|Tragic: The Blathering|
Tragic, The Blathering is a working title for an in-the-works card game. Gameplay is modeled to resemble a facsimile of the discourse taking place on internet boards, but the Something Awful forums. The object of the game is to become the "Proto-Goon", the ultimate expression of the general Something Awful goon gestalt. Usually this means being a generally pathetic or horrible person; take your pick. To do this, one accumulates "Goon Points" through their actions, eventually spending them to achieve the Five Pillars of Gooniness. Once all five are achieved, player becomes the "Proto-Goon" and wins the game. Currently the game is to be an entirely self-contained, complete set of cards that may or may not be expanded upon in the future.
The mechanics are shaping up to be solid, and the Forums flavor is just a lens to add context. In its basic gameplay form, T:tB is a points-scoring economic game that can either be fiercely cooperative or chaotic.
Gameplay consists of one player assuming the role of the OP (Original Poster) and the others assuming the roles of Posters. There are several color-coded decks that players draw from, each serving a different function. The OP has access to several decks, the OP deck, the Thread Deck, and when certain criteria is fulfilled, the Mod-Admin Deck. Posters have access to their Post decks and, just like the OP, the Mod-Admin Deck when certain criteria is fulfilled. The object for the OP player is to get his/her thread rated gold after fulfilling criteria and amassing points during the course of the round. The object for the Poster players is to earn points for themselves, and they may do this by choosing to either help or hinder the thread and the OP.
Thread Deck (Black): This deck is drawn from once at the beginning of the round and sets the tone for that thread. Examples will include -RELIGION THREAD-, -TRAGIC NEWSTORY-, -E/N BULLSHIT-, and so on and so forth. Only one of these cards is played during a round
OP Deck (Yellow): This is the deck that the OP actively uses during the course of the round after he/she has played the Black Thread cards. Cards will modify the "content" of the thread, such as changing or revealing certain details left out of the original OP, or will target Poster players and their posting.
Poster Deck (Blue): Poster players, obviously, will use this deck. Depending on the cards they hold in-hand, they will decide the strategy of which to approach a New Thread, choosing either to help it reach Gold or to get it Gassed.
Admin Deck (Red): The Admin deck is a deck that can alter gameplay in dramatic and unexpected ways, meant to convey a feeling of authoritative intervention. Generally, drawing from the deck will hinder a different player or help the person who drew, but not always. Certain cards will allow a player to summon a mod or admin's "attention" to the thread, which may result in a number of different results. Card examples will include -THREAD TITLE CHANGE-, -REVERSAL OF FORTUNE- -CHECKED YOUR IP, PARACHUTE ACCOUNT FOUND- and -LET'S PASS THIS THREAD AROUND THE FORUMS LIKE THE 2 DOLLAR WHORE IT IS"
Chaos Deck (Green): Drawn from at regular intervals, the Chaos Deck alters gameplay in several different ways, at varying degrees. At any moment the status quo can be upset by the right card being drawn from this deck. Examples include -NICE PHOTOBUCKET ACCOUNT, ASSHOLE- and -INTERNET DETECTIVE STRIKES AGAIN-, or any number of random affects.
Thus far, there are four card types:
Thread Cards: A card laid down by the OP at the beginning of the round. Thread Cards are general topics of interest normally discussed in some capacity on the Something Awful forums. Their content text contains simple, vague, mutable topics that can be modified by either the OP or Posters. Currently, the thread starts with a default Rating Score, which the OP can increase with select Alter cards played at the beginning of the round. T The goal of the OP and the Contributor Posters is to get Thread to a "Golden" status (though this can be changed), and conversely, the goal of the Troll Poster is to reduce the Rating Score to 0, so it becomes "Crap". Bonus points are doled out to the trolls or the contribs/OP if the thread goes Gold or Crap respectively.
Base Cards: These are cards that are played independently. They resemble a stand-alone post.
Alter Cards: These cards are played in response to Base Cards. They can modify the card's intent/content or even cause other effects to come into play, such as altering a quality photoshop into a -HAD TO BE DONE, LOL- or -FAKEPOST-, often reversing the original intent of the Poster. This can any number of mechanical effects, from stealing the player's goonpoints to getting them probated or banned. These cards can be countered and counter-countered, which will add strategy and tactical aspects to play.
Response Cards: These cards may be played in response to any other cards. Unlike other cards, Response have a cost to play, as indicated by a simple integer on their face. This begins what is called an Exchange. When played, any other player can respond in kind to the first Response card, if the value of their kind is at least 1 higher (any value above the +1 can be played as well) than the previous Response card. When either no one can play another card, or everyone willingly yields, the last person to lay a Response card tallies up the total value of all the Response cards and adds it to their goonpoint total.
Goon Points: As of now, the "Goon Points" are the main currency of the game, basically "golden manbabies", "555s" and "10bux" all wrapped up into one catch-all mechanic. To accumulate goon points you make Posts that are in tandem with your objective, modify those Posts for bigger point bonuses, steal points from other players, or simply reduce your opponents' pools through bans/probations/big red custom titles or other gameplay options. If a player is banned, they pay from their goonpoint pool to "reactivate their account" and begin playing again. If they are permabanned or probated (see below), they can "circumvent" (read: remove) their status by paying goon points to create a "parachute account", which can be in turn countered by Backseat Moderator cards (-STOP CIRCUMVENTING YOUR PROBATION, DICKHEAD user permabanned-)
Current Goon Point Functions
- Purchase Parachute Accounts to circumvent Probation/Permabans
- Big Red Custom Titles tokens for other players
- Custom Titles tokens for oneself
- Reactivating Accounts to counter a Ban
Custom Titles/Avatars: Cards that will help achieve a higher Goony Status faster. Buying three titles will bump a Poster/OP up a level of gooniness, but they are expensive. There are two types of custom titles: Standard and Big Red Text (BRT). Purchasing a BRT for another Player will remove one of their own Standard Custom Title tokens, making it harder for them to achieve the next level of gooniness through that method.
