Sadly due to professional and personal commitments I have not had as much time as I would have liked to put into this project. What I have done is incredibly loose and incomplete.
Plus the sun is shining today, a rarity for the English summer. Some of the ideas I’ve had around the game I would like to take forward. I’ve also spotted a couple of designs that look very similar to the ideas I had.
I was so full of ideas that I feel I’ve overreached the mark. At this point having six suitors seems an excessive amount of work to complete in such a short period of time. I’m going to scale back to three suitors for now meaning that the competition entry will be a three or four player game. If I do reasonably well in either the competition or through peoples’ feedback then I’ll consider expanding it
I thought that each suitor would have a number of different ‘moves’ that provoke responses in either the Oak King or the Daughter. The response may be modified by other players cards that are NPCs, fairy or god magic or events. It’s kind of like AW meets Kagematsu.
There will be 3 stats that each suitor has, plus they will be able to adjust a fourth stat that will determine how likely the Daughter is to do the Oak King’s bidding and marry the suitor of his choice.
The suitor has a Philia rating which is about how friendly his relationships are. This is good for getting on with the other suitors, the Oak King and his daughter and will lead to an Apollonian marriage, one that is pragmatic, sensible and friendly but lacks a deep connection. The Daughter is more keen on the other type of marriage, based on Agape and Eros. Increasing these two ratings will make a passionate marriage easier but it is important not to have them unbalanced. Too much Agape leads to yearning and too much Eros leads to bawdiness.
The final Mechanic is Storge. This reflects how dutiful the Daughter is to her father and will determine how likely the daughter will be in obeying her father to marry the suitor of his choice.
The father will choose the suitor with the highest Philia rating. The daughter will choose the suitor with the highest Agape+Eros rating but Agape:Eros needs to be reasonable balanced.
The GM takes the role of the Oak King and his Daughter. All the other players take the character of a suitor who is trying to wing the hand of the Oak King’s daughter. Each player, known as the active player, has a scene for his or her character. The active player may request a scene with either the Oak King or the daughter and will attempt to impress them with actions, deeds, promises or words.
The suitors are basically archetypes:
- The Buffoon
- The Cynic
- The Priest
- The Seducer
- The Shepherd
- The Soldier
They will all have mechanisms that will impress and fail to impress both the Oak King and his Daughter. They can win the hand of the daughter in one of two ways, forming a happy, platonic marriage that the Oak King would approve of or a deeply passionate and intense one. I’ll talk about how I see this mechanism working in another post.
Players who are not active can either play their own suitor in a slightly restricted way or they can introduce other NPCs or events. The other NPCs and events will be dealt out as cards and one per non active player can be played each scene.
The cards will have effects on the current scene affecting the marriage mechanism.
Daughter: The Oak King’s Daughter is a central character and is inportant thematically for the game.
Forsworn: Oaths will be sworn to Apollo and how well the various characters stick to these game will affect the outcome.
Nature: Dionysus will try and undermine the Oaths made to Apollo through the action of fairies and other nature spirits.
This is my first time in Game Chef and only my second design so be gentle. My entry for Game Chef is going to be based on a Midsummer’s Night Dream. One of the nobles of Theseus’ court has been crowned Oak King at the yearly celebrations at the sacred oak grove in Dodona.
As is his right he can insist that his daughter marries a suitor of his choice this very evening. She wishes to marry based upon her own choice and not her father’s. Apollo and Dionysus watch on and wager as to who will fall in love with whom. They send all manner of spirits to interfere with the proceedings based on their own views of love.
Mechanically I was initially attracted to the the ideas of humours being used but I like the ideas of values based on the 4 kinds of love described in ancient Greece. Obviously the themes are a bit of a mash-up between ancient Greek, pagan and Christian ideas, much as I experience some of Shakespeare.
I’m going to divide the action into 5 specific acts with every player getting a scene (a bit like Shab al-Hiri Roach). Each character has values that tie in with the ideals of Apollo or Dionysus. I see myself borrowing a few ideas from Smallville and the love of my life, Apocalypse World.
I’ve been looking at dice rolling mechanisms and like the ideas of introducing elements such as NPCs and fairy magic via cards played by non-active players.
Hmm – I’ve got a lot of work to do.
OK – the finalised ingredients are out and are as follows:
In the true spirit of current trends in research I will now start googling the shit out of these four elements in relation to Shakespeare’s plays and get inspiration that way. I did look at the first two and think ‘King Lear’ and while KL is my total fave play by The Bard I want to do something very different.
Nature of course brings to mind A Midsummer Night’s Dream – again not bad at all. I like the idea of the spirits of nature and I’m going to write about this first.
Forsworn seems the least clear to me – the swearing of oaths and fealty. Again I’m veering towards things like Macbeth and Lear.
Damn, Lear is a good play.