Seeking Feedback on a short game [I Am Furious: Pink] about trauma and supernatural vengeance

I’ve been tinkering with this game off and on, and I think except for character sheets it’s pretty close to a final draft, but I could use some feedback if anyone’s interested.

I’ve been calling it “I Am Furious [Pink]” as a nod to the vintage film “I Am Curious [Yellow]” which has had other namesake parodies over the years.

You’ll probably find it similar in play style to “Remember Tomorrow”, if that’s something you’re familiar with, though the enemy focus in this is being binary, while the players are not.

Anyway, here’s the current full text…

For over 2,000 years, the goddesses of vengeance lay imprisoned, struggling against a magical slumber even while humanity spread across the globe. Cities grew, technology advanced, and men of power stretched their greedy fingers out over the world, manipulating governments and corporations like marionettes on strings. Then, in a moment of tragedy, the power of a goddess flared inside your brain.

They call you Fury now, though that doesn’t begin to cover it. Some hate you. Some fear you. Some will even try to hunt you. This is the story of how you became their monster.

I Am Furious (Pink) is a dramatic roleplaying game that takes your human self through the events of one horrible day and then - reborn with the power of a goddess - retraces your path to unleash vengeance or mercy on those who did you wrong.

At its most fantastic, a scene in I Am Furious (Pink) may resemble a comic book franchise, as you transform your human self into a bat-winged Fury and lash out at your enemy with a fiery whip. Where more realistic, you might play a scene where you flee from fear-mongering pundits, able to relax only with others like you. You choose the scenes you’re interested in as the game progresses.

This is a freeform game primarily for experienced players who enjoy heavily narrative games, often without a GameMaster. The rules assume that players take turns improvising the scenes for other characters, building the setting and playing the Opposition - though you can designate a GM if that’s something your group prefers. You should read through the entire game before playing, but otherwise there’s not really any ‘game prep’. It’s intentionally minimalistic, light on rules and guidance. Know that going in. Also…

Content Warning: I Am Furious (Pink) may feature oppressive corporations, fascist government forces, crime and injustice, and realistic themes revolving around violence, hate, and personal trauma. As such, it has the potential to be an emotional experience. Be sure you discuss as a group before starting so you know what opponents and subject matter you want to keep on - or off - the table.

WHAT YOU NEED TO PLAY

• Three persons to play the Furies and the Opposition forces you’ll encounter. You can add more players but, especially if you’re playing without a GameMaster, three is ideal.

• Dice. Ideally, each player should have at least one each of d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. An additional d10 or two would also be helpful. You’ll roll these dice to determine the success of your actions.

• A coin or similar token with different images on each side. You’ll use this to see how strong the Opposition’s resistance is.

• Pencils and paper. You can play the game on scrap paper, but it’s easier to use the Fury and Opposition sheets. It’s good to have several of each sheet on hand, or at least quick access to a printer where you can make more as needed. Included in this game is a sample page of pregenerated slips; print, fold, and dump the slips into a bowl to quickly pick random Opposition forces.

CHOOSE YOUR POSITION

You work in The City, a near-future urban sprawl where you can introduce whatever allegorical tales and tropes of speculative fiction you’re interested in. Create your own job or choose from these nu-slang ones: Badge (typically corporate security, police, ex-military), Courier (deliveries, ride-hailing, taxi), Drone (menial; cashier, cleaner, stacker, server, etc), Hacker (developer, programmer, etc), Journo (reporter), Star (singer, actor, online celebrity, etc), Suit (office worker), or Thinker (scientist, nurse, doctor, teacher, etc).

GATHER YOUR GEAR

You have clothes appropriate for your role, a phone, an I.D. card, a little bit of cash or credit, and a place to stay (like a house, apartment, or a friend’s couch).

You can also choose or create up to three more common items that you typically have in your possession. Only one of these can be a weapon, though you may gain a second weapon later in the course of play. If you pick a weapon now, make it match your role. For instance, a Badge might have special identification, handcuffs, and a pistol, while a Drone might have a bag of worker’s tools, a lighter, and a box cutter. If nothing springs to mind, leave them blank for now and write them down when you think of them or when the situation becomes relevant to suddenly remembering that you have this item on your person.

SHAPE YOURSELF

Pick a character name or nickname that appeals to you. If you later decide that you want to change it, go ahead. Likewise, your appearance and how you present to the world is also completely up to you. Write it down on your character sheet with as much or as little detail as you want.

