So, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to express setting for It’s Complicated. Currently, it’s going to be represented by a haphazard photo album in the back of the book, but here’s the intial idea I had for setting. It turned out that it altered gameplay in a fundamental way, taking the emphasis off of the interpersonal interactions and emotional issues of the characters and putting it on to the wackiness of the setting. I think this is an awesome game, but it’s also not the game I’ve written. So here’s the hack.
Secrets of the City
The City is under quarentine; no one can enter or leave. The reason for this is up to the players; there can be some sort of exotic contagion going around, or maybe no one ever leaves and it’s not for any particular reason. Any reason is an acceptable reason.
The City has issues. These issues include Oddities and Dysfunctions! If you’re playing a Buffy-inspired game, a Dysfunction would be something like “Corrupt Government officials” and an Oddity would be “Hellmouth.” Or for a more realistic game, a Dysfunction would be “very little petty crime,” and the Oddity would be “Extremely powerful organized crime family.”
Instead of the last person to frame a scene placing their traits and line first, the City always places first. The City can be run by a GM, or if a group prefers, the City’s traits can be decided by consensus. When you cross the City, your character declares feelings towards it– The City never declares relationships. When you touch one of its traits, you become involved in some of the City’s intrigue– in the previous examples, you get absorbed into the crime family, or get blackmailed by a corrupt official.
Other than that, play is as normal.