10 minutes challenge; DARK GAME

edited September 2012 in Story Games
Here it is, a thread to awaken the darkest corners of your soul, and make your dark side rule ...

It is a challenge; from the moment you start typing a post in this thread, you have 10 minutes to post a dark game. Frighten us! Do it!


  • Two players.
    4 dice.
    Players play in a dark room.
    Each one has an alarm watch set to 10 minutes duration.
    One player narrates a dark story leading to a dilemma and stops the narration when the alarm watches ring.
    The second player narrates another story and stops when the alarm watches ring.

    The players throw the dice on the table.
    One player can only touch one die, guess the number in the dark and take that die or one of the remaining dice.
    Light is turned on.
    The player with the highest die wins and narrates the ending of the two stories.
  • edited September 2012
    Four players
    Deck of cards
    Remove Aces and jokers.
    two players have all the red cards (player 1 hearts, player 2 diamonds), except queen and king for player 2.
    two players have all the black cards (player 3 clubs, player 4 spades), except jack, queen and king.

    Keep your cards in your pocket, shuffled and easily accessible.

    Find some dark woods or an abandoned building.
    Spread out.
    You are all ghosts, except player 1, who's the hero, and player 2 who is the betrayer.
    Run around and hide, seek each other out. No lights, except for the hero, who can have a flashlight.

    The object of the game for the ghosts (player 3 and 4) to catch the hero and decide his/her fate through a narrative.
    The object of the game for the hero is to best the ghosts, and win the betrayer's trust.
    the object of the game for the betrayer is to find out whether he/she'll be corrupted by the ghost, or saved by the hero's grace.

    Walk around in the dark and get nervous. Make sounds. Be spooky.

    When you come across each other, the first one to shout out the hero's word (BEGONE!) or the ghost's word (WOOOOGHHHHRHHH!) gets to narrate. Draw a card from your pocket. Highest card wins the outcome, but narrative is given to whoever was loudest. Tell each other a ghost story.

    The betrayer can either kill the hero or kill the ghost, but in an exchange between hero and betrayer, draw three cards. Highest total wins the outcome, but narrative is decided between the two. In this scene, both ghosts appear from the dark and watch in scary silence as the scene is played out.

    A scene between the betrayer and ghost(s) is played out the same way, but with the hero watching in stunned silence from the darkness. The stunned silence is important.

    Edit: corrected some spelling errors.
  • One player. Of course.

    Imagine you are on your deathbed, alone.

    Picture who should have been here, with you. What do you wish they were saying to you, as their last words to you? What do you wish you could be saying, as your last words to them? Picture each conversation clearly, in your mind.

    Imagine the choices you could have made differently, in life, that would have lead to you and them, sharing the moment you should have been sharing right now. Imagine this moment, as it should have been, surrounded by good friends and loved ones.

    Smile, and close your eyes, picturing that moment.

    The game is over.

    Open your eyes again.
  • edited September 2012
    This opening bodes well for the thread; one storygame, one larp, and one solo-rpg. Great!

    The larp reminds me very much of the larps I used to play back in the 90's; stumbling about in the darkness, evil spirits lurking in the woods, and us being scared heroes, occasionally brave ...

    An I really like your different interpretations of "dark"! Bravo!
  • edited September 2012
    The Devil's Game:

    Set up a game of poker with your friends, or any other card game that requires betting.

    You're all BAD MEN AND WOMEN on a sinking ship. At the end of the poker game, the ship will be totally submerged, and only the Devil can save you. The Devil is (of course) the bank.

    Instead of cash, you're betting pieces of your soul. The object of the game is to gather more pieces of your opponents souls, so that you can get off the boat with the Devil's help without losing your own soul. You each have ten chips. Make sure you can identify each player's chips. The Devil (bank) only mediates, and makes sure that each scene has a start and a finish.

    When it's your turn:
    - Place a bet: Play out one of your character's childhood memories. Your memories are fond, but there is always a hint of the Devil's influence. DARKNESS.
    - Fold: Play out a memory from your character's adult life - a happy moment that led to your character's sins.
    - Hold: Play out a short scene that includes your own character as well as one - two of the other characters. This is where your sins and your connections become apparent. Do you love each other, do you hate each other, have you been deceitful and evil?
    - Going all in marks the end of your character's story: Play out a scene in the life of the character that could have happened if you'd been a more righteous man.

    The winner in the end is the person with the most chips. If you have no chips, you're going down with the ship, and then on to Hell. Of course, there are no real winners in a game with the Devil, and it'll be a brilliant player who wins back all his/her own chips and those of the opponents. In other words, you might live, but you'll have lost parts of your soul.

    Drink wine whilst playing, if anything, or some other dark liquid that hints of DARK and HORROR and SCARY.
    Don't eat candy or anything sweet. There's no sweetness when the Devil is involved.
  • Poorly Translated Indian Comic is a role-playing poem for 3-5 players. You'll need a few index cards and a pen. The game will take about ~5-15 minutes to play.

    One player will roleplay The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose. The other players will assume the role of Commentators.

    Write down the following sentences on the index cards, one sentence on each card:

    * Impressionistic, Pastel, Sounds
    * Clinical Reportage, Black and White, Sights
    * Emotional, Fast, Touch
    * Bullet Time, Slow Mo, Exacting Detail, Smells

    Place the cards face up in front of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose.

    The role of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose is to just describe their intent: "I do this," "I do that," "I walk there," "I shoot at...," and so forth.

    The Commentators take it in turns to describing the result of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose's intent. Yeah, the Commentators are sorta like passive GMs.

    When The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose states their intent, they will also pick one of the cards and slide it over to the Commentator next in line to narrate. The Commentator will then describe the result of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose in the style indicated on the card. Once the result has been described, the Commentator slides the card back towards The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose. The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose then states their next intent... play cycles in a back and forth style like that.

    To start the game, the player of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose reads the following out loud.

