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Tabletop Game / Heroine

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Heroine is an indie Tabletop RPG created in 2013 by Josh Jordan of Ginger Goat Games. The game is very different from your regular Dungeon Crawling and Heroic Fantasy RPGs: not only are there no combat rules, but it is instead designed to recreate Down the Rabbit Hole storybook narratives in the vein of Labyrinth, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

At the start of the game, one of the players assumes the role of the eponymous Heroine — a Plucky Girl Trapped in Another World of fantasy and magic, — while the others play her quirky Companions. Together, they set out to find a way for her to return home and, along the way, to defeat some evil plaguing the Magical Land, which is controlled by the Narrator.

The game contains examples of following tropes:

  • Anti-Hoarding: There are only 14 Drama Points in the entire game. If there are no more "in the bank" and a player does something that should give them one, they instead take a Drama Point from the player who has the most of them at the table. Also, the player with the least Drama Points after the final scene gets to narrate the epilogue.
  • Big Bad: The evil affecting the Other World is usually personified in the Antagonist — a major villain whose appearance in a chapter is serious bad news (e.g. they are the only one who can inflict an Injury and a Division upon the players in the same chapter).
  • Bumbling Sidekick: The Companions can only help the Heroine in the end-of-chapter Challenges if they have Drama Points, and they can only earn these by getting themselves and/or her into trouble during earlier chapters.
  • Coming of Age Story: The Heroine's adventures should also facilitate her overcoming her original flaws and emerging as a stronger and more mature individual.
  • Debut Queue: The Heroine is always introduced in the prologue, followed (usually) by one Companion per early chapter.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The game always starts with an exposition of the Heroine's ordinary Real Life, before the fantastic starts bleeding into it and eventually brings her over into the Magical Land.
  • Involuntary Group Split: The Narrator can spend Drama Points to split the player characters at least until the end of the next Chapter.
  • Game Master: Played with. Any Companion player (but not the Heroine) can "usurp" the Narrator's role permanently by paying a bunch of Drama Points, forcing the original Narrator to join the story as a new Companion. Of course, another Companion can then take over as the Narrator in the next chapter, if they have enough points...
  • Karma Meter: Subverted. Even though the Heroine can influence how heroic and/or successful she has been at overcoming Challenges throughout the story, the ending is not determined by any counter, but by the group consensus on her behavior.
  • Kid Hero: The Heroine's age is restricted to the 8 to 18 range.
  • Magical Land: The Other World is a shared fantasy land created by the players as they go along.
  • Magnetic Heroine: Each Companion is drawn to the Heroine for a different reason, but they all immediately like her.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The Companions tend to be fantastic creatures, so the Heroine is usually the only human member of the bunch.
  • One-Word Title: Job of Protagonist Title.
  • The Only One: Unlike most RPGs where players form an Ensemble Cast, the Heroine is unquestionably the main character in this game. Mechanically, this is expressed in only the Heroine player being able to resolve end-of-chapter challenges by having the Heroine take action — while the Companions can only support her in said action.
  • Plucky Girl: Basically, this is the ideal of the Heroine, although individual players may bring a lot of variation into it.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Even the more competent Companions must get into trouble to earn Drama Points, so they tend to be this.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: The Companions are usually introduced by the Heroine rescuing them from some predicament.
  • Role-Playing Endgame: The Campaign Endgame rules for the Heroine's return from the magical land (usually after saving it from the Villain and growing up as a human being) structure the epilogue narration also detailing the fates of her Companions and the magical land itself.
  • RPGs Equal Combat: Defied, as there are no rules for combat in the system.
  • Rule of Three: Threes are all over this system: there are three basic roles (Heroine, Companion, Narrator), three ways for Heroine to overcome Challenges (Be Heroic, Be Successful, Take a Chance), her three primary attributes (clever, daring, and kind), three narrative themes (Confusion, Fear, Temptation), etc.
  • Trapped in Another World: As a rule of thumb, the Heroine cannot return back to the real world until she fulfills some kind of grand mission.
  • Virtue/Vice Codification: The Heroine's chief virtues are cleverness, daring, and kindness, and her potential flaws are confusion, cowardice, and selfishness. The Antagonist will try to lead her from one to the other by attempting to confuse, frighten, or tempt her, respectively.