Author Topic: When Game Ideas Go Wrong  (Read 566 times)

kingyak

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When Game Ideas Go Wrong
« on: October 08, 2011, 03:21:02 am »
One idea Hex references a lot in our game and panels is the concept of a "ficton" (in fact, we call the setting that many of our products--M-Force, Weird Times At Charles Fort High, Hobomancer, etc.--take place in "The Hex Ficton"). This is a word coined by Robert Heinlein that basically means "a fictional universe." The idea (at least as we represent it--I'm not sure that I've ever read his books, and my knowledge of the term is definitely second-hand, so we could be way off for all I know) is that every story takes place in a world with its own rules that differ from reality. Often these are obvious, like "magic works" or "man can travel through space." Sometimes, they're not so obvious. Even stories that seem to take place in "the real world" actually take place in alternate realities, but the "laws" of the world that differ from ours often have more to do with drama than science. The example we usually use is the world of action movies--bullets work different there than in our world, and most people can withstand a lot more physical punishment without going into shock or being rendered incapacitated by pain.

One day when we were discussing this, someone pointed out that porno movies also take place in their own ficton, a world where "pizza dude" and "plumber" are two of the most sought-after jobs in America. We of course put way too much thought into what factors could contribute to the creation of such a world and eventually came up with the idea of an Orgone Bomb being responsible. This was obviously a terrible game idea, which is why at some point (I think around 2006-2007) Some Damned Idiot decided it would be a challenge to actually try to write the game.

The draft sat around for a while and at some point we decided that we were actually going to finish it up and release the game. Fortunately we made several realizations that led us to scrap the game:
  • In writing it, The Idiot came up with a background that worked as social commentary and secret history, but definitely didn't fit the "WOO-HOO! PORN!" tone of the original concept. This led to the idea of basically 3 different types of game using the background, each with a wildly different tone.
  • The background kind of required rules for some things, and those rules ended up being a little creepy.
  • We could never quite figure out what characters in the game would actually do.
  • A new POTUS was elected which meant the game needed to be updated, and at the time it was unclear which of the three possible "settings" (if any) would fit (always a problem with near future games).
  • We realized that not a single one of us was brave enough to risk the permanent mental scars that running the game at a convention for typical gamers could produce.

Since chances are good that the game will never be released, I'm posting it here for your horror, amusement, and derision.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-HST

kingyak

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Re: When Game Ideas Go Wrong
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 03:22:09 am »
Orgone Nation (formerly Porn Nation)
by Some Damned Idiot

Background
On April 9, 1990, something happened in Junction City, Kansas. Everything within 25 miles of the town was put under quarantine, enforced by a massive contingent of National Guard troops (compete with haz-mat suits and gas masks). According to the official story, a deadly airborne virus had broken out in the city. After 6 months, the quarantine was lifted and the government's story was confirmed by townspeople. As usual, a number of conspiracy theorists came up with elaborate stories of “what really happened,” claiming that the government had covered up a terrorist attack, UFO landing, or other unusual event. Though it would be several years before the general public found out, one of these theories turned out to be correct.

What Really Happened
Depending on who you ask, the Soviet Union was either destroyed by Ronald Reagan's sheer manliness or collapsed under the weight of its own bureaucracy and corruption. In either case, the late 80s and early 90s were the final days of the U.S.S.R.. A group of higher-ups in the Soviet military saw the writing on the wall and decided that if communism was going to fall, so would its most hated enemy—America. The thing that hit Junction City was not a disease, but top-secret experimental weapon called an Orgone Bomb. When it hit Kansas, the Orgone Bomb released a massive blast of orgone energy—a strange natural force discovered by Willhelm Reich to enhance the human libido.

While the levels of orgone found in nature merely make people horny, the huge amount of orgone energy released by the bomb turned Junction City into the world's biggest orgy. Thanks to NORAD, the bomb had been spotted before it went off and the first Bush administration was able to take control of the situation before anyone outside of Junction City found out what was really going on. The Kansans (notorious for their strong family values) were so embarrassed by the incident that the majority agreed to go along with the government's official story. Those who weren't soon became the victims of fatal accidents, or simply disappeared.

