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Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.08.01 at 13:10

The Roleplaying Game
of Personal Discovery
Dire Combat
And Motherf&*%ing Snakes

There's motherfucking snakes on this plane!

You and the other players take the role of people on an airplane. One player takes the role of the SnakeMaster (SM). The SM adjudicates rules disputes, helps direct the story and controls all the snakes.

You have five stats, ranked from 1 to 9.

GUTS: How tough and strong you are. Indicates how slowly you'll die if bitten by a snake.
NERVE: How quickly you react; reflexes and coordination. You'll use this to dodge snakes.
COOL: How likely you are to flip out under tense circumstances. This will be tested whenever you encounter an unexpected snake.
WITS: You're a smart motherfucker, aren't you? Too bad you're on a plane full of snakes.
CHARM: How attractive and charismatic you are. Works better on people than it does on snakes.

Distribute 25 points among these stats; minimum of 1, maximum of 9.

In addition, your character has a Story. This is a bit of background explaining what you're doing on this plane. This should be no more than one sentence. It cannot use words that you'd find in an SAT vocabulary prep book or in a Proust novel.

"Snuck onto the plane to pitch my script to a producer": GOOD.
"Escorting a witness to testify in a federal trial": GOOD.
"Flying to Hawaiian retreat to seek succor from the ennui that is my existence": BAD.


Whenever you're asked to test a stat, roll a number of six-sided dice equal to that stat's rank. Every die that comes up 5 or 6 is a success. Every die that comes up 1 is a snake.

If you get more snakes than successes, you are attacked by a snake (see Motherfucking Snakes, below).

If you get an equal or greater number of successes, you avoid the snakes and do what you need to do.


The game begins in the middle of the flight, just before the snakes are released. This is known as the before-goddamned snakes stage, or BGS. During the BGS stage, no one needs to test a stat to do anything. You can go to the bathroom (unless the light's on), talk to people, have a drink, read a magazine, whatever. Just a perfectly normal flight.

When the SM decides it's time to release the snakes, then that's it. The snakes are out. SM: You are encouraged to use as many adjectives as possible to describe how terrifying it is to be in a narrow closed space with two hundred people and twice as many snakes. "Slithering," "rasping," "hissing," "coiling," and other words will add to the overwhelming environment of snakes on this plane.

Once the snakes have been released, we enter the after-goddamned snakes stage, or AGS. During AGS, every action other than dialogue requires task resolution. If you want to go to the bathroom, roll your Nerve. If you want to punch a flight attendant, roll your Guts. If you want to plead with the cop to save your life, roll your Charm. Everything you could possibly want to do, other than deliver dialogue, requires you to test a trait.


If you are attacked by a snake, the SM will roll 1 die and consult the following table.

1: The snake tries to bite you. Lose 1 point of Guts as you swat it away.

2: The snake is poised to strike. Lose 1 point of Nerve as you throw something at it.

3: The snake falls in your hair or crawls up your pants leg. Lose 1 point of Cool as you totally flip out because, dude, it's a goddamned snake.

4: The snake presents you with a logic puzzle, such as Sudoku or a rubik's cube. Lose 1 point of Wits beating this insidious game.

5: There's someone bigger or tougher than you nearby. Lose 1 point of Charm as you convince them to go deal with that fucking snake.

6: Reroll and double all point values lost; you stumbled onto a lot of motherfucking snakes. Reroll and double every time the die comes up 6.

Once you subtract the point or points from your relevant trait, you have dealt with the snake (for now). If a trait is at 0 and you are asked to subtract points from it, the snake kills you.

Example: we're in AGS and my character, a husband trying to save his marriage, sees his wife and his kid being accosted by a drunken and terrified passenger. He tries to pull the passenger off them. This is a Guts roll and my character has a Guts of 5. He rolls 1, 1, 3, 4, 5: one success and two snakes. He is attacked by a snake.

The GM rolls a 6 on the Motherfucking Snakes table. He rerolls and gets a 3: two snakes land in my hair. I lose 2 Cool points getting them out. This reduces my Cool from 3 to 1. If my Cool (or any other trait) is reduced below 0, the snakes kill me.


The snakes are always released at the midpoint of a trans-oceanic flight. This is a necessary rule, as otherwise the pilot could just land the plane and get rid of the snakes. Creative SMs can come up with exceptions to this rule, such as:

* This is a cross-country flight but there's a gigantic snowstorm and the pilot can't land anywhere but his destination.