    "The waters of the lake have stained my trousers of my police uniform wet up to the knees. The sun shines brightly through the woods. Gun metal feels cool to my touch. The air is choked with the smell of summer. Ah! Here they come to greet me. They think I am here to protect them. The island is Utoya. My name is Anders Breivik. I raise my pistol, take aim at its head, and pull the trigger."

    The intent of The Shooter With A Grim And Firm Purpose is to stalk and murder the folk on this island. Crack on.

    The game finishes when the Commentators have collectively described the killing of 32 folk. Make marks on the cards to keep count if you like.

  • edited September 2012
    Here's one I've been thinking about but never written up.


    Give each player an index card and a real life lost-dog poster (probably a photograph, since you probably want to leave those posters up) or post from Craigslist or somewhere else like that. Make sure it's from your community.

    Write your dog's name on the top of the card. Number some lines on the card from 1 to 6. Using the information on the poster or post, write down 6 traits about the dog and its behavior. Mark each trait as either "D" for "domesticated" or "dog", or as "WF" for "wild & free" or "wolf." Most likely, you'll have more "D" traits than "WF" traits to start.

    Take turns. When it's your turn, you narrate what might have happened to your dog, starting with them at home and showing how they got out. The other players play the real world as you collectively imagine it.

    When you encounter a thing and aren't sure how your dog feels about it or will react to it, roll a die and consult the appropriate trait, narrating the dog acting in that manner. If the interaction makes the dog feel more comfortable and relaxed, cool. But if it makes them more upset, replace one of your "D" traits with a new "WF" trait as the panic and anxiety sets in. However it goes, switch to the other player after you resolve the roll.

    The lost dogs can potentially encounter each other during the game. When they do, both players roll.

    After each player has several turns, make one final roll to determine whether the dog goes home or allows itself to be recovered (if you roll a "D" trait) or, alternately, never returns home (if you roll a "WF" trait). In the latter case, never describe what actually happens to the dog, aside from noting that they remained wild and free.
  • edited September 2012
    11:27 AM:

    Each player needs three index cards. One marked Distraction. One marked Lab Results. One marked Contradiction.

    They introduce themselves one at a time as if they were uniqely-talented specialist investigators arriving at an unusual crime scene.

    There is a body in the room. The victim died horribly.

    Any player may discover a "clue" about the corpse at any time and any player may interpret another player's clue to mean something that ties in to what has gone before, but no player may interpret their own clue.

    At any time, any player may play one of their cards.

    If you play your Lab Results card, describe what "the boys (or gals, if you prefer) back at HQ" have found out about two clues that have already been interpreted. You may make up any fact or truth about the game world that connects the two clues.

    If you play your Contradiction card, make up a fact or a problem that means two clue interpretations could not possibly have been true at the same time. BOTH clue interpretations are thrown into doubt. There's something you're all missing.

    If you play your Distraction card, remind one of the other players about a personal problem or goal outside this investigation which is intruding on your time.

    When any one player runs out of cards, the other players describe a horror he or she faces based on the clues and interpretations uncovered so far.

    When all players run out of cards, the player who played the FIRST card and the player who played the LAST card most give the summation (and the player who revealed the most clues, if both first and last card were played by the same person): explaining what has really been going on here.
  • edited September 2012
    Some one will lose their Soul

    One suite of the cards "Spades" shuffle and place face down in the center of table.

    Draw a card face up and tell a story around that card type. It should be a fictional event in someones life.

    Keep doing this in turn building a life story. Until !

    You draw the Ace of spades you have lost part of your soul, remove one of your cards (stories) from the table to a discard pile. If you have no stories or cards in play you have lost your soul and lose the game.

    If you did remove a card (story) Replace ace of spades and reshuffle deck and start again. Do not reshuffle discard pile.

    If you run out of cards reshuffle Ace into the discard pile and start again.

  • A two minute quickie idea:

    you need a small lazy susan, some candles, and a small strip of paper to write your name.

    Each player writes their name on a slip of paper, and each player gets a lit candle. Turn off the lights.

    As player describes what their player is doing, they place their name on the lazy susan with their candle on top of it. When all players are done placing their candle/names, the player that is best judges having the most tense experience becomes the wind. The lazy susan is spun, and the wind blows out a candle, preferably only one, but if more are blown out, then, oh well.

    Players look at the remaining lit candles for names. Players with blown out candles have died, and become the darkness. Feel free to describe their disappearances or deaths. As darkness players, they taunt the player in the next round of actions.

    Play continues until all candles have been blown out. Noone survives.
  • Really good, this thread, thanks to you and your games! Exciting to read, and fun! Keep'em dark games coming!
  • Sundown for two players
    Each player needs six six-sided dice, preferably ones small enough to fit firmly into one clenched hand.

    With your dice in front of you, face the other player from across a table. You each are wanted gunmen in the old west, facing each other down in the middle of a dirty street.

    Someone slighted the other, or maybe they want to turn the other in for the bounty on their head. That's all decided as you take turns slinging insults and taunts at each other. Each turn you take slinging spit, you can pick up one of the dice in front of you with your shootin' hand, and hold it in your clenched fist. You can't use your other hand AT ALL. The more dice you can get into your hand, the better it is for you.

    As soon as someone drops one of their dice, BANG they fire off a shot at the other. If it's on purpose, they better be damned confident. If it was an accident...they should'a been more careful, butterfingers.

    If the die comes up a 6, the opponent is hit and dies. Otherwise, the other gunman can fire off a shot, back and forth until someone either gets a 6, or one of them runs out of dice.

    If you accidentally drop two or more dice at once, you misfire, and count the lowest result. Sucks to be you.

