Today I ran the first test of a new game with the working title Chaos is a Ladder. This two-player game is inspired by Littlefinger from Game of Thrones and has one player take the role of a schemer in a chaotic fantasy kingdom while the other player runs the rest of the world as it reacts to the unfolding schemes. The Littlefinger player will manipulate their way from lowly lord / lady to King or Queen of the realm… or die trying.
Sometimes my first playtest is 80% of the way done, other times it’s closer to 10%… this was one of the 10% times. This version of the game had lots of mechanics mixed together. There were Favors, Trust, Evidence, Strength, Chaos, and inter-House relationships – way too much to track! The design ended up somewhere between mechanical puzzle and storytelling game and suffered from not being strongly tilted one way.
There’s definitely something interesting in this space though and I’m excited to keep iterating. The next iteration will be highly narrative focused with dramatically simplified mechanics. I’m looking forward to sharing the results here after the next test!
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