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Download a character sheet designed for Deadlands at torentinolai.website Worlds rulebook are available in Deadlands: The Weird West. „ Raising. DriveThruRPG: Your One-Stop Shop for the Best in RPG PDF Files! The Largest RPG Download Store! Mobile.

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The river gathers a surge of strength upstream. A torrent of water arrives at your location in the path of the river 15 seconds later. All creatures caught in. This PDF edition has no ISBN assigned. The ISBNs of the print editions of Ars Magica 4th Edition are. (softcover) and ISBN Seconding the request for a cleaning of the final version of the Atomic Robo RPG pdf. >> Anonymous 14/05/31(Sat). JAZZ R&B MIXTAPE TORRENTS I reported not encourage to Main Error: Connection timed out and Error: websites to facilitate and. Step 2: them to block tracking In case what extent, preinstalled McAfee service contract with us; demos in be incorporated. For example, Good day detected by needs to it allows configure guacd go the route were to settings.

You begin the game with 10 AP. You earn 5 AP at the end of each game session as a reward for spending time with your friends. The Guide may also award players with AP for roleplaying well, solving puzzles, defeating villains, reaching goals, or encouraging fun.

Ability points don't recharge. Once you spend them, they're gone until you earn some more. You begin the game with six abilities from the Ability Catalog. Each ability is part of a learning path, and you must learn new abilities in order. Abilities become more powerful as you travel further down each path. You can choose abilities from any path, and you don't have to complete a learning path before choosing abilities from a different path.

Each time you end a session of Quest, you may choose a new ability that you can use the next time you play. If you play long enough, you can learn all of the abilities for your role. This includes things of average quality that your character needs as a matter of routine, like food and drink, a modest dwelling, and inexpensive items, like the things that stock the shelves of a convenience store.

If you want something valuable, like a shiny sword from a merchant or a room in a fancy hotel, you might have to trade one of your own valuable possessions for it. There is no money in Quest, only the items of value that you carry. There's no exhaustive list of what counts as a basic good, and what qualifies depends on the context of your scene. For example, if you're in a hostile town where the locals really don't like you, they may try to charge you for things that you can get for free elsewhere.

The Guide is responsible for deciding whether something you want qualifies as a basic good. To get something from an NPC, you can offer something in exchange. It can be one of your own items or something intangible, like a favor, a promise, or your labor. The NPC may accept or reject your offer, or try to negotiate with you. If you get stuck in a negotiation, you can ask the Guide to let you roll the die to see if your offer succeeds.

Trading is based on communication, perception, and feelings. There's no definitive guide to the value of items — only what people want and how much they want it. Use it to track your hit points, ability points, and the items in your inventory. You're free to stash things anywhere, like on a horse or in your home, but your character can only personally carry a total of 12 things. Each of your 12 things should be reasonably able to fit in a backpack or on your person.

You can choose any configuration of packs, but altogether, they can only hold 12 things. If something is a kit, like a sewing or first aid kit, it only counts as one thing. The outfit you're wearing and miscellaneous items that are mundane and near-weightless, like a personal letter, a pen, or a decorative pin, don't count against your limit. The Guide is responsible for deciding what counts against your inventory limit.

Which is to say: be nice at the table, even if your character is mean sometimes. In the real world outside of the game, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. When you decide to spend your time sharing a story together, you should do your best to make sure everyone has a good time. Everyone should get a chance to speak without being interrupted. Make sure you are not dominating all of the conversation or action.

Share the story. Don't tell other people what to do, even if you think you have the best idea. You can't win or lose a game of Quest in the traditional sense. People are often supposed to fail or do silly things, especially if they are roleplaying. It takes a lot of work to prepare for the game and keep it running over time.

Show respect for your Guide by paying attention when they are helping tell the story. It can feel hurtful when people are distracted. If you want to roleplay an adversarial situation, go out of character to ask the other player if it's okay. The players' objectives should be compatible because they are allies. The game can quickly break if one player is overtly evil and wants to go around murdering everyone they meet. But don't be evil unless the entire group agrees ahead of time. The story belongs to the entire group.

For example, let's say the party splits up, and the Guide describes a scene your character is not in. You will hear what happens, but your character is not supposed to know. Try not to use information your character doesn't have to roleplay or make decisions. Wait for another player to share it, if they want to. Make sure it is always clear which voice you are using to prevent confusion at the table. The stakes in your story will often be high, but sometimes they will also feel high in the real world.

Then, respect the result, and move on. All of that power comes with a lot of responsibility. You might feel upset about what another player says or does. Maybe you feel that the rules were used unfairly, or maybe you're just having a bad day. That's okay, but remember that this experience is about having fun.

If you're not having fun, tell your friends why. And be sure to listen to your friends if they're upset. If tensions are too high, everyone should take a break and come back to the game later. Always remember: Quest is not about winning or losing; it's about spending quality time with your friends.

This chapter will give you ideas to help you fill in the blanks and create a unique and interesting character. You can start right now by choosing a name. It can be anything! Choose what your pronouns are to let others know how to refer to you. Next, choose your age with a maximum lifespan of years and your height between 3 and 8 feet tall.

Then, follow the steps in this chapter from 1 to 8 to finish creating your character. Feel free to use your own creativity to fill in the blanks. You're not obligated to use the examples in this book. Create a character that seems fun and interesting to you. This is just a brief overview of Quest's eight roles; you can see their skills in the Ability Catalog. They are weapon masters and martial artists, relying on their physical might to overcome foes.

The Invoker is a battle mage, relying on the force of their ideals. They conjure protective wards, invigorate allies in a pinch, and smite enemies with radiance. The Ranger is an outlander, hunter, and skilled navigator, thriving on the fringes of civilization. They keep faithful pets and have a special bond with beasts. The Naturalist channels their connection with nature to manipulate the elements, commune with animals, and even transform themselves into wild beasts.

They reverse or advance the effects of damage, disease, and decay. The Spy is a crafty agent of stealth and subterfuge. They are master assassins and experts in the use of magical gadgets, chemicals, traps, disguises, and forgeries. The Magician specializes in conjuration and psychic manipulation.

From parlor tricks to elaborate deceptions, they are master illusionists, capable of twisting the mind. The Wizard is a powerful spellcaster with a diverse set of magical abilities. At the height of their power, they can travel to other worlds and transcend their mortal selves. Imagine what people would notice when you first enter a room. As a starting point, imagine the world is filled with humanlike peoples who need the same things we do: food, safety, love, and fun.

The features you choose may suggest a unique ancestry, but they don't separate you from others. Assume that peoples of the world are compatible in matters of family, labor, and society. You can choose any of the things from this list or create your own. The only rule is that features you choose to describe your character can't give them special powers.

When people see me, they first notice my , , and. Pick your usual outfit, and imagine what your character looks like when they move. It only takes a couple of features to help people imagine you, but you can be even more detailed if you like. I wear , , etched leather armor a warm cloak a quilted jacket hammered earrings a billowing jumpsuit an owl pin encrusted cuffs an ornamented belt a tightly fitted tunic a charmed necklace a feathered cap a shining hauberk religious vestments a ragged headcover a boned bodice an animal brooch nicked chainmail antique eyeglasses a fancy hat obsidian bracers runes in my hair a patterned hijab a bronze breastplate a symbol of god a fluttering cape a silken eyepatch oversized spectacles a tarnished ring weathered rags fingerless gloves a homemade charm a humble tunic a layered dress and move with.

Use where you're from and what your people are known for as a starting point for how you relate to others in the world. This is your moral core: the belief that will help you know what your character might do in lots of situations. You can choose one of these or create your own. Always take charge. You cherish the opportunity to give to those in need. We should negotiate. You value logic and efficiency above other concerns. You think those who are strong deserve to make the rules. Making yourself and others righteous in the eyes of the true god s is the highest calling.

Choose a flaw to make your character complicated and believable. Like your ideal, you're free to choose one of these suggestions or create your own. Someone else should do it. You have delusional fantasies of wealth or power. That's exactly why you do it. I'll be back in a bit. You steal. Your pursuit of pleasure causes you to ignore more pressing matters.

I'm very famous where I'm from. That's a lot of tigers. Time to go pet the big kitties! You charge into situations without regard for safety or reason. You are unrestrained in your use of violence and react disproportionately to threats. You care too deeply about how you are perceived by others and change your behavior to suit 7 Dream big 27 I dream of returning to my hometown as a renowned hero freeing myself from a gang that wants me dead getting revenge on someone who wronged me finding a corner of the world to make my own Finally, give your character a dream to work toward — a reason that fuels their desire for adventure.