Fallout
While our top spooks and military men hoped that the orgone energy released by the bomb had simply dispersed, it soon became obvious that the effects of were spreading. While people within the path of the fallout didn't experience the wild, orgiastic abandon seen in Junction City, they did become incredibly promiscuous, leading to levels of casual sex that made the “immorality” of the swingin' pre-AIDS 70's seem rather tame by comparison. Students had sex with teachers, politicians had sex with interns, and hot Catholic schoolgirls had sex with damn near everybody.

By June, the those who knew the real story of Junction City realized that if the effects of the bomb continued to spread, the country would suffer a crippling epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as a possible population explosion. While government scientists scrambled to find a cure for the overactive sex drives of orgone victims (a condition dubbed “orgone sickness”), a large sum of money from the administration's “black budget” was anonymously funneled to causes and groups normally considered to be natural enemies of the GOP—Planned Parenthood, AIDS awareness groups, and sex education proponents.

In addition to the “orgone gap,” scientists studying the effects of the Orgone Bomb were confounded by the seemingly random pattern in which the disease spread. It has since been discovered that certain areas  (such as Las Vegas and the San Fernando Valley) act as natural versions of Reich's orgone box. These orgone “hot spots” pulled the energy released by the bomb towards them, creating a spider's web of orgone “ley lines” across the U.S.

Within a year, the effects of the bomb were so widespread that moral guardians started to take notice, demanding that the government do something about the all the horrible sex that was going on. As might be expected, officials blamed the overactive sex drive of the American public on Hollywood Jews TM and Pointy-Headed Liberals TM. Within a few years, the growing internet would also become a target. In response to these outcries, George Bush assembled The Presidential Commission on Promiscuity, commonly known as “Meese II” (although actually chaired by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky). Just like the original Meese Commission, the group's report used distorted research to support the official party line.

The '92 Election
Before the administration could act on the recommendations of Meese II, Bush found himself in a tough presidential race against charismatic Arkansas Governor William Jefferson Clinton. The RNC decided to use the same kind of character assassination that had worked so well against Gary Hart—namely, smearing Clinton with a sex scandal. This time, however, their idea backfired. Because of the orgone in the air, a staggering percentage of Americans had also experienced anonymous, casual sex or extramarital affairs, and stories of Bill's exploits made him seem like a true man of the people.

Clinton won the election, and was immediately briefed on the truth about Junction City. He believed that keeping orgone a secret could be harmful to the country, but it would be three years before he gathered the proper support to air the story without making the American people believe that they had elected a nutjob to the highest office in the land. In the meantime, the Clinton Administration—well aware of the potential dangers of orgone radiation—stressed the importance of safe sex and for the most part ignored the cries of those who believed sex to be a dirty and sinful act. It is rumored that when a well-known and influential TV evangelists berated Clinton about his permissive attitude towards “moral decay,” Bill responded with Larry Flynt's slogan: “Relax. It's just sex.” Whether this is true or merely a  rumor started by Flynt's people  is open to speculation.

The Truth Exposed
 All political actions have backlash, and Clinton's stance on promiscuity most likely played a part in the “Republican Revolution” of 1994. Though he had gathered some support, Clinton was certain that declassifying the Junction City story while the GOP controlled Congress would be political suicide. Fortunately, he didn't have to break the story himself, thanks to the steadily-growing internet. Videos, pictures, and first-hand accounts of the Junction City Incident began appearing on conspiracy and porn websites, and the story was soon picked up, perhaps not unexpectedly, by Hustler. Just like John DeLorean's cocaine video, the story was quickly picked up by more respected news sources. In early 1995, President Clinton gave a special address to the nation, revealing the more-or-less full story of the Orgone Bomb.

