Games inspired by The Power Broker

About Condemned

Condemned is a collection of three games created for The Power Broker Game Design Competition. The goal was to create games that adapt or interperate Robert Caro's biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker.

I created three games, The Idealist, The Rise to Power, and The Use of Power. The first is a storytelling game about the corruption of idealism. The second and third are games that have players engaging with actual city infrastructure and bureaucracies.

You can download a free pdf of Condemned or just the rules for The Idealist.

1: The Idealist

Robert Moses began his career a strident idealist but became a machiavellian bully who abused his power for petty and egotistical ends. The Idealist explores characters who follow a similar arc: abandoning their strongest values and embracing corruption in the pursuit of power.

This is a story game for 2-5 players and will take 1-2 hours. The players will jointly create a setting and then individually create characters. Over the course of the game, players will describe scenes in which their characters betray their values in exchange for increasing power and influence.


2: The Rise to Power

When Robert Moses went to Albany, he gained a deep understanding for the workings of the legislature and a comprehensive knowledge of New York State law. He leveraged this mastery to amass and consolidate power when Al Smith won the governorship.

In The Rise to Power, players engage with local governments by getting appointments to municipal boards and commissions in their city. Whomever amasses the most positions by the deadline wins!


3: The Use of Power

Robert Moses knew how to manipulate laws, bureaucracies, and public opinion to achieve his goals. While Moses built massive parks, bridges, highways, and other public works, The Use of Power has players racing to be the first to change the name of a street in their city.