Heart Engine

By | 1 August 2021

an imaginary game for 4 players

You are the pilots of four great and terrible robots you use to fight monsters.
They are sometimes the parts of an ever greater and more terrible robot,
it’s not for you to understand.

The battle you’ve trained for is here.
Choose one of the following memories:
your first loss / your latest betrayal / your childhood shame
Share it in turn. Feed it to the engine.

If someone else picks the same one as you,
you trust them more. You don’t know why.
You and that person join your robots together. It’s hard to get them to come apart, after.
Share how it feels to separate from the one person who gets it.
If you did not join your robots,
share how it feels to see people with wounds that aren’t yours.

You return victorious. Nobody will ever know your other two memories. They are gone. You
don’t even remember what they felt like.
Try to make friends.
You can’t talk about the parts that are gone.
If you think about them, you take 1 damage.
You don’t have a health bar, but you know it’s better not to hurt.
Stop this from happening. Do anything you can.

The battle comes again. Each player takes a turn suggesting a new set of three.
Repeat this process until you run out of pains to burn.

The battle comes for the last time.
Choose one:
your anger at your teammates / your anger at yourself
Don’t share it. Feed it to the engine.

This battle is worse.
If someone else picks the same one as you,
you trust them more. It’s difficult, though, not to resent them.
You join your robots together. Only one of you can pilot.
Describe how you choose.

You return victorious. You sit in the ready room.
Describe the fight to each other so you don’t have to share what you chose.
For example, you could talk about your lasers and their teeth.
Talk about your lasers for as long as you can.
As soon as you run out of things to say about your lasers, share what you chose.
Don’t be subtle.
You’re not a coward. You’re a pilot.

If everyone picked the same thing, you stay together.
Describe how you sleep that night.
If three people picked one thing and one person picked the other,
describe how you exile the other to the monsters outside.
If two people picked one thing and two people picked the other,
one group turns traitor.
Describe how you choose.
Describe what it is like to join the monsters.

In the ranks of the monsters, you can remember everything you fed to the engine.
Is that better?

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