The Quiet Year - Week 6

The Quiet Year - Week 6
The Quiet Year - Week 6
Here's a thread for me, Sanzh, Chwoka, and Granolaman to play a little exercise in post-apocalyptic community building. We'll firstly decide which we'll play: The Quiet Year, or the Deep Forest.

Both games are about a community living week-by-week, preparing for winter and with it, the arrival of a mysterious agent who will serve to a) end the game and b) spell a likely end to the community in its current state.

Mechanically, they're very similar games. Each turn (an in-game week) you draw a card, choose an answer to one of the questions posed by the Oracle, mark the passage of time on projects underway, then choose one of three actions: Discover something new/Uncover something old, Start a discussion/Agree on something, and Start a Project.

It should be noted that the only way to reflect/talk about how people are feeling about progress is heavily structured and is likely to leave much unsaid/unresolved. It also comes at the cost of building/finding new things. In addition to this there are Contempt Tokens, which don't serve major mechanical purpose but keep a tally of disagreements and friction in the community.

In both games, we're encouraged to introduce factions and individuals as the game proceeds. Although we can speak for them, these aren't player characters tied to individual players.

So! The game options.
  • The Quiet Year is about a community given a year's reprieve from raiders. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive. At gamestart, we each add a location to the map and name an important resource, then as a group we choose which of those resources are abundant or scarce.
  • The Deep Forest is about monsters in a forest which was until recently controlled by humans. In a year's time, an adventuring party will arrive. At gamestart, we collectively choose a major symbol of the humans' occupation, each introduce a monster and its lair, name a remnant technology/custom left behind by the humans, and from said remnants choose one Adoption and three Taboos.

The rulebook for The Deep Forest is here: <Link>
The Oracle is here: <Link>
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
Hi, I'm here to hijack your thread just to say "Oh, cool! The Quiet Year! I played that once."

So... here we go:
Oh, cool! The Quiet Year! I played that once.
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
We still doing this? I'm voting for Quiet Year and suggesting settings of:
Mars Colony after losing WWIII
Gangland, USA with the survivors of a DEA sting
Shipwrecked on an island
Native tribe during the Colonial Period
Post-apocalyptic village in irradiated Chicago
Present day Middle East after the peacekeepers pack up (too topical?)
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
(10-23-2016, 01:22 AM)Granolaman Wrote: »We still doing this? I'm voting for Quiet Year and suggesting settings of:
Mars Colony after losing WWIII
Gangland, USA with the survivors of a DEA sting
Shipwrecked on an island
Native tribe during the Colonial Period
Post-apocalyptic village in irradiated Chicago
Present day Middle East after the peacekeepers pack up (too topical?)

i'm just gonna go ahead and highlight the ones i like the sound of
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
I'm cool with The Quiet Year but feel those suggestions are too... specific? Have too much of an implied narrative? Part of the fun of it is starting with a vague setting and detailing it through play, rather than coming in with preconceived notions.

My setting suggestions, in no particular order:
-Overgrown and flooded city/urban landscape
-Rocky sea-side cliffs littered with shipwrecks
-Forested, alpine river valley that survived the apocalypse intact
-Subway/metro/bunker survivors underneath an irradiated surface
-Intact highway across the desert
-Steep mountains with settlements clinging to the sides of cliffs
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
I wasn't particularly trying to imply a narrative, I just mainly wanted to specify our tech level and from whom we have a reprieve, rather than just "Raiders"
RE: The Quiet Year/The Deep Forest
Ah, yeah, fair. For the record, an off-world colony after some apocalyptic event sounds interesting and I'm definitely game for that.
RE: The Quiet Year
The Quiet Year seems to be our consensus! I'll acquire and distribute the PDF when I get home tonight so we can get started, unless Sanzh beats me to it
RE: The Quiet Year
Hmm, this looks like something I might be interested in. I'll be watching this thread to see how this works.
RE: The Quiet Year

The facilitator Wrote: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 the game 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.

Welcome to The Quiet Year! I'll be the facilitator, a position less like a DM and more like the guy who brings the Fiasco rulebooks. The Quiet Year works best when all players are familiar with the rules. Treat everything I say outside quoteboxes as concessions to adjust the game from tabletop to play-by-post format.

