I was at IndieCon last week and one lunch time went to a walk along the cliffs. While there I wondered how one would go about playing an RPG while out and about, that benefited from being out and about.
It didn’t take too long to realise that you could get inspiration for scenes from the landmarks you pass, and so “The Life and Death of…” fell naturally out of that thought.
On Saturday afternoon I attended a playstorming session and since it was raining I didn’t think I’d get to see if it worked. Luckily I found 2 brave souls who ventured into the great outdoors with me. There isn’t much variety in landmarks on the cliff tops next to a holiday park but we managed to make do.
It worked well enough and after removing a couple of superfluous rules this is the result:
The Life and Death of…
Go for a walk with two or more friends.
Bring a token of some kind you can easily pass around (we used a pen).
Someone come up with a person’s name for the title “The Life and Death of [Name]” and then give the token to someone.
- Anyone can start a scene unless you did the last one or have just received the token. Any amount of real time can pass between scenes, take in the sights and wait for inspiration.
- Point to a landmark and say “This is where [Name]…”, finishing with something they did.
- Describe a scene, trying to incorporate details form previous scenes. Keep it short, say 30 seconds and keep it mundane and grounded in the real world.
- If you have the token and narrate a scene you should include within it something otherworldly or unusual.
- After the narration is done pass the token to someone else.
The game ends when your protagonist’s death is narrated.
For playing with children try “The Life and Adventures of…”, remove the need for the game to be mundane and have the token represent something bad happening to the character.