Tl;dr: All Men Must Die is cool and you should definitely check it out!
I’d been toying with the idea of creating a GoT/Undying hack for a couple of years, but couldn’t figure out how to make the various mechanics of Undying fit with the genre. It clicked for me when I was watching the first episode of this season of Game of Thrones – I figured out how to connect the fiction to the game mechanics.
AMMD is inspired by the narrative patterns of GoT.
- Your character is important to the overall story arc, but may not be important to society (in a status sense), but that’s for you to decide. that’s because your character has a Destiny
- Destiny is a thing you decide for your character, but you declare it to the table in the form of portents from the gods. it changes as you do
- Your character becomes powerful, then is broken, then suffers, then finds purpose, and then becomes powerful again. We see this over and over, where a character doesn’t die, but suffers terrible consequences instead.
AMMD uses Fate (not the game Fate, rather fate, the concept) as its core scarcity – like Blood for Undying. Fate is the currency of character agency in the fiction… or to say it in non-designer speak: Fate is what allows a character to get what they want on their terms.
AMMD has Conviction (Humanity) and Influence (Status). Conviction is the measure of your will to persevere. The higher your Conviction, the stronger your drive and purpose and the better prepared you are to fulfill your Destiny. Influence is the measure of your sway over others. The higher your Influence, the better able you are to interfere with others or to shape their course.
AMMD presents its own take on Debts: Oaths. An oath is a promise you swear to fulfill. An Oath is made from one character to another and, when the oath maker acts toward the fulfillment of the oath, the Fate they spend counts for double, giving them a decisive advantage.
And lastly, AMMD changes up the Feed/Blood cycle with the Reflect/Fate cycle. As with Feed, your character shares an intimate moment; but, with Reflect, it’s a shared, vulnerable moment where hidden truths about those characters are revealed.
There’s more to it, and that’s one of the things that really excites me about the game: there’s a whole bunch of interesting stuff packed into a two-sided character/move sheet!