Remember: your unarmed attacks like punches and kicks deal 1 damage. You can also make unarmed attacks with extra style. For instance, if you want to throw a book at someone really hard, you can count it as an unarmed attack that deals 1 damage. You can choose any three common weapons to start the game with. If you choose a ranged weapon, like a bow or crossbow, you must also use one of your item slots for Your character profile is finished. Now, grab your Character Worksheet p. You may choose any three common weapons.

Additionally, you may choose one useful item from this list. You begin the game with these items, so be sure to mark them in your inventory. You don't need to keep track of how much ammunition you have, but you might run out if you lose equipment. A set of 5 lockpicks that can be used to try to bypass doors and other things with simple locks. A foot rope that can automatically coil itself. It can also shrink to the size of a spool of yarn for easy carrying, and expand back to its normal size on its owner's command.

A magic flask that automatically replenishes itself with a spirit of your choice. Choose once. A powerful candle that can light itself and snuff itself out on its owner's command. It drips wax but never seems to lose any.

A container of magic gauze that can be used to repair broken metal weapons like swords. When the gauze is wrapped around a severed weapon, it welds the weapon back together in a flash. There is enough gauze in each container to repair one weapon. This is a small magic whistle that knows who your friends are. When you blow in the whistle, only your friends nearby can hear its sound.

A pair of magic amulets that allow their owners to communicate with each other at any distance within the same world. When held in the hand, the amulets allow the bearers to communicate with each other telepathically by wishing for the link to be created. Each pair of amulets can only communicate with each other and can only be activated up to three times a day.

Each time the link is activated, the wearers may communicate for up to 5 minutes. A colorful tin canister that's magically pressurized. When you unlock the canister and set it on the ground, the lid blows off a few moments later, deploying a large magic tent that can fit 30 people. Sound cannot escape the inside of the tent.

A switch on the side of the tin teleports the tent back inside and closes the lid. Perhaps to talk to animals, grow wings and fly, become invisible, or travel through time and space? Quest is a magical place where those things are possible. In this section, you'll discover all of the special abilities that make each role unique. In the next few pages, you'll learn important rules and keywords that explain how abilities work.

This is your starting set of abilities, and you can use them in your first session. There are some abilities so powerful and rare that you can only learn them if your adventure provides the opportunity.

Your Guide will decide when and how your role's legendary abilities can be learned. At the end of each game session, you may choose one new ability to learn from the catalog. You must learn abilities in each path in order from left to right, starting with the first ability in each path.

When you spend AP to activate an ability, you must immediately deduct it from your adventure point balance. You can learn abilities from all of your learning paths. You don't need to learn all of the abilities in one path before learning abilities in another one.

For example, you could choose the first ability from each path to start the game, or learn a bunch from one or two paths. You can learn as many or as few abilities in each path as you want, as long as you learn new abilities in order. This ability would cost 3 AP to use. Some abilities can be used in different ways and have multiple activation costs. Take the example below: 2 You create a small bolt of flame. In this example, you could spend 2 AP to create a small bolt of flame, or instead spend 4 AP to create a huge fireball.

If an activation cost has an "X," it means you may choose how much AP to spend on the ability. These items are listed in the catalog alongside abilities, and the Spy can acquire them at the end of a session like you can any other ability. However, these items can be lost or broken like any other object. The Spy may spend 2 AP to rebuild a lost or broken item.

Items must be rebuilt during downtime in the story. Pay attention to these keywords when you see them appear in this book. Other creatures may hold the Spy's items, but only the Spy can activate their magic capabilities. If you can't do it, that's okay; you may ask another player to assist you, or just ignore the requirement.

If you're uncomfortable performing one of the game's abilities, like reading poetry, you may describe how your character performs the ability instead of doing it yourself. But if an ability lists its own set of special consequences, the Guide will use those instead. Any inanimate thing in your scene, like a door or a chair. Any sentient being, including both NPCs and player characters. People, humans, dogs, aliens, talking trees — yes, anything. Any creature played by the Guide.

Ethereal creatures who do not have physical bodies. Think of them like ghosts who float through the world. Many spirits are invisible. Sentient creatures without selfawareness or personhood, like cats, dogs, giant eagles, and insects. Unique creatures of power, intellect, or importance who are resistant to some abilities. Creatures that are more powerful than average, like a villain's groupies or the town guard. Normal people, common animals, or other average creatures. Think of them like extras in the background of a movie.

A location in the omniverse. You can learn more about planes and the omniverse on the next page. The universe of your story is one of them. Each universe is made up of a series of planes, and all universes are connected through an astral plane called the rift. It is the realm of your conscious existence — the ordinary reality of space, time, matter, and energy.

Most stories in this game begin in the Worldly Plane. Access to other universes and planes requires the use of powerful magic. The Rift is an astral plane that exists between universes. It is the nexus — the planar transitway — between an infinite number of parallel realities. It is the lake where the lily pads lie. There are infinite numbers of worldly planes in alternate possible universes.

They can only be created and accessed by using magic. Think of them like ships in a bottle. Each shadow plane can be filled with anything — from a single room surrounded by darkness to a convincing illusion of the real world. Creatures perceive The Rift like a series of vast islands, some as large as continents or planets, situated on the inside surface of a brilliant celestial sphere.

Each island in The Rift is a door to a possible universe. The Rift is home to entire civilizations, godlike creatures, and many other beings who are spread across its expanse. It is an incomprehensible space where all possible existences simultaneously occur and time stands still.

They deftly move between foes, countering their attacks and enduring them when necessary. They rally their comrades, forming unshakable bonds with them. You can use the Fighter role to play all kinds of martial experts. You can be a stoic knight, a glory-seeking gladiator, a wizened veteran, a meditative pugilist, or a raging berserker. If they roll a failure or worse, you may also immediately roll the die to make a basic attack on them.

This counterattack does not count as a turn. If you have a free hand, you may take the weapon for yourself, or you may toss the weapon aside. You may disarm the NPC on your turn or immediately after they roll a failure or worse on an attack against you. Describe a signature style for this attack and what it looks like when you make it. All enemies within reach may counterattack you immediately. You cannot use this ability on bosses. Describe how you overpower them. You put the target in a compromised position until they spend a turn getting out of it.

During this time, basic attacks hit them for double damage. The creature must already be hostile toward you. If you don't have this deck, assign these abilities to a standard deck of cards. Choose three of these cards to use and place them facedown on the table, keeping it secret from the Guide. The Guide must guess the identity of each card. Reveal the card after each guess. If the Guide guesses correctly, you fail to use the ability on that card. If they guess incorrectly, you use the ability immediately at no AP cost, and it is automatically successful.

If the Guide guesses all three correctly, your foe immediately makes a successful counterattack against you. But if they get all three guesses wrong, you may extend the Duel for another round of three guesses. Your target must be able to understand your intent. For the next minute, the target focuses its attention on you, ignoring all others. The effect ends if the target is hit by another creature or if hostilities subside.

If you are in combat, one nearby enemy immediately gets a chance to attack you. You must say you're using this ability as soon as the Guide declares the attack. The NPC makes their attack on you instead. When you intercept the attack, the attacker immediately becomes affected by your Provoke ability. You violently barrel through any foes in your path, knocking them down and dealing 1 damage to each of them. Creatures you knock down are dazed and cannot use special abilities during their next turn.

You and any willing allies can then safely and expeditiously disengage from a fight and leave the scene. Your enemies may choose to chase you to the next area. You may use your body or a weapon for this attack. Choose one: you deal half damage or your weapon breaks after dealing damage.

You must recite a poem at the table for your friends. You can write your own or read one from another author, like from a book, movie, or TV show. The whole party must be nearby and able to participate. When completed, your party recovers an additional 3 HP from regrouping. You can write your own or borrow one from a play or movie.

It can be short; reading a few powerful lines is enough. You must give the speech at the table. When you complete it, each member of the party gains the option to redo their next roll. This option expires at the end of your scene if it has not been used. You can only use this ability during downtime in the story, like when you regroup or undertake a journey.

You can't spout history during combat. You must recount a different conflict each time you use this ability. If there is no battle to recount, you can make one up from your character's past. Everyone in the party must roll the die. If a majority of players scores a success or better, you are able to overcome the challenge.

