About The Game Poems

A “role-playing poem” is a very short game, where the idea is to investigate a mood or scene or something else of limited scope.

Here is the first “role-playing game poem” that I ever came across:

Children Monks: A role-playing poem

A game for 6 to 10 people.

You play holy reincarnated monks as children found by the monastery and destined to become great leaders. Children will be children. To break you of your childhood, the master monks have given you a plate of peas to count while blindfolded. You’ll spend the day counting peas in order to break you of your childhood.

Set-up: Get a timer that ticks and set it for 15 minutes. For each player, fill a bowl full of dried beans, peas, or something like that and give it to them, and wrap a blindfold around their eyes. Wrap them in a blanket made to look like a robe. Sit the players on the floor, cross legged, in a circle.

To play, for fifteen minutes the players must loudly hum “Ohm Ohm Ohm Ohm,” and throw peas at each other. When a player’s plate is empty of peas, they must feel around on the ground for peas to throw. At no point may the players stop humming “Ohm Ohm Ohm Ohm.” If a player has to converse while looking for peas, the player may vary the pitch and sound of the “Ohm Ohm Ohm Ohm.”

Once fifteen minutes is up and the alarm goes off, the players stop exactly where they are and someone removes the blindfold. You are now enlightened.

I was immediately hooked. In short order, I discovered the basis of the “role-playing poem” over at the Norwegian Style blog, and the inevitable challenge/contest over at Story Games, and was hooked further. I especially appreciated the impressionistic story-suggestions of game poems like The Believers or Seance or A Moment on the Subway, the bare gamey-ness of things like Hero Caves, and the utter simplicity of game poems like Sitting by the Window and Fame.

This is where I’ll be posting my weekly game poem.

Ideally, I’ll be posting a new game poem every week, ideally on Mondays. Ideally. By the end of the year, I should have fifty or so. Ideally. If I get ambitious, there will be more than one a week, but we’ll see how it goes.

I hope you enjoy the game poems, I hope even more that you are able to play some of them, and I especially hope that you are able to share your experience with them here.