6 thoughts on “Game Chef 2011 – Stop Your Mouth

  1. Excellent, Steve! πŸ˜€
    You summarized everything well and enough.
    The mechanics of Violations is awesome and elegant. You said you were a poor mechanic-builder? Wrong! πŸ™‚
    So the PCs have the ultimate choice between being slave and unhappily married, or being free and in bitter loneliness. They do not know if their suitor truly loves them, or merely seeks company and wishes to turn them into housewives.

    yes, I feel a trend towards “Desperate housewives” soap, reinforced by the fact that only one Daughter at a time may face the Decision of a lifetime commitment, so that the other PCs take the role of the fiancΓ©-e’s best fiends (“don’t marry him, he’s a fake” – “ooh, he’s so lovely, if you don’t want him I’ll take him”) . Not that this is bad in itself, of course. It’s completely in-genre.
    Now regarding the modern player’s game experience, it may be frustrating to have their character commit so completely, life-long to a NPC. It’s Shakespearian society, true, – and the paradox is, your game tends to be an accurate simulation of female status in the 16th century – but isn’t there another gameable path to divorce than murder the husband? Maybe he can be persuaded – or coerced – to set the Daughter free – because he loves her. This could lead to some good RP. In fact, PCs get less Violations this way than by killing. So my feeling is that the range of ways to get rid of the husband/master could be extended. May be the other Daughters could keep the Father away by having him fall into alcoholism. Have mistresses. Immerse in a hobby. Enter religion. Discover his repressed

    The dilemma, the constraints, coupled with the Violations rules, definitely categorizes the game – so far – into the indie genre (happy? ;)). I feel the possibility of moral issues like in Paladin, Dogs In The Vineyards, or My Life With Master (how would this latter game compare with yours? 8) )

    Some other remarks: the pictures are poor; especially on the front page (I’d have swapped the front page woman with the veiled woman on page 3). The “futuristic / Blade Runner font” is, IMHO, ugly. πŸ™‚

    Which leads me to wonder what would give an alternate Elizabethan setting ; the Daughters are created by sorcery and alchemy, and exile into the New World. πŸ™‚

    Good job altogether, and please provide an adventure, so we may experience/explore both the system and the situation ! πŸ™‚

  2. Hmm, I didn’t mean to imply that the *only* way ‘out’ of a bad marriage (or any marriage) is murder. Ideally a GM would never make it so simple (like making him a decent guy, or the beloved of one of the other Daughters, or the only one who can help them escape from The Court) but yes, there are other options too, that could be explored. The happy solution of Mr Collins and Ms Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice could be arranged. And of course maybe other Daughters wouldn’t understand that…

    Meanwhile, a happy marriage is also possible. You can “win” the game if you find a decent man who loves you and will never, ever abuse the marriage. The Petruchio solution, as it were. Of course, as you point out, it would always hand in the air. He could “set her free” but they’d still be in love, and that still counts for obedience…

    MWLM I think was an important game all round because it really understood that you can be really subservient but still awesome in your own right. The idea for the mechanic where you can succeed if you let a man boss you around, however, I stole from Nathan Russel’s bizarre Sound of Music/Clockwork Orange mashup (props to him).

    Re: the art, as always, all I had were Word clip art photos and free fonts. I call shenanigans on these goddamn game designers who are also layout artists and who can afford InDesign! DAMN THEM!

    Other settings would be cool, but I like how the non-Shakespearean settings lets his metaphors turn into facts. A 1930’s Metropolis setting however, would be sweet.

    Anyhoo. Thanks so much for reading it and understanding it. You have no idea how important your posts were in getting me through this, with product finished and mind and body intact. As in, I may have physically harmed myself if you hadn’t.

  3. …and regarding the art, it came to me that you could “borrow” some images in any women’s mode magazine. OK that’s what you did ;), but some mags feature models dressed in some weird fashion, standing before some scenery, that might remotely evoke some S-F setting πŸ˜‰

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