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Fair Verona Burns: A Tragedy in Three Acts • 2017 rpg

Adam T. Minnie •

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume.”

Collaboratively detail a setting and 10+ hot-blooded characters evenly representing two feuding factions. Detail characters: “[Name], the [adjective] [noun].”

Take turns: Frame a scene featuring any two characters and select one to roleplay. Another player roleplays the second. Remaining players may roleplay additional characters as dramatically appropriate. After every scene, collaboratively assign one-way Passions (hate, love, or exploiting) among participating characters.

Act One (scenes 1-3): No open violence. End after satisfying escalation.

Act Two (scenes 4+): End scenes when someone dies. Roleplay until someone attacks, embraces (with consent), or exploits one or more others. All involved roll 1d6. Lowest roller loses and narrates scene outcomes (ties both lose): 
  --Attack = loser dies.
  --Embrace = winner’s ally dies (probably off-screen)
  --Exploit = loser’s ally dies (probably off-screen)

Act Three (when 2-3 characters remain): Collaboratively resolve a climax and fallout. Each remaining character rolls 1d6 per Passion, and pursues the highest-rolled Passion (choose among ties). If pursued Passions match, resolve accordingly. Otherwise, characters each roll 1d6 and narrate by the winner’s pursued Passion. 

Is your tale ultimately tragic, reconciliatory, ugly, cathartic, or something else altogether?

Author Comments

The opening quote is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet 2.6.9-11 (Friar Lawrence).

This game is heavily inspired by The Final Girl by Bret Gillan with Gas Mask Games, and of course, Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare (as well as West Side Story, the Iliad, the Hatfield-McCoy feud, many mafia and crime capers, and any other story about bloody feuding, vengeance, selfish scheming, and foolish or star-crossed love. I hope you play edifying, potentially cathartic games about such things and never experience them first-hand.

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