What Are Your Favorite GMless Collaborative Story Games?

edited December 2016 in Story Games
I'm hoping to get a list of everyone's favorite GMless collaborative Story Games so that those of us looking to purchase or look into new games will have a list of recommended games. (I need to buy a bunch of them for my gaming group). If you could list your favorite GMless collaborative games I would really appreciate it; I will keep a list going for those interested. Maybe, keep your lists to around 10 or less. Thanks :)

List:
6 Montsegur 1244
6 Fiasco
5 Archipelago
4 Polaris
3 Kingdom
3 The Quiet Year
3 Shock : Social Science Fiction
3 Microscope
2 Society of Dreamers
2 Mythic GM Emulator
2 Dream Askew
2 In a Wicked Age
2 Hot Guys Making Out
1 Downfall
1 The Daughters of Verona
1 Perseverant (Beta)
1 Universalis
1 Follow (Beta)
1 The deep forest
1 Okult
1 Amist Endless Quiet
1 Ribbon Drive
1 Nod
1 Dog Eat Dog
1 Spione
1 Left Coast
1 Protocol (game series)
1 Musette
1 Land of Nodd
1 Zombie Cinema
1 While the World Ends
1 Eden
1 Capes
1 Intrepid
1 The Name of God
1 FateLess
1 Annalise
1 1,001
1 Witch House
1 Breaking the Ice
1 Shooting the Moon
1 Under My Skin
1 House of Reeds
1 Road Running
1 S/lay w/me
1 The Box
1 Questlandia
1 Odyssey: Journey and Change
1 The Trouble with Rose

Comments

  • edited November 2016
    I really like Perserverant. :)

    Oh, and The Quiet Year too.
  • edited November 2016
    I really like Perserverant. :)
    I backed this, do you know if they give you access to the beta (or whatever stage it's in) as a backer? Or how to get the latest playtest etc.?
    Never mind, found it :)
  • Yeah, the latest version of the rules are there for anybody (even non-backers) on the Kickstarter page.

    I'm pretty sure Ben won't mind me posting the links directly here...

    Quick Start Rules

    Current Beta Draft
  • @Irminsul
    Thanks :) Have you played it? How long does a single session generally take?
  • edited November 2016
    It took us about an hour to collaboratively create characters and the danger/conflict cards (I loved that process!).

    Then around another three hours to play the game to a nice conclusion. But I got the impression that the game could've ended quicker or played out longer had we wanted it to (we had a strict time limit when playing on Roll20).
  • I give unto you the master list of all GMless games played at Story Games Seattle. It goes back three years…

    Story Games Seattle: What We Played
  • I give unto you the master list of all GMless games played at Story Games Seattle. It goes back three years…

    Story Games Seattle: What We Played
    Awesome Ben! Thank you so much! You helped to make my life much easier :)
  • It took us about an hour to collaboratively create characters and the danger/conflict cards (I loved that process!).

    Then around another three hours to play the game to a nice conclusion. But I got the impression that the game could've ended quicker or played out longer had we wanted it to (we had a strict time limit when playing on Roll20).
    Cool, I'm definitely going to try it out. Thanks :)
  • Well, Fiasco, of course.

    In A Wicked Age, one of my favorite games, has a pretty minimal GM role, mostly just playing the NPCs and helping set scenes. In my group we had a continuing campaign but rotated the GM every session.

