For a long time now the planet we live on has dealt with a global pandemic and now we the survivors are tasked to build a community. We will have one quiet year before the Ice Pirates show up on our planet. What we know right now is that in this moment we have an opportunity to build something. This is the intro I used for our game of The Quiet Year.
The Quiet Year is a very unique role playing game designed by Avery Alder at Buried Without Ceremony. The Quiet Year has you and your fellow players acting as driving forces in a community not rolling up a specific character that you would play. All the players work together to build out a map of your community and the larger area around it. What you add on this map is what you are role playing.
We have been alternating between GURPS and D&D 5e and our D&D GM couldn't run the game last week so I said I would step in and facilitate a game of The Quiet Year. The Quiet Year can be fun to just play with the story line that is included or you can adjust it to fit into your existing world, we chose the latter. The community we built together would be a place that exists in the GURPS traveler setting that we are currently playing in. I knew this would be a good fit for our group as we really like to draw maps as we are playing D&D anyhow.
The game is fairly simple when you start, there are 3 parts of each players turn and there is no GM running the game just one person should kind of usher the game along so that you don't stall out or get off on tangents.
The first part of a turn is drawing a card from the deck and the active player will resolve te referenced question or problem. Each card is representative of one week of real world time. Next part of the turn is adjusting the project dice. This ticks down every open project on the map by one. So if we decided a project to build fort would take 4 weeks we would now set it to 3. Finally the last part of your turn is to take an action. You may now choose to do one action from the following: Discover something new, hold a discussion or start a project.
Projects are the heart of the game.
The Projects are the main way that you get new things on the map and advance your story. Projects are things from adding new structures, exploring new areas or anything that you thing the community wants to accomplish. Projects are the heart of the game. The projects all get a timer set to them based on the difficulty or the abundance or scarcity of resources.
Your role in this game is not to role play specific characters or scenes. Instead we will act as abstract social forces in the community. At any point you can represent the voice of one or a great many of the citizens in our community. Its your job to make certain that there are always difficult decisions to be made and uncertainties to be explored. Our roles are not to group think through the problems but for each one of us to take our turns independently. If "the community" needs to discuss the course or next steps then we will utilize the “hold a discussion” action. Then we can offer perspectives from different members of the community.
The new experience and the ability to play it alone or add flavor into our existing campaign worlds makes this a must have for a role player.
I think this game is very unique and offers an entirely new role playing experience. I am also excited to try the follow up The Deep Forest that centers on monstrosity and decolonization. I am looking forward to stumbling upon the interesting and mostly weird world we created for our GURPS campaign. I think I still hear our GM laughing now about how this is going to come back and bite us in the campaign. The new experience and the ability to play it alone or add flavor into our existing campaign worlds makes this a must have for a role player.
Designed by: Avery Alder
Published by: Buried Without Ceremony
Year Published: 2013
Time to Play: 3-4 hours