This is a writeup of Brawl Jongg, a variant of Mall Jongg.
Mall Jongg is a new game I’m working on; it uses Mah Jongg tiles, and players create an interactive narrative (like many tabletop RPGs, except that you use Mah Jongg instead of dice).
The core game is about teenagers in the 1980s, trying to survive Slasher attacks in a shopping mall. But the game includes many variants, in which you play with the same mechanics, but in different settings.
In this variant, loser D-list superheroes try to save the city after all the major-league heroes have been killed off.
The super-team consisted of Mother, a woman who can give birth to anything; Refractor, who has special mirror/light abilities and talks in a very loud anime voice; and Phoenix, who has a plastic beak and can come back from the dead.
The game’s played with Mah Jongg tiles, and you have to play x-of-a-kind (two of a kind, three of a kind, whatever), depending on the difficulty level presented to you by the DM. If you can’t play, you can always score points by griefing the other players in various ways.
Interesting thing happened: in previous games, the characters played characters that were villainous, or suspicious of one another. But in this game, they were somewhat aspirational — a bunch of bush-league wannabes with something to prove.
As a result, there wasn’t much griefing at all. Instead, the players wound up helping each other out. They defeated the aliens and saved the city. But they took a lot of damage, and two of them died (one of them being the Phoenix, who came back shortly thereafter). Had they done more griefing and adversarial gameplay, instead of co-op, they could have avoided death. Clearly, the setting colored their gameplay choices…