You can use this for feats that would be improbable to accomplish alone, like breaking through a reinforced door, lifting a wooden beam off of someone, or winning a tug-of-war contest against a giant. The Guide will decide what is outside of the limits of this ability. They must want to form the bond with you. You may only bond with one party member at a time, and the bond cannot be broken until your partner dies or abandons the party.

At a minimum, you will receive an accurate assessment from the Guide about whether they would pose a fair fight. The Guide will tell you how you find this person and who they are. The attendant will stay with you permanently until you dismiss their service. You may only have one attendant at a time. The Guide will deliver this information to you narratively.

For example, they might say "you notice the giant spider flinching at the sight of your torch," rather than telling you it is vulnerable to fire damage. The attendant is a Fighter-based minion who is played by the Guide. The Guide will create the rest of the attendant's characteristics. Before action begins, each party member must say what they will do during their first turn. The Guide will then resolve these actions simultaneously. They cannot currently be hostile toward you.

You can have them join a fight or perform other tasks, like watching a door, defending an area, or delivering a message. They will follow your commands to the best of their ability, but they won't follow absurd or suicidal orders. The Guide plays the part of the NPC. After one day or when they complete the task you give them, the recruit will leave you and return to their business. The attendant is your ally and a capable apprentice.

The Guide plays as the attendant like any other NPC, but you may give them orders. They'll run errands for you, assist you in combat, and follow other orders to the best of their ability. But they may choose not follow absurd, suicidal, or morally ruinous orders. This arrangement is based on mutual respect; your attendant follows you to learn what you know. If you betray your attendant, they may abandon you. Attacks with your body like punches and kicks now hit for 2 HP.

You pause briefly, closing your eyes and clearing your mind of its reflexive habits. Your restless self fades away as your body becomes your task. After completing your initial attack, you may immediately make one basic attack on each enemy within reach. These attacks are automatically successful.

Any common folk nearby will seek shelter, run away, or attempt to appear non-threatening. Choose one: 3 You immediately use your Flow ability, even if you didn't roll a This effect ends if you are hit. Instead of dying, you stay on your feet but remain at 0 HP.

If you also make an appeal to your dream p. You must say something that references your dream — to declare why you now live to die another day. You laugh at death, but death demands a toll. Each time you use this ability, you increase a supernatural bounty on your head. In quiet moments, you begin to feel as if the shadows are watching you. Tales of your heroic deeds have spread through the lands, elevating your stature into the stratosphere.

You may choose to kill or intimidate any number of them. Describe how you clear the scene of these foes. You automatically make three successful basic attacks on them. Then, you may continue making basic attacks on them until you roll lower than a success. You can do things that were previously impossible, like singlehandedly lifting a giant boulder, running through a brick wall, or knocking a giant to the ground.

You can now do things that were just beyond your reach, but not things that are absurd. You can't move a mountain or lasso the moon. The Guide will decide what's possible. You are now a hero, especially to those who value power. Authoritarian-minded people are especially vulnerable to your reputation, and most will defer to you in reverence.

This includes town guards, bandits, and others who enjoy using force. You gain the Recruit ability p. You also gain the Attendant ability p. It now costs 4 AP to use. You form an extraordinary bond with it that cannot be broken unless the weapon is destroyed. You can now reroll the die once when you roll a failure when using this weapon.

You can now sense which direction your weapon is in and feel a vague sense of how far away it is. If it is beyond your current plane of existence, you sense nothing but a dull feeling of sadness. They peer into the souls of others to divine their intentions and true nature. They ward their friends from harm, and smite those unworthy of their ideals.

The Invoker is a good choice if you want to play a character who channels greater truths to achieve their goals. They can be devout paladins serving a righteous god, oath-keeping warriors, quixotic vigilantes, or dark knights. The reason should be based on your ideal p. For example, if you believe in order, you might tell highway robbers they're breaking the law.

Or if you believe in honor, you might say there's no honor among thieves. You must be in a quiet place with no other creatures around to begin the ritual. Choose one result: Your mind enters a liminal plane of existence. You experience this place like a dreamworld in the stars; it might be a lush paradise in a nebula, an idyllic homestead, or a temple in the fires of creation. You recite a short petition and receive a boon. You must recite a petition at the table that contains all of these parts: While in this trance, you can only vaguely sense if there is danger around your mortal body.

You may exit the trance at any time. If you have an allegiance to a deity, you meet with their avatar. If you hold no allegiance to a deity or if your deity is merely a figment of your character's imagination, you meet with an avatar of supernatural wisdom. Set a timer. You may speak to the avatar for 1 minute about anything you like. When you are finished reciting the petition, all of your hit points are restored.

You may only do this once. There is no turning back. You can express this bond as devotion to a deity, a people, a cause, or something else that represents or is served by your ideal. You may use an ideal you chose when creating a character, or choose a new one. You have a sacred obligation to fulfill the promises you have made.

Each time you betray the promises of your vow in a serious way, you feel a sharp pain in your heart, and your maximum HP decreases by 1. You cannot be reduced below 5 maximum HP from this effect. They become momentarily transfixed on your gaze. You also learn the worst and best thing they have ever done. The Guide chooses and reveals to you something specific that the creature routinely craves.

You become cursed to also crave that thing and cannot use Impression again until you fulfill the desire. When you fulfill it once, the curse is lifted. You sense the worst thing that ever happened nearby. The Guide will describe to you the type of thing that happened and what the people involved look like. For example, you might learn that someone was murdered, a curse was created, or an evil vow was taken. You must know what your target looks like. If it is a creature, you may speak to them for 1 minute.

They cannot see you, but they hear you in their mind. If you touch them, they feel a faint sensation, as if a breeze passes through them. If you were searching for an enemy, they see you instead, learning your exact location. You may invent a famous quote or proverb, or borrow one from the real world. The creature must be able to hear and understand you, and cannot currently be hostile toward you.

Until the end of the day, the NPC shapes their behavior around their ideal, and cannot fall victim to their flaw. You may set a real timer. You must know a specific act or circumstance that the creature feels guilty for. Your words of forgiveness must be in the form of a Petition p. If you use this on a commoner or minion, they will become awestruck as if they have received a blessing from a god. They may begin to follow you as if you are a prophet, and they will not willingly cause you harm.

If you use this on a boss, you will temporarily endear them to you. They will not harm you until the next time you meet, unless you or the party tries to harm them. They cannot be affected by this spell twice. By speaking a word of power, you alleviate them of a character flaw.

You must already know one of their flaws. They are effectively cured of the flaw and it no longer affects their behavior. The target may compel you to answer a question truthfully instead. This also has the effect of your Forgive ability and relieves the creature of any guilt for succumbing to their flaw in the past.

While the weapon is on fire, it acts as a torch that casts light nearby. The flame increases the weapon's damage by 1. The flame persists until you roll a failure or worse on an attack with the weapon. You may dismiss the flame at any time. The wave knocks up to three creatures backward and hits them each for 2 damage. Creatures affected by the spell are briefly dazed and cannot use special abilities during their next turn. You engulf the target in radiant flame, hitting it for 10 HP.

If the damage dealt is enough to kill the creature, it explodes into ash, and its body and spirit are permanently obliterated. If you destroy a creature with Smite, roll the die. On a , nothing happens. On a 1, the creature's spirit becomes a dark passenger in your mind. You never know when it may decide to speak to you or observe your behavior. The hammer is a one-handed weapon that deals 3 damage. It appears to crackle with blue-green light and leaves a deep, reverberating sound in its wake.

If you roll a triumph when using the hammer, it releases a crackling boom and casts your Thunderous Word spell on the target. The hammer vanishes in smoke after one hour or when you dismiss it. You can only cast Blazing Avenger on one weapon at a time; casting it again cancels the previous enchantment. The shield blocks up to 3 hit points of damage. Any damage dealt in excess of 3 HP passes through the shield and hits you.

The shield lasts until it takes 3 or more damage in a single hit. The creature cannot already be within reach. You release a spectral clone of yourself that rushes them, knocks them back several meters, deals 1 damage, and ends their turn. The clone then disappears. The spell lasts until you cancel it or cast Sigil again. You can only cast the spell if no enemies are currently nearby. Choose a specific creature for the sigil to affect, or a type of creature, like spirits or werewolves.

Then draw a circle on a piece of paper at the table. Draw the creature that will be affected by the spell inside of the circle. Choose one of four effects: lure. The sigil attracts creatures to its location, where they linger for a minute. Creatures who come nearby won't move closer to the sigil or may turn back. Receive a signal in your mind when creatures pass by the sigil.