Probations, Bans, and Permabans: All three of these functions prevents a player from taking any action. A probation simply freezes a player for a set amount of turns before resolving itself, while Bans remain until the player pays the appropriate amount of Goon Points to "reactivate" their account. Permabans are rare and dangerous, must be circumvented, and the make the player vulnerable to rebannings. Reprieves are possible through certain cards, but are also rare.
Forum Rules: General in-game conduct rules that are universal, such as honoring a probation or such. A Poster can chance it and "violate" these rules and possibly suffer no consequences. However, another player can play an "Backseat Moderator" card, which specifically exist to bust another player that violates the rules, costing them turns and goonpoints.
Assistance/Obstruction Icons: On several cards, there are icons expressing the intent of the card, whether it to is helpful, harmful, or generally neutral to the thread. These are known as "Contrib", "Troll" and "Neutral" icons, and affect the amount of points spent and earned by the Poster playing them. The icons can be reversed by Modifier cards, allowing for instance a "Contrib" card to become a "Troll" card and vice versa. The costs to reverse a card's intent may require certain criteria versus being able to simply apply an Intent to a neutral card; as of now it's undecided.
Sympathy Points: These are currency units that act as credit and are worth more than standard goonpoints. However, they cannot be spent as normal, but can be gambled for higher returns of goonpoints. This mechanic is meant to emulate the widespread concept across the internet that sympathy is tangible, finite resource and should only be doled out in miserly amounts. When such cards as -NEWS STORY: RAPE VICTIM- are laid down, players can put forth sympathy points. If the criteria of the card is reached without any tangential Reply cards being played (such as -SHE WAS A MINORITY-, -SHE WAS SCANTILY DRESSED-), the gambler(s) gets big dividends of goonpoints. At the end of the round/game they are worth nothing, because withholding sympathy gets you nothing. Haw.
Pillars of Gooniness: The object of the game is to achieve all five pillars (the states of gooniness) and become the "Proto-Goon". The most common way to achieve a pillar is to buy them with goonpoints, though there are a few other methods. The full version of the game requires players to earn all five, but players can choose to play to however many pillars they desire. The five pillars are
Argument Values/Arguments/Flamewars: Most Alter Cards has a value, an integer on their face. This is their cost in Goon Points to play. When a Alter Card is played in response to a Base Card, the initial poster may respond to that Alter Card with one of his own, if it has a value equal or higher by a magnitude of 1. That card can be responded with in kind, and so on and so forth. The value of each played card, as it is played, is placed into a temporary pot between the players engaged in the flamewar. When a player can no longer respond with cards of appropriate value, the flamewar is over and the winner (player of the last card) takes the pot. If a player so chooses, he may place a Sympathy Point token onto a card he plays, which doubles the GP value of the card when Flamewar is over and Goon Points are distributed.
More to come...
Sequence of Gameplay
- TheOP draws five Black Cards, keeps one of his/her choice, and shuffles the rest back into the Black Deck
- The OP draws five Yellow Cards
- The OP deals five Blue Cards to each Poster Player
- The OP lays the Black Card down into play, for all to see
- Each Player starts with 5 goonpoints
- At the Beginning of a players turn, they draw a card (OP from the Yellow Deck, Poster Players from the Blue Deck)
- Once they have drawn their cards, each player declares whether they intend to "Assist" or "Troll" the thread. This declaration lasts until the Thread is resolved.
- Every Poster acquires 5 goonpoints at the beginning of their turn.
- The OP may play 1 Base Card, or as many Alter Cards as he/she wishes.
- Poster Players, on their turns, may play 1 Base Card and 1 Alter Card or 2 Alter Cards
- Once a player lays down a card, any other player may initiate an Exchange by playing a Response Card. This must happen immediately after the card is played, and before any other action is taken.
- Sympathy points may be traded for goonpoints
- Players may choose to purchase things for goonpoints
- All players discard down to five cards, if they hold more
- All bonuses are calculated and goonpoints are allocated appropriately
- Return to Draw Phase
Closing a Thread/Winning the Game A new thread will begin if:
- No more actions can be taken by any player
- There are no more cards to draw
- A Green or Red Card causes the thread to close
- It achieves a 1 Rating Score or a 5 Rating Score and the OP plays the -Close Thread- Card
- The Game is won when someone purchases the number of Pillars everyone agreed to play to
Disclaimer: This part is subject to change and most likely will be changed.
Once no more actions can be taken by any players, or any cards played, the round is over. Bonuses are accounted and points are tallied, such as the extra points gained from a Gold Rated or Gassed thread to their respective players. At the end of the round, a player can purchase one Pillar of Gooniness. If a player has achieved the five "Pillars of Gooniness" by the end of the round, and they are eligible for title of Proto-Goon, they win the game. Glory be to our goon brosephs.