Wednesday, June 9, 2010

from the BAD IDEAS thread...

at - - an awesome thread, if ever I've seen one. Basically, what is your crazy or absurd or "stupid" idea for a game? There are some gems here.

A game that incorporates mancala into its conflict rules.
Scoring goals gets you closer to your objectives in the scene and capturing enemy stones trips up your opposition from reaching theirs. Getting extra turns means either you get to build on your success OR you just take an extra turn on the board!
It occurs to me that one of two things should happen when a given game of mancala is over - either the conflict has been settled between the two characters in question, or the story itself is over. Ooh! Because the mancala round ends, the *current* conflict is over. The next time you start a round, it coincides with a new conflict starting for your character. If you resolve the main conflict of the story and you're in the middle of a round, that conflict is resolved as part of a denouement or is continued in the next tale.

Oh, man. I have got to think up answers for things like "number of goals scored" or "number of stones captured". Woot.
[... goes to get a mancala board]


  1. How is this a bad idea?

    1) It would probably be a perfect beer and pretzels game, because as long as you have 48 nuts and 12 shot glasses, you functionally have a standard mancala board.

    2) Skill levels can relate to which bowls you are allowed to choose from in order to try to find a move that allows you to capture. Two types of bonuses are possible, extra moves, or more bowls.

    3) The GM can just toss thingies into bowls at random to set up a static challenge, or proper games can be played to represent conflicts with NPCs.

    4) This doesn't apply to anyone else, but I have a mancala board that fits in my pocket, uses corn kernels, and I dig games that are easy to carry around.

  2. Just so you know, I don't *really* think it's a bad idea ^_^ as I said in the thread, I think it's kind of off-the-wall, and that being so was the true purpose behind the so-called "bad ideas" being posted. Rockin' thread, indeed :)

    Ok! The whole extra bowls thing sounds awesome! I will sit and think about it - - do you mean, perhaps, that the more skill you have, the more bowls you have to choose from? Let's conjecture - how do you choose them? Who gets to choose them?
    I feel like skill numbers should be relatively low - as few as two or three bowl-choices could give you what you needed in order to make a whole set of goals! I'm glad that you clearly defined bowl-choices as "bowls you are allowed to choose ... in order to ... move"; for some reason, I was initially puzzled because I thought you meant bowls that you could interact with at all. That'd be odd.

    How are you envisioning #3, by the way? Do you start with an empty board, and go from there? I get the feeling that the more we deviate from a standard game of mancala, the more mancala-skill might be needed to actually play the RPG. Does that make sense? I'm still getting the hang of mancala, so I know I'd either want experienced players to help me out or I'd want examples in the RPG-book on how to set up "static challenges".

    Awesome! Thanks for the interest!
    p.s. One thing I'm sticking to (for now) is the notion of ending a conflict between individuals when the mancala round runs out ^_^ whichever round might currently be in progress! Yessss