    I think Universalis is sort of the grandparent of GM-less games. I don't know if it was played much,but it was very influential. It has interesting mechanisms for bidding to set and influence scenes, and for resolving disputes.
  • Some under-appreciated gems and some classics:
    • Okult by Wilhelm Person. The creepiest horror game I've ever played (or maybe the only genuinely creepy one) and an elegant, original design which really emphasizes collaboration.
    • Society of Dreamers by Matthijs Holter. Imaginative, slightly creepy, surprising, somewhat challenging.
    • Amidst Endless Quiet by Ben Lehman. A quick one-page game packing an incredible punch.
    • Hot Guys Making Out, also by Ben Lehman. Incredibly clever mechanics.
    • Ribbon Drive by Avery Macdaldno. The music-driven, road trip role-playing game. Unique and uniquely moving.
    • Nod by Simon Carryer (I can't currently find a link to the game's website and I don't know why). A sword and sorcery game. Akin to Okult in going down to the fundamentals of the form, different in every other respect.
    • Spione by Ron Edwards: engaging, powerful and challenging. I only have limited experience playing the related game Shahida, but I'd recommend it based on the essay part alone.
    • Kingdom - my favorite Ben Robbins game.
    • Dog Eat Dog by Liam L. Burke: I don't count the Authority player as being "a GM".
    • Polaris, the granddaddy of them all, either in its original fantasy setting or with the historical romance Thou Are But a Warrior supplement by Anna Kreider. It takes time to really get to appreciate Polaris.
  • edited November 2016
    Microscope
    Fiasco
    Mythic GM Emulator
    Archipelago

    Various games based on this approach:
    http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/19938/my-new-style-of-gm-less-play-10-steps

    Else, you can search Fictioneers.net for GMless games. This gives you a huge list and a good overview.
  • In the GMless line, I like Archipelago, Left Coast, Montsegur 1244 and the Protocol game series (I find it helps when the GMless games have a strong theme or implied structure or both), and in the GMful line Dream Askew and The Society of Dreamers.
  • Jeff,

    My games Musette and Land of Nodd are two of my favourites for GMless gaming. You have the former; I'll update the latter and share with you sometime!

  • edited November 2016
    Jeff,

    My games Musette and Land of Nodd are two of my favourites for GMless gaming. You have the former; I'll update the latter and share with you sometime!

    Awesome, thanks Paul! I've heard really good things about Land of Nodd :)
  • It's very similar to a British game called Intrepid, which is well-beloved by many. (I haven't played it myself, though.) Also a close relative to Annalise.
  • I really like Kingdom. I don't have wide experience with these though.
  • I think I will add a game I like a lot for others that might be looking into GMless Story Games. I really dig Follow by Ben Robbins.
  • Dagnabbit, BeePeeGee took all my answers!

    ( If you're keeping count, add one more for each of those from me!)
  • edited November 2016
    Zombie Cinema is the world's best Finnish zombie movie RPG. It is probably the game I have played most times in my life. I've played it so much! It is good, a great intro game into GM-less gaming, and once you've played it a couple of times and grown bored with the zombies you can trivially hack it into any sort of disaster movie. (Also, the rule book is quite literally one sheet of paper.)

    Montsegur 1244 is brilliant. It is the only game I've ever played where faith has really mattered. It is a dark, feel-bad game though.

    Polaris play beautifully doomed knights on the North Pole. It takes a very different approach to conflict resolution and the narrative in general. In my experience it is not great for short sessions. I would probably want to schedule at least 3x4 hours before playing it again.

    I was so taken by Montsegur 1244 so I cloned it when I made The Daughters of Verona, which is as strong a feel-good game as M1244 is a feel-bad one.

    While the World Ends (Check out the Crowdfunding!) is a competitive Sci Fi story game that does not break down when you powergame / min-max it. Of all the games I've made I'm probably the proudest of this one.
  • No one has mentioned Downfall yet? I think it has some of the best world building rules out there.
  • Eden by Marc Hobbs is a current Kickstarter project. I don't know anything about the mechanics, but it sounds like it has some interesting angles regarding morality and innocence vs. experience.
  • Hot Guys Making Out, Kingdom, and Montsegur 1244
  • I'm gonna say Capes! in the hope of a revised edition magically appearing.