Who we are Wrote:We all have two roles to play in this game. The first is to represent the community at a bird’s eye level, and to care about its fate. The second is to dispassionately introduce dilemmas, as scientists conducting an experiment. The Quiet Year asks us to move in and out of these two roles.

We don’t embody specific characters nor act out scenes. Instead, we represent currents of thought within the community. When we speak or take action, we might be representing a single person or a great many. If we allow ourselves to care about the fate of these people, The Quiet Year becomes a richer experience and serves as a lens for understanding communities in conflict.

We’ll also be presented with opportunities to introduce new issues for the community to deal with. This will often happen when we draw cards or use the Discover Something New action. By dispassionately introducing dilemmas, and then returning to our other role as representatives of the community, we create tension and make the community’s successes feel real. If there’s an issue you struggle with in real life (like whether violence is ever justified), introduce situations that call it into question.

Next! What we'll be using to play!
RE: The Quiet Year

A map Wrote:[Image: tumblr_ofkxboofk81r21i1co1_1280.png]
This is our map. Before playing, we’ll establish some of the landscape. As we play, we’ll update the map to reflect new discoveries, conflicts, and opportunities. Parts of the map will be literal cartography and other parts will be symbolic. We’ll try to avoid writing words on it, though common symbols are fine.

Throughout the game, we’ll all be responsible for drawing on this map. It’s fine to draw poorly or crudely, but all of us are going to draw.

Project Dice Wrote:[Image: tumblr_ofkxboofk81r21i1co2_400.png]
These are project dice. When our community starts a project, we’ll draw one on the map to note how many weeks it will take to finish.
Each week, they tick down by one. When a die reaches zero, the project is complete.

Contempt Tokens Wrote:[Image: tumblr_ofkxboofk81r21i1co3_400.png]
These are Contempt Tokens. They represent any tension and frustration that might arise in the community.

The Deck Wrote:We'll use a regular 52-card deck, separated into suits. Each suit represents a season - ♥Hearts♥ for Spring, ♦Diamonds♦ for Summer, ♣Clubs♣ for Fall, and ♠Spades♠ for Winter.

Each card drawn (via represents a week in the season, and one turn in the game. The King of Spades, when drawn, marks the arrival of the Frost Shepherds, and the end of the game.
RE: The Quiet Year

And now my wonderful co-players may step in! You all already got underway with this, but now it's time to finalise a rough idea for our community and its surrounds.

Once that's settled, first in first served basically we introduce one detail about the terrain around our community, and sketch it on the map. Leave lots of blank space as we'll be adding more details throughout the game.

Sanzh's suggestions are closer to what we're looking for at this stage of the game - geography over history, if you would. Broad strokes that help set a theme and tone for potential Important Resources or New Discoveries.

My personal faves in no particular order are:
Village near an irradiated Chicago
Overgrown+flooded urban landscape
Subway/metro/bunker survivors
Postwar Mars Colony
RE: The Quiet Year
i decided i might as well brainstorm a few as well:

- the afterlife after god dies

then i stopped. that's ridiculous. i can't even tell if that's good or bad.

so, my picks from the offerings of others, roughly ranked:

gangland usa
cliffs with shipwrecks
steep mountain settlements
native tribe, colonial era (sign up now for the chance to punch some imperial bastards right in their maxims)
mars colony
dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
After some chat in Discord, we settled on Desert Highway!

Now each of us takes turns adding a detail to the map. These can be geographical or man-made features, and can be any distance from the main settlement (including right in the thick of it!)

[Image: JwzCqFg.jpg]

My detail: a deep gorge, and a large rusted bridge which traverses it.

(I've drawn the highway and a rough representation of the town. Feel free to modify any of the existing buildings to be a detail, or add new buildings.)
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
[Image: 8Aq5bvR.png]

welcome to the motel arizona

(note: this doesn't have to mean we're in arizona or even in the united states. the motel arizona in the middle of egypt, why not)
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
[Image: W23oPYt.png?1]

The Car Graveyard lies just beyond the canyon walls.
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
[Image: HXnEUGp.png]

The last trickle of an almost-dead creek ends here, choking in silt and evaporating in the desert sun. The last green you'll find for miles grows on its banks, brown strands of reeds and grass.
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
hm, i think with the canyon and the creek, we're starting to paint a place where there once was water, and now, there's not. like a dam went up, or global warming dried shit up, or something
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
And our starting map is almost ready to roll! We now each declare an important resource for the community, something which we might have in either abundance or scarcity. Once we have four, we'll find a consensus on one resource to be in abundance, and the other three to be scarce.