Predictably, the Republican Congress attempted to bury media coverage of the story under a good old-fashioned scandal. Unfortunately for them, they didn't learn anything from the '92 election, and chose to expose Clinton's affair with a White House intern. The only part of the story that garnered any real media attention was Clinton's response to the accusation: “You bet your ass I had sexual relations with that woman! Now can we please get back to the real problems this country is facing?” This became the most famous sound-bite of Clinton's eight years in office.

While there is still no cure for orgone sickness, the Clinton administration did (despite GOP opposition at every turn) manage to make great strides towards limiting potentially dangerous effects of the condition. Among other things, the administration launched and orgone awareness campaign to teach the public about the effects of orgone radiation and aggressively promoting safe sex (especially when it was discovered that orgone sickness could be sexually transmitted). To prevent all the sex that was going on from interfering with national productivity, Clinton urged businesses to introduce a variation on flex time that allowed orgone-affected workers to take breaks to “treat their condition,” and make up the time later. Although this employee benefit is usually given a euphemistic name, it is commonly called “sex time” or simply “a fuck break.” Sadly, Clinton's attempts to legalize prostitution as a public health necessity were thwarted.

Dubya
 In 2000, the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush to be President of the United States. During the first year of his administration, Dubya and his cronies managed to undo everything the Clinton administration had accomplished to combat the effects of orgone sickness—primarily by simply ignoring the problem. When they did mention orgone, they often suggested that the problem had been blown out of proportion by Clinton because it advanced his agenda and excused his own immorality. A few GOP mouthpieces, including Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, even suggested that the Junction City story was a falsehood cooked up by the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy TM.

When forced to address the problem,  the Bush administration officials stressed the importance of abstinence education, strong moral values, and of course religion. Predictably, these solution haven't proven particularly useful. To make matters even worse, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the U.S.'s subsequent military misadventures in the Middle East have managed to effectively divert the nation's attention from the domestic problem of orgone sickness.

When the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, the administration added orgone to its campaign of terror and paranoia, downplaying the reality of the radiation's effects and painting victims (called “Sex Fiends” or simply “Fiends”) as sexual monsters to be shunned and feared. Even in areas not directly affected by the radiation, anyone suspected of promiscuity or sexual deviance of any type risks being labeled a Fiend and losing their jobs, friends, and civil rights (thanks to one of the many little-known clauses of the Patriot Act).  Areas affected by the disease have been abandoned by the public and private sectors, turning them into ghettos rife with unemployment, disease, and violence. Administration rhetoric often invokes Sodom and Gomorrah when discussing these places.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-HST

kingyak

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Re: When Game Ideas Go Wrong
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 03:31:21 am »
Using The World of Porn Nation
The world of Porn Nation can be played in a number of different ways, depending on your group's preferences. Here are a few ideas:

The Conspiracy Years
This type of game takes place in the first half of the 1990s, before the general public knows the truth about what happened in Junction City. Possible character groups include conspiracy theorists attempting to uncover and expose the truth, government operatives attempting to understand and control the spread of orgone sickness, and moral crusaders attempting to save victims' souls and/or cash in on the misfortune caused by the bomb.

Dear Penthouse
This more light-hearted version of the game fits best in the late Clinton years, when orgone sickness is understood and its potentially detrimental effects are being kept under control. This version of the world, where sex is much more accepted, can be seen as the ficton in which all porno movies are set, and the game centers largely around sex. In this world, pizza delivery guys, patients attended to by hot nurses, and plumbers are among the luckiest (and happiest) people in the world. This type of game should only be played by groups who are comfortable discussing (and possibly graphically describing) sex.

Pornocalypse
This modern-day version of the game takes place in an America that's a lot like the one we live in today, only even more polarized and closer to the brink of destruction. The areas most strongly affected by orgone radiation are lawless, poverty-stricken wastelands. Even those who manage to escape these areas face being labeled Fiends and suffering worse treatment than a Middle Eastern migrant-working Katrina victim who happens to be gay.