    Also, obligatory "every game needs a host" remark to the mention of GMless games.
  • edited November 2016
    A second vote for intrepid

    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/121044/Intrepid-A-Storytelling-Adventure?term=Intrepid&test_epoch=0

    And I HAVE played it.
    Ok, thanks Simon, I marked it :) I'm not sure if it was one of Paul's favorites; I think he was just comparing it to his game :) Anyway, if so, he will let us know :)
  • Montsegur 1244 and Dream Askew are my two favorites.
  • I vote for, in no particular order:
    - The Quiet Year
    - Montsegur
    - The Name of God
    - FateLess
    - SHOCK
    - Fiasco
    - Polaris

    Played all of them, wouldn't really know which one to choose >__<
  • Annalise
    In a Wicked Age
    Fiasco
  • 1,001 Nights

    At Metatopia last year I played this seasonal ghost story thing also by Meg Baker that was very good

    Polaris, of course, and its amazing hack Thou Art But A Warrior by Anna Kreider

    Witch House (also by Ben Lehman--brilliant micro-game)

    Breaking the Ice / Shooting the Moon / Under My Skin

    The Quiet Year
  • Forgive me if this is the wrong forum for this, but I have an original GMless collaborative story game called The Box that provides a specific process for a group to collectively imagine and describe an esoteric object inside a box. It's for 3-6 players and games I've run have been 2-3 hours, and a lot of fun!

    You're welcome to download the current version here, it's fully playable in its current form but I am open to suggestions about expansion/revision - THE BOX

    Let me know what object you create and how you enjoyed the process if you play it!
  • Thanks RickDean, beautiful design. I also love the font, what is it?
  • The font looks like Bodoni 72. I have it though I never explicitly bought or downloaded it; I believe it's bundled with one of the iWork apps or MS Office.
  • Yeah, could be Bodoni (or some derivative). Thanks, snej. It also seems like it's been made with Scribus.
  • I've liked all the big ones I've played. My list:

    1. Montsegur 1244 - Like nordic larp, but you don't need to act physically.
    2. Fiasco - Consistently fun.
    3. Shock : Social Science Fiction - Results in intriguing sci-fi -settings, but the rules are often a hassle.
    4. Microscope - I'd like to keep it less sprawling and more focused, but the core mechanics are effective.

    I like my own game too, but it's still in development.
  • House of Reeds is good.
    And I'm playing through forum "S/Lay w/Me" and "Road Running" and they look good to me.
  • Played:

    Shock

    Read and found interesting:
    Primetime Adventures
    Universalis (relatively complex, but very interesting)
    Annalise
    Bacchanal
    Remember Tomorrow
  • Played:

    Shock

    Read and found interesting:
    Primetime Adventures
    Universalis (relatively complex, but very interesting)
    Annalise
    Bacchanal
    Remember Tomorrow
    I will add Shock. If you want me to add the others please let me know :)
  • I enjoy Questlandia. Got to play it with some really great people (one of whom was the creator) at Big Bad Con 2015. My local group requests it frequently as well.
  • Yeah, could be Bodoni (or some derivative). Thanks, snej. It also seems like it's been made with Scribus.
    Right on both counts, It's Bodoni 72 and Smallcaps, formatted with Scribus. Good eyes!

    The whole game experience is modeled after a friend of mine who is a collector of esoteric objects of all kinds, and grew out of a gamification of the experience of trying to figure out the purpose or function of the bizarre things he'd bring home from estate sales and flea markets around the Bay Area. He also collects a lot of those old 1930s-50s booklets so I wanted to choose a font and format that emulated those.

    Thanks for taking the time to check it out, let me know what you come up with if you run it! I'm currently working on some Action/Event cards to integrate into the process to bring in some narrative elements to the game. Stay tuned...
  • I played Odyssey: Journey and Change over the weekend using my playset, He-Man and She-Ra Save Christmas. Smashing success. So I recommend the game for this list.
  • I'm going to shamelessly mention The Trouble with Rose since it is certainly GM-less and it is collaborative among the players and potentially collaborative among the characters if they discover each others hidden agendas.
    https://tangent-zero.com/trouble.htm
  • I'll add that with a good group, Monsterhearts runs extremely well with no GM, as long as you can agree on structure.
  • edited December 2016
    @Tore_V Ooooh. That sounds interesting.

    But doesn't any game run well without a GM, "as long as you can agree on structure"? The devil is in the details, right?

    Never mind. I started a new thread for this.
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