za3k > games > no, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE! (v2.1)
No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE! is a game for 2-8 players. Half the players are Heroes (round up), and half are Villains. It's designed to be friendly for players new to storytelling games.
Before the game, each Villain prepares a lair full of 6 obstacles. The game is about 15 minutes of prep for the Villains, and 15-45 minutes of play. During the game, Villains set the scene, and Heroes describe the action and outcome.
The Villain's goal is to send wave after wave of increasingly stronger enemies at the Heroes, letting them slowly grow in strength until they can defeat the Villain.
If your group is competitive, try to be the first Hero to kill a Villain, and the first Villain to be killed. Whether you like to cooperate, compete, or just have fun making up silly stories--avoid killing a Hero, or everyone loses.
Materials: You will need 6 index cards per Villain, and 1 index card per Hero (or similar materials, notebook paper will also work). You also need one d6 (normal six-sided die) per player.
24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.) - Peter Ansprach, 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord
written 2021-02-08 by zachary "za3k" vance. last updated 2021-03-10. version 1 2.
Make up a hero, or roll randomly to make your Hero. "I am a ..." (roll once per column)
Texan wolves raised me to
by working at this temp agency
I traveled back in time to
avenge my parents
on the last floor of the dungeon
After flunking college, I'll
be, the -very- best
by befriending every single monster
I am the chosen one who will
make the world better
by killing everything I see
I sailed the seven seas to
barely make a living
by betraying the heroes
In Japanese high school, I will
defeat my rival
by foiling the villain's plan
Choose or randomly roll your character's starting approach.
Make up a name for your hero, and describe your Hero to all the other Heroes and Villains.
Heroes start with 2 HP, or Health Points. If the Heroes fail against an Obstacle, they lose 1 HP. If you are reduced to 0 HP, you die and the game is over for everyone. If there is only one Hero, you start with 4 HP instead.
Write down the six approaches: Strength, Smarts, Magic, Charm, Energy, Stealth. Put a checkmark next to your starting approach. This is the only approach you can use right now.
As you adventure, you will may get sweet loot. Loot gives you additional approaches.
Each Loot gives the Hero one additional approach. You pick what approach the loot give you.
Once a Hero gets loot, you put a checkmark next to your new approach. You can now use that approach to beat Obstacles.
If you find the game is too easy, try randomly rolling what approach loot gives you instead of choosing.
If you beat a Villain on the last level of their lair, you and the Villain both win and stop playing. You can relax and watch the rest of the game.
Make up a Villain, or roll randomly to make your Villain. "I am a(n)..." (roll once per column)
and can teleport.
and throws huge boulders.
who plays piano
and owns a gun.
who lounges around
emitting sweeping lasers.
Married couple of
who eats everything
and knows kung-fu.
Old, weak, and deaf
who laughs maniacly
Make up a lair, or roll randomly to make your lair. "I live in the..." (roll once per column)
bottom floor of
guest bedroom of
hot tub of
break room of
Decide why you want the heroes to defeat you, or roll randomly for your goal. Keep your goal secret until you're defeated. "I sure hope no one defeats me, or I'd ..." (roll once per column).
get to retire early
finally feel the sweet release of oblivion
activate a hidden trap, and turn to step 147 of my master plan
immediately marry them
be released from my curse
have to assume my ultimate form
Making Obstacles (for Villains)
Design 6 Obstacles for the Heroes to face as they go through your lair.
Each one is written on an index card.
The front looks like this: "Flock of Seagulls, 4 weaknesses.". It should be legible.
The back looks like this: "Weaknesses: Strength, Smarts, Charm, Stealth". The back is never shown to the Heroes.
Pick each of the 6 obstacles.
Describe each Obstacle in 2-4 words, writing it legibly on the front of an index card. For example, write "Flock of Seagulls".
It could be a minion, a trap, a secret door, or anything else at all. Make your Obstacles interesting and goofy.
You, the Villain, are always the 6th and final Obstacle. Give yourself a card too.