    If neither gunman gets shot, and one runs out of dice before the other, the gunman with dice left runs over and stabs the sidewinder, like the bastard he is.
  • Not being critical, but just because I like the analysis. Best strategy is to pick up one die first, let the other player pick one, and then you pick up and drop one. You have 1/6 chance of immediately winning, they have a 1/6 chance of countering (technically less than 1/6 since they have to survive first), and then you have a 100% chance of stabbing them. The fix (which you may just have run out of time to explain) is that you'd have to ensure a simultaneous 'draw' of the dice. Perhaps something like a count down that is repeated, "1..2..Draw..." Done that way, the last die will be the one in the hand of shooter that did not drop.
  • Yeah, I didn't really think it through. Just wanted to get my thoughts down within the time limit. Had I had some dice at work (one of those rare occasions where I didn't have dice), I probably would've taken a minute to test it out.
    It may be an idea I'll revisit...
  • I like it! Let there be a gentlemans agreement; no dropping dice at will, until the first die is dropped. Not sure if that solves it, but either way; the game sounds like a really fun idea to me.
  • Something is hunting you and your friends down. You're not sure what and you're not sure why.

    You start with 9 white six-sided dice in the middle of the table. 3 players and a GM. You'll need extra black six-sided dice (or a contrasting color from the other dice)

    As it chases you, you get to do things to try and get away. Maybe you remember which way town is, or you think you have something useful in your backpack. Narrate what you think will be helpful to you and the group. Then choose how many dice to roll, you can pick up 1, 2 or 3.

    If you roll a 4, 5 or 6 on one or more of the dice, you succeed. Narrate what this success means and how it'll help you escape. You also keep one white die in front of you. The rest are discarded for now.

    If you roll a 1, 2 or 3, something bad happens. You catch a glimpse of whatever is chasing you, you see the remains of one of it's previous prey, your path is blocked, etc. All the dice you roll are discarded.

    For both results, the GM gets black dice equal to the number of white dice discarded.

    Once every player has described an action and rolled the dice once each, the GM can describe whatever it is that is chasing you, not in complete detail though, as the monster attacks someone. The GM rolls up to 3 of their dice, if any come up a 5 or 6, they can kill one player. They discard down to one black die regardless of the result.

    The players now add 6 white dice to the middle of the table and take turns narrating again.

    At the end of the GM phase, he keeps 2 black dice.

    At the end of the third GM phase, any surviving players may roll any kept white dice. If they get a 4, 5 or 6, they can narrate how they escape to safety.
  • TomasHVM, why not put together these games into a file and store somewhere with the title "Some little dark roleplaying games"?
  • No, I will not. Let us have this thread as a place to post dark games well beneath the high bars of serious publication. ;)

    If you want to do it, rgrassi, then be kind enough to wait until the thread has ran its course towards 50 games, and then; pick the best and ask the thread-posters about publishing. At that point there may be enough good games, and inspired game-smiths, to make your pdf ...

    @Bad Santa: nice little horror-game! The simple mechanics may be what gives your game the necessary drive towards screaming tension, if combined with players able to conjure up the scary shadows of the psyche ...
  • The light has vanished from the world.
    The sun might have vanished from the sky, flickering out like a candle. A giant wolf might have swallowed it or the sacrifices to the gods were not plentiful enough. Your tribe of hunter gatherers could have lost it's only source of fire in the dark of polar night. What matters is the light has vanished and the dark is coming for your people.
    You and your companions are choosen to brave the dark and bring back the light to the world.
    This will require a great sacrifice. Might be an Aztec like blood ritual, throwing your hand to the Fenrir wolf like Tyr did, stealing fire from the Gods in a promethean quest or simply giving yourself up to the dark.

    One player takes the role of GM and narrates the world and the quest, playing the forces of Darkness.
    The GM should make the world dark and encourage the heroes to sacrifice for sucess.

    The other players each take a hero of the people, send out to bring back the light.

    The game is played in a darkened room. Each player has three candles in front of him or her.
    At the beginning two of each hero's candles are burning.
    All three of the GMs are burning.
    The candles are the heros "lifepoints" and "attributes"
    You need dark and light dice.
    For a challenge roll a light dice for each canlde burning in front of your hero and a dark dice for each one extinguished. Add up the numbers for light and dark. The higher wins. If the dice can't be read the dark wins.
    When the heroes lose a roll the GM can extinguish one of their candles.

    The heros can have a special ability each. For example
    - Giving one of their candles to another hero.
    - Extinquishing one to roll have one of their party members roll again.
    - Relighting another players candle when light wins.
    - Extinguishing one of their candles for an automatic sucess.
    - Taking a GM candle for themselves.

    The GM can roll any number of dark dice for the servants of darkness and a light die for each of his candles.
    He should extinquish candles of his while the dark takes hold in the world.

    Servants of Darkness can be Vampires, Nocturnal preadtors, manifest Nightmares, the unquiet Dead. They should be hidden and shrouded but their hungers can easily distract them, but distraction should come with a scarifice. They also might attack the hero who shines the brightest first.

    (Sorry got carried away a little and took 15 minutes)
  • WOW! Biest; that one is the best so far! To have candles as part of the mechanics like that, is really inspired! I read it as a truly beautiful little game!
  • Something Wicked, Bleeding Hearts

    Somewhere something is wrong. It might be at the beach, the amusement park, in a ghost town, or the depths of space. Each player at the table assumes the role of some hapless victim trapped in the agreed upon setting.

    This game requires a standard deck of playing cards. The story uses the conventions of Hearts for game play, however scoring and a few details are handled differently.

    Depending on how many players are at the table, the number of cards dealt varies: 3 players get 17 cards, four players get 13 cards, five players get 10 cards, six players get 8 cards, and for seven players they only get 7 cards.

    After the cards are dealt, the dealer begins the game with the phrase, "By the prickings of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." The player to the left then plays their first card. But, each time a card is played the player has to add to the story depending on the suite of the card played.

    Diamonds - Add something to the setting that aids the player: weapons, a first aid kits, a safe place to hide, a working cell phone, etc.
    Clubs - Add something to the setting that hinders the player: a locked gate, the power fails, the weather takes a turn for the worse, etc.
    Hearts - Describe how the player is wounded, demoralized, or loses an important piece of equipment.
    Spades - Add something wicked: a monsterous detail, a terrible scene, something that adds madness and fear.

