Reading The Trouble with Rose by Todd Zircher

As I’m working with the print release of The Daughters of Verona I keep hearing echoes of other games from last year’s GameChef. Forsooth! and The Play’s the Thing are already available in print, and Todd Zircher keeps updating and doing supplements for his game The Trouble with Rose. Let’s take a closer look.

The book
The Trouble with Rose is a 17 page PDF, layout in a two column landscape format. On some pages the layout makes the lines a bit on the long side, but since it is a very short game it’s not much of a problem. There are a few illustrations to lighten up the text a bit.

The setting
The game comes with thirteen one paragraph mini settings for the players to flesh out during play. They cover a wide range of styles, instead the elusive Rose character provides a red thread for the game No matter what the setting is, there is Rose, and Rose is in trouble. The stories of the player characters’ revolve around them helping or hindering the NPC Rose.

The rules
The game uses very simple character sheets with name, short description and six traits/attributes. By highlighting the attributes in play the players score points. There are no mechanisms for task or conflict resolution, the game relies entirely on free narration.

The form
The Trouble with Rose is a GM less game where the players take turns framing scenes for their own characters. Each player holds a hand of dominoes, and in their scenes they play one tile to indicate which of the six attributes they will try to highlight in the scene. The other players will play NPCs or their own characters in the scene, and then vote on how well the scene setting player acted the attributes. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.

The setting is poor, the players will have to make their own at the start of play. This should not be a problem to most groups, and for those who want more details Todd has posted several play sets with more detailed settings and pre gen characters.
The rules are OK, it’s a competitive game in the free narration style, and the rules won’t get in the way.
The form is very good, the text is clear on how the game should be played. There’s an example of play that illustrates how a scene is played and scored.

Will I play it?
Maybe, but probably not. Especially not with the competitive element, which I think might distract from the story telling. Still, it’s a quick and easy way of getting a game going, as long as you have your dominoes available. – The Trouble with Rose, where both the game and supplements can be downloaded.

1 Comment

  1. Alex Swingle said,

    August 26, 2012 at 03:05

    Yo bro, here is a link to Mom’s Basement’s playtest of The Trouble With Rose:

    Give it a shot if you to know how it is really played with my D-Bag friends.

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