How to Play:

The basic structure of gameplay is simple: the Player traverses the world by moving from room to room, his options and surrounding described to him by the GameGods. The GGs, in turn, work to each gain control of the game. The GG in control at any given time describes the Player's progress, and gives detail to the rooms, but also fights to remain in control. When control is lost, the other GGs roll to take control of the game, and the cycle begins again.

Gaining Control:

In order to take control, each GG rolls a twenty-sided die. Each GG's roll + the GG's Confidence value is that GG's control value. The GG with the highest control value takes control of the game (being sure to make the value of that roll his/her new Resolution stat).

Describing Rooms:

The word "room" here is used to describe a quadrant of space in the game world. Each turn, the Player moves a distance of one room in the direction of his choosing (if that direction is physically possible based on the world's layout). For every new room a Player enters, the GG in control must describe that room.

Whenever a GG describes a room, that GG has full creative control over the room's atmosphere. He can take as much or as little time as necessary to detail the room, but should be sure to indicate in which directions the Player can traverse (eg: in one room, a Player has come from the West, and can proceed North, South, or back the way he came).

For each new room that a GG describes, that GG must remove 2 points from his Resolution stat, but only after rolling to retain control (see "Keeping and Losing Control").

Creating Objects and NPCs:

In addition to creating rooms, GGs can create items and various non-Player-characters for the Player to interact with. Unlike describing rooms, creating objects and NPCs uses points from the GG's Creativity stat, and also depletes Resolution. Using Creativity also adds to the Creativity of the other GGs.

Every object or NPC created has a value, defined by the number of letters in its name. An "axe", for example, has a value of 3. When created and described in a room, the value of the object is subtracted from the GG's Creativity stat. One half of its value (rounded down) is then added to the Confidence stat and the other half (rounded up) is subtracted from Resolution. The rounded-up half of the value is also added to the Creativity stat of all other GameGods.

For example, creating an axe costs 3 points of Creativity, but adds +1 to Confidence. It also takes -2 from Resolution, and adds +2 to the Creativity of other GGs.

For more Confidence points, players can create items with longer names, or include descriptive prefixes (such as a "Gygaxian Axe").

Keeping and Losing Control:

Every time the Player moves to another new room, the controlling GameGod has to roll to retain control. The number rolled on the d20 must be less than the GG's Resolution stat for that GG to retain control. If the value rolled is lower than the current Resolution, then the GG can proceed to describe the next room (deducting 2 points from Resolution as he does so).

If, however, the number rolled is higher than the Resolution stat, then the GG loses control of the game, and all other GGs roll to take control (see "Gaining Control" up top).

Note that a GG who has just lost control does not roll to take back control that turn. Only the remaining GGs do so.

The controlling GameGod can also lose control without rolling if the Player chooses to double-back, returning to a previously-traversed room, or otherwise connects to a previously-entered room. In the event of reentering a room, the GG who first described that room regains control. The GG's Resolution stat does not refresh, leaving it in the last state that it was in. If the Player then moves in to a new room from that room, the now-in-control GG must roll to retain control, as normal.

The Player's Role:

While the GameGods dictate the environment, it is the Player who traverses it, deciding which direction to go in, what items to collect and when to double back.

Further, it's the Player's duty to draw the map as he or she progress, making sure to mark items in each room, as well as which GG describes each room (in the event of back-tracking). The Player should also keep track of his own inventory. Other than these elements, the Player has no stats to track.

End of Game:

Gygaxian has no true ending. Instead, the game can simply be played out until participants feel it's time to end, or an arbitrary end goal can be set. Of course, exploration and improvisation should be enough motivation to play. If we can learn one thing from Dungeons & Dragons, it's that no game ever has to truly end.

Next Page: Designing Gygaxian

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on