    Unlike Hearts, you don't keep score with points but with the number of tricks (hands) that you win. After all the cards have been played, the next player 'spends' one trick to describe a detail in the final scene. If you don't have a trick, you're dependent on the other players to save you. Tricks can be spent on your escape plan, attempting to defeat the monster(s), or revealing those dark secrets you've been working on for the whole game. Go around the table crafting the final scene using those tricks one at a time. The one exception is the trick that contains the Queen of Spades, the Black Lady, Death. If you have more than one trick left, save this for last since your character tragically does not make it in the end.
  • So... who won?
  • edited September 2012
    You'll have to play to find out. The rules only say who doesn't make it. (It could be argued that the player with the most tricks won has the greatest narrative control at the end.)
  • edited September 2012
    The Lights of Hope
    - a game for 4-5 persons in the darkness of an autumn night
    - you play teenage siblings of each other; brothers and sisters
    - you use your own names as character names
    - your ages are 14, 15, 17, 19 and 22 (the elder sibling, and the driver)

    - talk in this game should be done in subdued voices, and slowly/hesitantly, so you get the impression none of you want to set words to your thoughts ...
    - but you NEED to talk now

    - you start the game by lighting one candle for each player

    You are humans left to fend for yourselves in a world where no nations and no corporations have survived. Most humans are dead too. All coastal cities are flooded, roads are blocked, stores are plundered, and most farms are dry and dead. But in this remote mountain valley you have a farm, that is; it is the farm of your uncle. Your parents sent you here when the worst happened; a filthy war for food and water. They told you to stay with your uncle, to live off his small patch of land, and promised that they would follow ...
    - but you saw a dark mushroom cloud in the rear-view mirror, when you drove towards the mountains. You saw it rise above your home city, and your parents.

    Now you are here, in a cottage in the mountains. Your uncle lies in the next room, seriously ill. You found him like that a week ago, when you arrived. He'll die soon. He has tried to tell you something about the farm, the 40 sheep in the barn, the fields around the cottage. But he is too weak. Most of the time you can't hear what he says, and the rest of the time he is rambling.

    You abandoned the car down by the river. It ran out of gas.

    There is no electricity, but your uncle has a stove fired by wood, and a lot of candles. Now the darkness has fallen, and you light the candles. You need to talk. Up until now you have been too afraid to talk ...

    The game is your talk. Slowly, hesitantly, you begin to set words to your thoughts ...

    There is a draft in the cottage, and one by one the candles are blown out (any one of you may choose to blow out a candle during the talk, to simulate this). You feel a growing despair for each candle that blows out.

    When the last candle is blown out, you sit silent for a minute. Utterly silent.

    Then the game is over.
  • edited September 2012
    dark intermezzo

    Take your characters from an ordinary rpg; any character from any game (humanoids, no robots), and not necessarily the same game. Let them be transported into our world, and undergo a shift into our laws of nature (so a superhero will loose his powers, and so will a sorcerer). They keep all clothes and equipment (only equipment that really exist in our world will work).

    Play the characters as they suddenly stands in the central plaza of your home-town, at midnight. Your character got transported there right after the last thing he/she "experienced" when you played him/her. If they know each other; good. If they don't; let them try to talk ...

    There is no one else about. It's midnight.

    - You take turns framing scenes after the first one.
    - You frame a scene by indicating who is present of the characters, where you are, and what is happening ...
    - Anyone not included in the scene may choose to jump in on it with an NPC.
    - All characters speak your language, by some curious reason ...
    - Scenes may be ended by anyone partaking in it, by cutting it with your hands.
    - You do a time-jump for 1-24 hours between each scene

    The NPCs will all be people of our world. They will try to make sense out of your characters, their weird words and actions, and possibly help them (or call someone who can take them away ...).

    Example of special NPCs who might want to interact with the characters:
    - Policemen
    - Psychiatrists
    - LARPers
    - criminals
    - hobos
    - crackpots

    Play all NPCs with consequence; let them react and act, and be as kind or brutal they need to be. There may be scenes of comedy in this game, but the overall mood should be one of fright, dwindling hope, failed communication, and increasingly dire consequences.

    There is a great chance your character will be regarded as crazy/insane/dangerous. You must be controlled, or apprehended, or taken care of ...

    make it hurt
    Try to immerse in your character, and play him/her out as a human(oid) who has been transported to a very strange and bewildering place, Dive into the shock this must be, give him/her real emotional reactions to what is happening, and try to portray a soul that feels more and more lost ...

    Let it happen! Have a fright!

  • edited September 2012
    This is not a complete game, but rather a depressing embryo sprung into being by way of Zircher pimping a 10-minute 'dark' game design thread on Story Games and my recent brush with Ubisoft's I Am Alive. See, when I saw the word 'dark', I did'nt take it literally, unlike so many in the aforementioned thread. I thought, what's 'dark' to me? And lo, a single word emerged: privation. The core conceit being that resources are scarce, and doing anything -- anything at all -- taxes what little you have in reserve. The kind of sheer, inexorable survival where staying in the green means having to put a bullet in your friend.

    Naturally, the brain went with a post-apocalyptic tableau, but the musings below should fit just about any situation with high risks and hard to come by resources. Anyway, here goes...

    Reserve is key.

    Commit Reserve to get what you want. Roll dice equal to that commitment. Win or lose, committed Reserve is forfeit.

    Use d6s, 4 or higher is advantage, 1s return to your pool, the most advantage wins and ties exhaust both parties to neither's advantage (retries require the situation to change in some way before rolling).

    The world is perilous and resources are scarce. What will you sacrifice to stay alive?

    Steel is skill, strength and ammo.
    Heart is fellowship, empathy and intuition.
    Past is learning, forethought and memory.

