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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › A Universal Bottom Line (Two-Player Shock)

A Universal Bottom Line (Two-Player Shock)

user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 65
Main Issues: Conscription, Dehumanization
Secondary Issue: Weather Control
Characters: Cal Simon (Pat) and Rosie Ford (Shuo)
Shock: Earth has become a planetary training simulation for higher beings

The Story:

Earth has been taken over by The Conductor, a powerful alien who is trying to turn the low-intelligence classed planet profitable as quickly and cheaply as possible. It appoints Cal Simon, a billionaire industrialist, as a consultant on how to move the masses of humans around the globe to mine for valuable resources. Cal eventually becomes the President of Earth and is invited up to The Conductor's spacecraft for the unceremonial obliteration of the planet. At the last minute, Cal convinces The Conductor that Earth's greatest resource is humanity itself and that art and imagination are rare commodities in the universe. Earth is saved but every decade or so, the world's greatest artists and writers are snatched up and sold to rich aliens with eccentric hobbies.

Rosie Ford remembers what it was like before The Conductor, or as she calls him, The Savior arrived. There were devastating wars and world hunger, but now everyone is taken care of and everyone has a purpose. She knows humanity is strong and wants to prove it to the rest of the universe. She works the miners in her cluster to illness and exhaustion in order to surpass each month's quota. Her fanatical devotion to The Conductor leads her to create a new religion where her congregation worships the alien through fear. After effectively converting all of Australia and most of China, The Conductor rewards Rosie by allowing her to evangelize every new race it encounters when conquering new planets for quick control. Unfortunately, the superstitious and irrational fears of humans are still scorned by the rest of the alien race as textbook low-intelligence planet.


I wanted to try out a two-person game of Shock and fiddled with the rules a bit to make it suitable. Each player came up with two issues and we eliminated the one that was the hardest to work with or didn't make sense (in this game we had two issues that were essentially the same thing). We chose two main issues that we wanted to explore with the third being a secondary background issue.

Since there was no Audience, each person had the choice of using as much of their d4's against the other as they wanted. We both happened to roll ridiculously well in almost all of our scenes so the flexibility of the d4's wasn't played out. Talking about it afterwards, Pat and I both agreed we didn't antagonize each other enough but if we had, we probably would have used as much of the d4 values as we could get against the other.

I think two-player Shock can work but the dice resolution needs to be hacked a bit more before I'd recommend it to others. Thanks for testing it out with me, Pat!
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 40
Thanks for the write up, Shuo!

I think Shuo nailed the issue we had with this game: insufficient antagonizing! It didn't help that I picked a pretty vague story goal for my character, either.

I did really like the shock we came up with, and upon rereading the story I think it turned out pretty well in the end!
Jamie F.
user 12636925
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 92
I wish I knew about this last night! I was playing Shock over Skype and our third player quit because of bad network connections.
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 66
Did you guys keep on playing? And if so, what rules did you tweak?
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