[and other games]

In 2006 Kevin Allen Jr. ran a "reverse engineering" RPG design challenge. Participants had to design games for character sheets created by other participants. My entry was Specimen for the Resurrection, based on a character sheet by Selene Tan. Long after humanity has rendered itself extinct, powerful cosmic entities send human seeming constructs back in time to live among mankind and give witness to whether our species deserves a second chance.

 [ specimen for the resurrection ]

Download it here. But it's not fun. Don't play it. Though I do still like the concept. Maybe at some point I'll do an entirely different game based on the same concept — possibly something that plays more like Avery McDaldno's The Quiet Year.


 [ ... ]


Also in 2006 I revisited the inspirations that had informed The World, the Flesh, and the Devil with The Niche Engine, which I posted at The Forge. It's actually fun. And it's the only game I've ever released under a Creative Commons license.

 [ the niche engine ]

Find it here. And there's a setting I wrote for it further down that same thread. Also, pay no mind to all the conversation about possible mechanical changes. I playtested it exactly as I posted it.


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In 2012 Matthijs Holter posted some roleplaying identity poems he'd run at Solmukohta. I'd never really connected with the roleplaying poem thing, but his identity poems were very close to how I used to think about my own identity years ago, so I was inspired to create one. Here it is in its entirety:

Your 3 Internal Critics

From childhood every one of us has three internal critics. They live inside our mental landscape—as role models we aspire to be like, as critics who comment on our desires and our actions. We first encounter them in our daily lives. We meet them, live with them, hang out with them, read about them, hear about them, and they affect us deeply enough that we install them into our mental landscape and try to live as they would. They are real people, long dead historical personages, or fictional characters. At times in our lives we install a new one, but we only ever have three, so when we choose a new internal critic we uninstall one of the prior three.

Play this game with three people who don't know anything about your three internal critics. Tell each of them what they need to know to embody one of your internal critics.

"You are my father, John. He was valedictorian of his high school class. He dropped out of seminary and became a pharmacist. When I was five he got a blood clot in his brain..."

When you're done telling them what they need to know, have them discuss amongst themselves and then finally tell you who they want you to be and what they want you to be doing ten years from now.

Continue with everyone taking a turn casting the others as their internal critics and hearing who and what they want for you.