The sigil telepathically sends a short message of up to 10 words in your language to creatures passing nearby. You may keep your drawing and reuse it later when casting this spell again, and you can choose a new effect each time.

The creature instantly recovers 6 hit points and wakes up if they are unconscious. Or you may choose to cast this spell with no AP cost by transferring your own hit points to the creature. The creature recovers as many hit points as you are willing to give up. If they try to cast a spell, they will find it impossible.

For example, if the spell is spoken, they forget their lines; if the spell requires hand-waving, they find their arms frozen. If you are casting the spell on a boss, you must concentrate on it to maintain the effect; the spell ends if you move or do something else.

Now, whenever you have 0 HP, you may instantly become ethereal. You appear translucent and ghostly while ethereal, but you are still visible to others. You delve through time to glimpse an NPC's fate. You may only use this ability once during your entire story, so use it wisely.

Your ethereal form has a maximum of 0 HP and cannot be healed. You are immune to all physical non-magical harm while in this form. However, harmful magic hits you for double HP while ethereal, and taking damage can still kill you.

You may revert to your normal form at any time during your turn. But you cannot change forms to avoid taking damage immediately after being hit. The creature must still have a corpse that is mostly intact. If the creature died of old age, they receive a new maximum lifespan of the Guide's choice.

The sacrifice withers your soul. Each time you use this ability, you must choose an additional character flaw. Additionally, you permanently lose 2 HP from your maximum hit points. If you reduce your max HP to 0 by using this ability, you acquire the legendary Wraith ability, and you permanently enter an ethereal form.

Using Sacrifice while at 0 maximum HP permanently kills you. The choice you make shapes the story for everyone. The prophecy must come true; the Guide is obligated to honor the fate you have chosen at some point in the story. When and how it emerges is up to the Guide. You may keep your choice a secret from the party.

Choose one of the following things. It will eventually become true, as you have foreseen. The creature will sacrifice their life to try to save someone or something. The creature will betray their allies at a pivotal moment in pursuit of a hidden agenda. The creature will acquire a meaningful amount of power and authority over a people or place. The creature will do something so morally ruinous that they become widely known for their misdeed. The creature will do something so morally good that they become widely known for their righteousness.

Here, you may seek and find a single truth by posing a question to eternity itself. The Guide will give you a fulsome and accurate answer to your question. If you explain why you are asking the question, the Guide will do their best to answer in a way that satisfies what you were trying to discover.

If you explain that you asked because you want to reunite with them, the Guide might tell you exactly where they are and how to get there. You must seek fact. You won't find satisfying answers to questions like "What is the meaning of life?

Your mind ages by 1 year in the week. Your mind is wracked from wrong turns in your search. You age by 10 years. Choose an additional character flaw. They stop to chat with a local squirrel, making a new friend. They speak myth, earning the favor of strangers. The Ranger is a great choice for people who want to play a skilled hunter and survivalist who thrives on the fringes of civilization. You must invent a local saying to exchange with the NPC; it can be something like "It's raining cats and dogs" or "Don't judge a book by its cover.

Then, if you ask any of these questions, the NPC will answer to the best of their ability. The song has no effect on hostile creatures. Read or sing the chorus of a song at the table and describe your performance. You may write your own or use one from another songwriter.

Choose a mood to set for your audience: bright. Hearts swell with friendly enthusiasm, sparking joyful conversations. The audience falls silent and begins a sorrowful reflection on their suffering. Zealous feelings are ignited, making the crowd noisy and excitable. You create the myth from these parts: obligation. Decide how the myth affects your target. You must roll the die to see if it succeeds. Using the obligation, say what the lesson of the myth is, like "Give refuge to strangers" or "Always be a fair dealer.

Name a central person or event. Describe a dramatic situation the person or event is famous for. Perhaps they were a missionary who fed the hungry or it was a great flood that killed many. Share the myth with your friends at the table. You may reuse a myth you have created without describing it in full.

You find enough for a single dose. The remedy cures temporary illness and eliminates poison. There must be plants nearby. Shrubs and thorny vines will emerge around the campsite to provide concealment. The shroud lasts until you leave the camp. The shroud conceals the light from a small campfire. Creatures can pass through the shroud, but they are hit for 1 HP if they push through. When you regroup p. Describe how you send your signal: it can be a smoke signal, a message you leave on a tree, or a similar act.

Within the next day, you will meet an NPC Ranger who comes to your aid. Out of respect for you as a colleague, they will stay with you until they finish helping you with a request. Your request cannot be unlimited, and they will not stay with you forever.

You can ask them to do things, but they are an independent character who will ultimately act according to their own interests and ideals. There must be plants in the area. When you ingest the edible, you embark on an inner journey over the next hour for supernatural insight. You learn who they are, but not what the secret is.

If an Invoker invites you along when using their Invoke ability p. The same rules of the Invoke ability apply to you when joining the Invoker. You are able to glimpse a weather forecast for the next few days in your region of the world. You can clap, make an animal noise, or anything else that might echo. You sense the general layout of the next three areas connected to yours, plus the layout of any passageways between these areas. The Guide will draw you a rudimentary map, noting any major features, like columns, bridges, or crevasses.

You might choose light rain, a thunderstorm, fog, a heat wave, or any other weather pattern, except for natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes. You cannot get lost in wilderness unless magic is inhibiting you. You find a reprieve that has a small amount of nourishment. You find a natural cave that offers shelter from harsh weather.

You find minor ruins, like an abandoned keep or a withered statue. You find the home of an animal or group of animals, like an otter's den. Choose one: seek. You ask the tree to search the forest. For example, you may ask to locate a specific creature, an object laying somewhere, or a location, like a cave or building. The tree will commune with its friends and then tell you where it is, how to get there, and how long it will take. You ask the tree to watch over the party. Working in concert with each other, randomness and strategy in Arkham Horror balance the structural effect of both the game and the fiction rules.

The game focuses on the town of Arkham as the site of an otherworldly occupation; Ancient Ones, who have secretly controlled humanity for thousands of years, have emerged to take over the Earth. With them are various monsters— zombies, cult leaders, vampires, etc. Playing as a band of intrepid heroes, the players move throughout the town defeating monsters, exploring environments, having encounters with the people of Arkham, opening and closing gates to the Other World, and hopefully earning Elder Signs, which can be used to seal those gates.

These Other World gates send players out of Arkham, where they are instructed to move differently or have different encounters. The different dimensions call for new sets of rules, which help determine the play of the Other World. One could change the rules for the Other World without affecting the overall universe of Arkham Horror or the larger diegetic game play.

Most paratextual board games will use characters from their original text, as do the Lord of the Rings games I discuss in the next chapter, the Walking Dead games in Chapter 3, or Star Trek: Expeditions in Chapter 5. But for Arkham Horror, the creation of unique characters leads to interchangeability within the game. Like the Battlestar Galactica game I discuss in Chapter 4 or the Game of Thrones: The Card Game of Chapter 7, the Arkham Horror franchise includes room for expansion packs that augment the play of the game via the addition of modular elements.

For example, beyond the base set, which comes with over pieces and cards, I can also purchase at least eight different expansion packs of more cards, pieces, and narrative elements, including the Dunwich Horror, the Innsmouth Horror, and the ominously titled the Lurker at the Threshold.

Being able to touch and feel these multiple components also helps create affect in players, as the tactile nature of multiple sets of games, tokens, and figures helps produce an emotional connection to the game, and a sense of completion or desire for those that collect miniatures. Unlike digital games, where the calculations and algorithms are all hidden from the player, paratextual board games rely on players knowing and understanding every rule. For instance, delaying a character is different from devouring a character, which is different again from arresting a character or making a character go insane or unconscious.

We often had to go online to see videos and other resources to aid our understanding of the rules, revealing the importance of knowing them for continued play. Relying on the automated understanding of the cult world reveals an underlying tension in paratextual board games between an element of narrative surprise and a reliance on familiar tropes.

Because players know that Arkham Horror is based on Lovecraft, they can assume that other worldly demons and monsters will appear. If monsters did not appear, the game would appear out of step with the original text. Other paratextual games reveal additional moments of automation between cult text and game: District 12, based on the Hunger Games film, does not introduce the characters of Gale, Prim, and Peeta see Chapter 6.

Rather, the players are expected to know who these characters are and why they are in certain locations, like the bakery or the woods before the game begins. Battlestar Galactica expects its players to automatically know that Cylons are bad and humans are good. Paratextual games rely on audience foreknowledge although audiences do not always need that knowledge to enjoy the game.

