03 August, 2009

Therapy Sessions from the Orphic Institute

I shared my first therapy session using the guidelines provided by the Orphic Institute on saturday night. I proved to have some very strong reasons for my incarceration in a psychiatric institution, but It was a lot of fun...

...well actually it was a new game by Evil Hat productions (written by Paul Tevis) called "A penny for my thoughts". A game where everyone starts as an amnesiac, and through the help of their therapy partners they discover a little about their former life.

I really enjoyed it, and I've spent the last couple of days desperately trying to think of a way to incorporate some of it's concepts into a regular game.

I considered a number of options but today I came up with an elegant and appropriate solution.

Joss Whedon's "The Doll House".

Someone pointed out recently on a forum that the roleplaying game of Joss's other intellectual properties "Serenity" and "Buffy" were typically generic systems. Serenity comes with a "browncoat" of paint and the "Buffy" game has a nifty mechanism where players gain experience for saying witty quips while performing their feats of derring do. Any attempt to capture the real feel of these shows has been left at the door, and theplayers have to do what they can to make the games like the TV show.

My attempts to run a Serenity game have all failed miserably because each of the players has taken something different from the show, and none of them can agree to each other's interpretations.

But I've been trying to think of something that would capture the feel of Serenity, but screw it... one of my next campaigns is going to be "Office Three of the Dollhouse". There are lots of references in the TV show to other offices around the world, I might set it somewhere in Europe, or maybe in Australia.

The start of every session will be a basic game, with operatives who change their skills and thought patterns according to the situations they are thrown into. At the end of every session, we'll use "A Penny..." to establish a piece of background information for each character, gradually discovering why they have given up their lives and their memories to be an operative for the company.

I think I'll actually use a modified Quincunx for the first part of the game.

But "A Penny..." has really inspired me. I haven't felt this way about a game for a long time.
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