Heart Like A Clock

So I have been trying to walk the line between Freeform and Trad games.

Heart Like a Clock v0.1

One shot version - GM defines a setting and a goal. Monsters have been coming out of the old factory and taking your friends. Your band of heroes is going in to rescue them and kill the monsters.

Your character is defined by a couple sentences. Jack is a down on his luck former hockey player with a big heart. Each character gets 10 points and a clock like the ones from Blades with 6 boxes. Players can use golf counters to keep track of their numbers is you are traveling.

You talk through the adventure freeform style. Agreeing with the characters if it makes sense and asking them to try another way if it doesn't. If they get into an interesting situation with a potential to fail the GM can ask them to pay for the success. It costs 4 points to succeed in 2 points for a success, but... outcome, or the character can fail and the player gets 3 points.

I situations where harm is a potential outcome damage will be incurred on a partial or complete failure. In most cases it will be one tick on your characters clock. When the next to the last box is ticked get 5 points towards a heroic ending. When the last box is filled the character dies. The health clock can be reset one tick for every rest period.

I am still trying to feel out the things that this can do and think that I need to build a setting to try out.


  • edited June 2019
    Hey, simple and fast. I like that. Can you please go into detail...
    Why not create setting and goal in common ? (+ follow up question according to your design choice)
    Why not just grant the heroic ending ?
    What qualifies as a rest period ?
    Why don't you say who narrates success ?
    Check Levity rpg > fast games > narration > the suitcase. All these games are of that sort and the suitcase is really similar.
  • 1. Creating a common setting is a fine and worthy thing, but not what this is about. In contrast, I think that it is incumbent on the GM to try and draw together elements which will intrigue the players. Then they can spend their time exploring the setting rather than agreeing on what it should be.

    2. For the same reason I don't just let the players pay to kill all of the opposition.

    3. Great question. If I don't care what weapons the character is using, what makes you think that anything less than 63 minutes will do? A chunk of time when they aren't doing other things.

    4.i am old school enough to always let the side that looses have first crack at narration. I will clear that up in future drafts.

    Thank you for taking it seriously.
  • So, the GM prepares a setting like with a map and all the ^^glockenspiel^^ ?
    You seem to assume an exploration fantasy. I have a hard time figuring how an opposition (monsters) helps with that. I'd add a luggage game (drawing your luggage) and a way to play shop (gold pieces for food and stuff like chariot parts) for basic heroic fantasy. If it's more about the freedom of imagination and some dramatic fights, I'd propose some settings with various tech levels (because freedom means you can play all these worlds), and maybe an unifying "galactic fleet" pretext narrative. By these I mean : who wants to play "win 3 points or pay 4 : the game". Get some dreams going.
  • Agreeing with the characters if it makes sense and asking them to try another way if it doesn't. If they get into an interesting situation with a potential to fail the GM can ask them to pay for the success.
    This seems like the area of the game that would benefit from the most specificity. What constitutes "an interesting situation with a potential to fail"? A couple of examples might be enough.

    Are the monsters machines? Are the heroes? Why is it called 'Heart like a Clock' (besides the fact that it sounds cool, which it does)?

    Also, is it a total coincidence that this thread is running in parallel to a thread discussing "Klockwerk" as a term for a style of play?
  • DeReel when I said setting I meant sample scenario.
  • Moconnor yes, this was just a "get it down" post. I believe 5hat in the scenario the monsters will probably be monsters, but in a modern setting.

    I needed a placeholder name an Paul Czege suggested that. I am not going to pass up such a wonderful, if not descriptive, name.
  • Oh I see : monsters and the factory is not an example. It is the setting. And the scenario is something more detailed. Like ?
  • nope. monsters and factory is a starting point.
  • edited June 2019
    OK, so it can be any setting provided there's some kind of industrial building and supernatural or moral evil. Correct ?
    And the GM puts flesh on this situation in a way that they think will please the players.
Sign In or Register to comment.