Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Here’s the mutiny I promised you

So… I have to change games again. Fortunately this will be low-impact on the group, because I’ve done precisely nothing with Bloody Subjects since I last posted.

BS (hah!) seemed a lot more glamorous and exciting to work on than OM, but in the end, they’re both the same – escapist entertainments, the content of which I don’t feel very personally connected to. Now, nothing’s wrong with escapist entertainment, but given the pressures on my life right now, if I’m gonna be putting time and energy into story-game design at all, I’ve got to fry a bigger fish. I’ve got to do something that really feels connected to me personally.

Back before Jason Morningstar ran the Undead Software Engineers in Alaska Challenge, he ran a challenge with similar rules but different ingredients. Those ingredients were 1) owlbears, 2) apiculture, 3) Mark Twain, and 4) owlbears – choose three. I chose 1, 2, and 4 and wrote my first complete draft of a supposed RPG ever. It involved owlbears who’d confused their own forest tribe for a corporation, and gathered honey from local beehives to make quota. I called it You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do.

It was meant to be an episode of The Office – starring adorable yet savage owlbears – that slowly transmogrified into Pan’s Labyrinth. More to the point, it was a completely unplayable board game with roleplaying interludes, but as I moved into playtesting, I realized the interludes – meetings with your boss – were the only parts of the game that anyone enjoyed. And they enjoyed them a lot.

Friends of friends have asked to be in on the next playtest, and here’s the kicker – these people are about as far from gamers as it gets. So that’s a big vote of confidence, besides the fact that the themes are actually something I feel a need to say into the culture.

I made a bet with myself that I’d have a playable new draft by Gen Con. Then my work went insane, so it might not happen, but hey, insane work can now be considered setting research!

I’d better get back to gathering honey… wouldn’t want management to send a memo or rip my arm off or anything.

August 7, 2007 - Posted by | News & Updates


  1. Go for it. Having non-gamers want to play a game is high praise indeed.

    Having never seen the Office, the game still sounds like something I would play, espeically if I could play the character from the Office who loves Battlestar Galactica…

    Comment by commondialog | August 8, 2007 | Reply

  2. It could be a nice small game, something fun that lets gamers who work at the office work through some of their job frustrations. I’d think the RP elements would help it stand out. I usually play Management Material for my card game work sucks moments.

    Comment by orklord | August 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. It could be, and that’d be fine as far as it went… but I am hunting big game with this motherfucker. We’ll see if I manage to make it happen.

    Comment by misuba | August 11, 2007 | Reply

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