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Toil • 2018 rpg

Kailan May • no link

Everyone has three characteristics:

Physical
(Strength/Constitution)
Verbal
(Persuasion)
Willpower
(Intelligence/Determination)

Everyone has 0 points in each as they enter the Correction Camp (CC). You get a point in one depending on why you were sent to CC:
POW = +1 Physical
Convict = +1 Verbal
Political Prisoner = +1 Willpower

A session is a multiple of days/weeks, with each day consisting of three required trials and optional scenes.

1st Trial: Labour
You'll be expected to perform labour. A total Difficulty Goal (DG) will be set that either will have to be reached by the group or separately, depending on the labour task. 

2nd Trial: Food
You'll need to get food and water. If the labour task wasn't succesful, you'll need to propose a plan to get food or water. Depending the plan will determine the DG and characteristic used. 

3rd Trial: Sleep
Sometimes it'll pass by easy. Other times, in poor conditions, you may need to perform a Physical, Verbal or Willpower check depending on the opposition. 

Each check is 1d6 + characteristic point usage - injury. Points regen per day. 3 Injury = Death. Injury sustained by some failed checks & starvation. 

Author Comments

This was based on wanting to make a one-shot RPG system based on a historical event that is known of but yet has poor representation. I picked forced-labour camps, specifically the gulags. This setting was especially useful as the conflict already exists in the setting: I.E. Trying not to be worked to death or starve. I wanted to keep with one-shot as it is also designed as a meat-grinder, especially one where players may live or die based on skulduggery by other players. Although while PvP is possible as a way to get food, times may end up harder in the Labour stage due to the total DG (which was based on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, as guards would find ways to get prisoners to “[egg] one another on. It was like this: either you all got a bit extra or you all croaked. You’re loafing you bastard—do you think I’m willing to go hungry just because of you? Put your guts into it, slob.”.

Naturally, Toil offers a lot of wiggle room for many settings, even if not historical. It is simply trying to get players to survive in a forced-labour setting, including within the power dynamics and social circles that develop within such settings.

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