The Face Of Angels: Introduction

The Face of Angels is a fiction game. In it, you'll get to play characters in a story about inhuman powers and human relationships. That sounds all high-brow and literary, but it's not so much. It's more like a cross between superhero comics and teen drama movies.

Everyone playing will tell the story. The story that will be told, though, already has a structure; there is a fixed beginning, a structure for the climax, and guidelines for the end. In addition to that structure, there's a card game that will be played whenever anyone wants their character to do something that would be more fun if the results were uncertain. Because of the structure and the uncertainty, this isn't just sitting around making up a story with friends. This is as fun as storytelling, with all the excitement and suspense of watching a good movie.

What you need to play the game

This game is best with four to six people. Three or seven people could work, but results may be less satisfactory. One of these people will organize the game and play all the supporting characters, while everyone else will play one main character. The former player is called the World player, as she plays "the world" of the game. She's not like a director of a movie or anything, though: she doesn't get to tell the rest of the players what to do with their characters. Those players are called character players, because that's what they do.

You will need one deck of playing cards and a pack of index cards. You will need a large writing surface: I recommend a piece of poster board. You will need pens or markers. Everyone should choose their own color to write with.

About the story

The story begins with a group of high-school friends and acquaintances on graduation night. While spending time together, a mysterious light flashes in the darkened sky. Each character will see this differently, but all of them will be invested with a inhuman power that grants them special abilities. In play, they will be discovered by the world, attempt to change the world, and then the world will attempt to destroy them.

Good references for this story are the movies Powder and Phenomenon. The tone of these should be combined with stories like the movie The Breakfast Club, where a group of high-school kids who wouldn't normally bond together have to in order to overcome the world. Other useful references for this game are the comic book Rising Stars, and the novel Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card. The first and foremost influence, though, is the novella Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, one of the finest stories of alienation and humanity and superpowers ever put to paper.

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