Monday, November 10, 2014

Surreal Heroine

Here is a setting hack for Heroine or Dangers Untold, in case you want to tell a more surreal story.


The easiest way for a Narrator to add a sense of surrealism to the story is by Challenging the Heroine and Companions in ways that match thematically with the story you're trying to tell.  In Heroine, Themes are inspirational tools for the Narrator. Whenever you are trying to figure out what sort of problems to throw at the other players, choose one of the themes and build a Challenge that reflects it. To make a surreal story, full of surreal Challenges replace some or all of the default Themes, Fear, Confusion, and Selfishness with the following:
Fluidity – places, people, and objects around you move and change shape. They may also change size. There is not always a clear path between two places, even if they are next to each other.
Perplexity – Some events around you are frustratingly hard to understand. If you continue to try to figure out certain things, you will become more and more frustrated.
Causality – your choices, and the choices of other thinking beings have serious, lasting consequences. When someone acts, things happen. These things can help or harm you.

Be Successful

The easiest way for the Heroine to add some surreal elements to the story is by describing her successes in a more thematic way. In a surreal game, when you use the move Be Successful in to overcome a Challenge, describe your success using one of the following:
Step through the Wall - You move to a new location, even if there was no obvious door
Meet the Dragon - Someone new and strange appears. This new creature draws everyone's attention for a moment
Juggle the Walls - Something bizarre happens, and it benefits you or makes you look awesome. You may briefly describe what happens.

Don't Be Human

Companion players have the most flexible role in the game. You do not really need any special rules in order to fit in well with a surreal story. Just take your cues from the Heroine's introduction scene and, if you want, wait to see what locations the Narrator uses for the first chapter or two. You can use these locations as further inspiration for a surreal Companion.
For the sake of symmetry, here is one new rule for Companions in a surreal game.
Don't Be Human - You may not choose to play a human being as a Companion in a surreal game.

Photo courtesy of 
carriecha on Flickr

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