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Friday, August 7, 2009

Lost: the RPG

I and a couple other people have said on several occasions that JAGS Wonderland can be used to recreate a number of novels,.movies, and television shows featuring a multilayered reality that causes the main characters to question their sanity or understanding. For example, the TV series Lost. Here's how you could run a Lost game using either JAGS Wonderland or InSpectres.

Whip up some characters involved in a plane crash. Each player details one character, but there are several other survivors who can be left faceless/nameless or given just a one-line description, to be expanded as needed or turned into replacements for retired or deceased PCs. None of the initial PCs is infected, but they may have had borderline experiences in their past.

Unlike the rest of the world, any stress on the island could cause infection, as long as it occurs when a character is isolated. Once infected, characters can have episodes even when in someone else's presence, and this can potentially infect others.

Forces or beings on a deep chessboard are present on the island. For the most part, their actions manifest as coincidences on chessboard 0. Thinking too hard about these coincidences can potentially lead to Unsanity.

Some regions of the island have even weirder manifestations of the actions of these deep forces and creatures. The Smoke Monster would be one example; it only rarely appears, and then only in the Dark Territory. Richard would be another deep-chessboard inhabitant, although his chessboard 0 appearance seems almost normal.

The island is also inhabited by infected people -- the Others. These people are aware of at least the first and second chessboard and exploit it to move unseen, speak a previously unknown language, find unexpected resources, or learn information about castaways. In game terms, they are "normal" people who have Mastery and one or two "magic" talents.

If using InSpectres, confessionals would be a great way to handle flashbacks and flashforwards.

It seems best to disregard most of the "facts" of Lost and instead, make up mysteries as needed, and improvise answers (that always lead to new mysteries.)

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