High Stakes is a new adventure and storytelling game from Ganesha Games. Download the free rulebook and start playing this evening!
I’m working on 5-8 projects at the same time, trying to accomplish all the tasks and reaching the deadlines before publishers kill me.
One of the games I never spoke of, here or elsewhere, is High Stakes: a very challenging project developed by Andrea Sfiligoi, with a little help from me and other friends.
High Stakes is a new storytelling system by Ganesha Games, Sfiligoi’s company. It’s a sort of a tabletop role-playing game (even if Andrea doesn’t like to call it so 😀 ) or, better, an Adventure and Storytelling Game. One of our goals is let players create characters in minutes and start telling stories and living their adventures with almost no preparation.
“You’ll need just a bunch of six-sided dice, pen and paper, and plenty of imagination” as they say…
High Stakes for old hands
In a few words, High Stakes is a GMed storytelling system. It’s universal and designed to be used with as few participants as a single player and a GM. The rules encourage a narrative, improvisational play style.
In a few words, Characters are defined by three attributes (Body, Mind, Aura but the names may differ in some Hackbooks), 5 traits (talents, skills, etc) and 3 relationships (people in their life). The GM sets the scenes (telling players what they see or hear) and the difficulty of obstacles. Players roll dice to solve problems or conflicts. Rolls may bring complications or may let the player add narrative elements to the story.
Players choose one attribute for the scene and roll as many d6 as the attribute, plus extra dice from descriptors and relationships that they want to use. Players may also get extra dice by raising the stakes –accepting harsher conditions for failure.
There will be no “pre-written” adventures in High Stakes, just lists of likely encounters, conflicts, problems and hostile NPCs to enliven your stories. The game’s storytelling will emerge from the game. That’s it!
Products and releases
High Stakes is a FREE PDF you can download from Ganesha Games. It is a living rulebook and will be updated from time to time. At this very moment, it’s the 3.5 version, but it will be improved month by month while the Hackbooks will be released. In any case, it contains the full system, allowing you try the rules in a setting of your own devising.
What is an Hackbook? We call so High Stakes supplements, describing setting tropes, difficulties, and story hooks. While High Stakes is actually a game developed and published by Andrea Sfiligoi and Ganesha Games, different publishers and authors (like me and my friend Giuseppe Rotondo) are working on hackbooks, according to an agreement we did at Lucca Games, like some kind of conspirators…
The Hackbooks will reprint the core rules (so you have to carry around only one book or file) and add plenty of ready-made settings, story hooks, interesting characters, genre tropes, and ideas to create your stories.
Ours will be released as soon as we can work on it… In the meantime, the ruleset is here for your consideration: I hope you will enjoy it!