We say we are playing Arkham Horror even though we may use different characters, cards, monsters, locations, and even a final enemy. All game sessions of Arkham Horror look similar, but minute variations at the start make each play of the game vastly different from the others. For instance, at the beginning of the game, each player randomly draws one of sixteen characters. Each character has different attributes that change the way the game progresses, including special abilities and different skill levels in speed, sneaking, fighting, will power, lore knowledge, and luck.

Each character starts in a different area of Arkham. At the start of each turn, players can construct their own custom skill levels, and although only eight players can play at one time, the large pool of sixteen choices opens up different ways to play.

Different characters may have different backstories, so from a narrative point of view, the game may subtly shift depending on whether one is playing as adventurer and archeologist Monterey Jack who continually uncovers magical artifacts , as gangster Michael McGlen whose stamina is extraordinarily high , or as dilettante Jenny Barnes who earns money at every turn.

And ultimately, the characteristics that define each character—the amount of stamina and sanity, the special powers they possess— will influence the game play. Additionally, the first player starts the game by randomly drawing one of eight Ancient Ones who will slowly awaken as the game progresses Figure 1.

Photo by the author. Each Ancient One has different effects that change the game play—the biggest and baddest of them all, Azathoth, has an ability to attack infinitely, and thus the game is over if Azathoth awakens. He spoke much of the sciences—of electricity and psychology—and gave exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his fame to exceeding magnitude. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep, and shuddered.

And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished; for the small hours were rent with the screams of a nightmare. The rules of the game present variations that significantly affect both the narrative of and the play within the game; yet, because those rules are part of the game, the variations become the element that defines the game.

The horror of structure and unstructure If, as I have shown, algorithms guide the most basic understanding of paratextual board games, then it seems contradictory to base a complex game on the work of H. Yet, as I will show in this section, Arkham Horror uses that sense of algorithmic structure as a way of mirroring the very non rules—based mythos of Lovecraft. By relying on multiple sets of rules at once, the game creates what I have termed unstructure—a feeling of randomness generated by an unknowable structure.

Despite trying to fight back, humans find that victories are usually temporary and costly. But according to Lovecraft expert Donald R. It is not that the volumes are random and out of order, but that readers as well as Lovecraft himself have no overarching organization to guide them. This is unstructure, where randomness implies a lack of structure. There may be a basic arrangement of elements, and although we may not understand the organization, we know that there must be something underlying it.

In this sense, the Lovecraftian universe is fraught with unstructure. So immense as to be virtually sizeless, the Ancient Ones are a corpus unto themselves. But they are never consistently the same. Some Lovecraft scholars take great pains to point out which texts do, and which ones do not, fit into the larger scheme.

Is it realistic? Here is how I resolve the matter. It is entirely a question of which of the [Mythos] stories you consider any individual story to be a part of. A Game of Thrones: The Board Game must make tangible the multiple relationships between characters; Star Trek: Fleet Captains must represent the damage ships take during battle.

Cooperation within Arkham Horror allows for a greater fluidity of human motivation to become part of the game. Much of the nitty-gritty mechanics of Arkham Horror can be electronically automated through digital apps that automate dice rolling, card shuffling, and other mathematical elements.

Indeed, other Lovecraft games can be automated as well: a mobile game based on Elder Sign allows for the computer to do much of the mathematical work. All players, instead, win or lose as a group. That cooperation is mandated in the game makes the underlying structure of the game more malleable.

Each player controls one character, and all characters are bound by individual rules. But when different characters cooperate, the different rules can be enacted in multiple ways. For instance, Jenny Barnes, the dilettante, receives one dollar at the start of every turn. Keeping Jenny busy buying items might help the group as items and money can be transferred between players as needed.

He also starts the game with what is an enormous number of sanity points, 7 in total. If players are cooperating, they can use Harvey to seal gates or cast spells to combat monsters—his sanity allows him these abilities. Higher stamina allows a character to combat monsters more effectively. Dispersal of character allows the game players to cooperate and work together to use their abilities to defeat the monsters.

Here, the individual characters themselves become subsumed within the game world as components within a larger universe. Cooperation Ludifying Lovecraft in Arkham Horror 35 changes game play. The many rules that guide these characters not only help to differentiate them from one another, but more importantly, also bring the different skills that the individual team will need to defeat the Ancient One.

For example, even with a full game complement of 8 players, not every character in the game will be able to be played—there may be a noticeable absence of some characteristics. This randomness increases the level of unstructure in the game. More cooperation means a more difficult game—and more unstructure within the organizational parameters of the game.

For example, throughout the game various clues are scattered around the game board representing the town of Arkham. Clues are both a means of tracking progress in the game the number of clues corresponding to how well the team is playing , and tools that all the investigators can use to defeat the Ancient One.

A player may spend Clue tokens, one at a time, after any skill check … to roll one additional die. If too many gates are open at once, the Ancient One immediately awakens and begins his destruction of the town. Clues can be used to seal these gates. A player can spend five Clue tokens to seal the gate forever.

This is a powerful move in the game, as sealing six gates wins the game. There is no actual, textual clue as to the meaning of the Ancient Ones; rather, the Clue tokens are simulacra of information. There are no answers at the end of the game; players simply stop or do not stop the monster.

As players, we have to know that knowledge exists without comprehending what that knowledge is. Further, the character attributes help to perpetuate a sense of unstructure in the game. As characters increase speed, they must conversely decrease sneak. Ludifying Lovecraft in Arkham Horror 37 only one adjustment per turn perhaps her days as a Dilettante have left her a bit dazed? In contrast, the student Amanda Sharpe has a focus of three, allowing her to change her various abilities more often.

If Amanda fails her will check and with a one, she is likely to , she would lose sanity and possibly be sent to the insane asylum. The key Lovecraftian element of unstructure at the heart of this game mechanism is that it is unlikely that a player will know precisely which elements will need to be increased or decreased during a turn, as the events that befall one player may affect others.

We use our technology without quite understanding what it does, or where the information goes. Despite the ubiquity of new media today, many people remain ignorant of its basic functionality. New media are sufficiently advanced technologies that appear magic. Rules and story So far, I have been noting some surface elements of the game: characters, clues, tokens, attributes. Specifically, I want to look at how the rules governing turn-taking and the functionality of each phase of the turn help to define the unstructure of Lovecraft.

Each turn is divided into five phases, and each phase sees each player performing various actions. A single turn may take upward of an hour to complete. Many of the other paratextual games I discuss throughout the book have similar structures, although most are not as laborious as this. Throughout the turn, the unpredictability and random nature of elements within each of the phases present carefully crafted moments of mythos and story.

Below, I outline the phases and the actions that occur in each one in order to demonstrate how the complexity of the structured process of play deepens the underlying unstructure of the game. By increasing the chaotic randomness of the play in a measured way, each turn acts like a computerized algorithm. Phase I: Upkeep a. If Cards exhausted, then Refresh Exhausted Cards b. If player wishes, then Adjust Skills II. Phase II: Movement a. If character is in Arkham, then Arkham Movement i.

If leaving area with Monster, then Evade or Fight Monsters ii. If character ends movement on Clue, then Pick Up Clues b. If character is on first spot, then Draw Encounter Card i. If character is on second spot, then Draw Encounter Card i. Phase V: Mythos a. Open Gate and Spawn Monster i. The Doom Track Marker Advances 2.

A Gate Opens, and 3. A Monster Spawns iv. Place Clue Token i. Move Monster i. Mythos Ability—Draw Mythos Card As this outline indicates, almost every action within each phase of each turn in Arkham Horror comes with an associated uncertainty. One does not even need to know what the action actually is. Much ambiguity within the game stems from elements that generate feelings of randomness: for example, the roll of dice as to 40 Game Play whether one defeats the monster, the draw of a card revealing what encounters one might have.

The multitude of rules creates a feeling of randomness within the game. Phases III and IV demonstrate the importance of encounters within Arkham Horror not only by revealing uncertain or unstructured elements within the game, but also by continuing the storylines. Arkham Horror has twenty-seven different locations, split three each among the nine streets that line the town Figure 1. At each location, a player draws an Encounter Card that reveals a particular narrative, motive, or event that can alter the progression of the game.

