Actual Play - [My God's Bigger Than Your God ] Game Chef 2010 1st Playtest

Posted by: Joe Prince On: Oct 3rd 2010

My God's Bigger Than Your God

First ever playtest.

At the third Glasgow Indie Gamers meet-up I ran a game of MGBTYG at Keith's behest. Truly I am honoured, no-one has ever requested to play one of my game chef entries before.

The game worked far better than I had anticipated and provided us with a tremendous amount of fun.

To begin I read out a couple of paragraphs from the text-

"This game is an exploration of faith, blind obedient faith.
Eons ago, a city, marooned in the desert, became the most holy place in the world. The seat of faith for millions. This game is the story of that city.

Each player controls a religious Faith – not a God per se, but you're not going to tell the sheep that! The objective is to grow your religion to the point where it becomes the dominant faith in the city. "

Without further ado we were onto DIY deities:
Stuart came up with the faith of Cactron, god of plants (mainly cacti).
Max created The Cult of The Silent Stone.
Keith went for Zotan – Hound of the Nightime.
Last (and inevitably least) I generated Nukundu, Mother of all Scorpions.

Pretty cool, and coming up with our beginning decrees and promises was hilarious.

Nukundu promises protection in the afterlife from the dread scarab army.
Thou shalt not wear robes of finery.

Zotan promises the faithful will rule over all creation as lords of darkness.
Thou shalt offer up your blood to Zotan.

The Cult promised to grant eternal silence, like the stone.
Thou shalt never speak directly of the stone.

Cactron promises that you will not hurt yourself on pointy objects as much as you would otherwise.
Thou shalt not harm a flowering plant.

Thus we embarked on storytelling hijinx. It's worth pointing out that My God's Bigger Than Your God is very much a storytelling game rather than a RPG. I make this distinction because there are no PCs as such.

Ye Story
Zotan's prophet emerged, a rabid dog known as The Black Hound of Death. Upon a failed edge scene we were forced to mutter "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty dog". Instead the Hound became an armed prophet, embroiled in a bitter holy war with Cactron.

The Cult of the silent stone were very popular – despite not being able to talk about their faith. An enterprising preacher penned the first holy text – an allegorical Mills & Boon-esque adventure story 'The Life and Times of John Stone'.

Nukundu became the first of the lost gods, after losing a lot of followers to the Stone. Not even stealing their holy book and re-writing it as 'The Life and Times of The Scorpion King' helped much.

Cactron sent his Messiah, Spiney (Norman we inevitably called him). He taught the faith many important lessons, in no way influenced by their dealings with Zotan.
Thou shalt always kick a dog you pass.
Thou shalt be given stout boots.

As the dust settled on The City, Cactron worship was the major faith, with The Cult of The Silent Stone still proving popular and Zotan relegated to the fringes of society.

Food for thought
We had some fruitful discussion about miracle scenes – that they should provide a way for a weakened Faith to get back into contention. Mechanically, if you get all heads on your follower coins then a miracle occurs! You gain a follower from each other Faith and you gain an Edge.

God coins were a bit over-powerful. I'm going to limit their uses to once per round next time.

Schisms are to be altered slightly – after a schism any player without Faith can immediately adopt the schismatic Faith. Otherwise schisms can get hoovered up too quickly.

I’m thinking about dropping Powers and just having Promises.

Maybe bringing in a Decree or Promise, should provide a bonus coin on your turn.

Can My God’s Bigger than Your God do serious as well as Life of Brian? My instinct is probably, but it might be less fun.

Thanks to Jonathon Walton for hosting Game Chef 2010 and for his thoughtful review. I like the idea of simultaneously declaring tactics and using cards. I’m looking at doing something similar for Golden Age Contenders anyway!

Could this be the first GC entry I see through to publication?
We shall see…

Posted by: Keith Fyans On: Oct 3rd 2010

Hi Joe,

First up thanks for facilitating a really enjoyable game - I don't think we had stopped laughing for most of the game. I'd definitely like to try it with a few of the rules-tweaks you mentioned - I can tell right off that the changes to the Gold Coin will work a treat while the Schism mechanic probity needs polished and tested a few times to get it just right.

Beyond that, I believe after two GiG meetings of you running stuff for me I'll have to run something at the next meet up for you (unless someone else poaches you with a shinier game).

Posted by: Joe Prince On: Oct 6th 2010

Cheers Keith

I'm not going to be able to make the next GIG - as I'm off to Lucca for the launch of the Italian language version of Contenders.

For the November GIG I would very much like you to run a game for me!

Posted by: Keith Fyans On: Oct 7th 2010

November it is!

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