For a social network product from a company most famous for its search engine, G+ has rather lackluster search capabilities. As the good folks of the Internet have pointed out to me, whatever its merits are as a place to discuss and journal my design efforts, it is an unreliable archive. In the hopes of better preserving my progress on the #LincolnGreen game, every Wednesday I make a #Greenwoodnesday post on G+, I’ll re-post it here along with a companion post from the past (with some edits to update the design). Today, let’s stroll in the Greenwood back to September of 2015, wherein I stumble upon a mechanic found in the typesetting of Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood:
Hey, it’s #Greenwoodnesday!
I have a version of Howard Pyles The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood much like the one pictured below. I’d like to do your eye a disservice here and draw it away from the gorgeous Pyle illustrations and towards that square of italicized text on the lower right. You probably cannot see it from here, but it’s a spoiler. The text is crammed full of them. Little notations on what is happening or just about to happen in the story.
Some of them are vague like The Knight telleth Robin Hood his story as they journey toward Sherwood. I mean, that’s specific, but it contains no specifics about the story being told, which in itself takes about a page and a half to tell.
Some are specific like Robin biddeth the knight to cheer up. This one accompanies two paragraphs in which Robin does precisely that for a handful of sentences and little else is added.
Some are ironic like Robin finds a guest in the forest awaiting him. In this case, Robin is about to come upon a wealthy bishop to rob in his peculiar fashion of inviting them to dinner and showing them a wonderful time (and for this this bishop, I believe it rolls into a week of hunting, feasting, and leisure in a scenic Sherwood).
These are inspiring a mechanic for #LincolnGreen. (Specifically, a mechanic belonging to the Merry Folk tradition, if’n you’re following the traditions.) It’ll be a way to toss the the outlaws into adventure and action head-first, rather than allowing the players to deliberate on the best way forward all the oo-de-lally day. The first person to grow impatient with all the chattering about what the PCs might or might not be planning points to someone else and demands a spoiler for what is about to happen. The designated spoileror must then provide a single sentence about what happens next with no help or commentary from the rest of the group. Then you play it out to find out just how vague, specific or ironic the spoiler was.
This is still in the idea phase here. I won’t be using the terminology “spoilers” and such. And I’m sure my procedural instructions will change greatly based on playtest. But I’m pretty excited for it.
UPDATE: Eagle-eyed @hackerblinks on Twitter has found the correct term for this sort of text:
— Adam Blinkinsop (@hackerblinks) May 24, 2017
Argument it is!