* This is a cross-country flight but the pilot is bitten by a snake. Thus the plane can't be landed without help.

The plane has between 2 and 12 hours to reach its destination once the snakes are released; the SM rolls 2 dice to determine how many hours.

Every time a character makes a task resolution check, the clock advances by 15 minutes. Every time a character is attacked by a snake, the clock advances 30 minutes.

Once the time remaining elapses, the plane arrives at its destination. Everyone who accomplished the task stated in their Story is a WINNER. Everyone who did not accomplish that task is BITTEN BY A SNAKE and DIES.


As the Snakemaster, it's your duty to keep the characters moving. There will be a great temptation by the players to keep the characters in their seats. Since dialogue doesn't incur the risk of snake attacks, they may just sit there screaming, "Oh god, we're going to die" or "Can't somebody do something?" or "Get these motherfucking snakes off this motherfucking plane!"

Do not allow this to happen! You must constantly confront the players with events that challenge their characters' Stories. Get them out of the seats. They should be running up and down the aisles, screaming and fighting and carrying on. Throw things at them to force them to act. Every action they take brings with it the risk of snake attack, and snake attacks drive the narrative.

You're also within your perogative to declare an unprovoked snake attack. Roll 1 die on the Motherfucking Snake table and tell a player whose character hasn't moved in a while that he has to deal with a snake now.


Holy crap.

Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.06.01 at 00:57
The wisdom of these words written dwarfs my own ability to express myself with them.Collapse )


Long, tired post.

Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.05.13 at 01:51
I would’ve put this in a cut, but I figured we should all see it. He’s the situation as I see it. Please read what I’m writing with an open mind:

Our party was doing badly at tactics, we had no wizard, and no one was stepping forward to role-play, so I pestered Ryan into rejoining, since he fits all of those criteria. He wasn’t excited about dealing with intra-party politics again, but he figured he’d just ignore it and rejoin to help the group. He was doing us a favor. He did, however, figure that some would be against him rejoining. I didn’t think that we’d have to have a vote over it. Now I hear that we’re doing the same thing to Matt.

I was talking to most of you about this, and, as someone else said first, I don’t think we should even have a vote. Yes, Ryan was/is an asshole. However, every one of us at that table has done something that makes us an asshole, whether it’s not knowing when to shut up, taking character concept too far, refusing to learn the rules, being pigheaded, or worse. However, I’d like to think that if we decided to quit for a few months, and then wanted to come back, the group would welcome us back. Ryan was also one of the founding members of personal heroes. He has helped every person at that table with their character at least once, and kept us all alive numerous times. There was more effort on his part than there was from any of the other players. Being loud is simply a part of his personality; he only became really rude when people refused to listen to anything he said, and he started to feel like he wasn’t getting out of the group what he put in. If you have a problem with his conduct, you should just talk to him about it. If you can say something more constructive than, “you’re an asshole”, and actually listen to some of what he says, he’ll probably be receptive to it. Matt was also a founding member, who was of strategic importance and never fought with anyone. There’s no reason at all to even question whether or not he can return, and having a vote implies that there is.

That I recall, we’ve never voted about inviting new players, and we let Jenn1 (who was no more popular than Ryan) as well as Brooke return without ever mentioning voting. In fact, there was no question of it. Perhaps we should consider voting for new players, but it’s pretty ridiculous for returning players, since no one’s threatening to quit if he returns. The only thing that makes Ryan any different, I suppose, is that he made an unpopular post. I’ve said this before, but, any of us who know Ryan at all (Especially Me, Ben, or maybe Tamira), can tell you that that wasn’t a revenge post. In a revenge post, he would’ve been nasty, sunk lower, and not bothered with logic. The only reason Matt left was because he left the school, and was unable to get a ride. It is not fair to treat him any differently because of it.

He wouldn’t say this to me, but I think Ryan’s pissed off about the whole voting thing, and, if you think about it, rightfully so. Matt won’t be angry, but his feelings with be very hurt by it, and we all know that Matt is sensitive about that kind of thing. We should be welcoming players, especially those who contributed a lot and shaped the game, not making them feel unwanted. Frankly, I’m proposing that we drop the whole voting thing. Voting about it is making us look too political, and, worse, cliquish.

Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.05.08 at 12:32
So where's we playing this week?



Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.05.05 at 14:58
Read me. Kthx.Collapse )



Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.05.04 at 01:18

Where are we playing this week?

Ben was considering his house, since Niemeyer is pretty much out of the question (unless anyone knows someone living there over the summer).

                             |                              |
                             |  SUGGESTION  |
                             |          BOX            |
                             |  ___________  |                      







Posted by talon_karrde on 2006.04.26 at 15:26
As you can tell, I usually try to balance my game out between hack and slash and plot. We've had sessions that have had little or no combat, and we've had sessions that have had only combat. I prefer to try to balance sessions with both elements but thats not always possible, when you're travelling a hundred miles its easier to do combat scenarios than rp, especially when everyone just wants to get to the goal.

Anyway, i've begun to notice that little by little, the roleplaying aspect seems to be getting pushed aside. Not that we dont all enjoy the hack and slash, but I for one enjoy spinning an interesting story with developed characters, in fact I enjoy that more from a GMing standpoint than standing up there tallying hps and having monsters bash the hell out of you guys. But, the hack and slash must be done, and when i have interesting monsters or you guys have interesting tactics, it is also fun for me.

The point I am trying to come to here is that the roleplaying aspect is important to me...very important. In fact I often spend a lot of time thinking about it and deciding what will happen or who will say what, so when its tossed aside, that actually hurts my feelings. To try hard to make a big epic quest for you guys and to make interesting npcs for you to meet and interact with really sucks when I introduce someone to you and you dont even ask his name or anything about it. How unrealistic is it that you would meet someone and not learn anything about him then let him adventure with you guys. I know DnD is supposed to be unrealistic, but I want to player-environment interactions, especially those involving the plot and NPCs to feel as immersive as possible, and there are some really simple things that are happening in the game to ruin immersion.

To better illustrate my point let me give you some examples of things that really hurt my feelings and ruin the immersion simultaneously, though these are just examples, none of which have actually happened (though some may be close) and others may be exaggerated. I wrote comments with a * before them.

Perso: This Wheel is central to the prophecy which I will now lay out for you.
"Perso explains the prophecy"
Player: Uhh, ok, well this is a pretty stupid plot device
*What the fuck do you want, 'welcome to cicadia, do whatever', also i more than likely worked hard to come up with whatever you are doing, please dont dismiss it, it only angers the GM, an anger that i have subdued for now in most situations

NPC: Welcome traveler
Player: Does this guy have any useful information or can we just pass him by
*Don't try to 'get out' of roleplaying. I've been told by several of you that roleplaying is what you want, but I'm not seeing it. The less roleplaying you guys engage in, the less I add in. If you say 'ok I'm going into the Inn and I'm going to talk to the inkeeper, what does he look like' I will give you a detailed description and give him a personality if you want to talk to him. This can be a lot more fun and you can learn a lot more, especially about side quests if you're interested as opposed to 'ok we go into the town sleep in the inn then leave the next morning'. There is a place for the latter comment but its becoming the norm in our game.

DrowNPC: Greetings my friend
Player: You get darkness once per day right? It'd suck to have a +3 lvl adjustment though, its not worth it, what feats do you have?
*Don't talk to NPCs about DnD stuff, because its just fucking stupid. Its funny like once in every 30 times it happens in games, every time there is no plausible reaction for NPCs to have, and it totally ruins the idea that you are actually talking to this guy, its more like you are talking ABOUT him. I've noticed this has become a problem with class names as well, like 'hey are you a druid?' may be appropriate or it may not, you have to try to figure those things out for yourselves. Something like 'fighter' is obviously not something anyone wants to be called but 'cleric of (diety)' or 'wizard' may be fine, it all depends on the situation. Its fine to talk about stuff like that with your party members, but no-one in my world cares. Some exeptions to this are spell levels, or 'tiers' but i would still greatly prefer if you did not ask this question to people, consider it a magical taboo to ask someone how powerful they are, or a challenege in my world, like if i ask you 'how much can you bench press' its almost as if I am sizing you up. Moreso in my world, its rude, figure it out another way, perhaps ask if they know a particular spell, or would be interesting in learning a particular spell. If they at least know of the spell, they will let you know that they are not powerful enough to learn it, or they can learn it but they dont have the spell. Keep in mind I dont know every spell so i may have to look it up, but its still preferable to the original way.

