Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

A Clearer Idea

I posted a quick summary to my GT Project page that kind of surprised me: I wrote down what seems to be a basic game structure without consciously knowing I had that worked out already. I’m rewriting it here for comments:

Grand Tour: A Game About Traveling is meant to be a light-hearted, fun game of shared storytelling focused on creating the experience of traveling on a tour, whether it is pre-packaged or custom-made, real or imaginary. Players take the role of Travelers, and together they create Tour, engaging in a group dynamic where one player narrates an event in the tour and other have the option of accepting the event, adding a fact to it, or throwing a complication. The object of the game is to go through the tour, racking up Memorability points without getting Burnt Out or having more Stress than you started with.

Next step is answering the Big 3, something I hope to start doing during the weekend or by Monday (ironically, I sometimes have more time to work on this stuff on weekdays than on weekends).


June 15, 2007 - Posted by | Grand Tour


  1. Daniel, this summary evokes a very clear image for me, which is great. I’m reminded of a very hot day in Geneva last summer, when our failed attempt to get to the Red Cross Museum before it closed nearly caused our group to come to blows. Fortunately, wine and crepes saved us.

    Which is to say, I think you’re on the right track.

    Comment by ptevis | June 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. My party had a thematically-similar day in Paris that will make for the perfect example of play once I get it done. In essence, if I can replicate the events of the day using the game mechanics, I know I got it. Same with yours. 🙂

    Comment by Daniel M. Perez | June 15, 2007 | Reply

  3. I had a similar thing happen with my traveling buddy on our second-to-last day of a five-week trip in the UK (to be fair, three of the weeks we planned to split off, which is probably why it didn’t happen earlier). We shouted at each other over, well, I don’t even remember, and separated to cool off some. Maybe we were lost or just cranky, who knows.

    That would be interesting to replicate from a storytelling perspective, but what I’m like to see is how telling that could be fun. This is a case where I’d like to see re-creating the story but not immersing myself back in that experience, if you understand what I mean.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 15, 2007 | Reply

  4. So far, everything in this game is… kinda generalizable to Story. Like, everywhere the word Tour comes up, you could plug in Story and the game would be the same. And that is, of course, a big pointer to what’s gonna be cool in this game, but it also poses a problem, in that the game still isn’t really about travel. There’s nothing here so far that could only be about traveling the world.

    Yeah, big talk from someone who’s just posted the most generic RPG engine imaginable, but still.

    Maybe the problem is that traveling the world doesn’t get me all that excited. I mean, I’ve never done it and if I did that might change everything. But what’s going to be in this game that’s going to make me want to travel the world?

    Or, as evidenced by all the stories here about nearly coming to blows, what’s gonna make me want to avoid it?

    Comment by misuba | June 15, 2007 | Reply

  5. It will come with a free round-the-world ticket. 😉

    You do bring up good points, Mike, in that all the thinking I’ve done so far is about getting an idea of mechanics. The Travel part so far comes in the thematic wrapper around the mechanics, but I do want to find ways to insert Travel into the mechanics, too.

    I’ll be honest, right now I kinda want to have a good idea of the skeleton I’m gonna be using so I know where the muscles (the Travel thematic elements) are going to go.

    One of the possible drawbacks of the game is precisely what you mention: while I think (I hope) the game will be fun in its own right, I believe it is people who have traveled who will really hook into it. That said, I want the game to awake that sense of adventure in people, to make them want to travel. The “bad day” stories are part and parcel of most trips, and people do tend to retell them a lot because once they’ve passed they’re funny, but there are also great stories of being amazed and humbled and euphoric that only come when you are on the road, away from your comfort zone, discovering parts of yourself you were not even aware were there before.

    Now I just need to find a way to capture all that in rules.

    Comment by Daniel M. Perez | June 15, 2007 | Reply

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