Shock: Social Science Fiction - A Roleplaying Game of Culture and Future Shock
Shock: Social Science Fiction is a roleplaying game by Joshua A.C. Newman that challenges the players to create stories that explore the impact of social and technological changes on individuals and societies. Inspired by the works of Bruce Sterling, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Philip K. Dick, the game uses a simple system of grids, dice, and cards to generate and resolve conflicts between the protagonists and the shocks that shape their world.
In Shock: Social Science Fiction, each player takes on the role of a protagonist, a person who is affected by one or more shocks - social or technological changes that disrupt the status quo. The shocks are defined by the group at the start of the game, based on their interests and preferences. Some examples of shocks are artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, climate change, virtual reality, nanotechnology, etc. The protagonists have issues - personal goals or problems that are influenced by the shocks. The issues are also defined by the players, and can be anything from finding love, to escaping oppression, to saving the world.
The game is played in scenes, where the protagonists interact with each other and with other characters called antagonists. The antagonists are controlled by a rotating player called the shocker, who represents the forces of change and opposition in the story. The shocker uses cards to introduce complications and twists to the scenes, and to challenge the protagonists' issues. The protagonists use dice to determine their actions and outcomes in the scenes, and to influence the shocks and their issues.
The game is designed to be played in one or more sessions, with each session consisting of a number of scenes. The game can be played with any number of players, but works best with three to five. The game does not require a gamemaster or a pre-written scenario, as the story is created collaboratively by the players during play. The game encourages creativity, improvisation, and exploration of social and ethical questions.
Shock: Social Science Fiction is available as a PDF download from glyphpress.com. The PDF contains 99 pages of rules, examples, advice, and appendices. The game also requires a set of six-sided dice, a deck of playing cards, and some paper and pencils.
If you are interested in playing Shock: Social Science Fiction, here are some tips and resources to help you get started:
Read the rules carefully and familiarize yourself with the concepts and terminology of the game. The game uses some terms that may be unfamiliar or have different meanings than in other games, such as shock, issue, grid, praxis, etc.
Choose shocks that are relevant and interesting to you and your group. Think about what kind of social and technological changes you want to explore in your story, and how they might affect the world and the people in it. You can use real-world examples, fictional scenarios, or your own imagination.
Choose issues that are personal and meaningful to your protagonists. Think about what your protagonists want, need, fear, or struggle with, and how the shocks might help or hinder them. You can use your own experiences, emotions, beliefs, or values as inspiration.
Be creative and collaborative when creating scenes. Use the cards and the dice to generate ideas and surprises, but don't let them limit your imagination. Work together with the other players to create scenes that are engaging, dramatic, and relevant to your story.
Have fun and enjoy the game. Shock: Social Science Fiction is a game of exploration and discovery, not of winning or losing. The goal is to create a story that matters to you and your group, and to have a good time doing it. aa16f39245