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[ADVENTURE] `the boardless game'

by Jeff Freeman

 

I decided that it's time to stop whining about what RPG publishers are making and just do it right, the only way to do anything right, myself. I've made The Perfect Game. I call it [Adventure] (note the use of the left-bracket), `the boardless game'.

    This is a whole new concept in game playing. Playing [Adventure] will make you smarter and sexier than you have ever been. You'll win the respect and admiration of your peers. You'll make new friends, a better class of people than your old friends. You'll be a winner!

    The `boardless game' method of play is quite unlike anything you've ever played before. This is far different from traditional games such as checkers, chess or even Chinese checkers. A boardless game has no game board! All of the action takes place in your mind. You'll explore your own subconscious hopes and fears, overcome childhood phobias and develop a better understanding of your friends and family members. Play [Adventure] and become a better person!

    [Adventure] is a game for two or more people, ages 3 and up. Anyone with an imagination can play. If you don't have much of an imagination, don't worry - [Adventure] will help develop what little creativity you currently possess until you too, are an artistic, witty, innovative thinker.

I figure that I can swipe tired, old, out-dated ideas (such as 'character classes', for example), but then pretend to have invented something totally new and revolutionary, and furthermore pretend that simply playing the game will make one into a better human being, and people will positively line-up to buy the game. It's happened before.

    One player adopts the position of Game Running Guy, or `GRG' for short. The GRG moderates the game, describes the action and setting to the Other Players (known as `OPs'). And `GRG` could also stand for `Game Running Gal' - that's right! Even girls can play! It's just that easy!

    [Adventure] is an imaginary universe populated by mythical beasts and legendary heroes. These imaginary creatures are referred to as `Avatars' if they are controlled by an OP, or `Mobs' if their actions are determined by the GRG.

I'm stealing terminology from computer RPGs and multi-user online monster-stomps, here. I figure it's safer to go with terminology that more poeple are familiar with, even if I am claiming to have invented a whole new type of gaming.

    To play, the GRG only needs an [Adventure] Plot. For just $29.95, the Game Running Guy receives:

    • A complete set of the [Adventure] game rules necessary for completion of the Plot.
    • A 32-page Plot book.
    • Mob Cards and cardboard figurines of all the Mobs encountered in the Plot.
    • Item Cards featuring pictures and descriptions of all the treasures found in the Plot.

I've already designed several Plots. Look for them in finer game and hobby shops everywhere. You won't find them there, but look for them anyway. Then order them from me. These include:

  • Dungeon Stomp
  • Dungeon Stomp II
  • Stomping Through a Swamp to a Dungeon
  • Temple of Environmental Evil

...and more!

    If you're going to play on a regular basis - and after playing just one Plot, it's likely that you will - you'll want to join the Plot Of The Month Club. For just $29.95 per month, billed to your credit card, you'll receive a new Plot mailed directly to you, automatically! The adventure possibilities are endless!

    Each Other Player needs only an Avatar - and a player can use the same Avatar again and again, with any [Adventure] Plot! For a mere $39.95, you'll receive:

    • An 8"x10" color glossy `photo' of your Avatar, suitable for framing.
    • A 32-page booklet describing the Avatar's previous education, accomplishments and experiences.
    • An Avatar Card listing the Avatar's physical and mental properties, such as Strongness, Smartness, Quickness, and combat aptness.
    • Item Cards with pictures and descriptions of the Avatar's gear.
    • A realistic plastic Avatar Figurine. It even changes color in water!

Again, several Avatars are already available and more are on the way. For example:

  • The Warrior
  • The Wizard
  • The Thief
  • The Clergyman
  • The Other Warrior

...and more!

Here's an example of an [Adventure] Plot in action:

The Game Running Guy reads one of the situations described in the Plot. `Warrior' is the Other Player, because he's not using the optional, `Name the Avatar' advanced-game rule.

    GRG: You kick open the door and see a hideous humanoid monster. You know from your training as a warrior that it is an evil creature called an `Orc'.

