Heads of State is a collection of nine short games about dictators.
The games allow you to invent and play the lives of fictional dictators. Each game is complete by itself, with rules that draw from role playing games, board games, and literary games. To take full advantage of the collection, try featuring the same dictator in more than one of the nine games.
- In As I lay dying, players play brief scenes that represent memories swirling through the dictator’s mind as he lies on his death bed.
- In Coup d’ etat. players take the role of military officers who stage a coup, cooperating to seize power but also competing to rise to the top of the junta.
- In Crimes against Humanity, players act as prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses and judges in a war trial for war crimes of a deposed dictator.
- In Disappeared, players are friends and family trying to locate a missing person who has probably been taken by the dictator’s secret police.
- In New Edition, players act as members of a committee who are editing the dictator’s biography, each trying to emphasize a different interpretation of the tyrant’s life and legacy.
- In Palace Gates, players are curious citizens who explore the tyrant’s residence soon after his death, explaining what possessions say about the leader’s life and rule.
- In Rest & Relaxation, players are exiled tyrants commenting on news from home and trying to motivate themselves to reclaim power.
- In Sic Semper Tyrannis, players act as a secret conspiracy plotting against the dictator with messages passed between players being altered to reflect the difficulty and risk of plotting.
- In Subversive Words, players switch back and forth between portraying characters in an artwork a dissident artist is creating about the Tyrant, and guiding the artist as he or she navigates through censorship, the secret police, and other tribulations of life and creativity in a dictatorial state.
Players invent tyrants in all of the nine games in Heads of State. To help give you inspiration, the games include over a hundred biographical anecdotes of the crimes, eccentricities, rise and fall of real world 20th century and contemporary dictators. The games will also be illustrated with photographs of dictators and the statues and posters that promoted or mocked these heads of state. (The project image is by Marcelo Montecino, used with permission)
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