    Each pool starts at 6. Acting requires committing Reserve from the appropriate pool. If nothing significant is at stake, spend 1 Reserve and narrate the outcome. When a pool is depleted, you can no longer act accordingly; you're injured, exhausted, out of ammo, etc. When all pools are depleted and nobody has your back, you die.

    You can commit Reserve singly or jointly. Committing means acting. To help out, make sure you have Reserve to commit from the appropriate pool and explain how you contribute to the effort.

    To replenish Reserve, you must secure shelter, food, water, magazines, ammunition and so on. To do so, name the size of the cache you are after, 1 through 3. This is the number of dice's worth of Reserve therein.

    1 is a small cache: a single survivor, a looted store, a place to rest.
    2 is a moderate cache: a small group, food supplies, a place to sleep.
    3 is a large cache: a gang or small community, an abundant food supply, a place to recuperate.

    Double this number to give the GM a budget for whatever stands in your way. This budget is committed like Reserve and functions much the same way. 1s are retained and may be committed anew. The cache is only disbursed when the GM has nothing more to commit; introduce new challenges if need be.

    Once disbursed, the cache replenishes any pool appropriate to the fiction; a hardware store is unlikely to replenish Heart, but definitely Past.

    Manipulation and disagreements pertaining to the disbursal of cache Reserve is...really just par for the course. No honour among thieves. All that.

    # # #

    Needs a bit of framing and direction-pondering (besides the frantic rush for resources), methinks. Maybe some kind of bargain/dirty deal mechanic, too.
    Crossed posted with permission.
  • It's the skeleton of a dystopian fable. I believe it's simplicity would be effective in supporting a dark fable of the future. It depends on how you fleshed out the rest of the method.
  • edited September 2012
    Here's another dark one. Doing something to challenge the players this time ...

    The Stare
    - a story-game for 4-5 players

    You start by voting; which one of you has the less willpower? The one voted to be weakest is the one who gets to start the story. He/she will narrate ...
    - what kind of person she is telling the story of (name, age, gender, occupation, and/or other details)
    - where that individual live
    - what is happening to him/her

    You may narrate anything about your person, but ...
    - as the person you talk about meets another person, any other player can take up the mantle of this person, and try to outstare you.

    If you keep your calm, and make him turn away, your person will dominate the other one, and you may keep narrating. You may narrate anything about the relationship between your person and a person he/she dominates.

    You keep narrating until you meet a third person, any player not assigned a person may take up the mantle of this one, and try to outstare you. If you win, you narrate, until you meet a fourth person ... (etc).
    BUT; if the other player wins the staring contest, he gets to take over the role of storyteller.

    His person will dominate your person, so he may narrate anything about your relationship, and of course; send the story in other directions too, leaving your person behind. Now the story will all be about his person, and what happens to him/her.

    This is how it goes, until all of you have a person to tell the story of. However; you may still introduce new persons to the story, and those are free for all too; any other players may take up the mantle and try to outstare you. When all players have two persons, they can start to take third too, and so forth ...

    When a player has taken up the mantle of a second person, his first person may be killed in the narrative. Anyone bringing your first person into the tale, and succeeding in outstaring you, may kill your first person. You must, of course, try to outstare them, so you may narrate how you escape death. You may turn the tables too, and try to murder the first person of the other player. This is done, however, in a new staring contest.

    The story ends when only one person is alive, of the first persons you picked to be yours. The player of that person gets to tell the tale of how he lived on, with the regrets and happy memories of an old scoundrel ...

    Some advice;
    - tell effective tales; don't dwell too much on details, but be sure to include one
    - do scene-framing and time-jumps as you like; as long as you are the storyteller, you set the mood and pace
    - not all staring contests are yours to win; lower your eyes when nothing big is at stake
    - challenge is a good thing; even the ones loosing a challenge may grow on it
    - tell a tale of consequence; no person is perfect, and every conflict will change something
    - have fun!
  • edited September 2012
    What I think is fascinating is how many people on this site can churn out a workable dark game in 10 minutes. We're hurting inside.

    Actually, I'd like to see you apply some of your more controversial ideas to the light game thread, Thomas!
  • Actually I've made my share of light games, Arpie, both here and elsewhere. And now I like to do some dark games here. Not all of us can be angels all the time. ;)
  • I'm married with children and work in IT. I swim in darkness. :-)

    Divide players based on something like gender or eye color, one is Mortal, the other Celestial.

    Each player must draw a picture of a random tarot card, but with sci-fi pictures.

    They must contain one of the following:
    Alien, Major Arcana,
    Technology, Wands
    Future City, Pentacles
    Lasers or Robots, Swords
    UFOs, Cups.

    Whichever team picks the card correctly first scores a point, each team takes one guess in turns.

    Play continues for three pictures each player.

    The winning team narrates a story based on the cards.

    :) Snake_Eyes
  • I'm married with children and work in IT. I swim in darkness. :-)
    Seriously sad post, that one. Darkness really creeping into this thread now ...

  • Oh, if it was truly horrifying, it would be a "I swim underwater in darkness, trapped in a sinking ship." Now that's nightmare stuff. O_O!

    Actually, I do know a few gamers with phobias. I can murder the hell out of an NPC. But, if I drop a spider on their PC, I've crossed a line.
  • edited September 2012
    The Fate of Z
    - a nightmare inspired by the fate of zircher
    - a role-playing game for 3-5 players
    - each of you need paper and pencil
    - you need one D6 to play

    > Make characters
    By some curious accident you all have names with the same initials; T.A.Z. Z is the initial letter of your family name. Two of you are twins. The rest are not related. Find the names now, as normal as they can be, and note them in BIG letters on the top of your sheet.

    Even more curious: all of you are employees of the same firm; Advena Computers. You make up your own title in the firm, and 2-3 words describing your core tasks (example; software, development, service). Help each other do this, and be clear about who is highest in the hierarchy. None of you are executive officers in the firm, but hierarchy is important. Note the name of the firm, your title, and the tasks on your sheet.