BUILD YOUR STATISTICS

You have six dice, one each of: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20.

You also have six attributes:

  • Power (musculature and raw physical strength)
  • Speed (agility and athletics)
  • Drive (resistance, will, tenacity)
  • Memoria (knowledge both remembered and buried)
  • Labor (how good you are at your job or other skills)
  • Manipulation (using sexuality, charm, or logic on others)

On your character sheet, distribute each die to a different attribute. The higher the die, the better your chance of a triumphant success.

EXPLORE YOUR PERSONALITY

In any order, consider the following queries and fill in your background.

Why do you face prejudice from the status quo? For example, it might be your gender, sex, or race, it might be a medical condition, or it might be something about your life choices or appearance that angers the opposition - even if the reason for that aggravation exists only in their imagination.

Create or choose from the list three traits that indicate how you think, feel, and behave on a regular basis: Agreeable, Anxious, Confident, Conscientious, Creative, Curious, Dedicated, Depressed, Easygoing, Extrovert, Humble, Idealistic, Impetuous, Introvert, Kind, Lawful, Logical, Neurotic, Reliable, Strategic. Write these in the Traits section of your character sheet.

Which two things do you care about most? Invent two or pick two of these to focus on: Activism, Crime (with one subtype of: drugs, gangs, guns, etc), Family, Friendships, Job, Money, Power, Religion, Romance, Sex, Tech, Travel. Write these in the Focus section of your character sheet.

Why did you choose the job you have? Do you enjoy going to work each day or hate it? Why?

PICK EDGES AND HINDRANCES

Edges are positive conditions or circumstances, and hindrances are negative. You can gain or lose them during play. Some starting ones are provided here, but you can create your own whenever a scene demands it.

Choose one edge…

Concealed Carry (you have a bonus weapon hidden on your person)

Prized Possession (one of your items returns to you in the next scene even if lost or stolen)

Someone Owes You a Favor (you decide when and where this applies)

You Have Something That Someone Wants (you decide when and where this applies)

…and choose one hindrance.

Easily Distracted (if you fail a check, take -2 to your next roll)

Egoist (you always take an action to monologue before an attack action)

You Have a Debt to be Repaid (work with the Opposition to decide this)

You Have Something That Everyone Wants (work with the Opposition to decide this)

MODEL THE OPPOSITION

Your opponents are too binary for their own good; they tend to think and react in the simplest possible terms: beliefs are either right or wrong, answers are yes or no, conflicts are fight or flight, a person is good or evil - and so on.

Opponents often include archetypes like the: amoral executive, corrupt badge, activist fundamentalist, rapacious gangster, political opportunist, racial purist, predatory celebrity, or religious extremist.

Like characters, each opponent also has two foci: Career, Crime (and pick one of: drugs, gangs, guns, etc), Family, Friendship, Money, Power, Religion, Romance, Sex, Tech, or Travel.

When it’s your turn to pick an Opposition, you can create your own based on what’s happened in play so far, or randomly pick one from a bowl of pregenerated slips.

SETTING THE FIRST SCENE

All scenes involve at least one player, the Opposition, and rolling the dice. You may collaborate with other players to pick or to run the scene.

As preparation for the first scene, have each person describe a location in the city (like a home, club, back alley, elevator, office, park, or parking garage) aloud, then choose another player. Ask why their character is in that location, and what focus brings them there. Continue around the table until everyone has done this once. Now you’re ready for the first scene.

This setup generally looks something like: “[NAME] is in [PLACE] because of their [FOCUS]”. This could be a setup like “Joanna’s in the club looking for her daughter”, “August is in the parking garage to meet an informant”, or “Robin is in an elevator with a manager, on their way up to his office.”

PLAYING THE OPPOSITION

When you run a scene, you can take turns in order around the table or just let any player with a scene idea go first. When it’s your turn, pick an Opposition and another player’s character to feature in this scene. You then describe the scenery and NPCs, playing an Opposition whose end goal for each scene is to successfully place or hold a Constraint on the character.

You can create your own Constraint as appropriate, or choose from: Blinded, Burning, Drowning, Frightened, Grappled, Harmed (see Harm section), Nauseated, Prone, Trapped, Unconscious.

After you describe how you attempt to constrain the character, that player rolls the dice to see if they can resist or avoid it (possibly with a dice penalty; see Resistance Checks). If they fail, end the scene with their character being constrained. If they succeed, they decide how they want to end the scene. Either way, end the scene shortly after the conclusion of that roll, and move to the next set of players.

