2008-07-10 : Yeurgh.

I'm playing around with the oracle for my developing surreal horror anthology engine game.

Seed 1: To love her, he needed her to change after all.

Seed 2: The social worker had beaten her lover with a crowbar for trying to stop her suicide attempt.

Everybody's about PSYCHIC RESIDUE


Obviously it'd be different if, like, Meg were creating character 1, Julia character 2, Emily character 3, and Joshua character 4, but here's what I'D do with them:

The social worker is character 3 (psychic residue & autoimmune hyperactivity). Her suicide attempt was her psychic immune system hyperactively trying to protect her from the contents of the psychic residue. She's good with Perception & Physicality, and I'd highlight her Moral Center. Self-interests: resolve the case; learn to function amidst horrors.

Her lover, beaten with the crowbar, is character 1 (psychic residue & inhuman society). He grew up in the inhuman animal-people society. He needs her to learn to keep herself safe even in the face of the psychic residue, or else he has to stop loving her to protect himself, because next time she's going to succeed. He's good with Moral Center & Survival Instinct, and I'd highlight his Creative Spark. Self-interests: get his lover to adapt; escape being drawn back into the inhuman society himself.

Character 2 (psychic residue & infanticide) is the social worker's case. She killed her own baby when she found out what his father was and his father came to claim him. The psychic residue is her fault - it's the psychic residue of her half-human half-animal-person infant victim. She's good with Perception & Moral Center, and I'd highlight her Survival Instinct. Self-interests: escape her baby's father; get someone to believe her.

Character 4 (psychic residue & animal-people) is the baby's father. He's not human. Maybe he's some kind of werething, maybe he's subtly bestial, but he's a predator living secretly with his kind among us. He's good with Physicality & Survival Instinct, and I'd highlight his Perception. Self-interests: father another child with her and protect it this time; be rid of the social worker. He clearly gets to be the villain of the piece.

The predatory animal-people pretty clearly enact the cannibal sow, and the dead future would be enacted by people within the bureaucracies of social work, law enforcement and institutionalization who have succumbed to the if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them that the social worker's immune system was trying to protect her from.

So that's pretty ... good. Or y'know.

Also, Meg keeps insisting that she likes this game just fine, and I keep being absolutely convinced that THIS TIME it's going to gross her out so bad that she'll hate it from now on. Maybe this is the time!

1. On 2008-07-10, Julie, aka jrs said:

Makes me think of Carla Speed McNeil's Finder comic.


2. On 2008-07-10, Vincent said:

Wow, really? Huh.


3. On 2008-07-10, Christoph said:

Vincent, "normal" roleplayers try to have their better halves *like* roleplaying, not hate it! Haha!

I like the situation you wrote a lot. Has this anything to do with Afraid or is it purely based on In a Wiched Age?


4. On 2008-07-10, Vincent said:

It doesn't have anything to do with Afraid. It's not purely based on the Wicked Age, but it's an anthology engine game.

I've been thinking about Afraid, idly - I think my next stab at Afraid is to make it a Psi*Run derivative.


5. On 2008-07-10, Julia said:

Well, the example made me laugh out loud, and my co-worker thinks I'm nuts now. Laughing at infanticide even if the baby in question is not entirely human is apparently uncouth for the work place.

Needless to say, I like it whole lot. When can we test it out?

Is this the WM S Burroughs IAWA?


6. On 2008-07-11, Vincent said:

We can test it out soon, I hope. It's ready. It's got some rules I'm really, really anxious to try, I think they're going to be great.

Oh and yes, but I've been reading Burroughs again and it's chastening me a little. I'll be listing The Western Lands and Naked Lunch as influences, alongside, like, Jacob's Ladder, Over the Edge and whatever else, but I'm going to call it "surreal horror roleplaying" not "William S. Burroughs roleplaying." My interest in the grotesque imagery is more ... lurid? certainly more clichéd than his was.


7. On 2008-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Oh, man, my version of this set-up is totally different.


8. On 2008-07-11, Arturo G. said:

The animal-people reminds me somehow the rats in "It was a mutual decision". In the sense that it may be used as a fantasy element to open a safety-valve if the situation becomes too tense or horrid.


9. On 2008-07-11, Matt Sheridan said:

God damn, everyone is reading Naked Lunch, all of a sudden.  I posted a game-related thing about it a few days ago, and ever since I've been hearing that various friends just happen to be reading the same book, quite independently of each other.

A dude like Burroughs would probably read something into that.


10. On 2008-07-17, Jonathan Walton said:

Hey Vincent, check out the cover of a new comic soon coming out from Top Shelf, the company my brother works for:
Night Animals


11. On 2008-07-17, Vincent said:

That's great! It seems cute, then you realize that it's horrifying.


12. On 2008-07-17, Vincent said:

Oh by the way, I was right, this was the time.

It was a funny experience. Meg was like, "yep, now I'm turned off to the game forever. Happy?" And I was like, uh ... yeah, no, not really. What IS my deal?

So here's my penance, and hopefully I'll learn a thing maybe once: I've taken the same design insights and applied them to a game that Meg WILL like. And whenever my twisted little gut says "amp up the oog!" that's when I absolutely don't amp up the oog. "Not oogy enough!" and that's when I say "plenty oogy, no more oog."

I'll tell you about it soon.


13. On 2008-07-21, Julia said:

Does that mean we won't get to play it in our regular Wednesday night slot? Will it be ready to play at GenCon? I'm a little sad that Meg won't play it, although I wager that actually means I'll really want to play it, and will bug you every few months about playing it, like I do with Poison'd.


14. On 2008-07-22, ScottM said:

OT: I think my next stab at Afraid is to make it a Psi*Run derivative.  I saw this and read up threads (mostly from last year off the Ashcan front).  Do you know what its current status is?


15. On 2008-07-22, Vincent said:

Psi*Run's current status? I don't.


16. On 2008-07-25, Matt Wilson said:

my version of the setup is OMG RUN AWAY FROM SCARY GAME


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