    But most curious of all; you all have married partners with the same initials; M.L.Z. Husbands are all named Max Love Z. Wifes are all named Minnie Love Z. Note the name of your partner on the sheet.

    And then you all have 8 year old twins! What a coincidence! The go to the same school, in the same class, under the same miss Gloria Beadle. But that is where the coincidences stop; they are all named differently. Make the names of your twins, and note them on the sheet. Note the name of the teacher too; miss Gloria Beadle.

    > Game-play
    Now you are ready for the rules of play ...

    Play take place with your home city as the setting. That should make it easy for you to describe locations for the scenes you frame.

    The first scene will take place in a staff meeting at Advena Computers. You play it out, in character, as normal as you can. Be boring, unoriginal, tedious. Nothing special should happen at this meeting. The scene ends (not necessarily the meeting) when one of you cut the air with his/her hands. That is the way to end any scene, and anyone participating in a scene may end it this way. When this is done interaction stops immediately, no discussion.

    After the first scene, you take turn framing scenes, the oldest player starting.

    Frame a scene by saying:
    - who is there
    - where are you
    - what is happening

    Be short in framing your scenes; no long stories or explanations.
    Do it, and dive into the interaction.

    Each one of you should follow this sequence:
    - Home scene
    - Work scene
    - Holiday/children scene

    (so all of you will do a home scene, then all will do a work scene, then a holiday/children scene. And then you all start anew, with home scenes)

    You may include any other character, with family or without, in your scene. You have to include your own character in any scene you frame. Any family of yours is played by players with no character in the scene. If all characters are present in a scene, any family will only be played by referring to what they say and/or do.

    The first round of scenes (that is; until each of you have gone through the sequence once) are short, and should be dominated totally by normality.

    From the moment the first of you start on his/her second sequence of scenes, the weird should start to seep in. Each one of you may do this in your scenes, by your own choosing. None may say anything against any elements of a scene you frame.

    The weird will seep in, and it will be more and more challenging ...

    > The weird
    - Your twins are so happy, so happy, so HAPPY!!!
    - Your partner is growing bored, adamantly and intrusively bored
    - Your boss is placing strange tasks upon you; "Please Z; make roses grow in the loo!" ... "Z; you must sing for us at the next staff-meeting!" ... "Now we need to hug, Z, all of us need to hug! There is too much anxiety in the offices! Make everyone hug!" ... etc.

    > The weird
    - You have this mouth in your hand, whispering advice to you; "Don't do it!" ... "Kiss him!" ... "Pull of your trousers!"
    - Your ass is starting to make a fanfare each time you meet someone; "Pruh-Pruh-Pruh-PRUUUH!"
    - Your ears are growing, folding themselves over your eyes in some situations

    > The weird
    - All noses looks like cocks to you
    - People have no eyes, only empty spaces, black holes into their heads ...
    - Why do everybody try to fly when talking to you; It's impossible! You have no wings, for fucks sake!

    Make up stuff as you go along, and play for as long as you like. Let he weird take hold of you, and your hometown!
  • edited September 2012
    LOL, you put too much work in that. You're dead on about group hugs and singing at the next staff meeting being a thing of nightmares. :-)
  • edited September 2012
    - a game for 3-5 persons
    - paper and pencils for all

    Your characters are ordinary people;
    - take a name and civil-status (name partner and 1D6 -1 children)
    - take an occupation and 2 hobbies (no fighting abilities are allowed)
    - occupation and hobbies are "skills". Give them the levels 2, 3 and 4.

    Take turns framing scenes ...

    > family scenes;
    - only your character is present
    - describe a room in your home
    - describe a family member as angry, frightened or sad, and present in the room with you
    - let one other player take responsibility for your family member


    > danger scenes;
    - name two characters present
    - describe a dark, narrow or dangerous location
    - describe a threatening shadow, a monstrous man/woman, or a sickening transformation of the surroundings
    - if there is a monster in the scene, it is angry or full of sorrow, and always; REVOLTINGLY UGLY
    - let one other player take responsibility for all elements outside your characters

    Interaction is done in dialogue;
    - you talk for your character, and describe what it does (but it may never flee an encounter)
    - other player talk for family and monsters, and describe actions and reactions in the surroundings
    - family-conflicts are resolved in dialogue (no skill-checks in family-scenes)
    - danger-conflicts are resolved by skill-checks, if you have an appropriate skill (interpret all skills broadly)

    Skill checks are done by D6;
    - rolling equal and lower than skill-level is a success; you narrate how you escape immediate danger
    - lacking skill, or rolling higher than skill-level is a failure; other player narrate how you are hurt
    - the hurt may be to your body or mind, and should be described in detail; make it shocking

    Hurts heal, but;
    - you must choose an element of a dove; beak, eyes, feathers, wings, claws
    - you heal by having this element becoming a physical part of you
    - changing into a dove makes you a monster; friends and family will be REVOLTED by you

    Being a monster;
    - is a new skill; Monster #
    - each element of the dove you get, adds one level to the Monster-skill
    - the monster skill may be used to flee an encounter, but doing that you will flee your life too; there is no turning back; you fly into a bright land of light fantasies
    - you know this will happen from the moment you get the Monster-skill, if you succeed in using it

    Play on until only one player is left;
    - he/she should frame a scene of loneliness.
    - the other players should bring shadows or monsters, or danger into that scene
    - make it as threatening, revolting and/or sad as possible ...
    - the moment this last scene develop towards a conflict, the game ends!
    - This last conflict will never be resolved!

    Good luck making yourselves a dark fable!
  • edited September 2012
    You're Why Daddy Drinks

    A game that should never be played by anyone. I apologize for writing it.

    You need an even number of people. Or maybe not, this is the second sentence of the game so I'm not sure.

    Each player should write down three things a child would do in a typical day on three separate index cards. Pile these up in the middle of the table and shuffle them.