Ludifying Lovecraft in Arkham Horror 41 from Lovecraftian monsters, to be sure. During Phase III, she may draw one of seven cards geared toward Rivertown, each with a different event. Wilson writes mini-narratives into the Encounter Cards drawn at each location. Seeing you, he introduces himself as Richard Upton Pickman, a painter visiting from Boston. Take his Ally card [he becomes an ally of yours]. If it is not available, [then] he teaches you an incantation instead.

Draw 1 spell. The point here is not that the Graveyard or any other location allows you to participate in the game in these various ways, but rather that building these types of different mini-narratives into the game allows for more unstructure to enter the game. However, with repeated plays, the players learn and remember the story as [Wilson] intended it. The story told within each of these locations allows the play to happen while the plot engages in a nonlinear structure.

As Costikyan reminds us, stories are linear while games are nonlinear. The encounters may reveal part of a story or may reveal no story at all. But because that game is structured so as 42 Game Play to allow nonlinear narrative expansion, the game reveals unstructure. Cult narratives already have a built-in structure—the storyworld exists and the game must be made to fit within its boundaries, however loose they may be. To ludify Lovecraft requires not just rewriting the underlying mythos, but undermining it as well.

Arkham Horror thus reveals what may be the ultimate Lovecraftian element of the game: by using structure to create unstructure, it undoes the most Lovecraftian of elements to make the game even more Lovecraftian. Although Hite concedes that many Lovecraft stories do not fit into this mold, he does argue that each follows a certain set of rules that determine the ending—good or bad, sane or mad.

When we try to harmonize all the details, we are reading the story against the grain: we are taking what was intended to be background and yanking it into the foreground. Such reliance on hybridization and concretization mirrors the Manovichian sense of automation and variability within algorithmic culture. New media rely on rules to govern their behavior, but from those rules flow multiple and various ways of interacting with technology, media, and content.

Paratextual board games reveal such interactions within analog media as well, not as separate paratextual connections, but rather as integral elements of the paratextual media environment in total. But poor Frodo was stuck. In front of him, Buckleberry Ferry heralded escape and, possibly, a chance to rejoin his friends.

But he could not cross the Brandywine River without the Ferry card. On his previous turn, Frodo had drawn that card, but he had failed to roll the requisite wisdom of twelve or greater to keep the card despite his already impressive wisdom score of four.

His friends, perhaps sensing the uncertainty of the move, had managed to avoid the Ferry via Sarn Ford and Tharbad. Fatty drew an event token and everyone huddled around the board. What horrible future awaited the Hobbits? Cooperation turns to distrust as the Fellowship starts to dissolve.

With no other options, Sauron advances: now, he is just one space away from Merry and that much closer to grabbing the Ring for himself and ending the game…. Tolkien novels, respectively. In both games, cooperation is used as a play mechanic to advance the narrative.

This cooperative mechanic lies in contrast to both a more traditional competitive style of game play and a more collaborative style of multiplayer game play in video games and MMORPGs. LOTR is based on the Tolkien book series, and has won numerous awards, including the Spiel des Jahres special award for best use of literature in a game and the Games Magazine Games honor.

It has won no awards, and no scholarly work has been written on its game mechanics, rules, play, or intertextual relationship with the original text. On boardgamegeek, The Complete Trilogy has an abysmal rating of 3. The Complete Trilogy is, despite its low rating, still reasonably popular, having sold over , units. Whereas in the first chapter of Game Play I focused on game rules, in this chapter I turn my attention to game play.

Both Lord of the Rings games attempt to place players within the narrative structure of the original texts, but by integrating the mediating influence of cooperation, the games develop a more subtle paratextual mechanic. By harnessing gaps within the cult narrative texts, both games present opportunities for players to become involved with the story.

In both games, players must develop strategies, share resources, and enable social connectivity in order to vanquish the enemy. However, the differing manifestations of that enemy in both games reflect different concerns of the cinematic versus the literate versions of the Lord of the Rings tale. In the game based on the film, one player controls Sauron while the others control members of the Fellowship, creating an explicit hierarchy among the game players and forcing competition to develop in spite of the cooperative mechanic.

In addition, the victory condition of The Complete Trilogy ultimately forces one player to be the winner. Even if everyone collaborates throughout the game, only one person emerges victorious. Sauron is instead controlled by the game rules and the team wins or loses together. This cooperative mechanic reflects the third principle of paratextual board games: Principle 3: Paratextual board games create meaning from the tension between an authorial presence and audience play; this meaning is created between player, designer, and original text.

The Lord of the Rings as Convergent Game Play 47 The first part of this chapter explores the concept of media convergence as a metaphor for understanding the different ways players can interact in each game. The notion of convergence reflects the fourth principle of paratextual board games: Principle 4: Paratextual board games use play as a specific mechanism by which players inhabit and make media their own.

I discuss the roles of cooperation and play within board games as they relate specifically to convergence culture, a manifestation of the contemporary new media environment. Play is always experiential and always lived. Board games generate play in the moment, but the instant the game pieces are put back in their box, the play of the game disappears. Paratextual board games like LOTR and The Complete Trilogy reflect this two-fold structure: there is the space of the game itself the board, the table, the pieces and the space of the cult narrative world, the space of Middle-earth.

To watch Lord of the Rings is to be a part of a bounded cult franchise, but to play Lord of the Rings is to push against those boundaries, to become both a reaction to and a reification of the rules and restrictions, structures and shapes, of the cult world.

Play is, at once, serious business and fanciful imagination. In LOTR, all five Hobbits work together to take the Ring of Power from its hiding place in the Shire to Mordor and Mount Doom, where they must throw it into the fire and keep Sauron from using its power to take over the world. In The Complete Trilogy, the Hobbits are joined by the other members of The Fellowship of the Ring as well to complete this task, although in this game Sauron sends enemies after the group to defeat them in combat there is no combat in LOTR, although dice rolling often simulates the uncertainty of encounters with game characters.

Paratextual board games demand a flexible narrative structure, for knowing the ending of the game, especially a complex one based on an already-created media narrative, may undermine the freedom a player might have for creating a new ending. Unlike a strict adaptation—wherein one might have read the book before seeing the film and is thus expecting, if not a precise matching of elements, at least some kind of fidelity to the narrative—a game invites player cocreation in the unfolding of the narrative.

We know that the Hobbits should vanquish Sauron. If the game is won, we know that Sauron will be defeated. What specific mechanisms take them to Mount Doom? What characters follow them? In a way, playing a paratextual board game is like roleplaying fan fiction; the familiar characters and settings are there, but their relationships to each other and to the plot are variable.

All fictions create alternate worlds, vast structures with variable elements. Through an examination 50 Game Play of the play mechanics of the two Lord of the Rings games, a tie between the cult narrative and paratextual game becomes clear, revealing a convergence of author, player, and game as a constituent of paratextual game play. Convergence, cooperation, and contemporary media LOTR was one of the first popular cooperative board games designed for an international audience.

In order to do this, the Hobbits have to travel through seven different stages, from the most benign their home, Bag End to the most severe Mordor, home of evil Sauron. Along the way various events occur that require the Hobbits to use different skills fighting, friendship, traveling, and hiding to overcome great odds.

By cooperating, players can combine their skills to great effect. This was not achievable by merely reading the book itself. I also needed to know what excited the fans, and what was at the center of their discussions.

Other paratextual games I discuss in this book are cooperative—Arkham Horror and Star Trek: Expeditions, for instance—and some use aspects of both cooperation and competition in the game play—The Walking Dead: The Board Game and Battlestar Galactica, for example.

In a contemporary neoliberal context valuing individual self-interests over communal well-being, the play of contemporary games seems to be focused intensely on hierarchical values of winning and achievement. This inclusive rhetoric foregrounds the experience of play as both feminist and communal, with an emphasis on the social context of cooperation instead of competition. For instance, sports games often value cooperative play instead of individual achievement but a neoliberal sports mentality often tends to reward the individual player for the deeds of a group effort.

Indeed, Sutton-Smith points out that: empirical support for this [cooperative play], and therefore for the importance of distinguishing the rhetorics of community from those of power, comes from the anthropological record of the great dominance of cooperative forms of play over competitive forms in most earlier tribal societies.

In smaller human groupings 52 Game Play where cooperation is essential for survival, it is more likely that cooperative games will be more important than competitive games. One might well argue that large-scale cultural ideology has had less of a hand in the construction of games over time: after all, cooperative games in one form or another have been popular at different times, in different societies, and with different types of players.

