It's life, Baby.
A downloadable life
As life, that's an evolving draft. contribute to develop this draft into something else by posting at the bottom of this page ("Community").
You play a character. For the moment, you have no name. Take the first dice you find in your home. One dice roll at a time, you'll tick the (cumulatives) boxes by gradually moving down the list of symptoms (for example, you roll the dice and get 4, so player A ticks the 4th entry, then you roll a 5 and player B ticks the 9th entry, then you roll a 2 and player C ticks the 11th entry, etc. until the end of the list and by starting again at player A if everyone has ticked an entry) :
- Lack of initiative & dynamism (effort required to initiate and maintain an activity)
- Resistance to change and new places (develops fears and routines)
- Restricted and uncommon interests (no curiosity about other topics)
- Difficulty in relationships (no interest in group activities, very few contacts and sharing)
- Lack of understanding others' facial expressions (and no exchanges of glances, smiles...)
- Emotional disconnection (you don't let emotions overwhelm you, in fact you don't think you've ever felt emotions at all)
- Hypersensitive and communicative emotions (sensitivity to others' emotions, it invades you without control)
- Dyslexia (difficulties with written language, reading, writing)
- Dyspraxia (difficulty in performing a "banal" gesture, efforts to coordinate movements)
- Dyscalculia (difficulty in calculating, and evaluating a small number of objects at a glance)
- Hyperacusis (pain and tinnitus, intolerance to some sounds)
- Attention deficit (difficulty concentrating, with precipitation and impulsivity)
- Eye pointing (fixing others)
- Egotism of performance (wanting to be the best at everything, you don't accept failure or second place)
- Social egotism (you use/exploit others to be the best, but those you exploit may have already rebelled against you a few times)
- Economic egotism (money is what you think will allow you to be the best, you are lost if you don't have enough)
- Epileptic seizures
- Frequent gastrointestinal disorders (daily disabling)
- Visual impairment (poor visual acuity)
- Blindness (blind)
- Aphasia (silent, not speaking)
- Deafness (total hearing loss)
- Generic anxiety (overly worrying about certain trivial details)
- Anxiety from the past (past events make you fearful)
- Anxiety of the future (fear for the future, fatigue and blocking to act)
- Generic apathy (difficulty mobilizing energy to start actions)
- Apathy of perseverance (difficulty in mobilizing energy to finish actions you began)
- Social apathy (difficulty mobilizing energy for relationships)
- Apollonian / Dionysian (rather order and measure or chaos and excess?)
- Berseker (everything can take on an aggressive dimension with you)
- Significant mood disorders ("high" periods of excitement alternating with "low" periods of depression)
- Catatonic state (uncontrolled slowing or stopping of movements, for example, can no longer open the mouth)
- Paranoid traits (heightened mistrust, feeling of persecution)
- Sensory hallucinations (imaginary sensory perception, related to one of the five senses)
- Memory problems (you forget appointments, forget household chores, forget moments from your past or even what you said 10 minutes ago)
- Lack of pleasure (inability to feel positive emotions during pleasant leisure situations)
- Respiratory dysfunction (episodes of apnea or hyperventilation)
- Sleep disorders (insomnia, fatigue, irritability)
- Difficulties in understanding subtext and humour
- Use of formal language in all circumstances
- Impatience (finishes others' sentences, doesn't respect waiting queues)
- (more incoming?)
Take with you your "hand in caps" : your daily life has limits that you can't overcome without help. And some of you have more restrictive limits than others. Yup. No one has choosen their owns. That's the game.
You now have your characters (without races nor occupations), but you know what ? Stats (or disabilities) are not a problem in this game. Of course you could use these characters in any other ttrpg of your choice, and so you’ll have to deal with the “psychological horror” of being unequals and for some of you: feeling useless.
But here, it’s not a problem.
And we’ll play with disabilites, not against them.
In fact, you’ll “just” have to be kind (and honest!!) with others. It's a GMless game, that's a shared storytelling game. One at a time, everyone will say what they got on the dice roll and then the player on the left will say one positive thing evoked by this result. It's better if it's directly linked to the "trouble" (but sometimes I guess there's just nothing positive about it, yup that's life and some things are handicaps without possible positive thougts, even in a fantasy/sci-fi/whatever universe).
The player can invent an imaginary memory shared between the characters, or tell something based on a real (but distorted) memory between players. This will create the story of the character, of the group and it will indirectly build up the universe of the game. "Positive storytelling" that is the game.
player A says “I got dyslexia” and player B answers with imagination: “That’s true, Andrew, but don’t forget you never give up and you’re a perfectionist: when you had to learn magic to become the wizard you are today, you spent whole nights reading and rereading the same pages, and then you would copy them in their entirety! You spent far more hours on books than any other apprentice. You never gave up and it paid off. I admire you for that.”
(The player A now have a name and an occupation, plus he learned that his character is very tenacious).
The group can talk about these facts for some minutes, then player B says “I’m blind… ”and so player C answers, remembering an earlier ttrpg game (mixing groupe memories with his imagination) : “You’re the most clairvoyant blind-man in the world. I remember the time you guided us in a dark-night, when we were all blindest than you.. You’re familiar with moving using all your senses other than eyesight. This time, you saved all our lives… I thank you for that, because without you we’d all have been eaten by the monster.”
And then player C says “I’m hyperactive with attention deficit disorder, I’m not able to focus on the same task for a long time”, etc., until each person has a memory corresponding to each symptom.
If your character has more symptoms/disabilities than others, you’ll have to say two symptoms per turn instead of one.
If you have already spoke a turn for each of your symptom, you’ll continue to say the same symptoms over and over again in the upcoming turns, until the player with the most disabilities has finishing saying them all. Of course, when you answer, you can’t repeat the same story again even if the person and disability are the same, but take into account the memories already told by other players: you can complete these stories.
No one has choosen their own limits. That's the game. But... there are so many things you can do inside these barriers, and maybe with some imagination, you can stop seeing these limits as barriers. This is you.
no matter your mental or physical limitations, never let anyone tell you that you aren't capable of imagination
Keep playing. And care about others.
|It's life, Baby is inspired by personal things mixed with the Hot Horror Jam presentation page (the body, the fears, the feelings of loneliness and exclusion, the psychological part of all of this...) and the Neurodiversity Game Jam (neurological diversity, differences/disabilities...) and the Totem cardgame (a feel-good game where you have to speak about other player's qualities... I highly recommand this game!)||If you have any suggestion to develop this game, please tell me. For example to expand the list of symptoms or to make this game more accessible.|
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