Ganked from Spike over at Templar Arizona
and copy pasted because the current news box will go away eventually. I vote we attempt this next time we get together and render food non-toxic. And if you've not managed to stumble across the comic before, and enjoy things that are approximately 23.82 degrees from reality it's worth going through the archives. I AM NOT A DEMON
The game for between four and ten players who think themselves clever.
Right now, today, as you're reading this, there are tribes deep in the Amazonian rainforest who have no contact with the outside world. This is absolutely and one hundred percent true. These tribes manage this by killing anyone unfamiliar they happen to come across.
I AM NOT A DEMON is about what would happen if you, the hapless adventurer, stumbled unwittingly into one of their camps and were instantly taken prisoner.
The only reason you have not been killed immediately is, by some spectacular stroke of luck, you are completely fluent in this tribe's obscure dialect. Unfortunately, due to a combination of stupidity, nervousness, and unthinking fear, you keep peppering your speech with strange English words from the civilized world. The tribe is assuming these words to be curses or witchcraft, and the urge to spear you to death spikes with each mention of an unfamiliar concept or object, like television, the International Space Station, or Britney Spears.
In the game, the other players provide the current target with a word he or she must explain to the tribe in order to avoid being murdered. They have one minute to give a satisfactory explanation, unless they're being really funny or awesome, in which case it's okay to run a little long. The other players then vote on the answer provided. A simple majority decides whether the player is allowed to live or has been killed for his or her stupidity, in which case that player is "out." Players that have been "killed" then become full-time 'tribespeople," and are restricted to voting on answers from then on.
The Amazonian tribe is at a stone age tech level, and so is their language. They have no knowledge of (or words for) things like plastic, steel, internal combustion engine, radiation, December, power outlet, etc., and any attempt to explain one witchcraft word using other witchcraft words should be immediately punished with death.
The player has nothing to assist them with their explanations. Your laptop, iPod, cell phone, and whatever else were instantly smashed the moment you were captured. You're not allowed to call a friend, consult Wikipedia, or attempt to distract the natives with a flashlight or lighter. That is exactly the kind of thing that will get you killed.
The players cannot say "I don't know" or "It's magic" as part of any explanation. If you tell them you don't know what a word you just used is, they'll assume you're lying and they will kill you. And they already think the word you just used is magic. That's why they want to stab you, remember?
Players take turns, once each round. The word chosen for each player is the first word called out by another player. The clock starts immediately. This leaves plenty of room to be an asshole... Asking your friends to define "cytoplasm" or "Rosh Hashanah" when you know they don't know, for example... but if you want to take the game from Fun Territory to Asshole Territory, that's your call.
There are two ways to play: Mandatory Elimination, where the player with the least satisfactory explanation is executed every round, and Long Haul, where eliminations are not mandatory. The former might be best for parties. The latter would probably be really good for car trips or waiting in airports. I dunno, this hasn't been playtested. Not really, anyway.
Still a little confused?
Television: "A television is a shining light in a big shell. The light tells stories with sounds and pictures. Some of stories are made-up, and some are true. Some are stories it's told before, and some are new stories. The television tells stories all day and all night, it never stops. If you wake up in the middle of the night and go to the television, it will even tell you a story then. It doesn't sleep. Where I am from, almost everybody has a television."
The International Space Station: "This is a place where very smart people live. It's higher than the trees, higher than the clouds, and higher than the sky. It floats over everything like a cloud, in a place where you can always see stars. All the tribes far away from here built it together."
Britney Spears: "Britney is a woman who sings, but then went crazy. That was probably because people were always watching her, and telling her she was fat. She shaved her head and accidentally showed everyone her vagina, and then no one wanted to hear her sing anymore, they just wanted to watch her and hope she did more stupid things. And she did. She married a worthless man, and had babies she can't take care of. Every time she does a stupid thing, everyone forgets everything else and talks about what she did. We shouldn't, but we do."
Yeah, this is how I spend my evenings. Thinking this nonsense up.
Seriously, someone play this and tell me how it goes.
An explanation of what I've been doing for the last two weeks, a new page of Templar, and some actual news tomorrow. G'nite!