onto it. Tire treads will reference a number, and a mitigation die would be rolled to affect that number, and then that paragraph is referenced.

A "round" becomes this:
~Prior to game, a scenario is read.
~Investigators arrive on scene and a description of the location is read.
~Investigators through some mechanic comb the area looking for clues.
~A clue is revealed and play stops
~Plaintiff gives their side of what they think happened
~Defendant tries to explain away why the evidence is pointing towards them.
~Steps 3-6 repeat until evidence is dried up
~Last remarks from both parties
~Investigators act as jury and cast a vote for the innocence or guilt of defendant

The game, within this context, has a few foreseeable problems. How do the evidence card gets triggered? What I am thinking is that the map of the scene is a grid and the investigators move throughout spending actions to move and search. Clues are hidden on the grid (via a separate board that is hidden) by the Defendant who has to call out when things are discovered (think Battleship!).

I am thinking that the Plaintiff can hide on other spaces markers that give him cards. This would either allow the plaintiff to plant evidence (give a clue card directly to the investigators) or to compromise evidence (make evidence go away) that he thinks that Defendant could explain away easily which would result in the situation getting worse for the defendant.

I think that in the spirit of the game, there needs to be heavy emphasis of the story. I think that crime stories that start off with a bang really don't tend to let up. Also, within the context of this game, if the defendant is good, he can pull off one massive twist at the end that no one saw coming.

Thoughts?

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