With every scene, you build on the narrative, treating each scene as a new chapter in an ongoing story. Use the scene sheet to keep notes on the locations, Oppositions, and any Constraints that occur; you’ll want to refer back to it after the player ascends into a Fury.

ROLLING THE DICE

Basic Checks (Unopposed)

Whenever you take an action, roll the appropriate attribute die (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, or d20) plus one 10-sided die (1d10). If you narrate how you apply one of your items in this situation, add a single d4 and roll it as well.

On some results (a total of 9 or less), the Opposition player imposes a penalty on you. On a triumph (15+), you can ask the Opposition a question and narrate your own conclusion to the scene.

  • A result of 6 or less is a bust. You fail to achieve your goal and the Opposition gives you a Constraint. You will almost certainly face an escalated situation, obstacle, or pay a price (not necessarily a monetary one) in your next scene as you try to remove the Constraint.
  • A result of 7-9 indicates a struggle. You get some of what you wanted, but you will face a minor obstacle, consequence, or price related to this situation. For instance, the Opposition may remove or suppress one of your Edges, upset your Focus, or find a way to boost themselves (such as reducing any Harm they took).
  • A result of 10-14 is a pass. Your attempt barely succeeds with few negative obstacles or consequences, if any. You may choose one: remove an existing Constraint, reduce or inflict a level of Harm, or restore a temporarily suppressed Edge.
  • A result of 15+ is a triumph. You both pass and gain a special insight into the situation. Ask the Opposition a question and they’ll answer you honestly, though not necessarily completely. Here are some questions that may provide hard truths:
    • How do you really feel?
    • Who’s behind this operation? What’s really going on here?
    • What can I do that will make you agree to my terms? How can we make a deal?
    • Who or what should I be on the lookout for?

If you fail, you’ll have to find another way to resolve the situation. You can’t repeat the exact same attempt to try for different results.

Resistance Checks (Opposed)

The Opposition always acts first but, being binary, doesn’t roll dice. Instead, they call one side of a binary token (eg, heads or tails on a coin) and flip it. If they fail, welcome to the resistance - you can make your roll normally. If the Opposition succeeds, resistance might be futile - you must remove the highest die result from your roll.

Automatic Passes

You can get an automatic pass on a check by choosing a related Edge and narrating how it helps you achieve that pass – then permanently erasing it from your character sheet. Make sure giving up this advantage is worth it. You can’t use an automatic pass to restore an erased Edge.

Harm (Dazed > Wounded > Dying > Captive)

If a successful action means that you suffer or inflict Harm, you or your opponent are Dazed. Getting hurt while you’re Dazed means you’re now Wounded. Get hurt for a third time, you’re Dying. On a fourth hit, you’re both Dying and Captive, and must find a way to escape.

With a successful check, you can use the narrative to lower your Harm condition (or someone else’s) by one level. (If you’re Captive, you’ve found a way to escape from your incarceration, but you’re still Dying, so you better get that taken care of.)

ANGER MANAGEMENT

You start with zero (0) Anger, but each time your character receives a Constraint, you mark one. (You may remove or add more levels here for a shorter or longer game, respectively.)

0 1 2 3 4 5
O O O O O O

When all Anger boxes are filled, you become a Fury - chosen of the goddesses. You receive the Blood Vengeance power and can choose two additional powers from the Fury section of the character sheet. Narrate what happens as the new powers course through you and change your body into an instrument of divine vengeance.

Once you become a Fury, your Anger is set at its maximum level and does not increase or decrease.

SHAPING YOUR FURY

As with your human form, you can choose however you want to appear, though you should still retain a humanoid size and shape. For example, your Fury nature may give you only one or two new traits (such as classical Greek bat or bird wings, canine head, glowing eyes, or snakes for hair), or you might appear fully changed from head to toe (perhaps like an Abrahamic demon with red skin, horns, hooves, and a tail).

You decide whether your new form is permanent, emerges involuntarily, or if you’re able to transform at will.

NAMING YOUR FURY

Choose a new name for your Fury. You might decide to keep both a human name and a Fury name, especially if you can switch between human and Fury at will. Alternatively, you might consider yourself to be pure Fury from now on, choosing a new name and leaving your dead name behind.

