Friday, July 2, 2010

Hacking Monopoly

I'm fascinated with re-purposing household items many people can be assumed to have to play rpgs. Thus the constant thinking about playing cards, poker chips, dominoes. But one other item many, many US households can be assumed to have is a Monopoly board game.

But forget it as a game. It is an abstracted American city most of us are familiar with and have the maps to.

Here are some ideas of what you might do with it:
  • Gangbusters spring to mind, maybe houses could represent player owned speakeasies and hotels, brothels or banks that could be robbed.
  • Call of Cthulu is another possibility, I imagine players following the trail of some demented, clue-carrying target through flophouses and brownstones.
  • Super heroes seems like a strong possibility, especially if the characters are high powered. You could have Hulk-vs-Superman-type battles sending supers smashing into houses miles away.
I think with any possible hack you might also take a piece of paper and map out the center of the board. I don't mean necessarily fleshing out a whole city, but keeping it equally abstract. Maybe a central base for supers, a lake, a big city park, could be there. I also like the idea of tracing out actual courses for the railroads. This central addition could be sketched up quickly, even collaboratively with the players.

So next time you are sitting around with friends and the idea of a city-based game comes up, maybe whip out this old work horse and give it a try.

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