    WARRIOR: My heart is saddened by the cruelty and suffering that this poor creature must have endured in order to make it turn into such a vile monster. I am reminded of the suffering that I, myself, bore under the harsh mentoring of the captain of the guard at the Keep of Stallfast. I struggle to reconcile the irony that the very same treatment that has resulted in my great ability as a legendary warrior, has also left me emotionally scarred, unable to develop any meaningful interpersonal relationships with even my closest and dearest friends, as I bash the Orc with my ax.

    The warrior rolls a die with 20 sides (abbreviated 20d) and adds his Striking Ability (SA). If the number is higher than the Orc's Chance of Being Struck (CoBS), then the warrior has struck the Orc. Next, a 20d would be rolled and the warrior's Deadliness Score (DS) would be added to the result. This number is deducted from the Orc's Unwoundedness Points (UPs).

    The warrior and the Orc take turns bashing each other until one or the other's Unwoundedness Points are reduced to zero. In this example, the warrior wins.

    GRG: The Orc is dead.

    WARRIOR: I'm filled with misery and self-loathing, tired as I am of the constant struggle to kill or be killed, but being a warrior, unable to or ultimately unwilling to travel any different path through life. I wish to be home again, far from this dank dungeon sewer. I recollect the village of my childhood, where the grass was green and the fruit was sweet and the air was alive with the delightful melodies of the songbirds freshly returned from their winter journeys. Also, I rifle the corpse.

    GRG: You find 15,000 gold coins.

    WARRIOR: Woo-hoo!

But that's not all! If you also purchase the [Adventure] Plot making rules you can even design your very own plots, and the optional [Adventure] Avatar making rules, sold separately, allow you to create your very own Avatars. They pay for themselves! Plus, Mob and Item Expansion Packs (also sold seperately) allow you to stock your Plots with opponents and treasure.

    Note: [Adventure] Plots and Avatars that you make yourself are for personal use only and are considered derivative works of [Adventure] and therefore the intellectual property of Jeff Freeman. In no case can your own [Adventure] plot or Avatar be published, whether or not for commercial gain, with the exception of [Adventure] plots submitted for publication by Jeff Freeman. All submissions become the property of Jeff Freeman.

I'm also exploring the 'dark gaming' aspect as a possibility for future expansions. This goes back to the 'be a better person by playing the role of of a homicidal psychopath'. Sure, it's tough to top that sort of pompous nonsense, but it's worth a shot. If playing the role of a supernatural murderer makes you a better person, just imagine what a swell guy or gal you'll become by playing 'Slasher: The Serial Rapist', or 'Pervert: The Child Molester'. For the extremely courageous, consider delving deeper into your own twisted psyche than any game has ever taken you with 'Spice Girls: The Pop Sensations' adventure game.

    Now, you may be thinking to yourself that [Adventure] `the boardless game' sounds a lot like a `role playing game', but don't be fooled by cheap imitations! [Adventure] will never cause you to lose touch with reality, turn either suicidal or homicidal, and you won't be driven to worship Satan. Besides, everyone knows that only introverted social misfits, more commonly known as `losers', play role-playing games. Wouldn't you rather be a winner?!

    Drop your credit card into an envelope and mail it to:

      Jeff Freeman c/o
      RPG Web Services
      302 Cypress Street
      Laurel, MD 20707

[Adventure] and the boardless game Method Of Play are Patents, Trademarks, Service Marks, Trade Secrets and Copyrights of Jeff Freeman. And soon I'll have the money to prove it.


Comments? Feel free to email them to ack@rpg.net.

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What do you think?

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All of Jeff Freeman's Acks

  • The One True Way to Roleplay, Online: July 20, 1999
  • What Were We Thinking? September 8, 1998
  • Random Thoughts August 9, 1998
  • Run With It! July 14, 1998
  • Background: I'm Evil! June 9, 1998
  • Who Wants to Role-Play? May 12, 1998
  • Playing Without Brains Apr 8, 1998
  • Ultima Online Looked Good Off March 10, 1998
  • The Perfect Game February 10, 1998
  • "INTRO TO RPGs" January 6, 1998
  • "Do I Have A Point?"
  • "LOOK BEFORE YOU LARP" November 11, 1997
  • "RPGs: Then and Now" October 7, 1997
  • Chicks in Gaming", September 9, 1997 (and its Danish translation)
  • The FUDGE review that inspired it.

    Other columns at RPGnet

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