GM: You enter the dungeon, the walls are lined with a slimy fungus and the whole room smells damp and musty. A natural cave pathway leads north.
Player: How long is this 'cave' thing going to take 'cause I wanna get back to town and scribe some scrolls
*Don't ask how long an adventure is going to take if you don't have a good reason, like "i have to leave in 10 minutes". What am I supposed to say 'yeah dont worry the boss is three rooms down and he will go down quick'. Yeah that makes it surprising and fun. What group of adventurers goes into an unknown dungeon and knows exactly how long its going to take them to get out, thats part of the fun, not knowing if its three rooms or a hundred.

GM: The door slams shut behind you, sealing you in the room with the mummy lord who emenates a hissing sound and turns towards the group.
*Yes, its a plot hammer, you are so fucking observant. Guess what else was a plot hammer, adding things like 'NPCs' and 'Environment'. I guess i should just drop you guys into a completely blank room with nothing in it, then I'm not forcing you to do anything, otherwise it might look like I am 'taunting you' into doing something. I'm not that bad with my plot hammers, i've known GMs who actually use invisible walls to keep people where the GMs want them, that is not cool. You ran from the Aboleths, fine, i could have had the cave collapse and force you to fight them, and sometimes I do (such as the dragon situation), but i'm not so blantant as to be like 'uhh, you cant leave' without any explanation. Everything I do has at least some sense behind it in terms of the game world, even if you cant forsee it. You aren't god, I am.

GM: You hear a noise coming from the northern passageway.
Player: PLOT DEVICE, guys, maybe we should totally go north, I am feeling an external force pushing me north, its almost as if I want to go north
*Again, yes, its a plot device, but please try to react to things in game as your character would. I know you're you, but play the fucking game, if i were in a DnD world i would be all pretending to have an accent and saying 'ye olde' and swinging my sword pretending to be badass. You guys have barely acclimated to the world, and you still see things that happen in it from the perspective of you guys sitting around a table. Try to put yourselves in yourselve's shoes. I know that sounds wierd but its almost as if you aren't playing yourself anymore. You guys are a weathered group of adventurers, people change, if you want you could adopt an entirely new persona, or keep your old one, but one thing is for sure, you wouldn't take a noise off to the north as nothing, you would go on the defensive and decide to scout it out or avoid it or take some action, not just 'lets walk north' like in a fucking text game.

GM: You wake up and find your entire stash of gold is gone!
Player: WTF, I totally had a string tied around my waist to the bag. Did I get a listen check because there is NO way i could have failed. Also I locked the door. Did I get a listen check? I cast alarm on my bag. Did I get a listen check?
*Ok, there is a lot wrong with this one but lets start at the beginning. First of all, if a player dosen't tell me they did something, they didn't. True I don't hear everything, but also you guys dont say everything. Odds are this character said something like 'I go up to my room and go to sleep' not 'I go up to my room lock the door, tie a rope from me to my bag cast alarm on the bag and go to sleep'. I give you guys a lot of leeway on this because its difficult to RP every little thing and still feel like you are getting anywhere in the game, but if something is important to you, make sure you say it. Something like 'From now on I tie my gold pouch to my waist' or 'i save an alarm every night for my bag, if i end up casting the spell or dont memorize it for some reason i'll let you know'. Ok lets move on to something else. Yeah buddy, there absolutely no way a thief could have used a knife to cut you bag, and odds are an ogre didn't steal it and with a -10 to listen you'd have to be pretty wise to hear even a moderately talented rogue come into your room. In fact you probably wouldn't even hear someone walk into your room. Also i'm sure the inn has DC40 locks on the doors. In addition to the fact that thieves can detect alarm and disarm it, theres also the possibility that dispel magic was used. I do know what I am doing, I am not incompetent. I often roll things behind the scenes, devise clever ways to look at your sheets to get the numbers, write the numbers down for later use, or take 3 or 4 sheets in and only use one number off one sheet so no-one is the wiser. I never make random determinations about someone's skills, they have the right to a skill check, they just don't have the right to know they are making it. Also, if you do for some reason think that I am incompetent, or have that much desire to make sure I did everything right, try something like calmly stating 'Did you remember I cast alarm every night?' because I do make mistakes, especially on recurring things like that, and I will rewind for it if necessary because it is my fault. However, something like 'You know, my listen check is pretty high' is unacceptable, what are you trying to say, either I fudged the dice or didn't give you a listen check? Either way would make me an idiotic GM, which I am definitely not. If you have an ABSOLUTE need to make sure I did a check, you may ask me, but if i said I did it, I did it, and if I have forgotten to I will rewind time. Finally, we must remember that bad things happen to good people. Shit happens in the DnD world and we cant always blame it on thieves, and we cant always blame it on each other. Instead of being angry at me though for rolling poorly in your stead, try focusing some of that delightful energy on, oh, i don't know, finding clues or figuring out who did it.

