Dust Up

Posted: 24th October 2012 by Victor Wyatt in General

This is Bare Knuckle Games. It’s a blog where I post about the tabletop, role-playing games I play, news about the gaming hobby and posts on designs of my own. This is where it all begins and ends.

I prefer games that go for the throat and if they don’t I find ways of making them. In general these role-playing games are small press things that take things like gender or relationships and throw them into turmoil. These games take a theme and are built to reinforce it. They are not generic rules suited to run anything you can think of. They are games that have a point and rules that reinforce that point.

One example of a bare knuckle game is Kagematsu. In Japan, at the end of the Sengoku period (around 1572) many wars raged between lords over the ownership of the people and lands around them. This warring is not the point of the game. What Kagematsu does is puts the players in control of village women existing without the men of their village and facing a threat that may consume them all. In roams a lone ronin, a male warrior the women must convince to aid them. To turn this tough predicament into a hard hitting game, the rules go one step further. The ronin at the table, this male character, is played by a female player. The village women are played by the male players.

What I mean when I say I love hard-hitting games is that I love games that take an already focused concept like the village women facing a threat alone and cranks it up by swapping the genders of the character and their players. Not all of the games I like do this with gender. Some of them put players in the roles of mice fighting against a harsh world that would rather eat them. Some throw characters in situations not even the Coen brothers could think up. And, some even play up the stereotypes and paranoia of post-WWII Berlin, facing fallout of Nazi, occult experiments that worked.

There you have it. Those are Bare Knuckle Games!!

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