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Masters of the universe • 2017 rpg finalist

Alex White •

You are all investment bankers. You each start with 3 coins, and you choose one of those coins and place it under your hand, with either heads or tails showing.

One person starts as the lead banker and tosses a coin. When it lands, everyone reveals their hands. Anyone who guessed correctly keeps their coin. Anyone who guessed incorrectly has to pass their coin on to the next person to their right who guessed correctly. 

The person with most coins at this point is the new lead banker. Everyone takes a turn to praise the lead banker for their skill and cleverness. The person who is most effusive, clever or funny must be rewarded with one of the lead bankers coins.

The process is then repeated until only one player has all the coins.

Anyone who loses all their coins in a round is out of the game and narrates the story of their downfall.

The last player with all the coins is declared the Master of the Universe.

Author Comments

The concept is that much of the stock market success people enjoy and get feted for is actually luck. The setup here is that random chance is going to make one player get wealthy, and everyone gets to praise them for their ‘skill’ and have fun with their own demise.

Judge Comments

Masters of the Universe is not a He-Man RPG. It is instead a parody game about banking and economics. The mechanics for the game are purely luck based, a literal flip of a coin, used as commentary on the seemingly random and often lunatic world of the ultra-wealthy Wall Street elite. Not being a part of that world, I have no idea how representative this game actually is, but it was a delight to read an excellent example of a game as social and political satire. I loved the humorous writing and despite the lack of a “real” game, it stuck out as what I believe this contest is all about. - Armand Kossayan

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