Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Single Moment : Work in Progress Teaser

A SINGLE MOMENT : Work in Progress Teaser
by Tobie Abad

The two samurai stared at each other.

Once they were friends. Brothers. But now the time has come for honor to be regained.
For vengeance to be unleashed.
The two samurai narrowed their gaze. Tightened their grip. Adjusted their footing.

There is a single moment to end it all.
That time is now.


A Single Moment is a two-player game that is played in a series of scenes (or for longer games, game sessions) called Chapters. Each Chapter represents a flashback where the players explore the events that lead to this single final moment. So imagine the game as a movie that opens with the Samurai finally facing each other, then having a series of flashbacks that explain their relationship and how it lead to this final moment, with the finale being the final fight itself.

To play A Single Moment, you need the following:
1) Two players who are willing to play the role of Samurai warriors who have a duel to settle
2) A character sheet for each player (you have permission to print out personal copies of the sheet at the back)
3) Around six pieces of six-sided dice per player. It helps to have a different color of dice for each player.
4) Three colors of tokens. One color will represent Choice Points. Another color will represent Hatred. The last color represents Edges. For groups that aren't comfy with so many tokens, you can simply track them with marks on the character sheet.

(side text box)
How Many Chapters should A Single Moment be?
For a short game, five chapters is enough.
For longer games, eight chapters is an option.
Bear in mind, a chapter may be a single scene, or a whole game session, depending on how you want to approach it.

The game will always open with the Opening Scene.
Unlike most role-playing games, in A Single Moment players do not start by creating a character concept.  Instead they go through the first scene establishing who they are, who they are to each other, and what the setting is.  Starting with the player who last saw a martial arts movie/documentary, that player declares the following and fills in the missing details:

"My name is (insert name).
I am of the (insert name) Clan.
This is my story."

The next player then declares his version of the same declaration.
Once these introductions are made, the two players will alternate declarations of the following items, starting with the first player.  Each player can fill in the detail of a single item at a time.  Players must work together to build a coherent setting.  The declarations are:

The story is set in a (describe the locale).
The story happens (describe when the story occurs).
The story lasts (describe the length of time the whole narrative will eventually take).
The story is a story about (choose one Virtue).

There are seven virtues of Bushido, the unique philosophy which ruled their martial training and day-to-day conduct.  One of these seven virtues will serve as well as the key theme of a game of A Single Moment.

I. Rectitude
A story of dying when the time to die is right.   Of striking when the moment to strike is right.  It is the foundation of all the other virtues.  The unwavering power behind a decision of morality.

II. Courage
The spirit of daring and bearing.  To rise and meet even that which one cannot fathom.

III. Benevolence and Mercy
Understand when to befriend even one's enemy.   

IV. Respect
There is a proper order in all things.  A harmony brought by politeness.

V. Honesty and Sincerity
There is no need for written pledges. One's word is one's bond.

VI. Honor
Live and die by one's honor.  Or commit haragiri (seppuku) to preserve lost honor.  

VII. Loyalty
One's loyalty is more precious than life itself.

With the setting set, whoever made the last declaration for setting then officially opens the Opening Scene by declaring the first fact of the location of the final battle.  As before, players then alternate turns in choosing declarations to make:

The single moment happens (state where).
The single moment happens with (Choose one: None, Many, Select few) to bear witness to it.
The single moment happens at (declare the time of day).

Once all three declarations are made, the next player then closes the Opening Sequence by creating the first Chapter.

Every Chapter is created in the following manner.  
1) A player declares the opening lines of a Chapter to set what the scene will be about.  That player is the Active player for the Chapter.  The opening line should always begin this way, "I recall that time when (short summary of focus on Scene)."
If the player opts to, he may choose to make the Chapter focus on one of the Three Key Chapters.  (See Key Chapters below).

2) The players then co-narrate the scene, with the Active Player portraying himself, and the other player taking the role of the Game Master.  The other player will role-play for any other characters who are introduced into the scene.  Either player can introduce characters when they want, however only the player who introduces a specific Key Role is permitted to role-play that role (See Key Roles below)

3) Whenever conflicts arise in the scene, players resolve using dice and spend Choice Points when necessary. (see Choice Points below)  Conflicts include dramatic moments in the scene, or when there are disagreements between the two players on how an event or action should resolve in the Chapter.  The Chapter must support the short summary given above.

4) At the end of the scene, players note down the Edge they have gained, any Scars they have received, and any Hatred they have earned.  The Chapter ends.  (See Edges and Scars below)

5) The next player then becomes the Active player and creates a new Chapter.
If this was the Final Chapter, the game then moves to the finale:  A Single Moment.
[teaser ends here]

So I've been working on A Single Moment and so far it has started to shape into a much more realized game.  Given the first set of feedback, I've tried to polish things better and clear the system more.  I am still undecided if I shall attempt the Kickstarter route with this, or take my first solo dive into Drivethrurpg.

I still need to find a good artist whom I can commission for some art pieces and a good graphic designer who can nicely lay this out into a pdf, mobi, epub document for actual release.

But yes, we are getting very close to me finally releasing a solo stand-alone project for the role-playing game community to enjoy.

I'm pretty excited!

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