In the few unaffected areas (and the many mildly affected areas), sexual freedom (or at least public acknowledgment of it) is almost non-existent and people live in fear of being brutalized by wild-eyed Sex Fiends. Of course, that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of fucking going on--American upper middle class hypocrisy is as strong as it's ever been, so "good, decent people" who suffer from orgone sickness are seen as somehow different from those dirty Fiends, much like cokehead lawyers are seen in a different light than crack addicts. The people holding orgies in their gated communities are just having a little well-deserved fun. They're not filthy deviants who are going to rape your dog.
There are lots of game possibilities in this type of world, from disenfranchised Fiends attempting to survive the horrors of the orgone wasteland to holier-than-thou evangelicals "doing God's work" (hunting down and killing Fiends).

Spreading The Disease
Orgone Fallout
Orgone fallout does not follow a predictable, wind-based pattern like nuclear fallout. Initially, the orgone moved out from Junction City in a more-or-less circular pattern, but the direction of the fallout soon became unpredictable. Eventually it was confirmed that orgone fallout moves toward places that naturally collect orgone energy. Some of these orgone hot spots--called "O-Zones," a term that has since broadened to refer to all orgone-affected areas--occur naturally. Others are the result of zoning ordinances; having all of those strip clubs and sex shops in one place caused a build-up of orgone energy. At the time the Orgone Bomb hit Kansas, the highest concentrations of orgone in the country were California's San Fernando Valley; Las Vegas, Nevada; Times Square in New York City; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The bulk of the fallout moved towards these places, but some of it was siphoned off by smaller O-Zones along the way.

If the orgone had simply moved into the O-Zones and stayed there, those areas could have been been evacuated and the orgone problem solved. Unfortunatley, when too much orgone accumulates in a particular area, the energy eventually "goes supernova," releasing a wave of concentrated orgone energy similar to (but much less effective than) the Soviet bomb. In fact, it has since been discovered that the Orgone Bomb was actually a very powerful version of Reich's orgone box which through some as-yet-undiscovered mechanism allowed the orgone to become hyper-concentrated before exploding. This phenomenon has resulted in a chain reaction, with smaller versions of the Orgone Bomb going off around the country. These orgone explosions (the first confirmed one happened in Las Vegas in 1993) do not (usually) lead to orgies in the street like the original Orgone Bombs. They just cause everyone in the area to become incredibly horny for a few weeks.

The amount of orgone required to cause an explosion seems to vary from place to place, and scientists have not yet found an accurate way to determine a particular O-Zone's "climax point." It has been discovered, however, that certain measures can be taken to divert orgone energy away from a particular areas. Rudolph Giuliani's famed clean-up of Times Square in the early 90s was in fact a government-backed experiment to test this theory. After the clean-up, the orgone that had been moving toward New York began to disperse, with many smaller waves moving towards other targets. When this phenomenon was made public after the Orgone Bomb was exposed, most unaffected cities started implementing bans on adult business. Proprietors of existing strip clubs, porn shops, and the like were strongly encouraged--often through violent means--to either get out of town or find another line of work. In a few places (especially in the South), riots broke out, with adult establishments burned to the ground and their owners and employees killed or run out of town.

Orgone sickness
Orgone sickness only occurs when a person is exposed to very high concentrations of orgone (like an orgone explosion) or lives in a high-orgone area for a prolonged period of time. Spending a few days or weeks in most O-Zones just results in horniness, and for this reason many "tourists" (especially young people) can often be found enjoying the freedom of the less dangerous O-Zones. Government scientists constantly measure the background levels of orgone radiation in O-Zones and rate them using a color-coded scale similar to the one used to measure terrorist threat levels. The color codes determine how much time a person can safely spend in an O-Zone before orgone sickness is likely to result, as shown below. 
Color CodeOrgone LevelSafe TimeExample
Blue Low. Orgone levels are below normal.No risk of orgone sickness.Mayberry, NC
GreenNormal No risk of orgone sickness.Peoria, IL
Yellow    Elevated.Above-average orgone level. One year.   Pre-bomb Las Vegas
Orange   High. Orgone levels are far above the national average. One month.The Grotto at The Playboy Mansion.
RedSevere. Dangerous orgone levels.One week. The Bunny Ranch
Purple   Deadly. Orgone explosion imminent. One day. Charlie Sheen's house.
In addition to exposure, orgone sickness can be contracted through sexual contact with an infected person. Safe sex practices can prevent an orgone carrier from spreading the disease.

