~ The Quiet Year lead to a Death Crawl in the Carolina Backwoods ~
I had the good fortune to try several new (to me) RPGs this past weekend and what a step outside of my normal gaming! It all started at 0600 EST on Saturday morning when I finally got the chance to play The Quiet Year. Some may recall that one of my first blog posts in 2014 was a review of this very game after reading only the rules. Well, I am here to tell you the game is quite fun and we had a great group of gamers playing. It’s amazing how the game was sketched out on the map and the shared narrative was constantly changing. Many times in not such nice ways, but that only added to the continued shared narrative and the fun! I know these few words do not do the game justice, but trust me, it is something that everyone should try at least once.
Later in the afternoon at 1400 EST I got the chance to finally try Carolina Death Crawl by Jason Morningstar and published by Bully-pulpit Games. Now this is was an interesting game. It to was narrative based and focused on shared storytelling, but there was something slightly off about this game. Let me clarify, by slightly off I mean the eerie and horrific undertones could be hard for some to swallow. Me, well that wasn’t a problem! This shared storytelling game focuses on a small band of men who were abandoned behind enemy lines deep in the heart of North Carolina in the year 1863. The dark undertones of their misfortune permeate the game and players are compelled to tell dark and gruesome tales of their march back to an American outpost in New Bern, North Carolina. The game itself focuses on the use of cards which give their owner prompts for introducing new and twisted elements into the story. Now, the players are not required to use these prompts, but their use brings an added benefit of scoring points. Yes you read that right I said scoring points. For you see the players in the game will slowly be dying off as each round is played and it is the points that determine who lives and who dies in the round. Dying has its benefits; your ghostly existence begins where your mortal life ended. Ghosts get to introduce new and even more dynamic twists to the shared narrative. I am not going to bog you down with minutia of the rules, you can read them for yourself here. So, how did it end for our band of men? Our bugler was the first to die and as we were on the cusp of making back to New Bern, my lieutenant was killed in a boat as we tried to make our way into town. His body slide into the murky depths and surfaced some distance away as I continued to move downstream. All told, I really enjoyed playing this game. I do have to admit that some of the prompts could lead to narratives some could find uncomfortable. I think interested groups should discuss the game prior to jumping right in to ensure everyone is on the same level and to minimize possibly offending someone.
These are Reluctant PandaCon games; time to play more games!