[S/lay w/ Me] Yet More Pulp Fiction

imageLast spring we started a storygaming blog with my friend Petteri, with the specific focus of using S/lay w/ Me to write a story that would work both as play and literature. I wrote about the particulars at the time in this old thread. It was a fun and intensive exercise, and we did put out a novella-length sword & sorcery story.

As S/lay w/ Me is a campaign game, the idea of going back into it soon started percolating. It took us a while to clear up our schedules for it, but we've now started a new session of gameplay at the blog. We swapped roles as per the rules, so I, with my effervescent and linguistically tortured prose am playing the hero this time around, while Petteri lays down the bass-line with a straight prose GM-style. The biggest change in the recipe is modest in that we halved the pace of play - just two Goes per week this time around. Still a pretty regular writing exercise, particularly as the length of the individual Go has been creeping upwards in a worrysome way.

So yeah, that's a thing - I'm back to spewing pulp fantasy imagery every week. Just wanted to say. Feel free to read and tell us what you think; as before, we are interested in the writing craft (this is, in part, an exercise in improving our writing skills), so if you read a few pages of our stuff and realize an insight about what's wrong with it, do share. (Aside from the general lack of editing polish - that's obvious for what amounts to first drafts authored under a tight deadline, and we know that already.)

In addition to literary feedback, another question about the project that I am mildly curious about: how should one go about publicizing something like this? I wouldn't mind having a few more readers. It's possible that our creative style and/or quality isn't really up to having people read this for the entertainment value (it's fun to write, but perhaps not so interesting to read), in which case promotion is wasted effort, of course. Still, if you have a sense for some low-effort steps one might take to get a few more eyeballs on this, I'm interested in exploring ideas.

Last time I discussed this project here, Paul graciously suggested some other games that might work well for this kind of literary play. I read up on his experiments with the form since then, and am now interested in trying these games out at some point. S/lay is working for us pretty well, but I could see e.g. Showdown working equally well.

My current list of games to investigate regarding literary play:
S/lay w/ Me
Mars Colony
Breaking the Ice
De Profundis
Puppetland? (really, I just like the aesthetics of it)

If anybody has any more suggestions of games that are particularly appropriate for playing in postal play, with literary pretensions, do let me know. (I'm open to moderate hacking, too, as long as the core game still remains relevant to the exercise.) This whole project is slow (I mean, playing a single session of S/lay like this takes ages, and we're having so much fun that switching games is not an immediate concern), but I want to explore the possibilities well in advance so when and if the time comes I'll have the most appropriate games lined up.

Anybody else noticed how half of all the threads at Story Games nowadays are about making lists of game titles :D


  • Excellent! I'm slowly catching up on a bunch of correspondence (including writing to you, Eero), and reading this is pretty high on my list.

    The original was a really interesting read, and I'm also looking forward to this one! I plan to start reading later this week, with anticipation.

    I assume you've seen the Story Games Showdown thread. It was pretty good, and worked well in that medium.

    It feels off to complete this post without listing some games. Perhaps I'll come back to edit some in later!
  • We've arrived at the Climax of our current story! The "Climax" in S/lay is essentially the conflict resolution system from Otherkind, except it's done only once in the entire story, so it garners massive creative importance. You can check out the situation at the blog; as the hero player I'll have to make some choices over the weekend as to who lives and who dies, and other essentials. Specifically, I have two "picks" and six issues to choose between, so someone's probably going to fry no matter what I choose.
  • Excellent! I've got far, far behind on this, but I'm keen to read up on it over the next week.
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