I would also like to remind everyone of my GMing style. I already mentioned this before, but I take whatever you guys put into the game, and use it to form a world. For example, in the previous example, if you say 'ok I check for clues around the room, footprints, anything dropped' and you make a search check, theres a possibility of finding a clue. Some GMs may form a search check DC for that possibility ahead of time, but I've found thats impossible to do, so I improvise everything. Basically what I'm trying to say is the more clever ideas you come up with, the more possible outcomes exist. Some things are obvious what you are supposed to do and I have those DCs in mind before I make the 'encounter' like a closed locked door, i know the break DC and the lock DC, but if its something more obscure like an Inn with a bunch of people in it, by talking to them you may find out a lot of information, or you could leave and not figure out anything, its not as if the information was there to begin with and you found it, you searched for the information which created the possibility of information in my mind, I decided whether or not I wanted information there, and if yes I decide if you should find out some information that already exists in the world but you do not know, or if I should make up some new information concerning the town or maybe a side quest. These are how my side quests are born, and the more friendly and roleplaying you are with the NPCs, the more you glean information out of them. Gather information and diplomacy checks help with this in terms of influence people's attitudes towards you or getting information from a group of people, but on a check like gather information a natural 20 will only find you what you're looking for, effective roleplaying combind with diplomacy (preferably) and in some cases gather information will often not only turn up the information you are looking for, but also additional information as well that may be useful, or may be tossed aside.

Now finally I will address a particular issue I stated earlier once more because I think its particularly important: You may have asked yourself after that last paragraph 'but Ben, when we walk into an inn you usually just say 'we walk into an inn'' Well thats right, because I figure after months of playing and dozens of towns you dont care what the rafters look like in this particular Inn, but you have only to ask and I will tell you, and you will immediately know whats going on. You may ask who is in the Inn and I may say 'there are a few people sitting around drinking', and if you want to know more you must ask something like 'how many people?' and I'll say 'theres two men sitting around one table and another table with 8 dwarves sitting at it'. Now you might say 'we would have noticed a table stocked with only dwarves!' but I consider something like this to be flavor text, and if your character dosen't let me know what he is looking at, I assume he just comes into the Inn, grabs his food and goes straight for the bedroom or washroom without talking to anybody or making any eye contact whatsoever. Of course if theres like, a fire in the inn i'm not going to be like 'you didn't notice it because you didnt ask 'do I see a fire'' but you get the picture. The more questions, the more flavor text, and the more roleplaying. Please Please Please take a time to consider what i've said here and feel free to comment if need be, I will check back and reply to comments.



Posted by talon_karrde on 2006.04.26 at 15:23
Everyone should read at the very least my comments in tom's post two previous to this one, I would very much appreciate it if you did. I know its long but please give it a try. Also there will be no game this week as we all try to adjust to our new homes and new schedules (for some of us). If someone wanted to drive out to where I live I could concievable run a one shot or something, i guess e-mail amongst yourselves and figure out if you are, i just know that personally I can't drive anywhere or spend more time on something than a one shot. Let me know. Also I am requiring that everyone at least input as to where they would like to have the game over the summer if at all. I need everyone to post their thoughts at least once but discussion is obviously suggested. Thx.


Are we having a game on Saturday?

Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.04.24 at 13:26
Okay, so we're not having a game on Saturday, it seems.

But, you remember that time I was right? About a lot of things?


[Since nothing came of this post.]


Oh, dear.

Posted by inteleccentric on 2006.04.20 at 17:33
I apologize.Collapse )

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