Any resource not listed in this fashion is assumed to be neither abundant nor scarce; some cards drawn during the game will have options to amend our list of important resources.

Some examples are:
• clean drinking water
• a source of energy
• protection from predators
• adequate shelter

Our list:
• textiles

RE: The Quiet Year - setup
Trade, more than any resource, is what keeps our community alive-- in times of plenty traders and merchants migrate across the still-intact Route, trading whatever we need for a night or two of safety. In lean times, we have to rely on ourselves, or turn to banditry, taking what we need from those traveling the Route.
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
like any ghost town, we've got our share of ghosts
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
Without Law our town would collapse in on itself in a vicious maelstrom of fire and anarchy. Order is the only way we separate man from beasts. With Law, our civilization will thrive.
RE: The Quiet Year - setup
[Image: 8zL4BLO.png]

The map is complete!

Abundant Resources
• Ghosts

Scarce Resources
• textiles
• trade
• law

Gamestart coming soon to a thread near you
RE: The Quiet Year
The beginning

The week Wrote:The basic unit of play in The Quiet Year is the week.
Each week is a turn taken by one player.

During each week, the following things happen:
• The active player draws a card, reads the relevant text from the Oracle, and resolves it. All bold text is followed.
• Project Dice are reduced by one, and finished projects are updated.
• The active player chooses one of: Discover Something New, Hold a Discussion,or Start a Project.

The three possible actions to end your turn are as follows:

Discover Something New Wrote:Introduce a new situation. It might be a problem,
an opportunity, or a bit of both. Draw that situation
onto the map. Drawings should be small and simple.

Whenever things seem too controlled or easy,
we can use this action to introduce new issues
and dilemmas. When individual characters get
introduced, we’ll give them names, and record them.

Hold A Discussion Wrote:You open with a question or a declaration.
Starting with you and going clockwise, everyone
gets to weigh in once, sharing a single argument
comprised of 1-2 sentences. If you opened with a
question, you get to weigh in last. If you opened with
a declaration, that’s it for you.

A discussion never results in a decision or summation
process. Everyone weighs in, and then it’s over. This
is how conversations work in communities: they are
untidy and inconclusive affairs.

Each discussion should be tied to a situation on the
map. When a discussion ends, mark the situation it is
attached to with a small dot.

It’s important that we stay concise. If any of us feel
like we have more to say on a topic, we can always
hold another discussion about it at a later point.

Start A Project Wrote:You choose a
situation and declare what the community will do to
resolve it. There is no consultation about this idea -
the community simply begins work.

As a group, quickly decide how many weeks the
project would reasonably take to complete (minimum
1 and maximum 6). Remember that you are a small
community when choosing a timeframe.

Be generous with your assumptions, but do remember
that scarcity and difficulty are the norm. If a project
would reasonably take longer than six weeks to
complete, it will need to be completed in stages.

Place a die on the map wherever the project is taking
place, with the die face matching the number of
weeks it will take to complete.
RE: The Quiet Year - Week 1
And with that, I'll start us off!

Week One

[Image: 7.png]
The King of Hearts is drawn.

King of Hearts Wrote:A young boy starts digging in the ground, and discovers something unexpected. What is it?


An old man confesses to past crimes and atrocities. What has he done?

A young boy starts digging at the ground, and unearths a thick cable, sheathed in black rubber and almost a foot thick. Trying to unearth it proves fruitless, it runs parallel to the main highway.
It could be a phone line, or fibre optic, but it could also be a power cable. No way to tell with what's been unearthed so far if it's even still live. (This being "unexpected" depends on the current and pre-apocalyptic tech levels of this world+this town, so I'm leaving it up in the air for now!)


I now choose to Start a Project.

Some folks want to survey the canyon bed for resources/water/shelter/whatever. Due to the community's rope shortage, this is going to entail a lot of jury-rigging to create a means of safely transporting people+supplies down to the canyon's base.

Support for the plan is tepid, so four or five friends with more ambition than sense will be working on this on their downtime.

Scouting the canyon out, and installing lifts/ladders/platforms etc allowing access to the canyon bed will take five weeks.

[Image: MxZ7drU.png]
The map has been updated.

Next up is Chwoka.