Hey friends. I love The Quiet Year, which is a game that plays out one week at a time as you draw cards and collaboratively tell the story of a community.
I also love its hacks like Anomaly, which we’ve also played on the forums before:
What is The Quiet Year?
The broad pitch on the Quiet Year (the original game at least) is that as a group you’re collaboratively telling the story of a community. You don’t have a specific character, you’re just operating as an author. On your turn, you might tell things from the perspective of a certain character or group. But that changes from turn to turn, you’re encouraged to hop around and not stick too much to one character.
These games don’t all match to that entirely but it’s the foundation of the original game.
Friends at the Table played The Quiet Year for Marielda. It’s a good way to get a sense of the game, and doesn’t require knowledge of the previous season (even if they allude to things).
There are other Quiet Year hacks with different flavours, settings, tones but following the core concept of a year playing out with weeks as a turn while you draw cards from a deck. So I thought a fun idea for the forum would be:
We play a Quiet Year-like game in real time.
Each turn takes a week, we only draw the next card when the current week is over.
Previous forum games have had a slow pace and they unfold over time, so I like the idea of leaning into that and really feeling the time and seasons go as we play.
A year is long and real life happens. I don’t expect anyone to commit 100% to being around for a full year. If anyone needs to drop out, or can’t start playing until June, then that’s fine! A player can even drop out for months only to rejoin the game again when they have the bandwidth. We’ll keep the turns going with whatever set of players we have at a given moment.
The game’s first turn would be the start of January, though through December we will do some pre-game set up. Exactly what that is depends on which game we end up choosing, and will be more free-form than the turn based weeks we’ll get to at the start of next year.
While participating, players are not expected to post very much, nor are they expected to make long posts. In fact, shorter and snappier is easier for people to read (especially when refreshing their memory on the previous turns).
When it’s a player’s turn they can post any time and day, as long as they’re able to finish their turn by the end of the week. If they’re having a busy week, a brief update to say when/if their post is coming would be helpful.
I’ll check in with a player if we’ve heard nothing by midweek, just to make sure that nobody is stuck rushing to finish a turn at last minute. We can pass a player’s turn to someone else and have the original player step back in during a future turn.
When it’s not a player’s turn, they may need to occasionally take part in other actions, depending on the specific game we play. The players will be tagged if this is happening, so they have decent notice.
Safety Tools: Lines, Veils and the X card
The normal rules of the forums all apply and should be respected. In addition, we’ll also be playing using some tools to help manage any material that a player wouldn’t want to engage with in the game.
Lines are any topic, idea or theme that a player or GM does not want in their game. It will not appear on screen, in back story or in allusion. It is wholly absent.
This could be a phobia, a trigger or even a source of discomfort. No-one needs to explain why something is a line, the table needs to accept it unquestionably. You can’t ask someone to elaborate or remove a line, they’ve brought it forward for a reason. If someone wants to explain their reasoning, that is fine of course. But it shouldn’t be asked for.
Veils are similar to lines except that the player is ok with them happening off screen, but never described or depicted. Someone’s veil may be sexual content, in which case you could refer or allude to it. But there would never be any sexual content on screen. As above, anything can be a veil and you must accept it, not question it.
The X card is a reactive tool, resented by the emoji. You can use it in response to any content you would like to hit the brakes on.
As soon as the X card is invoked, play should pause until the matter is resolved. The person incoming the card can then detail what they responded to specifically (if clarification is needed)
It is OK to request clarification if you’re unsure, but if the invoker isn’t comfortable going into detail, then try to roll back from that post and go in a new direction.
If the invoker wants, they can request what action to take, eg. deleting/editing the post they responded to or making a new post that continues but is mindful of their concern.
It could be worth adding a new line or veil to avoid repeating the same issue if it seems appropriate.
With all of the above, you can post them at any time before or during the game. You can also use the form linked below if you prefer to be anonymous for any reason.
Safety of the whole table is the highest priority, so all of these tools should be respected and followed above all else. If any of these tools delays play, we’ll continue holding the game to ensure the matter’s fully resolved before continuing.
So What Game Are We Playing?
Despite the topic title, I thought it’d be fun to play a game that’s a hack of the Quiet Year. After asking for suggestions in the discord I got many, and whittled it down to these three options:
Please vote for which interest you the most (you can vote for multiple)
- The Deep Forest
- Twilight Song
- The Land Whispers
If a clear winner seems to come through, I’ll call the poll so we can talk pre-game prep.
The things I’d like anyone interested to do for now are:
- Reply here highlighting your interest (even if you’re unsure when/how much you might be available)
- Vote on which game we play
- Flag lines or veils if there are any you want to introduce
And feel free to post any other suggestions/questions about the game! Excited to play a year long game with folks.
Our current list of players in turn order: (feel free to request to join if you find this later!)
Want to join when free: