Kismet: A game of Destiny And Karma

edited October 2012 in Make Stuff!
I created a new game, and I'd love to get all-you-all's feedback.

Kismet: You Can Have Anything You Want... For A Price.

The game begins with five blank index cards placed in front of each player. During the course of the game, if a player wants to perform an action, they should write that action down on one of their cards. These can be fairly generic to cover a multitude of actions they can perform in the future.

For example: one player decides they want to be a wizard, so when they face off against a monster, they say, “I throw a fireball!” They then write down on one of their cards: Fire-Based Spellcasting.

Once all of your cards have an action on them, you have reached the extent of your abilities.

Each time you perform an action on one of those cards, flip it over. The GM will now write a negative side to that ability on the back.

For example: the player uses their Fire-Based Spellcasting. They flip it over. The GM writes: Dark Pact on the card. Your spellcasting abilities were gained through sinister means.

To be able to flip over the card to the positive side, you have to perform an action that falls in line with the negative side of the card.

For example: the player has Dark Pact in front of them. To be able to use their Fire-Based Spellcasting again, they’ll have to make a deal with the devil… again.

If all of your cards are on the negative side, your character dies, retires, or something else happens to take him out of the game.

If your character survives the game, they can take another index card and write another special ability onto it.

This game is very narrative-based. It isn’t meant for dungeon crawls or standard adventurers. It’s meant for games of intrigue, of unholy alliances and sinister deeds. Want to destroy a monster? You can use one of your cards, but at what price? The power is in the GM’s hands.

Comments

  • That's pretty awesome. I love the simplicity and flexibility of it. I don't know that it's a game, though, so much as a mechanic. Like, if you gave me four players and twenty index cards, I'm not sure how I would start playing, unless I had a really firmly established setting I was cribbing from.

    Can we do some more examples of positive and negative powers? Maybe one person posts a positive, then the next person posts the negative for that power and then their positive and so on. Of course, the negative side has to be something you can do in order to flip it back over to positive...

    Positive Can teleport short distances.
  • Negative: teleports sometimes end upside down, and falls on their head.

    Positive: echolocation
  • Negative: teleports sometimes end upside down, and falls on their head.

    Positive: echolocation
  • Excellent idea! Thank you!

    Negative: Overwhelmed by sound.

    Positive: Ferocious Attack
  • Negative: ferociously attacks both friend and foe

    Positive: Mind-reading
  • Negative: You speak aloud what you hear.

    Positive: Regeneration.
  • edited October 2012
    Positive: you are turned into a shadow for one night.

    Negative: your shadow is turned into a murderer for one night.
  • Negative: You speak aloud what you hear.

    Positive: Regeneration.
    Negative: Teratoma formation

    Positive: Hears angels speak
  • Negative: branded as a witch

    Positive: Good cook
  • Negative: Set the kitchen on fire.

    Positive: Lockpicking
  • edited October 2012
    Negative: break a pick off in the lock, and the broken piece cuts you, leaving DNA...?

    Positive: Ability to drive or pilot any vehicle.
  • edited October 2012
    The ferret.

    You're the son of Satan.
  • You're grounded, son.
    (WTF does "the ferret" mean to you?)
    You can see anyplace you want via remote viewing.
  • (WTF does "the ferret" mean to you?)
    Well, you know. Players can be really creative sometimes. ^^ (And I don't know if the ferret is something positive or negative.)
  • (WTF does "the ferret" mean to you?)
    Well, you know. Players can be really creative sometimes. ^^ (And I don't know if the ferret is something positive or negative.)
    Ah. You were meant to post a negative to the ability to drive or pilot any vehicle. And then I assumed that "son of Satan" was meant to be your new positive.
  • (WTF does "the ferret" mean to you?)
    Well, you know. Players can be really creative sometimes. ^^ (And I don't know if the ferret is something positive or negative.)
    Ah. You were meant to post a negative to the ability to drive or pilot any vehicle. And then I assumed that "son of Satan" was meant to be your new positive.
    No, what? Drive? I meant the animal. :D The thing is, you can use any suggestion in this thread as either good or bad. "Son of Satan" would be a nice positive thing and "beautiful" could be an interesting negative ability. And because the game is so strongly narrative-based, you can put almost anything as long as you can weave it in a description. As a player, I would actually prefer "A keyhole that doesn't exist" compared to "master of thieves". Not that I don't think "master of thieves" would yield an interesting story, but because the keyhole would be harder for me to use.

    That said, the game would benefit of some sort of theme. I like the basic idea (it's like FATE?) but it needs some sort of guideline on how to construct abilities. Theme is just one way to do that.

    I can also see how a GM can steer the story in a certain way, by having prepared negative abilities. I'm not saying that the GM should, but it would be an interesting aspect of it all. For example, if it's a murder investigation and one of the guilty is a PC, the negatives sides could present motifs and other clues why just that particular PC could've done it.
  • So, the game could use a little more explanation of structure? Here's what I'm considering:

    I'm thinking about actually selling this game, with about 100 different premade positive/negative cards, and a bunch of blank cards for the players/GM to fill in themselves. The set would have a theme (fantasy, sci-fi, modern). You could even generate a character by randomly pulling 5 cards.

    Thoughts?
  • Maybe one person posts a positive, then the next person posts the negative for that power and then their positive and so on. Of course, the negative side has to be something you can do in order to flip it back over to positive...
    So yes, those could be used as powers, but you unfortunately broke the chain we'd started making. Far enough, it wasn't a Make Stuff thread with a structure set from post 1, so.
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