I got swept up in Game Chef. The timing was pretty good; we just wrapped the Fiasco Companion and other projects are simmering. My game, Durance, does exactly two interesting things:
1. There’s a resolution/guidance mechanic that forces you to look at the setting you’ve collaboratively built each time you use it. Not in a consulting mode, but in a “the dice are on top of the setting document” mode, which I hope will reinforce those details in a non-intrusive but fruitful way. This works in Fiasco, where you browse 144 items to choose a handful, and in so doing get a feel for the playset’s flavor and tone.
2. That same resolution/guidance mechanic also paces the introduction of new situation in a way I think is pretty elegant. There are three numbers tied to themes (desperation, servility and terror), higher numbers trump lower numbers, so you have a neat triangle where at least one will always trump another, sometimes two. On a tie you can elect to add a new fictional element from a list, based on the numbers currently on the mat. And on a somewhat rare triple tie, that element is some variation on the biggest event in colonial life – “A transport arrives”. I feel very clever.