There is no known cure for orgone sickness, but avoiding sexual temptation and high-orgone areas can help relieve the symptoms of the condition. In the early days, medical experts sought to treat orgone sickness as if it were simple sexual addiction, but talking about the problem just made victims that much hornier, turning group therapy sessions into impromptu orgies. The psychological route was quickly abandoned. For reasons that are not yet understood, drugs that decrease sex drive in unaffected people don't seem to have any measurable effect on victims of orgone sickness. Castration and intense hormone therapy (which often has severe side-effects) are effective, but most victims are unwilling to take such extreme measures.

Game Mechanics
Entering the O-Zone
People who spend time in an O-Zone (any area rated Yellow or higher) will become distracted, suffering a penalty to all rolls, if they do not have sex (or at least masturbate) regularly. The amount of time a person can go without release before suffering any ill  effects, and the penalty suffered, depends on the orgone level of the area, as shown on the table below.

Orgone LevelSexual Release is Required...Horniness Penalty
YellowDaily-1
OrangeEvery 12 Hours-2
Red   Every 6 Hours-3
PurpleEvery 3 Hours-4

A character's horniness penalty increases by 1 for every additional increment of time the character goes without sexual release. So a person in a Red zone suffers no penalty during the first six hours he's there, a -3 penalty during the next six hours, a -4 penalty after 12 hours, etc.

Anyone whose horniness penalty reaches -8 must make a Nerve roll every round. If the Nerve roll fails, the character goes into a sexual frenzy and will attempt to have sex with the nearest suitable partner (contrary to what some people claim, orgone does not alter a person's sexual preference). If the character cannot find a suitable (and consenting, unless the character is willing to commit rape) partner within 2 rounds, he masturbates uncontrollably for a number of rounds equal to the failure degree of the roll.

It should be noted that, since government scientists still don't completely understand the workings of O-Zones, their assessment of an area's orgone level are not guaranteed to be correct. Furthermore, because of limited resources, the orgone levels in some places may not be measured regularly, which could lead to outdated orgone assessments.

Contracting Orgone sickness
Any person who spends too much time in O-Zones runs the risk of contracting orgone sickness. For every increment of “safe time” spent continuously in an O-Zone (yearly for Yellow zones, monthly for Orange zones, etc.) the character must make a Body roll. If the roll fails, the character contracts orgone sickness, which is treated as a Weakness with a Number equal to the failure degree of the roll. Characters who already suffer from the condition must also make Body rolls for spending too much time in contaminated areas. If the roll fails, the character's Weakness Number is increased by 1.

A character can avoid having to roll for contamination by spending at least one week in an area with a lower orgone level before the safe time has expired. Traveling to higher orgone areas during this time period does not affect the roll for the lower level area, but may require its own rolls. (For example, if a character lives in Yellow zone, he must roll yearly. If he goes to a Red zone for a day, he will have to make the Red zone roll in addition to the Yellow zone roll).

Orgone sickness is also spread through sexual contact. Anyone who has unprotected sex with an infected person must make a Body roll, resisted by the carrier's Weakness. If the disease wins, the sexual partner gains the “Orgone Sickness” Weakness with a Number equal to the difference of the rolls.

A person with orgone sickness needs sex more often than a normal person, and is more distracted when he or she doesn't get it. Orgone sufferers treat Blue and Green zones as if they were Yellow zones. Yellow, Orange, and Red zones are treated as if they were one level higher. An orgone-infected person in a Purple zone needs sex hourly, and suffers a -5 horniness penalty if he doesn't get any.