For each Obstacle, roll randomly using the table below to determine which approaches that Obstacle is weak to. Write the weaknesses on the back of the card. Do not show weaknesses to the Heroes. Write the NUMBER of weaknesses on the front as a reminder to players.
The 1st obstacle is weak to all 6 approaches. (You don't need to roll.)
The 2nd obstacle is weak to 3 approaches.
The 3rd obstacle is weak to 3 approaches.
The 4th obstacle is weak to 2 approaches.
The 5th obstacle is weak to 2 approach.
The Villain is weak to only 1 approach.
Stack your index cards neatly, so only the front of the first Obstacle is visible to Heroes.
Get ready to describe the first obstacle in your lair aloud.
Whenever an Obstacle is first revealed to the Heroes, you describe the Obstacle aloud to them.
Before describing it, read the front of the card aloud.
Make the Obstacle sound easy, cool, sexy, or rewarding. You want Heroes to come to your lair and kill you first.
Try to hint strongly at any weaknesses in your description. Heroes shouldn't be going in blind. Don't bother hinting at strengths. If there are too many weaknesses, just hint at one or two.
Describe the obstacle in a way that matches BOTH the written description, and the weaknesses you roll. For example, a Ogre weak to Strength might have a big target on their back. It's hard to match both but that's what makes it fun.
How to Play
Each Hero describes their character
Each Villain describes their persona and their lair.
Each Villain reveals their lair's first Obstacle. The Villain sets the scene by giving a description aloud of the Obstacle, which players enjoy and listen to carefully for clues.
After initially describing the obstacle, the villain is silent. They never help describe the action.
Select which Hero goes first however you like.
For the remainder of play, each Hero in turn selects a visible Obstacle. After they beat it or fail, play passes to the next Hero. This continues until the game is won or lost.
Obstacles (Success and Failure)
Each Hero in turn selects one Obstacle, indicating it. The Hero states which of six approaches they use: Strength, Smarts, Magic, Charm, Energy, or Stealth. For example "Gertie uses Magic on the flock of seagulls."
Heroes can only use the approaches marked on their character sheet.
Villain descriptions give Heroes clues about which approaches will work.
The Villain gives a thumbs up if the Obstacle is weak against that approach, or a thumbs down if it is not. The Villain never describes the action after they set the scene.
If the Hero failed, another hero can choose to jump in and help. They should use a different approach. If the second hero fails, the attempt is over. If multiple heroes want to help, the failing Hero selects who helps.
All Heroes who failed the Obstacle take 1 HP of damage.
If one Hero failed, they describe what they attempted and how it failed.
If two Heroes fail, the first Hero to attempt describes how they failed, and the second Hero describes how they tried to help and how that also failed.
No Hero takes damage.
Whichever Hero actually beat the Obstacle gets the Loot. (See "Making Heroes" to learn about Loot)
If one Hero beat the Obstacle, they describe how they succeeded.
If one Hero failed and a second Hero beat the Obstacle: the succeeding Hero humorously describes how the first Hero was failing, and how the second Hero did things right after they jumped in.
The Hero describes where and how they got the Loot, what it is, and how the Hero improves.
After an Obstacle is beaten, it is removed from play. That Villain turns face-up the next Obstacle in their lair, and describes it aloud to the Heroes just like the first.
Final Villain Showdown
Turning face-up the final Obstacle, the Villain themselves, is more detailed. The Villain describes their inner sanctum, and how the Villain greets the Hero. They describe the Villain's appearance and activities in detail, hinting at any special weaknesses or secret goal.
The final fight works exactly like any normal Obstacle.
When the final Villain is defeated (or wins against a Hero), the Villain can help describe the action if they want. Villains are encouraged to cry out "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!" or similar nonsense on defeat. Reveal your goal.
Winning or Losing the Game
Victory: If a Hero beats a Villain, both the Hero and Villain win and watch the rest of the game without taking part. If two Heroes beat a Villain, only the Hero that actually beats the Villain wins and stops playing.
Victory: If all Villains are beaten, everyone wins.
Defeat: If even one Hero dies (is reduced to 0 HP), all remaining Heroes and Villains lose.
Thanks to 3 Pandemonium players for the first playtest.