Game Chef 2011

The ingredients for Game Chef 2011 are now published. They are:

  • daughter
  • exile
  • forsworn
  • nature

There is no way on earth that I'll be able to generate a submission, so I'll present my idea here for anyone else to develop. Give credit or take credit, I'm okay either way. If there was a legal way to *not* claim copyright I would. The closest thing is Creative Commons:Zero, but even that has issues. So, I'll try using plain language: you don't need my permission to use this idea, even if you use the whole thing. I claim no rights to it and I never will. Besides, it's not like it is a fully-formed idea anyway, so anyone using it is still doing a lot of heavy lifting.

That being said, I decided to focus on Shakespeare's daughter, Judith. A comparison was made between her and Miranda from The Tempest in one of my favorite graphic novels. Instead, I want to make comparisons to Hermia in a MidSummer Night's Dream. Hermia is involved in a nested love triangle due, in part, to the interference of Puck. So, let's have Puck interfere with Judith's marriage. Taking incident's from Judith's real life, Puck is trying to prevent the marriage of Judith and Thomas Quiney at the behest of William Shakespeare (not Oberon!). Puck causes the letter requiring a special license for the marriage to be lost, thereby generating threats of excommunication for getting married too soon after Lent. Puck also appears to Thomas Quiney as a woman named Margaret Wheeler. Using the drops of a magical flower, Thomas is beguiled into publicly kissing the disguised Puck. Later, Puck and other fairies arrange for the story of Margaret's death to circulate just ahead of the wedding.

The other attempt for Puck to interfere actually happens first chronologically.  Puck, at first, attempts to make Judith fall in love with Richard Quiney, Thomas' brother. During this attempt, Judith becomes aware of the fairy's interference. Puck becomes aware of Judith's own otherworldly abilities when the drops of a magical flower do not work on Judith. Because of the death of Hamnet, Judith's twin, she has the ability to communicate with her dead brother. As a result, she is not affected by any of Puck's magic directly. Hamnet's limited ability to see the future also helps her reasonably predict Puck's actions.

William Shakespeare does not want the marriage to happen because of the mistrust he harbors toward the Quiney family. He entreats Oberon to become involved, as Oberon is Judith and Hamnet's real father. Oberon, seeing that Judith truly loves Thomas Quiney, decides to teach William a lesson. Instead of becoming directly involved, he offers the services of Puck to be directed as William pleases. Oberon, knowing that Puck will invariably mess-up whatever the Bard asks him to do. What Oberon does not know is that William will die shortly after the marriage is supposed to take place.

In the game, events are not so scripted. Basically the two players take the part of either Judith or William. Each character has an objective and they use whatever means they have to meet that objective. Judith Shakespeare's objective is "Get Married to Thomas Quiney". The Bard's objective is "Stop the Marriage of Thomas Quiney." William has the supernatural services of Puck as well as various connections derived from his fame. Judith has the supernatural services of Hamnet plus the various connections Susanna (Judith's sister) possesses through Susanna's husband, Dr. John Hall. William begins play with more power and money, but loses it steadily as Puck makes mistakes. Judith begins with less wealth and ability, but steadily grows in power as the game progresses.

Puck has the supernatural abilities to appear as any person, use three doses of a love potion, teleport, throw his voice, and imitate any voice.

Hamnet provides the supernatural ability of limited precognition and to detect lies,falsehoods and forgeries. As play progresses, Hamnet also gains the ability to directly attack Puck (the result means that Puck is not able to preform any one action). Hamnet can also briefly appear as any person. Hamnet's abilities are limited as he can only affect the real world a number of times before returning to the spirit realm. Judith is resistant to all fairy magic and she eventually gains the ability to teleport one time.

The game ends when the marriage will not occur or after the ceremony is over.

As a wildcard element, a third player may take the role of William D'Avenant. He is the son Oberon arranged for William to have to make up for the offense of fathering Judith and Hamnet. His objective is "Use the events around the wedding to write his own play." D'Avenant can either be played like the character of Iago, using his power to destroy the lives of William and Judith or as Pandarus, looking to make both William and Judith happy. D'Avenant has access to Puck and Oberon. He can get Puck to do something for him if he can convince Puck that it will help prevent the wedding. He can ask small favors of Oberon provided that he can convince Oberon that his actions will allow the wedding to take place. In addition to these powers, he has access to his own ability to mimic voices and use conventional disguises to portray any role. (Unlike Puck and Hamnet, it will take D'Avenant some time to get into costume.)

There you have it. It may not be a good idea, but feel free to use it, if you can use part or all of it. Good luck to everyone in the contest, I can't wait to see the results.