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UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

quote:

For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. Now, finally, we've driven them off, and we're left with this: a year of relative peace. One quiet year, with which to build our community up and learn again how to work together. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive the encounter. This is when it will end. But we don't know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.
What is The Quiet Year?
The Quiet Year is a minimalist, introspective map-making game of mystery and discovery in a harsh, yet beautiful post-collapse world, designed by Avery Alder. We'll use it tell the story of a small community struggling to survive and thrive after the collapse of civilisation. We'll follow them as they explore a world of familiar strangeness – of modern-day objects and places stripped of meaning and reinterpreted by new eyes. We'll help and hinder them as they go about their business, fracture, reform, and try to build something new in a year of relative peace. However, whatever may come, the story will end with the inevitable arrival of the mysterious Frost Shepherds some time in Winter. That's why it's 'The Quiet Year'.

At its core, this is a game about asking and answering questions about our community and their world. Who are they? What – or who – is out there? How should we deal with our problems and one another? What lines will or won't we draw or cross for the sake of our people? Appropriately, the game takes a bird's-eye view. We'll collectively play the zeitgeist of these people – a fractious mix of beliefs, attitudes and traditions that are often at odds with one another – rather than separately playing individual characters. That's not to say individuals are unimportant – far from it, they help endear us to the community and its struggles – but we're working on a larger scale. As for the wider world and the collapse, we'll learn about both as the game goes on, but we're not playing to write a historical record (as we might in a game like Microscope). We're telling a community's story and building a psychological map; when it comes to the collapse, our main focus is how its causes and consequences shape the community and its world.



How do you play it?
TQY is a turn-based game for 3-4 players. Each turn represents 1 week, 13 weeks form 1 season, and 4 seasons form the eponymous year.

Before the game begins, we set up the basic details of the community’s world (e.g. is it a tundra, an island, a river valley?) then each add a single more specific feature (e.g. a place, a creature, a phenomenon), and then create a starting Resource – something the community needs, materially or psychologically, like wood, cattle, or hope. A community’s Resources say a lot about itself. Resources are split into Abundances or Scarcities – things the community has a lot more or less than they need, though things aren’t always black and white (e.g. an Abundance of cattle may make the community a target for raiders). Finally, we vote on which starting Resource is Abundant – the rest are Scarcities. All of this gets added to the map.

During the game proper, we take turns drawing cards from an ‘oracle’, a special deck filled with story prompts and instructions split into the four seasons. Here’s an example from Summer:

quote:

Someone new arrives. Who? Why are they in distress?
Or
Someone leaves the community. Who? What are they looking for?
Once you’ve resolved the instructions, you take a standard action of your own:
  • Start a Project – describe how part or all of the community takes action to achieve a specific goal that will take 1-6 weeks to complete. The scavengers say they've seen things like the raiders' killing rods out in the scrap hills, and set out to collect as many as they can find.
  • Hold a Discussion – put forward a question or statement and let everyone chime in with the community's thoughts. “We have too little food and too many mouths to feed. Some of the children must go, so that the rest may live.”
  • Discover Something New – add something new to the map that the community's just discovered. While disposing of some old bones at the midden heap, Anna makes a gruesome discovery – a human carcass in the muck.
You can update the community’s Resources if you think it’s appropriate, and other players can take Contempt tokens if they think that part of the community will be frustrated or alienated by what happens in your turn. You can only spend Contempt by taking selfish actions that harm the wider community, or when the community makes amends.

At the end of your turn you do a roundup of Projects, Resources, and Contempt, and add images, icons, or drawings to the map to show how the world has changed. If any Projects finish on your turn, whoever started them says how they end. Then we move on to the next player. For example posts, see the finished games linked below.

During the game we'll use roll20 for the oracle decks (custom cards uploaded to a tabletop there, courtesy of forums user Kestrel) and the digital whiteboard RealtimeBoard for making the map.



What expectations should I have?
Here are all the finished TQY games run in TG, to my knowledge:
The Heart's Cartography
Bleeds the Sky
Drowns the Sky
Asks the Earth (winter start)
Aches the Earth 2

Overall, TQY is like an introspective mirror of a 4X game. Our community will definitely explore, probably expand, possibly exploit and maybe exterminate, but the game isn't about strategy or resource management. Instead, most of the mechanics help the players signal what's important to the community (or parts of it), then put hard questions about them to the community – and the players. For example, one of the most powerful games I've played started with 'mercy' as an Abundance and 'children' as a Scarcity (it's The Heart's Cartography, if you want to find out what happened next).

Here are some more specific points:
  1. Spotlight – story-related OOC chat is banned, so your turn is your own contribution.
  2. GMlessness – everyone has power and responsibility, though the oracle and minimalist style help. You need to be willing to make trouble as well as solve it; TQY’s much more involving when players make 'bad' choices sometimes and put the community in a tight spot.
  3. Brevity – the game lasts a few real-time weeks; the ~50 turns go by quicker than you might think; and you need to make the most of each turn, because it only comes once.


How do I sign up?
Post the following info:
  • Timezone
  • Email address
  • Played the game before? If not, I’ll send you a rules summary before the game begins.
Before signing up, bear in mind that during the game you’ll need to post within 24 hours of the previous player or your turn'll be skipped.

