Alternatives to writing sad things on index cards.

edited March 2013 in Story Games
We all know that story games is/are all about writing sad things on index cards. But we are all innovators and thought leaders, aren't we? Thus, we can't let it stand. There have to be alternative ways.

1. I'm working on a game (one of multiple designs I'm juggling) where you, unusually enough, write nice and positive things on index cards. This is done so that you can, later, tear those index cards into shreds when those things are destroyed in the fiction. Sad!

What's your alternative to writing sad things on index cards?

Comments

  • You could use a deck of playing cards and assign sad meaning to them, but lots of games do that...

    You could have everyone draw from a deck that has a sad, happy, funny, odd, and disturbing things on the cards. Fling said cards at a circle in the middle of the table and the person who got the closest to the center got their thing added to the fiction.

    You could do a tarot card reading as a way to develop the story.

    You could use it in conflict resolution like XXXXtreeme street luge. Drawing cards against a numerical value...

    Any help?
  • I like to have players write sad things on other players' foreheads, so the players can't even see the sad things they're dealing with. Double-plus sad!
  • Why do they have to be sad? forehead writing screams comedy to me :~)
  • Writing angry things on the back of business cards. Angry things lead to sad things, and the business on the other side infer the sad-making things in capitalism. Also, they form emotive ties to the angry statements.
  • I also think there's valuable design-space in writing happy things, and exploring the negative space sad thoughts implied by them. "I have a nice job" implies others have disliked jobs, or no job at all!
  • As an extension to TildeSee's comment: "I have a nice job; lovely family; tricked-out bike," etc. These are stakes. Things to risk/endanger. It's been said that stories are an attempt to return to normalcy. Having the happy, good things in your Character's life spelled out gives the GM/System something to challenge or risk or strive for.
  • I envision a stack of index cards whereon is written... nothing. Or, "Nothing." Or, "Nothing!" Nihilism for the win.

  • Sometimes I just spill a pot of ink on an index card and then rub my face in it, very slowly.
  • Use as many cards as you need to build elaborate structures representing the things you admire, aspire to, or adore. Then start passing out rocks.


    (Or just use index cards as bookmarks or for grocery lists. That's what I do.)
  • Use as many cards as you need to build elaborate structures representing the things you admire, aspire to, or adore. Then start passing out rocks.
    What you're describing is more of a board game than a story game. I think we need to start flame wars over this.
  • You could try writing the words INDEX CARD on sad things.
  • I use poster boards.
  • What you're describing is more of a board game than a story game. I think we need to start flame wars over this.
    This is not what this thread is for, though. This is for stating your alternative to writing sad things on index cards. Zero tolerance!
  • The real trick is writing normal things on index cards and MAKING THEM SAD THROUGH CONTEXT.
  • The real trick is writing normal things on index cards and MAKING THEM SAD THROUGH CONTEXT.
    You mean, like putting them next to sad things? Or maybe on top of them?

    I'm not sure I understand this advanced technique.

  • The real trick is writing normal things on index cards and MAKING THEM SAD THROUGH CONTEXT.
    You mean, like putting them next to sad things? Or maybe on top of them?

    I'm not sure I understand this advanced technique.

    This is not what I meant, but on an unrelated note, I have an amazing new idea for a kinesthetic story games experience, so nobody steal it.

  • Sometimes I just spill a pot of ink on an index card and then rub my face in it, very slowly.
    My parents once took me to see a man in a bow tie who showed me some ink splodges which looked like that. He kept asking me what I thought they represented. Very strange. As for not writing sad things on index cards, where does that leave my RPG based on lyrics by Morrissey?

  • We could always write sad things on something else. Post-it notes, maybe. Torn up scraps of paper. Small dogs.
  • Discarded betting slips and lottery tickets?
  • Putting AWESOME things on index cards. Like special abilities, power stunts, etc. Basically limit-breaks.
  • Putting AWESOME things on index cards. Like special abilities, power stunts, etc. Basically limit-breaks.
    And what makes that a valid alternative to sadness? I don't get it.
  • edited March 2013
    Write things that you wish would change about the world, but you think wont change. But maybe if people just talked about them...it might...

    Write it on a card.

    Lay it face down on the table during play.

    Then at the appropriate time when you lose a resolution, without anyone seeing what was on it, tear the card up into tiny pieces.
  • Putting AWESOME things on index cards. Like special abilities, power stunts, etc. Basically limit-breaks.
    And what makes that a valid alternative to sadness? I don't get it.
    I don't understand what you mean by "valid alternative"? Can you unpack that a little? Also , the words "what", "that", "it" and most of all "a"?
  • There's always sorting index cards that already have sad things written on them.

