A Thousand Faces of Adventure: Player's Guide

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Tagline

Like board games? Remember Dungeons & Dragons? Want to try improv? Welcome to A Thousand Faces of Adventure!

Welcome to Roleplaying

A Thousand Faces of Adventure (hereafter abbreviated to 1kFA) 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, and warm conversations for years afterwards that start with "Remember that time we were playing 1kFA and..."

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 you add your parts, 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 brothel scenes in HBO's Game of Thrones. 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 from 1kFA 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

In a game of 1kFA, 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 know all the rules, and say stuff. Occasionally they will write notes and scribble some quick numerical facts.

The GM's domain is the world.

The Players

Player, your domain is 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.

1kFA 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.

The Deckahedron

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
Anchor anchor suit indicates the weakest odds red rank 1
Bulb bulb suit indicates below average odds yellow rank 2
Crescent crescent suit indicates above average odds green rank 3
Dart dart suit indicates the best odds blue 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 calls for you to use your Deckahedron and "flip".

In conversation with GM and the rest of the table, you'll decide what move (or moves) your character is triggering and which of your character's attributes -- Str, Dex, or Int -- will be used to resolve the flip.

GM Note: The attributes used to resolve a move are listed at the top
of each card.  Sometimes a card gives the option of several
attributes, like "Str / Dex".  You may need to ask the player for more
detail about what they are attempting before calling for a flip.
Illustration of your Deckahedron

Illustration of your Deckahedron

Look at the attribute on your character sheet -- what suit is it, Anchor, Bulb, Crescent, or Dart? Take the top card and flip it face up.

Illustration of flipping a card

Illustration of flipping a card

The top of the flipped card shows ✗ or ✔s. These tell you the result of the move. 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.

Illustration of reading a card

Illustration of reading a card

Finally, find the move card named by the GM and read its instructions. It tells you how the GM should interpret the ✗s and ✔s.

Afterward, any card used during a flip goes face-up in a discard pile. Later, you will start another pile of cards called an Exhaustion pile. Keep them separate.

Note: some move cards give you or the GM a choice between several options. If one of the options is impossible (fictionally or mechanically), it may not be chosen. Choose one of the other options instead.

For example,

You're playing a character named Kresk. You say:

Kresk sees the pit of spikes in front of him, but isn't scared. He just takes a running start and mightily leaps over the pit, landing safely on the other side.

The GM might say to you:

Ok, sounds good, but let's see if Kresk's legs are strong enough. Please flip Defy Danger with your Strength.

Look over at the character sheet and see that Kresk has rank 3 (Crescent) Strength. Flip over the top card of your Deckahedron and look for that Crescent suit.

Let's say you get ✔✔. The GM uses the instructions on the Defy Danger card ("You do it, but there's a new complication") to improvise what happens next:

You leap through the air, landing with a thud on the other side of the pit, kicking up a cloud of dust on this forgotten jungle trail. Rising to your feet, you notice that more than dust has been stirred. The sounds of movement and a threatening rattle alerts you to something approaching from inside the pit. What do you do?

Other ways to flip: Advantage / Disadvantage

Some flips are a little more complicated. Some moves in 1kFA instruct you to "take +1 advantage", "add an advantage card" or "flip with advantage". Sometimes you are given the opposite instruction, "add a disadvantage card" or "flip with disadvantage".

Advantage

With an advantage, flip over your top card as usual, and then flip over the next card as well. Compare the results (the number of ✗s or ✔s next to the relevant suit) and resolve the flip with the card that has the best result.

If it's a tie, you may choose whichever card to be the card that resolves the flip.

All cards that got flipped go face-up in your discard pile.

Complete Flip Rule

You must flip over all the cards you were instructed to, even if the first card shows ✔✔✔.

Disadvantage

With a disadvantage, do the same thing, but use the worst result.

Multiple Advantages / Disadvantages

For a given flip, you may be instructed to add two advantage cards or two disadvantage cards. This means you flip 3 cards in total and take the best or worst, respectively.

No flip may use more than 3 cards in total, so adding advantage cards beyond 2 is just ignored.

It is possible a situation might arise where you are instructed to both "flip with advantage" and "flip with disadvantage". If this happens, simply add up all the advantages, and then subtract all the disadvantages to arrive at a "net advantage" or "net disadvantage". The maximum is still two extra cards, so if the sum is -3, you only flip with two disadvantage cards.

Other flip complications: XP cards