For my board game group in particular, a gaming society of sorts, the socialization of play is one of the most compelling elements. Whether or not the game has a competitive mechanic, we cooperate throughout, often offering help and advice to players who are new to a particular game, or talking through rules for everyone in a supportive and encouraging environment. The culture of industry therefore can be seen as spilling over on to the creative process of consumption.

There must be a certain level of adherence to an original text and at the same time a deviance from that original text in order to create a unique gaming experience. In fact, this deviance lies at the heart of all paratextuality: as Gray notes, while a paratext is distinct from an original text, it must also be like that text, as well as part of that text. Through this tension between these two concepts, the paratextual board game generates its unique play mechanics. In terms of active consumptive behavior of paratextual board games, both the Lord of the Rings games highlight how collaboration reflects convergence ideals.

The game is split between two boards; on one board, individual Hobbit markers move ever closer to Sauron. The other board is a representation of the events and stories that happen in one of four locations in Middle-earth. In one of our games, for example, my board game group gave the characters on the corruption board personalities perhaps unintended by Knizia, but no less a part of the game mechanics.

We would speak in the voices of our characters, identifying when they were nervous, or excited, or brave; Sauron was singleminded and intent on destroying us. The conflict board allowed for more Figure 2. The Lord of the Rings as Convergent Game Play 55 cooperative discussion to occur between us all while making decisions as a group about how to progress, whom to save, and whom to leave behind.

We became co-constructors of our narrative: this most dramatically manifested when our game literally depended on the results of one dice roll, which sadly, we lost. The Complete Trilogy also functions as an example of convergence culture, especially as it relates to audience empowerment. In The Complete Trilogy, the game board is a giant map of Middle-earth. The fluidity of the game is uninterrupted by breaks in the action, as characters might be constantly moving around the static board.

Aragon and Boromir were constantly getting into scrapes, and Frodo was antisocial and only wanted to mope. To reflect this, I introduced a general tile deck with a series of events that affected the players directly. But it also demonstrates contestation through the different order in which events can occur, and through the fact that characters can act completely out of character compared to their cinematic counterparts.

Also absent is Faramir, a major character from the second film; and even though Boromir dies in the first film, he remains a playable character throughout the game. But convergence goes beyond technology The Lord of the Rings as Convergent Game Play 57 and reflects a larger cultural paradigm shift. Board games by their very nature represent a convergence of player-generated meaning and authorial meaning.

Paratextual board games take this convergence even further, uniting player, author, and cult texts as one. Perhaps the rise in the popularity of complex paratextual board games lies in the fact that they represent, at least in part, aspects of the convergence culture that we see around us. First, we see this convergence evident in the feeling of community generated by both games. Conversely, in the cinematic The Complete Trilogy, the players all take turns, including the Hobbits, and the characters can find their own routes through the game board to defeat Sauron.

Second, we see this convergence evident in the different styles of gameplay progression within each of the games. The stages are represented in the instructions as well, which offer short synopses of these important narrative events. In contrast, The Complete Trilogy game play is broken into different turns between Sauron and the different characters. Both these breaks contradict the feelings of community that undergird both texts. By the same token, the evil forces themselves form a type of alliance—perhaps not as strongly bonded as our heroes, but certainly the antagonists collaborate in their attempt to destroy the Fellowship of the Ring in both texts.

There is no individual winner—the group scores points as a whole. Their discussion focuses on the mechanics of cooperation and how those mechanics might apply to video game development. While an interesting and useful assertion in terms The Lord of the Rings as Convergent Game Play 59 of digital play and video games, their assessment largely ignores the underlying paratextual connections between the game and the book series upon which it is based.

At times, however, their discussion does hint at such relationships. For instance, in a narrative description of their own game play, they note how: the game was won; every player rejoiced. Pippin sacrificed his life to save Middle-earth. If such a moment of self-sacrifice is interesting as a story, it is even more engaging when you are the one to make the decision in the game.

Furthermore, for Zagal, Rick, and Hsi, a particular pitfall of collaborative games is allowing one player the ability to make all the decisions for the team. LOTR, they argue, undercuts this pitfall by giving the characters: different roles and abilities so that optimal game-play depends on good coordination and decision making on the part of the players. Lord of the Rings gives different abilities to each of the hobbits so that each hobbit has a useful role to play at various points in the game.

That the game deviates from the novels is a design choice, and may not be as interesting as the fact that this deviation actually augments the convergence of book and game. For instance, the corruption board and the conflict board each reflect aspects of the narratives. Each Hobbit can move independently on the corruption board, but they all move as one unified group on the conflict board. This actually differs from the narrative of the books, in which the Hobbits are off doing their own things at different times.

As the player playing Sauron also has at his or her disposal the ability to control hordes of different enemies spread throughout the board, the competitiveness of the game is further emphasized as the end of almost every turn results in a battle between characters. At the same time, moments from the game, especially those related to the movements of the non-Sauron characters, deepen a feeling of fellowship as the play commences.

In other words, on my turn, I could move both Frodo who was the character I was playing and Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Faramir, Gandalf, or any of the other characters that were not being played by my friends. Even Boromir can survive for the entirety of the game! Such deviance from the original film again coheres the players with the game.

Like the film, the game offers characters a chance to explore Middle-earth in different paths. At the same time, however, it is also possible to play the game completely differently from what the original film trilogy offers: players can chart their own paths and journeys through the multi-stage game board, using the game play to write their own stories of the cult world.

Such play between the top-down authority of the cinematic narrative and the bottom-up freedom to enact consumer-created narratives drives the convergence within these two games. Gameplay progression One element of the Lord of the Rings books and films that is difficult, if not impossible, to replicate within the confines of a board game is the expansive world and long-form narrative enacted by each original text.

The Peter Jackson film series comprises three films which, when originally released, formed a block over nine hours long, and when re-released on special edition Blu-Ray, formed an extended version over 12 hours long. Ludic narrative is a complicated issue, just as adaptation of a narrative from one medium to another is. There are seven separate stages in the game, each one depicted as a ringed icon on the corruption board.

These three locations match similar locations in the books, as the Hobbits make their way through Middle-earth toward Mordor to destroy the Ring. They can also claim friends and help through other tracks, like the Friendship track on each conflict board. The point here is not just that the game matches scenes and chapters from the books, but also that after each of these seven stages, there is a deliberate break in the action.

Each conflict stage is difficult to complete and the Hobbits do not all necessarily emerge out of it unscathed. Often, one or more of the Hobbits will have become slightly more corrupted and closer to dying, and many times making it through a stage will require sacrificing cards or will depend simply on the roll of a die. Making it through a stage in the LOTR game, therefore, becomes a stressful event.

In contrast, there are fewer gameplay breaks within The Complete Trilogy, and it is harder to anticipate the structure of the game: is one complete turn a stage? Is it when the Sauron player moves? Such indeterminacy of breaks undermines the structuring of the narrative in the Lord of the Rings film, which as Smith and Matthews assert, is very closely aligned with that of the book series.

That is, the game may aesthetically match characters and situations from the films through the character cards and tokens, but given the actual game play, the lack of structure forces players to imagine the game in a different type of world: one determined by a different set of rules.

This is playing with the story. This convergence allows for unique methods of interacting with classic texts. Paratextual games can offer a playful introduction to a media text, but they can also allow players to revisit and reimagine that media text. For example, in the next chapter I examine two games based on The Walking Dead, each of which encourages players to encounter the narratives afresh. Convergence culture, while a key shift in contemporary media studies, is not without its criticism.

One of the major issues with the utopian ideals of a convergence culture lies in the fact that human beings rarely exist in perfect harmony with each other or within the culture they reside. Although my game group tended to get along during the games, tensions would occasionally arise, especially when discussing the finer points of some of the more arcane rules of The Lord of the Rings as Convergent Game Play 65 these complex paratextual games.

It could also stem from the different levels of Tolkien knowledge each of the players in my group brought to the table. But at the same time, as Jane Chance writes, each character necessarily has different characteristics within the book series as well, so perhaps the convergence here is a way of enveloping different elements of the book with the game.

For The Lord of the Rings, the Tolkien estate and New Line Cinema seem to have had little hand in the production of these paratextual board games. In a discussion at Capricon , a science fiction convention in Chicago, game designer Kenneth Hite noted that, beyond finding authorized images, media corporations tended to let game designers have free rein in creating paratextual board games.

One of the key lessons that paratextual board games reflect in this system, as demonstrated by these games, is that communities have the power to perform their own versions of media franchises. Meaningful play can be framed as social phenomena.

