Monday, January 28, 2013

Game Idea: Survivor the RPG

As part of this year's Creative Pay It Forward, I promised my friend Ellis an rpg.
This is his request.


This game requires no GM.  All players involved are part of the contest.  For this game, you will need a sheet of paper and a pencil for each player, this webpage as your game guide, and around five six-sided dice.  You will also need a number of tokens or items you can use as tokens equal to twice the number of players in the game.  These can be anything from coins, to playing cards or pieces of candy.

Each player creates a character sheet using the following system:
Name, Age, Sex
I am a...
Mental | Physical

Name is the name of the player's character.  This may or may not be the same name.
Age is the age of the character.
Sex is the gender of the character.
I am a... will be the catch all rating to represent the character's stats.  For example, one might declare "I am a  school teacher."  Another might declare "I am an ex-Navy Seal."
Finally, you have the Mental | Physical rating, which is a single number from 2 to 5.  If you are playing someone with more evident Physical qualities, then you want the number to be smaller.  If you want to be someone more Mental proficiencies, the number should be bigger.  

For example:   Einstein would probably be  Mental 5 Physical. Arnold Schwarzenegger would probably be Mental 2 Physical.  While Kim Kardashian would be Mental 4 Physical.  Clearly the ranges are meant to be very flexible and abstract.

The Confessional Booth:
Each player can call for a Confessional Booth moment.  During this moment, the player admits to the viewers (which are actually all the other players) who he hates the most in the group.  The player MUST mention at least two names and why.  If more than one player want to have such a moment, they must use a method to determine who goes first (rock, paper, scissors, or something similar).

Afterwards, the player can confess something he did not tell the others.  This is represented as an extra I am a... rating.

For example:  Einstein calls for a Confessional and no one counters.  He steps in, admits to thinking Kim is a huge slut and hates how dumb she is, then confesses, "Actually, I am a gym instructor too." And adds that to his I am a... area.

Dice System:
Each time you are in a Challenge, you roll six-sided dice.  The number of six-sided dice you roll is equal to how appropriate your "I am a..." is to the challenge, which the playing group shall judge on through blind voting.    Blind voting is accomplished by all other players raising their fist at the same time to reveal either thumbs up (Yes, it is appropriate) or thumbs down (No, it is not.)  If you have a unanimous vote, then you roll five six-sided dice.  If you have a mixed vote, leaning towards thumbs up, you have four.  If there are equal number of votes, you roll three.  If the thumb down outnumber the ups, then two.  And if all save one vote against you, then one die.

To succeed in the task, you must roll at least one die below or above your Mental | Physical rating, depending on whether the task is a mental or physical Challenge (see Challenges, below).

For example:  Einstein is in a Physical Challenge.  The Challenge however is solving a gigantic jigsaw puzzle made of wooden blocks.   The group decides and out of the five players, two thumbs up that Einstein would still be able to use his "I am a Scientist" to do the Challenge.  Three feel smarts is not enough.  So Einstein gets to roll only two dice.   Given he is Mental 5 Physical, however, he needs to roll either a 5 or 6 with either of his two dice to succeed in the Challenge.

Another example:  Kim Kardashian is in the same Challenge.  The group decides unanimously that her "I am a TV Celebrity" will not help her in the Challenge at all.  She has one die to roll.  She is Mental 4 Physical however, so she only needs to roll a 4 to 6 to succeed in the roll.

Each player, however, has two tokens called Alliance Tokens.  These Tokens are totally useless for the player.  They cannot do anything at all.  However, if you hand one to another player, that player can discard the given Alliance Token for TWO extra dice to roll in a Challenge.  These make Alliance Tokens extremely useful.

How does one get an Alliance Token from another player?  By any possible way they can think of that will have that player willingly give him the token.  The Tokens cannot be stolen or sold.  They can only be gained by receiving it from someone who is willingly giving it to them.   And this is where Alliances are forged.  Players will want to be the recipient of other player's Tokens, and so many will start trading stuff with each other.

However, there is NO rule that a trade has to go both ways.  In fact, breaking an Alliance is considered acceptable in this game.  In fact, if you receive an Alliance Token, but do NOT hand one back to the same player, you instantly can get a +/- modifier to one of your rolled dice in the Challenge where the Alliance Token should have been given.

For example: Einstein and Kim form an Alliance.  Kim convinces Einstein to hand her one Alliance Token, and promises to give him one in return as well.  Kim then ignores Einstein and attempts the Challenge using the Alliance Token.   She rolls her dice plus two extra dice, and can shift one of those dice up or down one value to ensure her success.  Einstein is betrayed and fuming.  Only the viewers know what will happen next.

There will be a total of challenges equal to twice the number of players in the game.    Each player gets two opportunities to determine what the Challenge is.   (This will be one even if the player is voted out during the Elimination Night.

The kinds of Challenge are generated using the table below.  Roll once for the first table to determine the Challenge Type, and then twice in the second for determining the elements of the Challenge.  The player who rolled is  free to come up with what kind of Challenge it is based on the three generated topics.

1 or 2
Physical Challenge
3 or 4
Difficult Challenge (roll again, however once Type determined, all roll 1 less dice.)
5 or 6
Mental Challenge


For example:  For a Challenge, Kim's player rolls one and four and two.  One denotes a Physical Challenge. Four denotes Trees and Two denotes Ball.  So Kim declares, "We have a Physical Challenge, where Balls have to be kicked to fly over a Tree."

Elimination Night:
After two Challenges, players should gather and vote for Elimination.  All votes will be Blind Voting, with everyone writing a name in a piece of paper, then all of the papers being collected in a bowl.  Once all are in, a player reads them out and we will see who gets eliminated.  So yes, it is possible to be eliminated even if you still have a lot of Favor Tokens.  So map out your Alliances well.

If you want, have a winner's pot set up before you start the game.  This can be brought candy or the like, with the winner getting the chance to keep in the end of the game!''

Once every three Challenges, you can make a Challenge an Immunity Challenge by rolling two more in the second table.  The two new items must be added into the Challenge as a clearly difficult task.  The Challenge then will require TWO rolls to succeed in, and the winner gets Immunity.  

Alternate Games:
Celebrity Survivor
Rather than just play normal people, come up with a table to throw Challenges that match your favorite game or show, and have players portray their favorite characters!  Can you image a Dr. Who Survivor game?  Or a Dungeons and Dragons Survivor game?  Maybe even a Call of Cthulhu Survivor game!

LARP Survivor
Removing the character sheet, you can have players dress up and play in the Survivor game.  The table should have challenges that can be accomplished in the venue (push-ups, cart wheels, etc) and the Alliance Token allows you to waive a Challenge when you want to.

Adult Survivor
Combining the LARP Survivor game to this requires only one additional rule.  The player who is wearing the skimpiest outfit in each challenge gets one free Alliance Token to give away.  Realize this is something you can earn EVERY Challenge.

So there you have it!  Survivor the RPG!

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