[Too Far?] - Pocket Things

edited August 2014 in Make Stuff!
It's possible to go there. But by then you've gone there. I'll start.

NOTE: The scope of this thread has been narrowed to this particular game, in order to allow the "Too Far?" tag to be used for other games in the forum. This is despite what I said earlier (see below). Thank you for your time. Have a nice day. The computer is your friend.


  • edited June 2014

    Pocket Things (now with Doozies!)

    • Take a Thing out of your pocket. If you don't have something you can take something out of someone else's pocket. Put the Thing in a Place.
    • By enacting characters in turn, the players will collaboratively tell the story of how the Thing came to be in the Place. Turns will proceed in alphabetical order by last names. Each turn is a Scene. The first person is "Thing Handler 1", the second will be "Thing Handler 2", etc. But give them real names, I mean, come on. And some background stuff. Maybe a problem.
    • Each Thing Handler must try to make sure that their Scene includes at least one of these Doozies: (1) emotional conflict, (2) physical conflict, (3) chilling horror, (4) sexual tension, (5) sexual release, (6) somebody most of you know, or (7) Chuck Norris. You will get a point for every Doozie you include. A Doozie is considered included when you say it is, but only if no one else disagrees.
    • Other players may be drafted and cast by the Thing Handler to play whatever other roles are necessary to complete the Scene. These Non-Handler Characters (NHCs) may be played as cleverly elusive, understandably resistant, frankly terrified, or otherwise in less than 100% total agreement, but aside from displaying their difficult decision in a heart-wrenching and oscar-winning way, they are not permitted to do anything except go along with whatever the Thing Handler wants to happen. They have no choice, for some reason. Drama, people.
    • Each Thing Handler must end their turn by describing how they left the Thing behind, lost it, sold it, transferred it to the next Thing Handler, or otherwise parted ways with the Thing - except for the last Thing Handler, who is called the Omega Handler. The Omega Handler must end their turn by describing how it was through their own actions or decisions that the Thing ultimately came to be in the Place.
    • Now compare point scores. The person with the greatest number of points gets to pretend they just found the Thing and are going to keep it, while the person from whose pocket the Thing came must act like they don't even care, but secretly they do. If they are the same person, they're probably schizophrenic or something. That's cool. Then there's more drama for a while. But then give it back. Because, come on, it's their Thing.
  • edited August 2014
    Update: After some discussions with players, it seems that "Pocket Things" was not, in fact, too far.
    A slightly revised version is now available on RPGNOW as a pay-what-you-want, one-page PDF.

    I promise to go farther next time. Just warming up.
  • (Most intimidating thread ever. :P Everyone's too afraid to post.)
  • It looks like Fun. I like the random aspect of the Thing and Place which can lead to tons of different tones. It seems the game would need at least 4 people to run, and the larger the group, the better, yes? I rarely play with more than three players but I think I'll try this soon, I may gather up a lot of potential players.

    Two questions : I believe you playtested it: how long does it take to run, with how many players?

    And is the thread about Too Far-ness in general, or just related to Pocket Things?
  • edited August 2014
    Thanks, @Raisin! I have not playtested the RAW, although it is based on an informal game my brother and I used to play. As far as playing time, I'm thinking maybe 5 minutes per player, tops. Larger group the better, almost certainly. I added the words "three or more players" to the rules because it does seem almost mandatory, but in fact when my brother and I played our version we would simply hand the agency back and forth, pretending to be different characters each time. This basically continued until someone saw a "perfect opportunity" to put the Thing in the Place. There were no points or Doozies in the original game.

    This thread is about Too-Farness in general. There are several things about PT which I believed might cause people to consider the game to fit that description. I agree with Paul that it's a little intimidating :-) But yes, please feel free to submit your own ideas or rules which Go Too Far.

    This thread has been focused more tightly, in order to allow the "Too Far" tag to be used for other games.
    - TF, 14 Aug 14

    N.B.: The original game was inspired by a "made for TV movie" from the 1970's called "The Gun", which traced the path of a single handgun from owner to owner until it was involved in a murder.
  • That movie, is it any good apart from the concept? I'm interested.

    Then, I would like to know your ideas around the idea of making the PCs and real life players interact, as in one article of John Wick's Play Dirty, which involved a D&D turned Over the Edge party of people who eventually met their "creators", played as NPCs.
    I think it may have been a situation where the Characters were presented with the choice of wether or not murder the Players-NPCs in order to gain freedom, or at least some sort of vengeance for all the thing they endured. An interesting way of breaking the fourth wall, IMO.
  • edited July 2014
    The movie was actually a totally generic low-budget TV drama wrapped around a simplistic handgun-control message. It was the conceptual structure - tracing the path of an item as it moves from hand to hand - that caught me.

    It's not hard to imagine breaking the 4th wall in PT, since you already have an impetus to include "somebody most of you know". I think the reality divergence and recursive/reflexive possibilities are huge, and potentially hilarious.
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