Those who know me well are aware that I was active in the Indie RPG community. One of the more memorable activities I took part in back then was helping to playtest a variant of The Pool, called Snowball. (If you go to that site and download the playtests, you can read that I took part in The Green Man and Folded Magic.) A PDF for the game is also on Lulu.

The idea behind the game was fairly simple: scene by scene, play a game. Backwards. Memento style role-playing.

As the kiddies are saying these days, this idea was made of WIN.

It occurs to me that, given a multi-user blog, one could do something similar: round-robin writing of a story, in reverse. Due to the nature of blogs, this would "unfold" nicely, in that older posts would be later on the roll.

The "game" would begin with a round of Universalis, to establish a setting, story concepts, characters, and ostensible plot. However, I would limit this round severely: perhaps four elements per player, because half of the fun of Snowball was being surprised by what the other players added and what needed to be reconciled in the "previous" scene or scenes: for example, in one of the playtesting sessions, another character introduced a complication that my character's wing was broken. (I was playing a crow.)

When it is your turn to narrate, you write a short-ish description of what happens: a paragraph or two. When you're done, you use a "tag" on the post to "seed" the next narrator with a few words: the next narrator will have to incorporate that idea into the next (really, previous) scene. For example, one might leave a tag of "A Door", or "Love Interest"... just some element to make the process of narration a little more interesting/challenging.

Other rules--conventions, perhaps--might be agreed upon during play. For example, it might be reasonable to limit narrators to introducing no more than one character per entry.

And, of course, no narrator would be allowed to contradict the previous entry: their post would have to "flow" into the last post that was left, ending with a situation just as the next post begins.

...I believe there is a huge, untapped potential for Blogs as a gaming vehicle. But the mechanics for such games would have to be very, very different than normal RPGs or tabletops. Less ordered, for obvious reasons. Occasionally I roll a few ideas around on my tongue, but the "solution" hasn't yet hit me. For example, I'd love to come up with a viable way to let a game be played *across* blogs.

I'd like to try this, to get those juices flowing and try to imagine what other kinds of "mechanics" could make a blogging game work.

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