In my last post exploring the Penned to Good Society game jam, I talked about the many supplements that can deeply change your game. This time, I’ll be going through desire, relationships, roles, rule modifications and reinterpretations and more! These aren’t intended to stand on their own or add a new element to gameplay, but rather to be used in place of or added to materials that already exist.
I’ve sorted the jam submissions I’ve discussed by category, that they might be of more use to anyone looking for Good Society resources. Within the category, I’ve discussed each in the order they were entered into the jam.
- Part 1 – Full expansions (in this blog post)
- Part 2 – Supplements (in this blog post)
- Part 3 – Desires, relationships, roles, rules modifications and reinterpretations (this one!)
Part 3 – More good stuff!
Alternate Magic Table for Good Society by Misha Grifka Wander
Have you ever wanted your magic to just…work the way you intended? The Alternative Magic Table reframes magic use in for Pride, Prejudice & Practical Magics (or any other expansion or hack that uses magic) to allow just that.
Its key changes are twofold: firstly, it removes the questions, and secondly, you can no longer receive a resolve token for your magic to go wrong. The result is a simpler table that is very intuitive. Magic with a minor or temporary effect on the story costs one resolve token, given to the affected player if relevant. Magic with a significant effect on the story costs one resolve token, and the player must sacrifice something important to their character.
An interesting result of this table, noted by the creator, is that players no longer have influence on each other’s spells through questions or prompts. The results of your magic are (resolve token negotiations aside), entirely for you to decide.
Mean Magic by Michelle Y. Kim
What if you prefer your magic darker and more unnerving? Mean Magic replaces the standard table of magics with a malevolent black magic that demands a price. Alternative magic collaboration choices are given, with evocative options, such as a magic that is primal, intuitive, spontaneous, raw, or perhaps one that will cost your memories, knowledge, shards of your soul.
The table of magics itself works the same way, but with very different questions that feed into this supplement’s eerie themes. There is also an option for group magic, where players must collectively spend one resolve token for each character involved. If the tokens are paid, the magic succeeds, if not it fails. Either way each participant must answer a question, and the answer is likely to be strange and dangerous. One thing I love about group magic is that players can offer additional resolve tokens to ensure success – but with a price attached. The nature of that price can be negotiated with the group.
Court Me by Michelle Y. Kim
Court Me bills itself as a Good Society supplement for lovers and schemers, and it couldn’t be more right. It adds new desires and relationships for Penned to Good Society games that blend love and manipulation, a great combination for a game that is fundamentally about what we mean to each other.
The new relationships range from the very flexible (e.g. Newlywed), to the very specific (e.g. Guard) , but despite this it’s easy to see how most of them would be at home in most PtGS games. My personal favourite (for the drama) might be Predestined Rivals – “the giver and taker of this card are enemies by legacy.”
The desires themselves appropriately evoke courtly drama, with options such as “Break up a match that would be disadvantageous to you” and “woo your rival to secure their resources.” What I really appreciate about these desires is that they all have stakes, and they all have a relationship at their heart (I talk more about what makes a good desire here). I’d love to give them a go!
200 Word Society / Traversing the Grid of Infamy by happy birthday
200 Word Society and Traversing the Grid of Infamy are two micro-games that speak to each other. They break Good Society down to its barest bones, and encourage you to have a go anyway. In doing so they almost function as a commentary as to the core essence of the game.
200 Word Society compresses Good Society into four concepts: Collaboration, characters, phases, and cycles. Perhaps the most fun suggestion comes in the form of phases – the game asks you to “decide on the format of the next one (such as epistolary, artbook, concept album).” In doing so it contemplates infinite phase formats to enjoy!
Traversing the Grid of Infamy is a character creation and exploration method framed entirely through reputation, rumour and scandal and reputation tags. The game starts you with two tags, and nothing else about your character. You then gossip freely until interesting rumours emerge. When these arise, they are assigned a tag and allocated to the character. When a character has three of a kind, something terrible or wonderful happens to them. It seems like an entertaining way to generate some very scandalous characters.
Simple Society by Luiz Paulo Ferraz
Simple Society outlines rule changes for a pared-down version of Good Society that is perfect for short games. Good Society hits its sweet spot in the 3+ session range, but it can still make a satisfying one shot, however sometimes its longer term mechanics get in the way.
Simple Society quickly identifies the mechanics that can bog the game down in a short game (reputation, too many connections, and rumour and scandal), and suggests ways to skip or pair them down without impacting the balance of the game. It’s a great way to get people playing faster and pack more story into a short time.
The Revenant by Behak
Sense, Sensibility & Swordsmanship has many mysterious masked identities to choose from, but one kind of character it doesn’t leave space for is the Count of Monte Cristo type – the revenge driven anti-hero who walks the line between righteous and villainous. The Revenant does an excellent job of introducing this character type to the game.
One thing that’s immediately notable about the Revenant is the way it turns the idea of a masked identity on its head. For this anti-hero, the obsessive revenant is their true identity, and their civilian identity is little more than a persona. The fun in this is evident immediately – the revenant can play fast and loose with their assumed civilian identity, while their masked identity reveals their true self. This is reflected in the Revenant’s spin on the revealed conditions, which are very interesting. This masked identity would make a really powerful addition to a drama tone game of Swordsmanship, and could easily slot into the Outlaw’s Revenge, or Bounty Hunter’s Revenge playsets.