22/52 New RPGs: Bindr

I’m on a study project to improve my understanding of roleplaying games. To this end, I already have two reading projects, A Game Per Year and An Adventure Per Year. This is the third, with the goal of reading or playing 52 games made in the last few years. Originally I considered making this “A New RPG Per Week” and that’s where the number 52 comes from, even though a weekly schedule is probably not within my abilities.

A promotional graphic for Bindr

Bindr is another itch.io game, this time about power dynamics between a summoner and a devil. It takes a classic setup and flavors it with BDSM-style power dynamics, creating an interesting, flirty game.

The game is built on poker, with the summoner and the devil as the players. However, instead of drawing cards from a deck, participants draw them on blank cards with pens. This way, as long as you draw fast, you can have any hand you want.

The second interesting complication comes from how to determine who wins. The rules of poker reveal the better hand but the motivation of the character, determined in secret by each participant, decides if they get what they want.

For example, one of the possible character motivations is to be a Submissive Slave. To win, they must lose all rounds on purpose.

Because the motivations are secret, it’s possible to have a situation where both participants are trying to lose.

It’s nice to see such a clear, simple exploration of BDSM dynamics in a roleplaying game.

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