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The Broken Wheel

May 14, 2007

Check out the Broken Wheel (jpg).

The central framing mechanic of The Good Ship Revenge is similar to the ones in the Avatar game and my Exalted hack. There is a game board that has a cyclical shape and there is a piece — in this case, a chess piece — on the board for each major and minor character in the game. The arrangement of pieces is used to determine the foundational content of a given scene — in this case, what general type of scene it is: Spoils, See, Social, Sword, Slay, or Sex (all the core things that happen on our pirate ship).

In its own way, this mechanic is similar to what Vincent’s doing in Afraid with Conditions, though I have no idea if my design projects inspired him at all, because he also does something similar in one of his fantasy games (In A Wicked Age, maybe?), where the scene framing mechanics help determine which characters are in which scenes. We may just be doing parallel development here, both thinking about pacing and developing interesting guidelines for scene framing.

Interestingly, my Afraid hacks — Craven County and Giger Counter — mix Vincent’s Conditions with my own board game inspired set ups, leading to a new combination of pacing mechanics that are different than what either of us would have come up on our own. It’s just a pity I haven’t gotten to test them out yet.

In any case, there’s the most recent version of the board. Next time, I’ll try to explain how it works.

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