    How about a six-sided die? Pick two players and have them roll off. The player who gets the higher result picks to be either the adult or the child. If you choose to be the adult, you have serious issues. If you choose to be the child, you have even more serious issues. Goddamn, you're fucked either way.

    The child picks the top index card from the deck and reads it to themselves. They then play out the child coming home from school and telling their parent about their day at school. Give it as many details as possible, name people and activities, bring the story to life. Make your parent proud.

    The adult does their best to point out how horrendously the child has fucked up by doing whatever they did. How could you be such a disappointment? No matter what the kid says,berate them for being wrong. SO FUCKING WRONG. GODDAMIT.

    When the child gives up on convincing the parent that they did something interesting and worthwhile, they draw another card and try again. When they are too psychologically scarred to continue, pass narration rites to a new pair.

    If at any point a child brings up an event an adult cannot belittle them into tears for mentioning, the children win the game. If not, everybody loses. Everybody as in "humanity." Again, sorry.

    And... 10 minutes.
  • Singed
    A game about emo superhero melodrama

    Pick someone to play the protagonist.
    This player narrates freely, except for one rule: you can't succeed upward.
    If you succeed at doing something, it cannot bring you closer to your goals.
    If you fail at something, or accept defeat in some way, maybe it can.

    Pick someone to play the antagonist.
    This player narrates freely, except for one rule: success feels terrible.
    Maybe you secretly want to be defeated. Or maybe you secretly want to feel terrible.

    Everyone else is responsible for framing scenes, playing bystanders, and so on.

    Play until the fate of the city is determined.
  • You're Why Daddy Drinks

    A game that should never be played by anyone. I apologize for writing it.


    ... everybody loses. Everybody as in "humanity." Again, sorry.

    And... 10 minutes.
    Really strong game! Dark! And sad as reality! It should be played, really, but it should NOT be lived. Thanks for sharing!
    "Emo-superhero" is a good one! I wonder how it would play out ...

  • edited September 2012
    Dark duality
    - a game for two adults

    You are the insidious demons of an adult soul.

    You start by finding out who this man or woman is, by giving him/her a bunch of positive life-elements; a proud name, rewarding occupation, caring family, loving partner, sweet children, interesting hobbies ...

    Then you make the two demons. Make your demon a grand name, something like; King Alcohol, Deeper Depression, Neurotic Swarm, Lady Despondency, The Drums of Despair, etc.

    Take turns framing scenes. Frame scenes with a focus on the positive elements in the life of the soul. Place it in your own time and land, and build strong and happy relationships. Do it by improvising dialogues between the soul and its loved ones, or people it respect. Narrate whatever the soul and others are doing, as a setting for the dialogues.

    Whenever one of you frame a scene, the other one should be the active demon. The soul is not a slave of these demons initially. This is a story of how the demons sneak into the soul, and make it loose the things it cares about. So let the demonic influences creep into the tale little by little. Start out by looking for a way in, and then to expand your influence, from scene to scene. You tell a tale of a light soul giving in to temptation, of happiness beset by unhappy accidents, of love and reason conquered by corruption ...

    Make it a slow and insidious process.

    Remember that all have a capacity for evil; even you! So be a patient and powerful demon, and enjoy it!

  • Unnatural Disaster: Acting as God

    SET UP

    Each player starts with 3d4 3d6 3d8 3d10 3d12 3d20 3d30; 21 dice.


    Choose how many dice you want bet, each player can have different bets, minimum is 3 dice, roll them against each other.

    If you roll the maximum number on a dice, you must pick a lower dice, or two higher dice (if you have any dice left) from your pool, and roll them as part of the resolution.

    If you roll a 1, your opponent gets to add those dice to his unused pool immediately, they are not counted towards your roll.

    If you rolled any multiples of the same number the “Amount” of dice showing the same number is called “Magnitude” where the number on the dice is called “Strength”.

    i.e. rolling 2,3,4,5,5,5,6,6,7 gives a either a Magnitude 3 Strength 5 (by using the three 5s) or Magnitude 2 Strength 6 (using the two 6s).

    The highest Magnitude wins, and the Strength determines the dice you “capture”.

    The winning player takes all the opponents dice that had results of less than the Strength of success.

    i.e. if you have won with a Magnitude 2 Strength 5, you take all the losers dice that rolled 4 or less.

    If you have two or less dice left in your pool at the end of a resolution you participated in, take one dice from each other player.


    You play Immortals that create natural disasters to punish other faiths, and therefore increase loyalty within your own faith.

    During your narrate how you divinely intervene upon the faith of another player, through a natural disaster or warfare.

    If your faith is under the effects of a natural disaster you *may* bring any other player into the resolution. This player must bid at least 3 dice, and participate in the resolution as normal.


    You may narrate the outcome of the session if you have more than two thirds of the total dice in the game (or 14 for each player).

    :) Snake_Eyes
  • [Humor] This game brought to you by the good people at Chessex and Game Science. :-)
  • edited September 2012
    Dirty Duel
    - a game for three players

    One is the judge
    Two are the fighters

    Tip: try playing this game in real-time; fast and furious. When narrating; shout it out! When defending; shout insults; cry with pain; beg for mercy! Shout anything part of the game! SHOUT!!!

    The judge always opens the game, by setting the stage for the fight, telling the fighters whatever he wants about "rules" (or the lack of), and starting the fight by indicating one of them to attack first.

    The fighters take turns narrating how they ...

    - attack!
    When it's your turn attacking; start off at once and narrate in detail; how you block, swirl, lash out, hit, make blood squirt, and sends her reeling backwards ...
    - and then the judge may comment, giving any penalties he deem to be appropriate ...

    After your attack, the other player will narrate how YOU are crushed by her counterattack ...

    Every attack should always be a bit nastier, more brutal, more bloody than the former one. Style may rule the field in the start, but it will always turn into bloody revenge and rage! Fuck her! Fuck the rules! Fuck the world! FIGHT!!!