Post pics, music, etc. that gets across the style/genre/atmosphere you’re looking for.

After a couple of days we'll start setup. If there are more than 3-4 people (including me) then we'll split into groups of 3-4 as best we can.

Some images to start us off:




Likewise, music:
Eluvium – New Animals From the Air
The Shins – The Rifle Spiral
Thomas Dvorak - Lesik

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chin up everything sucks
Jan 29, 2012



US Pacific Time Zone
dakkasight@gmail.com
I have not played before

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004



Fun Shoe

Just stopping in to give this props. The Quiet Year is a good game, and works really well in play-by-post.

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


Eastern Time, sabo.nicolas@gmail.com
I have not played before, but I'm terribly curious about it based on previous games.

edit: Reading through Bleeds the Sky to get a sense for the game flow and what I'll be expected to write - how fascinating. It's a really cool game idea.
edit2: adding images

Dog Kisser fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 16:43

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

UTC or thereabouts. AJ_Impy@yahoo.com
Played once before.

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Hell yeah I'm in.

GMT+1
fathismunk@gmail.com
Played twice before

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


EST

Yes

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at May 22, 2018 around 05:03

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


EST
comrade.gorbash@gmail.com
Played once before

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


quote not edit, i have never done this before

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Current players:
UnCO3
chin up everything sucks
Dog Kisser
AJ_Impy
Fathis Munk
Tyrannosaurus
Comrade Gorbash

I think we'll wait for one more person and then I'll split us up into 2 groups of 4.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



This looks pretty great. Sure, I'm in.

CST
yokomeshi@gmail.com
Never played before.

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Okay, entry is closed and our groups (in playing order) are:

Group 1
UnCO3
Tyrannosaurus
megane
Dog Kisser

Group 2
Fathis Munk
chin up everything sucks
AJ_Impy
Comrade Gorbash

I'll start sending out rules summaries to those who haven't played before, then begin setup. Let me know ASAP if you don't have a copy of the rules handy even if you have played before and I'll send one to you too.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


As a quick note I will be out of town but with internet access from Friday to Sunday. So I'll be able to keep up with the posting schedule but my timing might be a bit odd for those three days.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 17:40

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


Neat!

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Okay, I've set up both roll20 boards and invited everyone to their group's, and set up group 1's realtimeboard for our map. Let me know if the email invite for one/both didn't come through. Fathis, are you alright facilitating group 2, seeing as you have the most experience? All you'll need to do is set up the initial map using realtimeboard, guide setup, and post the game thread.

Setup
First thing we need to decide on is the general environment. The biome, the climate, the development, etc.. Feel free to come up with partial suggestions or real-world/fictional references too, e.g. that you want the world around our community to have dense forests or to be like the Siberian tundra. At this point we don't even have a map. Once everyone's contributed, I/the facilitator will make the base map and we'll move onto the rest of setup - coming up with specific features and starting Resources, and finally voting on which Resource starts as an Abundance. I'll explain more as we come to each new step.

For my part, I think I'd like the world around our community to have aggressive weather.

chin up everything sucks
Jan 29, 2012



The landscape should be shattered - ravines and uplifted outcroppings all around the place

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


I think lots of water - floods and dramatic tides and submerged relics.
edit: and bleached coral as I posted earlier

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


I'm thinking beaches, too...



... with lots of dramatic, dangerous weather swings...



... and dead, irradiated places...



... a tropical home where the green is green...



... and the blue is blue...



... and there's only about 10,000 ways to die.

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Haha UnCO3, you always put me in the other group, actually nevermind, my memory is wrong, sure I'll do my best to get it rolling when I have some time in an hour or so.

Fathis Munk fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 19:33

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Group 2

chin up everything sucks posted:

The landscape should be shattered - ravines and uplifted outcroppings all around the place

Hmm I can dig that, what kinda landscape are we talking about here, like this shattered clay except on a macro scale

Or more reasonable like what you can find in China?


(In general it is best if you can provide a picture, drawing or whatever visual medium to give others an idea what you have in mind.)

I propose that our people mostly live on some sheltered edges of the outcroppings or on sheltered slopes, the plateaus and some major ravines being exposed to intense winds. Maybe always blowing from the north (or whichever direction you find most poetic), sometimes carrying strange smells.

Our village could be built into one of the big outcroppings, in the wind's shadow like this troglodyte village


Maybe the top of the outcroppings present old; wind-battered structures of unknown purpose that might or might not be haunted.

Fathis Munk fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 20:07

chin up everything sucks
Jan 29, 2012



Fathis Munk posted:

Or more reasonable like what you can find in China?


This one

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Yeah I added some more pics to my post just before you answered and I'm in for that idea.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



e: yes, indeed I am

megane fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 20:17

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


You're in group 1

UnCO3, I am looking at realtimeboard and the free plan is for 3 members only, am I reading something wrong?

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Digging through some of my pictures for more inspiration

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Fathis Munk posted:

You're in group 1

UnCO3, I am looking at realtimeboard and the free plan is for 3 members only, am I reading something wrong?
Ah, poo poo, yeah. I'm currently looking around for a decent, free alternative with up to 4 people per board, but we might have to get an extra player and split up into groups of 3.

