Engle Matrix Game Comic | Leisure

Engle Matrix Game Rules ca.

2003
Matrix Games have been around since 1988 and have gone through many versions. Some people learn best my reading, others do better with pictures. In 2003 I made a cartoon version of the rules. These rules appeared at the beginning of a book which included several scenarios and maps. If you don’t have such a book I’m afraid you will have to make up your own game before you can play. Here is how to do that: Make a cast of twenty characters (write a one paragraph description of each character), get a location map, write a one page description of the situation (This is read at the start of the game to help players imagine what is about to happen.) Lastly write a short story opener. This scenario opener presents an interesting twist that the players will explore during play. Add in one six-sided die per player and figures or tokens to show where the characters are on the map and you’re ready to play. Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games 7251 West State Road 46 Ellettsville, Indiana 47429 hamster@io.com http://www.io.com/~hamster

Referee Scenario Book Six Sided Dice Map It was a dark and stormy night when the horror story started. It will help set the mood. . Some people use miniature figures to represent characters on the map. It took Johnnie three swings of the ax to cut off his right hand… Next the referee reads the scenario information to the players. The following is a generic game. The referee introduces the players to the game. The best way to learn to play an Engle Matrix Game is to play one. the next best thing is to see one run in a cartoon. The players make up what happens next. The scenario gives the players some background information to give them some ideas that they can use to tell the story. This player hosts the game. Since you are reading and not playing. Try reading the first section of each game to the players. This is a starting point to the story the players will tell. The Scenario book includes maps or you can make your own. It is just a starting point.Appendix One How to play an Engle Matrix Game One player is the referee.

This should give everyone a few more ideas about what might happen. Move your character anywhere you want to on the map. YOU ARE NOW READY TO PLAY! Each turn starts with a free move. If this were any other game. It isn’t. it’s creativity! . I pick Johnnie. what would you want to have happen first? Cool! I can do anything? I discover Johnnie and do first aid. this was the situation and you could do whatever your wanted. Hey I don’t want to be followed. you were your character. Players do this by making up an “argument” about what occurs next. Then you will need to hide or put on a disguise because right now people can move anywhere they like and follow whoever they want. Decide where you want your character to be and move them there. Some people believe that making it up as you go along is cheating.The players pick a character to champion. I am the doctor. I’m following Johnnie. Then get on with the story. That is why you can move so freely. Matrix Games are not about movement. I’m Johnnie’s Evil Uncle Dick. Now to make things happen. The players read their character’s description to one another to introduce themselves.

It is the player’s responsibility to remember what their argument is and how strong it is. Bit by bit the story unfolds. They might want to write them down. . Successful arguments are added to the world “Matrix”. not the referee. Roll this Really Strong Pretty Strong Okay Pretty Weak Really Weak Stupid 2.6 3. You now know 90% of the rules.6 6 7 Very Strong Strong Average Weak Very Weak Impossible Doing first aid sounds really strong. Note: Matrix Games have used this term since 1988. Roll anything but a one for it to happen.4.3. Each turn people move and make up what they want to have happen next.5.As the players make their arguments the referee decides what the player needs to roll on a six sided die for it to happen. The players make it happen.5. But wait! We all roll at the same time.6 5. A two! That is part of “anything but a one” so it happens!!! The players roll for their own arguments at the same time.4.5. It did not come from the movies.6 4.

Or anything else you can think of. cross their defenses). Hold elections. Steal away other people’s followers. Get revenge. Learn what other player’s secret arguments are. Start fights. Recruit other characters (so you can move them). Conduct a man hunt.So what can a player make happen with an argument? Make a second move. Hide or put on a disguise (a defense barrier). Move from one map to another. Make up false leads. Make opposing characters do stupid things. Make up clues. Riot/fight battles/conduct sieges/propaganda campaigns. Move up the social ladder. Weaken your opponents (a negative status). Make someone sick (a negative status). Maintain your social status. . Get even. Hold trials. Pin scandal on someone (a negative status). In Matrix Games the rules do not get in the way of your doing whatever you want to. Gain political offices or jobs. Raise armies/mobs/etc. Make friends with characters. (e. Make arguments secretly (only the referee knows them). Arrest people. Make up new characters. High speed chases.g. Learn about or make up other character’s insidious plots. Set off on missions/quests/etc. Make plans or preparations. Strengthen your characters (a positive status). Solve political problems. Make people surrender. Set up guards and alarms (more defense barriers) Tail characters. Recruit secret agents. Try to steal treasures/secrets/people/etc. Plan the steps of a plot. Stop plots. Cause/make up. Help plots succeed. Make up or learn what defenses stand between you and your goals. political/economic/natural disasters (trouble).

