200 Word RPG Challenge Entry: Carfax Abbey

Here’s my other entry for the 200 Word RPG Challenge…

Carfax Abbey

by Keith Garrett

Do you love aristocratic family drama but feel it needs more bloodsuckers? Or do you fancy gothic horror but believe it would be improved with the addition of servants and scandals? Then mash them together in the setting for this gothic aristocratic vampire drama: Carfax Abbey.

Set at Count Dracula’s English residence, the game asks players to imagine Dracula (and associated characters) as part of a family of nobles—or their servants.

Players choose characters from those featured in either Dracula or a beloved period drama. Mix them up! See how Renfield would do as the resident cook, or picture the family matriarch as one of Dracula’s brides.

The GM then presents the players with a situation inspired by both sources. Some stories can come from one source, some from the other, but the really fun ones will likely be a blend. Sure, Dracula knows how to handle a group of hunters arriving to stake him—but what will he do when the chauffeur gets his granddaughter pregnant? How will the butler handle things when visitors from Transylvania show up and turn out to be messy, bloody eaters?

Players then resolve the story with dialogue, drama, scandal, and horror.

(Also available on the 200 Word RPG Challenge website.)

200 Word RPG Challenge Entry: #Resist

Now that the contest is over, I wanted to share my own entries. Here’s my first…


by Keith Garrett

Everyone chooses a different type of Resister made up of an adjective/noun combination, such as Veteran Activist, Socialist Politician, Social Media Warrior, or Newly Woke.

Choose one player to start as the Mouthpiece. Instead of playing her Resister this round, the Mouthpiece invents an Order: some harmful law, executive order, or other legislation. The Mouthpiece can announce the Order as she likes, such as a line from a bill, a quote from the Press Secretary, or a tweet from the President.

Then, each Resister states what their character would do to oppose the Order.

Next, the Resisters state what their character would do to conflict with the stated efforts of one other Resister. This conflict could be spun as intentional or unintentional.

Finally, the Mouthpiece states which Resister's action stymied, impeded, or annoyed the Administration the most. Similar to the Order announcement, this response might come as a pundit's rant, a midnight tweet, or an SNL parody.

Continue play for a predetermined number of rounds (switching the Mouthpiece role each round). The winner is the player with the most successful resistance.

Alternatively, the game may end when a simple majority of players agree that we are all screwed.

(Also available on the 200 Word RPG Challenge website.)

International Tabletop Day 2017

My gang and I celebrated another International Tabletop Day recently! Here’s what we played. (You can also read about what we played last year.)

Game 1: Elder Sign

One of my friends hadn’t played this before, so we were happy to introduce her to it. This game gets a lot of play in my house, because it captures the fun of Arkham Horror but is easier to set up and–for us–win.

I had to document this anomalous die roll. It was one of two similar ones on this day.
Four “peril” faces in a single roll!

Game 2: Evolution

My friend Jeff brought this one, and none of us had played it before. It was pretty fun! On round one, at least 2 of us went extinct because we failed to understand how to feed our organisms.

Below are my wife’s three species. Each species can have up to three traits, and you can change traits later.

Game 3: Utter Nonsense!

I’m normally too afraid of embarrassing myself to play a game like this, but I’m glad I did. Each round, one player is the judge, and randomly picks an accent for the others to imitate. Then each player chooses a line to read in that accent. Some of the accents we had to mimic were Southern Gentleman, Mexican, Australian, Super Mario, Whisper, Mumble, and Chicken.

Game 4: Tokaido

My wife and I never get tired of this game, which we discovered on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop. We find it a peaceful change of pace from other games. The goal is to sample different items and experiences on a journey in ancient Japan.

Game 5: Star Trek Panic

My favorite Castle Panic variant! Each player chooses a Star Trek character to play (original series), each of which has a unique special ability. (As Chekov, I did extra damage with phasers.) Then you try to complete five missions based on episodes from the show, while also having to deal with randomly appearing enemy ships and space phenomena. One of our highlights was defeating the Doomsday Machine in a single turn!

We were victorious, but as you can see, we barely got out alive…

Parting Gifts

I used this occasion to unload some surplus collectables from my son’s LootCrate subscription. I intended it as a prize table, but since two of our games were cooperative, I just let people fight over this stuff, gladiator style.

Did you play games on Tabletop Day?