    Each card would be binary coded -- punchcard style -- following the classification system in Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. The edges of the cards would be coded using holes for 1, open slots for 0, to allow sorting by means of unbent paperclips. The Kind of sadness would be coded along the top, the Cause along the left, Symptoms along the right and Prognostickes along the bottom.
  • truly sadcore players tend to write their sad phrases on their body.

    index cards mainstreamed pretty hard last year.
  • There's always sorting index cards that already have sad things written on them.

    Each card would be binary coded -- punchcard style -- following the classification system in Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. The edges of the cards would be coded using holes for 1, open slots for 0, to allow sorting by means of unbent paperclips. The Kind of sadness would be coded along the top, the Cause along the left, Symptoms along the right and Prognostickes along the bottom.
    Screw you bringing computer games into my hobby :P
  • I like to write sad things on laundry bills, tie them to bricks, and throw them through the windows of people who are too happy. If they act before me in initiative, they automatically close those windows, which means I get to break them.
  • edited April 2013
    Instead of index cards, act as a facilitator to help a player enter a state of lucid sadness. That's where they are sad, but they know they are sad, and so they can still elaborately describe their angst*, melancholy**, or depression*** to everyone else in the room.

    *, **, *** For more gamey games, consider breaking sadness down into stats like these and treat them as flags (or as my group likes to call them, "T'issues")!
  • All of these things are great, but I can't get my friends to do this. When we try, they seem to disrespect the play-space by bringing positivity and redemption to the sadness, and it just ruins everything for me. Is there a game out there that I can use to teach them how to do this properly?

    I just want to reach inside them and show them one single moment of "writing sad things on index cards" because I know that's all it will take, and then they will want to do it all the time like I do.
  • All of these things are great, but I can't get my friends to do this. When we try, they seem to disrespect the play-space by bringing positivity and redemption to the sadness, and it just ruins everything for me. Is there a game out there that I can use to teach them how to do this properly?
    Have you tried Tear Gas World?
  • Draw penises on index cards, whoever draws the smallest one has a sad penis. Whoever draws the largest has a sad vagina.
  • All of these things are great, but I can't get my friends to do this. When we try, they seem to disrespect the play-space by bringing positivity and redemption to the sadness, and it just ruins everything for me. Is there a game out there that I can use to teach them how to do this properly?

    I just want to reach inside them and show them one single moment of "writing sad things on index cards" because I know that's all it will take, and then they will want to do it all the time like I do.
    Maybe try Burning Wheel?
  • All of these things are great, but I can't get my friends to do this. When we try, they seem to disrespect the play-space by bringing positivity and redemption to the sadness, and it just ruins everything for me. Is there a game out there that I can use to teach them how to do this properly?

    I just want to reach inside them and show them one single moment of "writing sad things on index cards" because I know that's all it will take, and then they will want to do it all the time like I do.
    You just need to be hard with them. It's your sad cards, so just remind them that it's your way or the highway. You're the Card Master and there's no sad cards without you. Hell, back in my day there were so many people champing at the bit to write sad things on cards, if someone wrote something that could be even interpreted positively all I had to do was tell them not to come back. No skin off my back.
  • truly sadcore players tend to write their sad phrases on their body.

    index cards mainstreamed pretty hard last year.
    image
  • I keep my sad things inside so nobody can see them, and never write them down anywhere.
  • edited April 2013
    I keep my sad things inside so nobody can see them, and never write them down anywhere.

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
  • Try asking your players to write of something sad that hasn't happened to them, like, the most sad thing that they know happened to a friend of them. Then shuffle the index cards and roleplay those characters. Don't tell them in advance what you're going to do with their stories.
  • truly sadcore players tend to write their sad phrases on their body.

    index cards mainstreamed pretty hard last year.
    image
    There's something on your back.
  • Also , the words "what", "that", "it" and most of all "a"?
    This made me first smile, and then laugh.
  • sadcore
    Yup.

  • WarriorMonk have you been reading Spione again?
  • WarriorMonk have you been reading Spione again?
    Heh, heh... no, but us peruvians born in the late 70's and 80's have a huge collection of sad stories involving the economical crisis, terrorism, government corruption and drug traffic. I could make a whole game with these, but it won't only be way too sadcore, it would be no fun at all...
  • OK, people. I started this as a joke, but something was just said which resonates with me at a deeper level. I believe this thread accidentally achieved a meaning. If it was on me to declare it closed, I would, right now: perfect as it is. As for what the meaning is, I'll leave it to you.
  • OK, people. I started this as a joke, but something was just said which resonates with me at a deeper level. I believe this thread accidentally achieved a meaning. If it was on me to declare it closed, I would, right now: perfect as it is. As for what the meaning is, I'll leave it to you.
    Was it playing Burning Wheel?
  • It was indeed.
  • This thread makes me sad, so I had it tattooed in Comic Sans on my back in its entirety.
  • This thread makes me sad, so I had it tattooed in Comic Sans on my back in its entirety.
    I feel like I accomplished so much, then.
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