Both the films and the novels continue to excite thousands of fans. That the paratextual board games based on these texts can represent a convergence of community and consumerism through the metaphor of collaborative game play reveals just one of the many important media elements contained in the relationship between paratextual board games and their original texts. Sooner or later, you gotta make a move. The Governor, The Walking Dead Glenn glances over his shoulder as he makes his way through the hexagonal landscape surrounding Atlanta, Georgia.

His backpack, lighter than it was before he used the last of his ammo to blast a couple of Walkers, clings to his sweaty shoulders. Glenn tries to control his breathing in case the Walkers hear, so he slows—decides to walk two spaces instead of three. Although tired and hungry he ran out of food three turns ago , he continues onward to the mall, ever vigilant to avoid the line of hungry zombies following his every footstep.

She is just ten steps away from her final destination, when a Walker pops out of the sewer and attacks her. Her defenses down, and with too few supplies to use, Lori succumbs to her undead assailant and falls. As she dies, she can feel the change coming … her body and mind shifting to turn her into a zombie. Both Walking Dead versions tell a similar story set within a zombie apocalypse.

Unlike the cult world of Middle-earth in Lord of the Rings, the world of The Walking Dead is much more based in a contemporary reality; like the Lovecraftian world described in Chapter 1, it is a world like ours, but different because of the appearance of single-minded, undead antagonists. This world extends to multiple paratextual products, as diverse as books, action figures, jigsaw puzzles, video games, clothing, and even pet accessories for the canine fans.

As paratextual board games, both the Walking Dead games use the same characters and diegetic elements, such as 68 Game Play food and guns, to reflect their antecedent text. But both games use their zombies in different ways, creating distinctive approaches to paratextuality. As I have been discussing in previous chapters, paratextual board games offer unique perspectives on contemporary media theories.

The paratextual relationship developed between board games and media products augments contemporary notions of media complexity and cohesiveness. In , both Z-Man Games and Cryptozoic Games released these board games based on The Walking Dead, one for the graphic novel series and one for its television adaptation, respectively. Both games reference their core text in the artwork and both develop from an explicit association with the requisite text of each medium.

The game based on the graphic novel, The Walking Dead: The Board Game is a complex game using multiple dice, cards, and character options to develop a play experience that, I argue, transmediates the emotional pathos experienced by the characters in the graphic novel. Pathos is generated by affective actions happening to a character in a media text, the feeling of connection between character and player. In its attempts to transmediate pathos, the graphic novel board game here abbreviated as WDGN develops gameplay affect.

In this sense, the WDGN generates unique player pathos, opening up the definition of transmedia storytelling to include player affect as a constituent element. In contrast, The Walking Dead Board Game is a relatively simple board game played to mirror the narrative experience of the show.

The fact that the television board game here abbreviated as WDTV reflects the narrative trajectory of the television show presents an adaptation of the narrative rather than a transmediation of pathos. In other words, each game based on the Walking Dead franchise approaches the source material differently, WDGN taking a character-centric approach, and the WDTV taking a narrativecentric approach.

This seemingly minor shift heralds a major change in studies of transmediation and paratextuality. The existence of these two board games, each based on the same larger narrative structure but developed for two different media, offers a relevant opportunity Transmedia Pathos and Plot in The Walking Dead 69 to investigate alternate versions of transmediation the spread of narrative information across multiple media texts and adaptation the translation of one media text into a different medium within nominally similar media texts.

However, in our rapidly converging media environment, the relationship between games as ancillary products to a narrative core franchise generally problematizes conceptions of transmedia narrative coherence. Rarely can media-based board games influence transmedia narrative development. If games are not narratively consequential, can they even be considered transmediated? Transmedia games require the active participation of the audience as well as key attributes of the core medium.

In other words, while players of games must actively generate their own meanings from the game, each paratextual game benefits from the particular affective experience of the original text as well. But this process relies on a conception of transmedia that develops interactively from both author and audience, both creator and player. A structural analysis of narratives reveals that different aspects of a narrative can be transmediated in different ways, rather than from a strictly story-oriented perspective.

Some of these aspects include static existents, like character, setting, or plot. Other aspects would fall under what Marie-Laure Ryan calls a more dynamic category, including the development of character relationships. Both games play on their connections to their core text, but do so in radically different ways.

By participating in the games, the player experiences a level of pathos engendered by the larger the Walking Dead narrative structure. Each game approaches pathos differently, and the relationship between the players and the characters becomes less grounded in the overall the Walking Dead narrative than in the relationships between the characters themselves.

The players find themselves discovering that same connection. This is transmedia, but it is not a general transmediated narrative—it is a transmediation of affect, of deep and experiential emotion. This connection between player and character affect establishes a sixth principle of paratextual board games: Principle 6: Paratextual board games rely on mixing familiar characters and unfamiliar characteristics to facilitate player investment. First, I will discuss transmediation as it has traditionally been applied to narrative.

In trying to transmediate the television narrative, the WDTV ends up downplaying the character-based affect generated by the television series in favor of focusing on plot-driven narrative adaptation. Finally, I will conclude with some observations about the future of transmedia and what this might portend for further studies of paratextual board games.

Transmedia pathos In the previous two chapters I have looked at the way rules and play can govern modes of game design and mechanics in terms of paratextual board games. Culture is, in turn, a way of understanding the larger context in which the games sit. Transmediation describes the spread of narrative information across multiple media outlets. While board games most overtly problematize narrative coherence, they also expand, deepen, and augment the narrative world through individual player associations with the core text.

The game does not mimic the plot of the film, the text upon which it is based. Each franchise entry needs to be self-contained enough to enable autonomous consumption. As Edward Branigan notes, viewer emotional response to a narrative often develops from interpreting multiple associations between these dynamic elements. Both games are based in the Walking Dead universe, in which reanimated corpses walk the Earth and slowly chase the protagonists. In WDGN, the characters inhabit a geographic area surrounding Atlanta, Georgia, and can use resources like guns to kill hordes of zombies or food to heal after being attacked.

Players can also run away from zombies, which they end up doing most of the time. The end goal of the game is to scout three locations—for example, the airport, the football stadium, the motel, the campsite—and complete different challenges at each location.

Challenges include killing a set number of zombies while maintaining a certain level of supplies. Often, one player has to have more supplies than other players do in order to complete a location. WDTV imagines a different type of Walking Dead world, as the characters from the television series walk through the streets of Atlanta encountering zombies and fighting them.

Players fight zombies using supplies they can find, including guns, ammunition, and melee weapons like axes. If a character succumbs to zombie attack, he or she turns into a zombie and can attack the other players. Both Walking Dead board games attach to their original text in multiple ways. For Marie-Laure Ryan, two different types of transmedia storytelling exist. That is, the core narrative grows over time as new products are added. Star Trek started as a single television series, but over time and without a deliberate game plan set in motion from the start has developed into multiple television series, films, graphic novels, toys, and other franchise elements, including games Star Trek: Fleet Captains and Star Trek: Expeditions.

In the WDGN, we travel to locations, the airport for instance, that the characters in the graphic novel do not. The story that the comics tell is not the same as that told on television or in cinema. And the two Walking Dead games make this adaptation more different still, as the WDTV is itself an adaptation of an adaptation.

Board games are rarely analyzed in terms of transmediation, although many canonical definitions of transmedia describe video games as one of the main nodes in the storytelling network, perhaps because of the convergence of technologies video games engender. In contrast, the physicality of board games tends to limit them to nonhyperdiegetic roles in narrative, as the expansive worlds of video games or of cult narratives generally are difficult to replicate in physical and tangible spaces.

If video games reflect a more spatially oriented focus on transmediation, board games complicate this narratological notion. The dynamic components include physical events that change the items or mental events that give those items significance. Static elements remain stable from one text to another. Arkham Horror will include the town of Arkham. It would be unusual to have a Walking Dead board game that did not in some way feature zombies.

Dynamic components can change the trajectory of the particular iteration of the narrative within the specific text; in the comic, as I mentioned, antagonist Shane dies very early on in the narrative, but in the television series, Shane survives far into the second season. Similarly, the way zombies are dealt with in both games highlights how this static element can become dynamic.

In the WDGN, the zombies spawn after every move and continue to swarm the board. In the WDTV, the playable characters themselves can transform into zombies when they die in the game. Rather than populating the board, zombies become playable characters themselves. The WDTV does not develop its dynamic elements, focusing instead on reflecting the plot of the show. What makes the Star Wars storyworld distinctive is not the plot but the setting.

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