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Okay, I've found an alternative: 'aww' or 'a web whiteboard', at https://awwapp.com/ . It's not as good as RTB, but it does allow any number of participants to join a board on a free account. I've set up a board for group 1 and sent out invites.

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


I've been looking at that too but am unclear whether or not you can save a board without an account ?

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


Here's a thought: make an admin account for you and a secondary account for us to share. Email the username and password.

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

I did consider that, but it's possible someone will stay logged in and keep other people from accessing the board. We could give it a go, though.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Deekit looks like it allows unlimited users even with its free version.

Also, should group 2 move to a new thread, since we're already crossing the streams with setup?

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Group 1

Though I'd throw in some concept pictures too while we're figuring things out.










Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


I love the coral

megane
Jun 20, 2008



I'm thinking diving is a very important part of our community. Shellfish, coral, sunken treasures... the Beneath is a place of riotous color and plenty, but don't stray too deep or you might find more than you looked for.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Group 2

My thought was that there's a lot of shallow sea with occasional deeper channels - sort of if the oceans had risen but were now receding but hadn't quite come down enough to dry out most of the land. So the outcropping are islands, but you can walk between them. Like a flooded salt pan or a mangrove swamp, so the water is still mostly clear.

There are also vast intertidal zones, as well as large beaches and shoals, with some areas being essentially big meadows or even prairies of beach grass. There'd also be lots of salt marshes.








UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Group 1



Our community lives on a ragged tropical shore that's intermittently buffeted by gales and smashed by vicious waves, and in between sees beautiful, eerie calm of cloudless sky and white sun. The water closer to land is pleasantly shallow, but further out drops off into black depths filled with - so they say - ancient treasures. Brilliant coral and fish exist beneath the waves in spots of vivid life, but much of the sea is a near-dead wasteland, forested with bleached, bone-white coral and inhabited by hardy survivors. This land is beautiful and deadly in equal measure, but our people survive.

A few notes about the map - firstly, let's say our community lives roughly centrally, and secondly, although the map is this size right now, we can expand it later if need be.

The next steps are coming up with one specific feature each and one Resource each. The feature could be something man-made or natural, something immobile or alive, something large or small. I'll just quote myself on Resources:

quote:

something the community needs, materially or psychologically, like wood, cattle, or hope. A community’s Resources say a lot about itself. Resources are split into Abundances or Scarcities – things the community has a lot more or less than they need, though things aren’t always black and white (e.g. an Abundance of cattle may make the community a target for raiders).
My feature is The Vessel - a sunken ship of some sort, ancient, enormous, decrepit, festooned with seaweed and barnacles and piled high with strange machinery. The water here is no good - we have our children stay well away. We don't know what may lie in its labyrinthine guts.



My Resource is potable water.



Comrade Gorbash posted:

Deekit looks like it allows unlimited users even with its free version.

Also, should group 2 move to a new thread, since we're already crossing the streams with setup?
I took a look at that while searching for alternatives, but it looks like you can only register or sign in using a profile from another site (google, facebook etc.). In any case, I've set up a shared account for use on RealtimeBoard - they're a little finicky about emails, but mail.com addresses work and you don't need to input any specific personal data, so I just registered there to get an email address I could use on RealtimeBoard.

Group 2 could spin out to another thread, but I think it should be fine once we set the initial maps

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Group 2
I’m thinking that our region could have a chaotic, broken landscape in one corner, giving way to the vast flat shore zone to the other. The transition is not sharp, so there’s an intermediate region with lots of more isolated outcrops.

The wind comes in from the shore zone, picking up a lot of speed, and as it filters into the chaotic region it howls and whines.

North seems like a good direction for the wind to come from, which would put the chaotic region in the south and the shore zone north of it.

Also big storms could come in from that dir croon periodically. Maybe not hurricanes but nor’easter type storms? I’m seeing this as a colder region, like Cape Cod writ large.

EDIT: Might be a cool flavor thing if our community used windward and leeward as major directions, instead of north and south (or whichever directions depending on the orientation of the wind). Don’t have good ideas for the perpendicular directions though.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2018 around 14:52

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Group 2

That sounds pretty cool yeah, West and East might have names in relation with the sun rising/setting, like Orient/Occident, levant/couchant.

Dawnward/duskward ?

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Group 2

Riseward and Setward.

I’m thinking there’s a very viny, tendrily feel to the vegetation. Mangroves, creepers, perhaps a network of natural zip lines between mesas.

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chin up everything sucks
Jan 29, 2012



AJ_Impy posted:

Group 2

Riseward and Setward.

I’m thinking there’s a very viny, tendrily feel to the vegetation. Mangroves, creepers, perhaps a network of natural zip lines between mesas.

Riseward and Lost - in this terrain, darkness is lethal if you are moving around. The sun falling isn't just a thing that happens, it's a thing that inspires fear as people need to rush home before the light fades.

There should be heavy mist that sweeps in when darkness falls (I grew up on California's coast - this is a thing that happens frequently).

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