"My Life with Master is an independently published role-playing game written by Paul Czege and published by Half Meme Press (it was first released at the 2003 Gen Con gaming convention). My Life with Master is a game about role-playing the servants or minions of an evil Master or Mistress.
The prototypical setting of the role-playing game is in an unspecified Central European country in the early 19th century. Players in the game portray the Igor-like minions of an evil Master (or Mistress) who preys on the nearby Townsfolk.
Like most role-playing games, there is a Gamemaster (GM). In this case the GM plays the part of the Master. However, the GM and players together are supposed to "design" the Master, in terms of defining his "Wants", "Needs", "Aspect", and "Type". These traits have no explicit game effect, but are used to define the desires and mannerisms of the Master and how he interacts with the Townsfolk and his minions. Masters have two game statistics, "Fear" (a measure of his power over minions) and "Reason" (how much minions and Townsfolk can resist the Master's control over them).
In contrast, the Master's minions, the characters portrayed by the players, are defined (in terms of game statistics) by their levels of "Weariness" and "Self-loathing", and the connections of "Love" that they have (successfully or unsuccessfully) tried to make with the Townsfolk. Self-loathing is a measure of the power that a minion has to intimidate the Townsfolk, while Weariness limits their abilities to complete their tasks. Love allows minions to resist their Master and his demands on them.
Gameplay is generally resolved through a series of "scenes". A player describes what their minion is trying to do, be it carrying out their Master's wishes or trying to resist him, interacting with the Townsfolk, attempting an act of Love (which could result in increasing their "Love" trait, or increasing their "Self-loathing" if the attempt fails), etc. A series of dice rolls are used to determine success or failure, and then the scene is played out according to that outcome.
Unlike other role-playing games that may have long campaigns, My Life with Master games are typically designed to end after a small number of playing sessions. As one reviewer stated, My Life with Master "strives to tell a story, and stories have endings." Usually, a game culminates with the death of the Master at the hands of one (or more) of his minions. Sometimes, the Master dies because the Townsfolk are "sick of his predations" and "storm his domicile -- pitchforks in hand and torches aflame". Some or all of the players' characters might also meet their end in the hands of the Townsfolk, or the Master kills them as they try to resist his commands and suffer the consequences of their failure."
Source: Wikipedia, "My_Life_with_Master," available under the CC-BY-SA License.
- My Life with Master
- La mia Vita col Padrone
- Kätyrin Osa
- Stets zu Diensten, Meister!