A Thousand Faces of Adventure: Player's Guide

playtest version 0.93 Mon Jan 18 04:53:16 2021

find latest version at https://1kFA.com

email sjb@ezide.com

Like board games? Get a kick out of those online Dungeons & Dragons videos? Want to try improv? Welcome to A Thousand Faces of Adventure!

Welcome to Roleplaying

A Thousand Faces of Adventure is a framework for telling a story. The authors of the story are you and your friends, sitting around a table.

This story is improvisational, interactive, and collaborative.

The rewards for playing are laughter and excitement while you play, followed up with years of warm conversations that start with "Remember that time we were playing A Thousand Faces of Adventure and..."

Skip me to character creation!

If you are an experienced RPG player you might want to jump ahead past this indroductory hulabaloo and rules reference, and start playing with the first activity available to you. Typically in RPGs, this means "character creation", which is often done as a solo, "homework" activity before the whole table comes together to play.

A Thousand Faces of Adventure is designed to be played by a group of friends the moment everyone's together at the table. Character creation will be an interactive activity that requires your friends. Open the GM Guide and look under the Begin a Campaign section for more details.

This Player's Guide is a manual of all the procedures a non-GM player might need during play.

This game is a in the category of games called conversation. It may seem weird to think of conversation as a "game", but it's also convenient. Accepting that this game is a conversation lets you rely on your existing knowledge and expertise at conversation "games". You've already learned about things like taking turns, interruption protocols, and listening, so you're already an expert at the foundational rules of this game.

How to make a great story

Imagine the audience for this story is the inner children of all the players. What evokes the feelings we had when we were children playing pretend? Can you remember being 11 years old and watching a spectacular Steven Spielberg movie? Or maybe a cheap-but-awesome Sam Raimi movie?

You are going to collaborate with all the other players to make this story, so when it's your turn to narrate, think of what will give your friends around the table a thrill, put them in suspense, ratchet up their feelings of tension, or make their jaws drop with awe.

Sometimes inner children get a big kick out of blood and guts. Your inner child might giggle at the "adult" scenes in an HBO series. If you don't know what topics your friends consider "off-limits", it is a good idea to ask and tell before you start playing.

The story that emerges is not a precisely crafted thing. That's ok. It doesn't have to be high art or even a cartoon on Adult Swim. It gets shaped by each player, and when your turn comes, you adapt, do your best improvisational "Yes, and" , and see where it goes from there. It might sound like chaos, but with some faith in your friends, you will delight at how the plot solidifies, and how real the characters become.

Specifically, What to do

To play the game, one person will take on the role of the Game Master, or "GM". The other people will be called simply "Players".

The GM

The GM's job is to help everyone follow the rules of the game, and say stuff. Occasionally they will write notes and scribble some quick numerical facts.

The imagined world and its inhabitants will be narrated mainly by the GM.

The Players

Player, your narrative contribution will mainly be your character.

The player's job

The player's job

Most of your time will be spent saying stuff. You are part of a conversation. Ask questions, use your imagination, chime in when someone inspires you. Think about your character like a hero of a movie, and try playing as the writer of the movie, or the director, or immerse yourself like a method actor standing in the character's boots and seeing with their eyes.

A Thousand Faces of Adventure invites you to:

As the conversation unfolds, the rules will chime in as well. When that happens you will be called do things beyond just "saying stuff":

This guide will teach you how to do those things.

Your Character: A Scrappy Adventurer

A Thousand Faces of Adventure is a game about your character growing from humble beginnings as a scrappy adventurer into someone who will have an epic impact on their world.

Your Character Sheet

Your Character Sheet

During character creation, you will get to determine all aspects of your character's history, social and economic circumstances, and personality. These are fictional aspects of the character. You will use the game's rules to determine all the mechanical aspects of the character.

The terms mechanical and mechanism describe aspects of the game that concern rules, numbers, and procedures.

Mechanically, characters start out just a little bit more powerful than a common villager. Your character will have 10 Stamina points versus a townsperson's 2-5, and will start with three special moves, but that's all that separates them from Michel the stable-hand and Constance the librarian.

TODO: fluff with one-sentence example characters

You can invent any backstory you like, but you may need to answer questions about how the backstory fits the character's game limitations. Nothing stops you from creating a hulking, 7 foot tall barbarian, with a rich history of warring and slaughtering enemies, but at the very beginning of the game, with a couple unlucky flips, that barbarian may suffer a sound drubbing at the hands of a farmer and his overprotective goat.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't create the barbarian character. You should. That sounds awesome! But if you do, be prepared to find some narrative justification (drunkard? battle-worn? magically cursed?) that the character begins at a "scrappy adventurer" level.

As your character adventures in the world, they will gain experience and equipment making them worthy of the title "hero". See Character advancement for more details.

The Deckahedron

Your Deckahedron

Your Deckahedron

The main activity in the game is "saying stuff", mostly stuff about your character. Often, you'll say something that triggers a move, and that move will be resolved using your Deckahedron.

(If you do not have a physical copy of this game, you can find a digital Deckahedron at 1kFA.com/table )

Every player except the GM gets a Deckahedron. Inspect your Deckahedron. You should have 20 cards. There are 4 symbols, or "suits", on the fronts and backs of the cards:

Name suit odds color rank
Anvil anvil suit the weakest odds red rank 1
Blade blade suit below average odds blue rank 2
Crown crown suit above average odds yellow rank 3
Dragon dragon suit the best odds green rank 4

Shuffle your Deckahedron and place it face-down in front of you.

Whenever your character attempts something risky, where the outcome is not certain, the GM will call for you to take your Deckahedron and "flip".

In conversation with GM and the rest of the table, you'll decide what move your character is triggering and which of your character's attributes -- Str, Dex, or Int -- will be used to resolve the flip. There is a move card or a page in your base moves booklet for every move, so have that move card or page in your booklet ready.

GM Note: The attributes used to resolve a move
are listed at the top of each move card. A card may
give the option of several attributes, so you may
need to ask the player for more detail about their
action before calling for a flip.

Your Deckahedron and Character Sheet

Your Deckahedron and Character Sheet

Take the top card of your Deckahedron and flip it face up. Next, find the suit (Anvil, Blades, Crown, or Dragon) of the chosen attribute on your character sheet.

Flipping a card

Flipping a card

On the face side of the Deckahedron card, find that suit symbol. The result of the move is the X symbol or single check symbols next to that suit. When you flip, keep in mind that the GM may need to read the result. Being consistent with how you orient the card will help simplify the GM's bookkeeping and keep up the pace of the game.