Sexy Deadly is about devastatingly powerful women. Women whose power threatens to destroy them at the same time that it offers to bring them close together. It was born out of a love for movies in which these assassins would walk a tightrope between being human and being something else. Some of the source material did a much better job of this than others, assuredly, but the question seemed to surface repeatedly: how powerful can a person get while remaining a person?
I say person, and yet the game is strictly about women. Why that shift? Frankly, the power struggles of men are uninteresting. The ballad of a powerful man is so wrapped up in justice, justification and ego that it becomes tedious and overwrought. The stories of uber-men fighting to the death and re-hashing their past become an allegory for something bigger. It fails to stay personal.
Looking at the source material behind Sexy Deadly, we see something different. Kill Bill is a personal revenge story. When the Bride single-handedly takes on the Crazy 88, it is not a climactic fight but a delay. It is only when she comes face-to-face with another woman, first Gogo and then more importantly O-Ren Ishii, that the action matters. What matters in these two fights is not that they are equally matched opponents - although they are. What matters is the sneer in Gogo's face, the bitter determination on the bride's, and the sense of haughty superiority about O-Ren. Buffy the Vampire Slayer does not tell a story about a young warrior. It tells a story about the immensity of trying to deal with power and emotions, of trying to reconcile being what you are and who you are. Ghost in the Shell makes great pains to humanize a cyborg and a malignant virus.
These are the women that draw us in. We want sexy violence. We want histories jammed with illicit love affairs, stolen diamonds and betrayal. We want blood operas that play out to a mixture of Ladytron and Coheed and Cambria. We also want to know if they are really that different from us. And then we want to kill them off if they are. This game delivers.
Who cares that with great power comes great responsibility? We are not looking for a morality tale and a call to action. With great power comes great turmoil, and this is why Sexy Deadly exists. Rock.
Sexy Deadly is a competitive strategy card game with narrative and role-playing elements. That's what makes it a Story Game: you play a game and tell a story at the same time, both influencing the other.
Sexy Deadly was designed for the Indie game company game design challenge as posed by Jared Sorensen on the Story Games forum.
Seducing new Targets is a FREE supplement for Sexy deadly. Available for immediate download.