If you want a classical Fury name, Alecto, Lyssa, Megaera, Nemesis, Rhamnusia, and Tisiphone are good examples. Modern names might sound like Angela, Nocturna, Scarlett, or so on. You can even tack on a dramatic phrase “goddess of anger”, “the gatekeeper of Hell”, or “wrath of the night.”

Powering Your Fury

Add Blood Vengeance and any two other powers to your Fury.

Blood Vengeance

On a triumph result, you may set a curse upon the Opposition - but be wary, lest the Opposition find a way for the curse to immediately rebound upon an innocent victim before the scene is resolved. A curse can be almost anything you can imagine: bad luck (eg, in sports or in investments), eternal suffering (like a mutation or injury that cannot heal), or death (in a specific manner) are classic curses. A well-themed curse also ties into their focus (like a politician who is unable to lie, a racist who sees what he hates in his reflection, or a celebrity who no one can remember).

Destroyer
[still working on this one]

Flaming Sword

You can conjure a flaming blade from thin air at will; this blade deals two Harm on a successful attack.

Merciful Grace

Each time you grant mercy to an opponent (eg, do not kill or curse them), gain a cumulative +1 bonus. This ongoing bonus disappears if you kill or curse an opponent.

Unbreakable

If your Harm increases to Captive, your prison is immediately broken and your Harm reduces to Wounded.

RUNNING SCENES (FOR FURIES)

When a character ascends and becomes a Fury, they return to the location of each prior scene, but in reverse order, giving the Fury a chance to work their way back through each scene where they were constrained, wreaking vengeance or bestowing mercy on the Opposition.

When you play the Opposition versus a Fury, and the Fury imposes a Constraint or other problem, consider using the following scripts for typical enemy reactions:

Armed > Disarmed > Improvise Attack

Blinded/Burning > Flee Blindly, Scream for Help

Drowning > Drag the Fury With You

Frightened > Fight, Flee, Scream for Help

Grappled/Trapped > Scream for Help, Swear Revenge

Harmed > Scream for Help, Swear Revenge

Spared > Flee > Return in a Later Scene or Vanish Forever

For instance, an Opposition armed with a pistol may become disarmed, in which case they must improvise an attack with a weapon that may be less deadly and more awkward (like a chair).

ASCENSION

Your story ends when you have returned to each of the previous scenes and meted out vengeance or mercy to the Opposition. At that time, you can bow out with a flourish or narrate a brief epilogue where you get to close out your story. Then, with your divinity secure, you can keep running scenes and playing the Opposition for any remaining Furies.

The game ends when at least three Furies have Ascended. You can keep playing if you want to wrap up any remaining stories, or just have the remaining Furies exit to continue their story in your mind, beyond the confines of the gaming table.

Hi, It’s more difficult to read in this format than on a collaborative text editor.
Here’s my feedback: take it for what it is. I like GMless rules lite, but I have my own tastes, and - I think it comes through - my own political perspective.

“Fleeing from pundits” Spiderman smear campaign like ? I don’t picrture well

“Fascist government”: you can have that in any game, only most of the time it happens without players even knowing. How’s Furious Pink different? Is it the party uniforms? :stuck_out_tongue:
Here’s a useful read: https://www.openculture.com/2016/11/umberto-eco-makes-a-list-of-the-14-common-features-of-fascism.html

If you expect seasonned players, the “what you need to play” section seems too long to say “3+ players, a set of funky dice per player, a coin, pen&paper or computer&printer”. Players need to keep track of the scenes to revisit them: maybe state it here and provide a scene sheet?

“Athletics” makes the Power/Speed overlap stand out. Look at a professionnal sprinter. Power or Speed? Coordination maybe? Pseudo-anthropological are wonky by nature. I’d go full “story” mode. You’re a Nut that won’t get cracked / An eel that won’t get caught (although that could mistaken be for the “rhetorics” stats) / etc.

Speaking of rhetorics, I believe we’re in a problematic place criticizing fascism if we model “actively using words” as Manipulation.

Opposition models: that’s cool!

If I played the game, I’d unite the options “How do you really feel/How can we make a deal”. With the opposition we have modelled, the idea of “striking a deal” is too close to selling out. And what do I care what they feel? They tried to effing burn me! So I believe the “hunter empathy” is something cool to play with, but it should be worth it, else i’ll never pick these options.

Fury rocks! Why did you feel the need to limit their powers? For what future? Ascension is nigh!

Thanks! Those are some interesting points. I like the idea of really expanding the power limits, since there is no ‘season 2’.