the players can do anything they like.” “Uncle Dick has a secret meeting with the Sheriff.” “Johnnie finds an old map in the attic. murdered by and ax.)” “The Sheriff calls in National Guard troops to hunt Johnnie down.Matrix Games allow you to tell a story. Good stories always have a plot. It slowly crawls off into the dark.” The sidebar says we need to look for clues. Mind you. Plot Murder mystery “The doctor discovers the game warden dead. To tell that kind of story use those plot elements in your arguments. Could it be Johnnie’s doing?” “Uncle Dick recruits the butler to help him keep an eye on “things. A treasure map!” “Johnnies severed hand lives still. (The referee receives a secret note telling him that Dick forms and alliance with the Sheriff. we just need to find him! Spy Quest Horror Politics Military The map with each game has a sidebar on the back with a list of the plot elements you might use in that game. The rules are just suggestions. . Mixing and matching plots is perfectly okay. Forget that! We know Johnnie is guilty. Different story genres use different plot elements.

The players roll for their own arguments just like before. If two arguments agree but are in competition with a third and the third rolls out. Well obviously these can not both happen. Don’t worry. with all the arguments back. . Decide what the players need to roll for their arguments to happen. then the contest keeps on going. If all the arguments roll out then start a new dice rolling competition. I rolled a 1.Task One: As the game is being played the referee has five tasks. Just as the players “make up” their arguments. It is possible for several arguments to be strung together in one big dice rolling contest. Rolling continues until only one argument remains. We will settle it by a dice rolling competition. Oops! I guess this means Johnnie is bleeding to death. the referee “makes up” their strength. The referee decides which arguments are in competition with one another. I’m still in. It is possible that the remaining two arguments will roll out in the same turn which would give the competing argument another chance to happen. the players will catch them! It’s in their interest to do so. Only one argument can win a competition. I’m out. Referees sometimes worry that they will miss spotting competition between arguments. Task Two: I think Johnnie bleeds to death. No he doesn’t! He had a tourniquet. I roll a 6.

If their argument fails then they get a negative status suggested by the trouble. If they succeed then they dodge the trouble. That’s trouble. The referee rules on the argument and the player rolls immediately. Any one who would cut his hand off would think nothing of doing this so roll anything but a one. Just listen to you gut.Johnnie is bleeding to death. The player running the effected character gets to make a free trouble argument to save their person.. Hum. Referee hint: Players like getting a chance to save themselves. Trouble can be anything that hurts or weakens a character. Johnnie cauterizes his wound with a slab of metal heated in a fire. Johnnie will get to make a trouble argument to say why he doesn’t die. that would be really weak or even stupid unless the character also had a status like “mythic strength”. .Task Three: The referee decides if an argument causes another player trouble. In this case Johnnie would be dead but since this seems to be a horror game. For instance: If a player argues that a “sick” and “wounded” character fights off a hundred soldiers when cornered. There are no hard and fast rules on how to do this. death might not be the end! The Referee looks at the statuses pinned to characters to decide how strong arguments are..

The player with the advantage gets the first shot at saying how the fight turns out.Task Four: The The Sheriff and his men have Johnnie hold up in a barn. the referee decides who argues next. We burst into the barn and open up on Johnnie. If the roll succeeds the conflict is over. They go in to arrest him. Uncle Dick will argue for the Sheriff. Okay the Sheriff and Johnnie are in the fight. Who has the advantage? The man with the guns or the psycho killer? I think guns are better than adrenaline. Sure you come in guns a blazing and gun Johnnie down but his hand is still crawling away. It is dangerous to pick fights with people stronger than you. If that fails then the next player in the fight goes. The player running this character has the advantage. the strongest player gets a second chance. He goes down hard. A second conflict round will determine how it turns out. Guns a blazing! referee decides if arguments cause a conflict. The referee decides who is in the fight (assigning uncontrolled characters to various players) and which character is in the strongest position. This keeps up until someone’s argument succeeds. Johnnie is a very important character so it would be too fast to have him captured by a single die roll. They might just win before you get your first swing in! If the stronger player fails their roll. The referee can declare it a conflict which means that the first argument just started the fight. Once everyone has had a chance and failed. The referee decides what the player needs to roll and the player rolls immediately. unharmed! .

