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Complication • 2017 rpg

Lauren Amber • no link

A quick, competitive storytelling game for two people.
Needed: playing cards


Sit across from each other with a shuffled deck of cards between you. The younger player establishes the scene and at least one character, “The camera opens upon...”/ “Once upon a time….”  Do not yet introduce plot or problems.
Now take turn drawing cards, one at a time, face-up.

(BLACK cards are scene cards). Expand upon the scene by adding detail or characters.  Continue until a RED card is drawn; now the game changes.  

(RED cards are complication cards). Introduce a new problem or obstacle. Describe how things become worse. Continue until a BLACK card is drawn.

(Now BLACK cards are solution cards). Describe a solution that ties up all loose ends and resolves all complications.

- If you cannot describe a satisfactory solution, pass.  The story continues. 
- If the other player draws a RED card, they add a new complication and the story continues.
- If a BLACK follows a successful BLACK, the story has reached its end. Mark a point for yourself.  Start again, “Once upon a time…”

Play to 5 points, or whatever. 


Alternately: Flip a coin/roll a die.  Heads/evens= BLACK.  Tails/odds= RED. 

Author Comments

Shout out to my wife for getting drunk with me and helping invent this little nugget. Also to Party of One Podcast’s Jeff Stormer for getting me excited about duet play.

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