Orgone Explosions
Once an O-Zone reaches the Purple level, there is a chance that an orgone explosion will occur. Every day, the GM should make a d20 roll. If the roll is 15 or higher, an orgone explosion happens. Everyone caught in the explosion immediately receives a -8 horniness penalty (meaning they need to either get laid or start spanking the monkey immediately). Additionally, everyone caught in the explosion must make a Body roll. Failure results in orgone sickness with a Weakness Number equal to the degree of failure plus 2. Characters who already suffer from the condition have their Weakness Number increased by 2 if they fail the Body roll.

Resisting Temptation
Whenever a character in an orgone-affected area is the target of sexual advances by a person of the appropriate gender, he or she must make a Nerve roll to resist accepting the offer (a character may choose to skip the roll and get freaky, if so inclined). Normal horniness modifiers apply to the roll, and the GM may assign additional modifiers according to the situation. Some suggestions are given below.

Bonuses
●   Seducer is not victim's “type,” is unattractive, is obviously disease-ridden, etc.
●   Victim doesn't really have time for sex right now.
●   Proposed location of encounter is filthy or otherwise unsuitable (dirty alley, bathroom stall, subway, etc.) (Exhibitionists do not get this bonus for public places).
●   Victim has strong moral or religious code that prohibits casual sexual encounters (only applies if the character actually follows said code on a regular basis).
●   Victim is in a happy, monogamous relationship (additional modifier if spouse or significant other is present).
●   Seducer suggests kinky sex that victim is not into.
●   Victim is a close relative of seducer.

Penalties
●   Seducer is victim's “type,” is very attractive, shows no obvious signs of disease, etc.
●   Romantic setting. What qualifies varies from person to person, but satin sheets, candlelight, and Barry White music are pretty typical.
●   Victim is under the effects of drugs or alcohol.
●   Victim has recently been exposed to sexually-stimulating activities or materials (just visited a strip club, watched a porno, etc.)
●   Victim has had sex with seducer in the past.
●   Victim is indebted to seducer in some way.
●   Victim hasn't had sex in a while.
●   Seducer suggests kinky sex that the victim IS into.

Characters who suffer from orgone sickness must make a Weakness roll even if their Nerve roll succeeds. If the Weakness takes effect, they take the seducer up on the offer. It should also be noted, that victims of orgone sickness must make rolls to avoid sex even if they're in a Blue or Green zone (since for them it's considered a Yellow zone). Also, sufferers tend to see sexual advances where there are none. If a situation could be misconstrued as a sexual advance, the orgone-poisoned character may make a Brain roll to realize that they're reading too much into the situation. Otherwise, they must make the usual Nerve roll. If the roll fails, embarrassment (and possible violence or legal action) will no doubt follow.

QAGS Rules For Sex (with Bill and Trixie)
Well that's about all the time we have for this supplement...

Inspirational Material
●   The porn movie of your choice. (Vivid tends to have the best production values, but it's really a matter of personal tastes).
●   Boogie Nights (for creepy porn industry vibes).
●   The Girl Next Door (the scene where he thinks she's blowing his dad is how orgone sufferers see the world).
●   Sex, Lies, and Politics by Larry Flynt (can be useful for getting a grip on the hypocrisy angle of the Pornocalypse version of the game).
●   Unerathed Arcana by E. Gary Gygax (from what we understand, it's got rules for blowjobs).
●   Hex Games' Adult Gaming panel (coming soon to a convention near you).
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-HST

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Re: When Game Ideas Go Wrong
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 09:15:59 am »
Hahahah Awesome! Make David Duchovny do this in a serial instead :lol:

It's practically Californication meets X-Files! :lulz:
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e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

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kingyak

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Re: When Game Ideas Go Wrong
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 05:27:01 pm »
Hahahah Awesome! Make David Duchovny do this in a serial instead :lol:

It's practically Californication meets X-Files! :lulz:

Never seen Californication and only watched X-Files occasionally, but Duchovny could definitely give it the appropriate level of smarminess.
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-HST