Barbarians have invaded from the North! The Black Iron Brigade gathers to push back the invaders to the mountain pass from whence they came. One player is a Traitor, determined by card draw (if Joker). Each player: - Commands a unit of cavalry, archers, swordsmen or spearmen ---- Give a name, short description to the unit's origins (race, culture, etc). - Starts with one Artifact of Trust, preferably a real item ========================================================================================== Five Encounter Cards are placed face-down, representing the path to the main barbarian host. Encounter types are: Hearts: Villages. Describe your passage. Spades: Battles. Suggest a strategy. Clubs: Crossings. Suggest a way to cross. Diamonds: Uneventful. Share campfire stories. Players vote for best story every encounter; winner earns an Artifact from a pile. Also, players can give Artifacts to other players whose stories they liked; describe the Artifacts and why you give them. ========================================================================================== The Traitor reveals themselves on the last Encounter. Players who have not given their Artifacts away lose them. Traitor rolls d6, describes their resentment towards one player, who also rolls a d6. Losers lose an Artifact. Continue until each player has been fought. The side with more Artifacts left wins and narrates the climax and outcome of the war.
A tentative novel idea turned RPG. I think the way it’s set up organically rewards the people who tell the best stories, but also keeps people on their toes–they don’t want to reward the traitor, but there’s a penalty for keeping your artifacts to yourself.