I wrote a short game for the “Iron MACE” contest called Grey Ranks, which I think is pretty cool. Thanks to Eric, Lisa and Rami, I also think that it is tragically broken. We kicked it around for an hour last night in the hotel bar and exposed numerous ugly flaws. Expect a complete mechanical re-write.

The things that are cool about Grey Ranks are the notion of socially ablative damage (which I totally stole from Sheyras Sampat) and the escalating tension between love and violence. I want to retool the game so that the system for completing missions (killing nazis) and winning affection (killing your inner teen loser) are functionally identical, or nearly so.

One thing we came up with in the brief test was maybe using exploding dice – re-rolling 6’s, and maybe lowering that number (a la Burning Wheel shades) as characters gain intimacy or experience.

Grey Ranks playtest
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