The Leftovers - A slapstick fantasy storytelling game

edited September 2010 in Directed Promotion

The Leftovers is a slapstick fantasy storytelling game. You tell the story of The Leftovers, the unlikely surviving lackeys of an ill-fated adventuring party. Stuck in the middle of a dungeon, The Leftovers must find their way out room by room and avoid The Monster at all costs. With luck, and the sheer power of cowardice, they just might make it out alive. Remember: Never Fight The Monster. That's a sure way to a glorious hero's death – And these guys are not the heroes.

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  • This actually reminds me of the plot of a novel I've been cooking for several years, where the protagonists are the sidekicks and henchmen of the adventuring party, who are all wiped out horribly in the bottom of the dungeon. The adventurers were also gigantic jerks, but that's just so you don't feel so bad that they died in gruesome fashion.
  • I mean, really, the kind of thrill-seekers who dive into hostile habitats looting and pillaging whatever they find... They'd be horrible bosses. :P
  • For serious.

    I got to thinking about this when I ran Tomb of Horrors once and the heroes left the dungeon to go back to the nearby village. I was like, what must that village be like? It'd be where the dungeon crawlers go back to recruit more henchmen. And drink all the ale. And cash in all the magic items they don't want, and spend all of their gold pieces. It would be a town completely devoted to the business of supporting dungeon crawlers foolish enough to keep showing up every spring to explore the Tomb of Horrors. And for young, fresh-faced villagers, it'd be like career day: first day of spring you line up, hoping to get picked by a cleric who wasn't also some creepy cultist, or a fighter who wasn't a dumbass, or a magic-user who didn't smell bad.
  • edited September 2010
    In a more dignified setting, these guys would be the sherpas hired to escort the adventurers through the dungeon and keep them in just-enough-harm's way.

    But this is a silly game, so it's about the Abbot & Costello meeting the Mummy and running the hell away.
  • This is fun stuff. Just played that with my sister (who is a closet geek) and her not-so-closet geek friend. Three times. We lost each and every time, but had fun each time. Now where did she put that dungeon sheet??

    I was thinking of using Happy Birthday Robot to do amusing, adversarial storytelling. Ever since the Little Game Chef, I had been trying to find a way to make a better version of Quite, Indubitably, and when I finally got my hands on Happy Birthday Robot, wondered how that would work. The Leftovers has given me hope...

    Now I want to play again. Surely we'll get out of the Spleen this time...
  • I saw this on your blog, Daniel...

    The first thing to cross my mind was..."I've gotta get me some of those Robot Dice so I can play this".
  • Michael (Wight), that is awesome. I'm glad you had fun even though you didn't make it out. Can you elaborate on what happened? Did the Monster get you? Also, if you find the dungeon sheet, do you mind leaving that as a comment on the blog post for others to find, too? :)

    Michael (Wenman), you can easily use Fudge dice or regular dice, too. Give it a shot!
  • Yeah, the monster got us each and every time. We kept pushing our luck, and the monster ended up getting something like four turns in a row (2nd run of the game), and that pretty much killed us with all the coins it collected.
    I dug around, and couldn't find where the heck she put those dungeon sheets, but I'm sure I'll find them.

    I should mention I also use the Fudge dice for this, which works perfectly. + for "and," and - for "but."

    I assume, BTW, that the coins you use for extra words are simply flipped over when used, like in Happy Birthday Robot, yes? It didn't say specifically, but since it is a variant of HBR, it seemed logical. My sis and her friend hadn't played the original, and thought you could delay the end by using them up and discarding them.
  • edited September 2010
    Actually, I should be more explicit on this point. Coins in The Leftovers always grant a free word, regardless of whether they're heads or tails. It's a small change, but one that I hoped would give players a bit more of a chance against The Monster. (You still have an incentive to share your coins, so no one in the group reaches 10 too soon.)

    But as noted in the blog post, this is still in beta, so if you think using traditional HBR Heads/Tails is better, I'd consider that revision. Otherwise, I should probably call them something other than "coins," since that implies heads and tails. Perhaps just "chips."
  • Oh, that does explain a lot. Might've helped our chances of survival, definitely. Cool.
  • edited September 2010
    Tokens works, too. I think I'll go with that.

    Aaaand edited. Thanks!
  • Well, we never could find those first three attempts at The Spleen, but we gave it another go last night, now knowing better how the coins work...and we WON!
    Characters: Moor (me), Dwom (sister), and Pood (her friend)... I went first even though I was the oldest, just because...
    1. (Blanks 1, Ands 2, Buts 3)
    "Moor runs and hides quickly but loses his way."
    2. (Blanks 5, Ands 3, Buts 1)
    "Dwom can't find her gold dentures and wants food now anyway."
    3. (Blanks 2, Ands 3, Buts 4)
    "The Monster Slime of Sheboygan creeps ever closer but must squeeze through rocks."
    4. (Blanks 2, Ands 1, Buts 3, Dwom gives 2 coins to Moor)
    "Moor finds something gross in his pocket and whimpers but bites his tongue."
    5. (Blanks 0, Ands 3, Buts 3)
    "Dwom prods a hole and finds gooey green orbs but smashes them open."
    6. (Blanks 1, Ands 4, Buts 4, Moor gives 3 coins to Pood)
    "The Monster groans and gnashes its gross evil teeth but leaks nasty yellow water everywhere."
    7. (Blanks 4, Ands 3, Buts 2)
    "Moor hates the terrible, acrid, smelly liquid and hides under blankets but finds roaches."
    8. (Blanks 2, Ands 5, Buts 3, Pood gives 2 coins to Dwom)
    "The Monster slides forward crying 'Growl, I must eat you all!' but was very sarcastic."
    9. (Blanks 2, Ands 1, Buts 3)
    "Pood sticky leaps over them sneakily but lands on stinky cheese."
    10. (Blanks 3, Ands 3, Buts 3, Moor gives 4 coins to Pood)
    "Moor throws the cheese and distracts their enemy but looses his hat."
    11. (Blanks 0, Ands 1, Buts 4)
    "And inevitably, The Monster traps them boots with pretzels."
    12. (Blanks 1, Ands 2, Buts 3)
    "Pood spins and skates away but only wins silver."
    13. (Blanks 3, Ands 2, Buts 0)
    "Moor takes the gold shield under his hairy long arm and finally escapes."

    All in all, a good delve through the Spleen, though we really didn't use any of the Item or Obstacle words when we got them.
  • That is awesome! I'm glad you made it out alive. :D I'll work on some more maps in the coming days.
  • Just posted a new map on the blog: The Leftovers in "The Bunny's Burrow"

    Hope you dig it!
  • New map! The Leftovers in "The Room of Spiky Things"

    Includes new hazards for your cowardly heroes. :)
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