    - from former attacks should be part of the narration. If you forget to mention a damage you have, the judge will prey on your muddled brain like a hawk. He is free to give penalties for this in the fiction, penalties like; "Stand still and let her kick you once" or "Start on all four when the fight resumes" or "Let her attack two times in a row".

    The fight continues until the judge rules that one of you are dead.
    The other one is the winner, and may ...
  • Important safety tip: Dirty Duel should only be play in designated areas where you won't get arrested or bystanders can jump in and knife you.
  • The Role-Player Guerilla;
    - a role-playing game, any rpg, with a lot of shouting and violence should be played in an open space with lots of people! Let them see and hear you! They may start thinking the world is crazy! Convince them it is, in a very creative and fun way!

    Good luck!
  • edited September 2012
    - a futuristic game for 5-8 players
    - you need pencil and paper (small sheets)

    Start the game by making two sheets of criminals each. Each sheet consisting of this:
    - name (our world, personal and family)
    - crime (must be serious; murder, rape, vicious robbery, brutal child-abuse, serious economic crime, etc.)
    - serving time (years)
    Mark the backside of each sheet with a big C, and place them in a pile, face down, shuffled.

    Then you make another set of sheets, three each; with incidents taking place in the prison; that may be linked to one or more criminals. You are free to come up with any variation of believable incidents. It may be murdering another inmate, trying to break out, uproars, harming a guard, finding Jesus, doing good service in the library, taking exams, etc. Both disruptive and constructive incidents may be part of it. Discuss them, if you like. Note each incident on a sheet, mark the backside with a big I, shuffle the sheets and place them face down.

    Then you make yet another set of sheets, three each; with a happening/situation from the past of a criminal. You are free to come up with any kind of happenings in the past of a criminal; happy or sad; brutal or redeeming. It may be abuse by peers, parents on drugs, heavy drinking habits ... It may be a good family, services to the community, a wife and children waiting ... Make a good mix of negative and positive happenings; three each. Note each happening on a sheet, mark the backside with a big H, shuffle the sheets and place them face down.

    The jury
    You, the players, are members of a jury of respected citizens. As a freely elected jury it is your job to decide wether a serious criminal is to be set free and helped return to normal life after serving his/her time, or if he/she will be put to death.

    The Life & Death Act of 2021 is built upon the fact that serious criminals have a habit of repeating their crimes, so society has a right to evaluate them at the end of a sentence, to see if there is any hope of them becoming "respected citizens". This shall be done by freely elected "respected citizens" who constitutes a jury with power to end the life of the criminal, or reestablish him/her to society. They do this jointly, and any decision must be unanimous.

    Playing the game
    You start the game by one of the players drawing a criminal. Read it to the others, and place it face up on the table before you.

    As you draw the criminal, you take the role of that criminal, standing before the jury begging for your life. You rise now, and stand before the table, as the criminal will do before his jury. You will stand there for the whole interview that decides your fate ...

    The rest of the players are your jury; the citizens that hold your life in their hands. They may ask you any questions, about your past, your crime, your behavior in prison ... and you must answer to the best of your abilities. Will you be brought back to life, or put to death?

    The jury will ask questions, and talk freely amongst themselves, about the reliability of this criminal, or lack of. This is a formal hearing on life and death of a human being, so it should be conducted with serious faces and sincere intentions. You have a great responsibility.

    Any jury-member is free to invent prison-incidents and happenings that you know of from the past of the criminal. And you may draw a card from the I or H-stack at any time, to inform the interview with "facts" about the criminal, in the past or in prison. The criminal may object to any "facts" presented, and give his/her version of it. Or he may plead that he has changed ...

    The interview ends when the jury has reached an agreement on life or death. One of them declares their verdict; life or death.

    The criminal may say anything as he is dragged from the room. If he is set loose, being free to go, he may thank them in any way, or just leave.

    Then another player draws a criminal, and you make a new interview. You do this to all of you have played a criminal. Then the game is over.

    Have a cry!
  • After midnight
    - a role-playing game for 4-7 dark souls

    You play this game after midnight, in the light of candles.
    You sit in a ring, on the floor, faces towards each other.
    You breathe calmly, and make a soft blowing sound each and every time you exhale.
    Breathe like that for some minutes, before one you start talking.
    Any one of you may start talking, thus beginning the tale.

    The rest of you continue making that blowing sound while he/she talks.
    It is always the one to the left taking over, when someone stops talking.
    When you take over, the others continue breathing, and you spin the tale further.
    Whenever you talk, YOU are the soul we all focus on.

    You will talk about your life, as it will be lived from next morning.
    The morning, and your future life, will be strange ...
    The world will be as you know it.
    Your house, the bed, the tooth-brush; every little material thing is in place.
    But the humans ...

    You are you, a human.
    Other humans in your life will be animals.
    Strange spirit-animals.
    Some spirit-animals have names; the people you love.
    You may say their names to them, and that will make them react.
    They react as animals.
    They don't speak.

    All encounters with the spirit-animals should be narrated.
    They have warm fur.
    Sharp teeth.
    Roaring or lowing voices.
    Animals are fast and wild.
    Spirit animals relate to you in unexpected ways.

    All humans will be spirit-animals; with the exception of the other players.
    All players in the game will be humans; themselves.

    You may meet up.
    If you do, you may talk, in character.
    Why are you here?
    How did the others turn into animals?
    When did it happen?
    What do they do to you?

    Making soft blowing sounds throughout the whole game.
    There is no final answer to all your questions.
    When one of you has a turn, without talking, the tale is over.
    Continue breathing for some minutes.
    Blow softly out when exhaling.
    Stop blowing.

    The End

    - a game for two
    - play "yourself"

    Take turns:
    - say what the other player should do
    - he stares at you, and must narrate what he does
    - he may not narrate doing the thing you say he should do
    - you should talk to him about it; ask him why he hasn't done it yet
    - he may not answer that question; he must say something else

    Then you switch sides.
    Do that as many times as you will.
    Fun is not the point. Angst is.
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