A Thousand Faces of Adventure: Player's Guide

playtest version 0.92 2019-09-12

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

email sjb@ezide.com


Like board games? Played Dungeons & Dragons Once? 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.

Character creation - Fitting the fiction

1kFA is a game about building up a character, who starts as a scrappy adventurer and grows to become someone who can make the most meaningful change in the world.

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 not get to determine all the mechanical aspects of the character though.

Mechanically, characters start out just a little bit more powerful than a common villager. They've got an edge over regular folk, (with special moves and 10 Stamina points) but the game puts them on nearly even footing in a fight. 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 with a shovel 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 they're currently at a "scrappy adventurer" level.

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
Anvil anvil suit indicates the weakest odds red rank 1
Blade blade suit indicates below average odds blue rank 2
Crown crown suit indicates above average odds yellow rank 3
Dragon dragon suit indicates 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 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 "Flip 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, Anvil, Blade, Crown, or Dragon? 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.