Tuesday, July 18, 2006

911rpg: the 45 minute rpg

Below is 45 minutes of spontaneous, unedited typing before bedtime. Is a viable rpg format suggested here?

11:44 pm Tues. 911rpg

To play, read each point(*) aloud and execute it before proceeding.

*Each player will play a character in Manhattan on 9/11/01.

An immigrant, tourist, broker, schoolchild, hipster, cop,
dancer, tour bus guide, nerd, activist, retiree, whatever.

Keep in mind, this isn't the 'Die Hard' rpg.

On the other hand, there are some remarkable people in NY.
Jackie Chan was in town that day, as was Bruce Willis.
But the characters they depict don't-really exist.
Dexter the one-legged bike messenger does exist, as
mind-boggling as that fact is.

Go around the group and declare your characters, BRIEFLY.

*Decide where your character was -supposed- to be before the 1st plane hit.
Declare it.

Were any other PCs nearby? The game doesn't end until they cross paths.

*Tell us when she first became aware of the plane or planes crashing.
Right away? Did she sleep thru the impacts?

*In order of who became aware, tell us what your character first thought
the disturbance was:
an accident? an attack? incomprehensible? a silly rumor?

*The disaster was such a wild intrusion on a sunny day.
What expectations for the day carried over, against all reason,
even after the attack? Did your character think he was still
gonna be able to bid on that eBay item later?

*What did he do then? Many witnesses in Chinatown felt they had to
keep doing their shitty jobs.

*Declare whose safety, if anyone, your character was particularly
concerned-for, at first?

*What did they attempt, in response to those concerns? Was it
possible to get a telephone connection? What to do about
unaccounted-for loved ones?

*What CONFLICTING urges presented themselves? To take pictures/
run away/ watch a TV/ tell grim jokes to strangers/ eat/ shower/
go back to bed/ keep reading 'My Pet Goat'?
Write a list-- including urges which will obviously be ignored.

*How did the variety of urges make your character feel?
Cross out the urges which will be dismissed, but declare them.

*Number the urges which will be considered or pursued, in order
of priority to execute. Compare notes, see if any characters
will be crossing paths soon.

*Flip a coin to determine whether their 1st priority succeeded.
Tell us how, or what prevented it. What was your character's
reaction? Add any new urges to the list.

*The human body can only take so much shock before attentiveness
alternates with numbness. Everytime it's your turn to declare,
flip a penny. Heads means your character is off in his own head.
Tails means he's engaged with the buildings-- the new events.
Narrate the unfolding of priorities accordingly. Steer events
toward encounters between PCs.

*If PCs are in conflict with each-other, flip
coins until the winner gets tails and loser gets heads.
Narrate the outcome. IMPORTANT: tails doesn't mean the player
succeeds at a task. Tails means the PC engaged with
the outside reality. Heads means you retreated into self...
listening to inner mind chatter. Failing at a task,
even dying, is heroic if engaged with the situation. Succeeding
at a task while engaged is preferable. Succeeding at a task
while driven by inner chatter is no victory. Failing at a
task while driven by inner chatter is petty.

*Your character saw or experienced something that will be
forever frozen in their memory. What was it? A tiny detail?
Broad and gruesome? touching?

*Flip 2 pennies. The 1st one is whether you're lost in your
own head again. The 2nd one indicates whether the better
or worse side of your character is predominent just-now.
Declare something your character will =want= badly for
the next few hours. Describe their actions in pursuit of that.

Use the IMPORTANT mechanic above to determine moral victory/failure.
Narrate actions taken which led to the moral victory or failure.

*Summarize the last 2 steps in the form of: THIS leads to THAT.
With "THIS" being the better or worse thing in or outside your
head just-now. And "THAT" being the thematic result of the actions
attempted. Thematic result = moral of the story of the attempt.

*Describe what conclusions are dawning on your character, half a
day after learning of the impacts. Lag-time to full understanding
is unavoidable. Firemen at Ground Zero were dazed, too.

And so on...

12:30 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

July 21, 2006 4:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home