but the Doctor sees it. Task Five: The story has been following Johnnie. Johnnie is dead but his hand is crawling away. Uncle Dick ducks into the woods to collect the hand. no. This is the first I’ve heard of her. Do this by ruling arguments that advance these lines strong and off topic arguments weak and eventually stupid. That is realistic. that was out of left field. I want everyone to make an argument telling what happens next. We will do a dice rolling competition. I think that is pretty weak. If you don’t win it then the fight keeps on going. Use conflict rounds to add drama to the game by highlighting key issues. two or three story lines begin to emerge. Okay. Say how you win it and what happens to the loser. Aunt Mame comes in town for a visit. It did its job well. If a fight does not seem important to the story then let the first argument settle it. as the Sheriff gets rid of Johnnie. The referee helps move the story along to a conclusion. As Aristotle said. Uncle Dick and the Sheriff. . Wow. a middle. but it does not make for good stories. Referee Hint: If you don’t narrow the story down then it will never end. stories have a beginning. Referee Hint: Not all fights need to be resolved with a conflict round. He pets it and puts it back in its box.Player Hint: Don’t just describe the fight. no. As Johnnie lays dying he looks up at the Sheriff and says “It will be back…” there will be a sequel to this movie! No. life is like that. This is very dramatic and ends the game with a big dice rolling contest. and an end. Once this happens the referee moves the game along by focusing play in on these story lines. Yes that does happen. there will be a sequel to this movie! When the game reaches a climax the referee can suspend regular play and ask all the players to make competing arguments about what happens. and a little about the Doctor. As the game is played. Roll a five or six for it to happen.

A man is setting by the fire. Lets you and me join forces. So tell me about your childhood Johnnie. give the players a few more arguments to wrap up any remaining loose ends. Crack jokes. No I wasn’t. You can’t see who it is. You do not need a game master to do it! Create suspense by not telling everything all at once. Role playing is fun. It was horrible! My Uncle was sooooo mean. It is the Book of Necromancy! . You’d better stop saying that or else! Players can add a lot of fun to the game by doing the following things. Talking is fun. plan strategies. Do mini role play sessions where you act like you are your character. Don’t worry if your characters are not at the same place on the map. The title comes into focus.Once the climax is resolved. Talk to one another while playing. This brings the game to a solid conclusion. It is what is not told that creates tension. gossip. form teams. He is reading a book. The scene opens in a dark room.

Johnnies ghost appears before the Doctor and tells him everything that happened. Keep on playing even if your character dies. The Sheriff’s deputies are not certain it is a good idea to work to closely with Uncle Dick. kung fu action moves described in arguments makes a game feel more cinematic. It is okay to say what the other side’s guys do as well. Flashbacks. Don’t limit your arguments to what your character does.Use Cheesy movie tricks. You keep making arguments whither you have a character or not. People can jump in and out of a game at will. close ups. Invite other players to join in for a turn or two when they walk by. Games are not even ruined if some of the players leave early. They’ve heard stories about him. No other game is like this. They went to school with Johnnie and he was okay then. slow motion. You are telling a story. Matrix Games can easily feed new people. You can never be put out of a Matrix Game. .

Fun is good! Never let the rules stand in your way! . You may not control the game but you are the editor. Any player can be a referee. others weaker. If the referee wants to make an argument they pick another player to be their referee. A game takes between two and three hours to play. The referee makes up what their strengths are.Referee Hint: It is a good idea to start the game off ruling arguments strong until a few story lines emerge. Anywhere between two and twelve people can play. You can play them sitting around a table or while driving on a trip. Then rule divergent arguments weaker and weaker. Some arguments can get stronger each turn. All you need are a few dice and an imagination. The players make up arguments. It is not hard. It is okay to make this up. The rules to Matrix Games are simple but with them you can unlock your creative spirit as never before.

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