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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Might and Right (The Quiet Year)

Might and Right (The Quiet Year)

A former member
Post #: 3
Pat, Jim, Mohan and I played The Quiet Year, a game still in beta that relies on constant map building and a deck of poker cards to represent challenges and opportunities. I'd been looking forward to this one for a while, having discovered it on Buried Without Ceremony, and it was Jim and Mohan's first night at story games.

Having survived the war with the Jackals, our community began in a slum. Early projects focused on improving community security, domesticating feral dogs and building a perimeter of flaming barrels when food supplies were stolen. This developed into a militaristic bent when a force was sent to raid the city's elite who had holed up in the top floors of a skyscraper. The expedition failed, but the damage to the community was more severe as it began to divide between those who believed the best opportunity for survival was to look inward and those who wanted to welcome other survivors into the community, even if it meant straining increasingly limited food and water supplies. This came to a head when a community of escaped prisoners, who had been the earlier food thieves, were invited to join the community, and the situation exploded with the arrival of a priest and the desperately sick who followed him.

The community divided in two in response to the ocean that encroached from the broken sea wall. There were those who preferred to train a militia and head west, and those who sought refuge in the east around a statue of St. Francis that had survived a massive fire unscathed, separating from the community's war mongering tendencies. The militia declared war on the second group but were recalled when a new force threatened the western community. By the time the Frost Shepherds arrived, the army threatening the western community had been repelled, the eastern community had established itself in catacombs underneath the statue and reconciliation had begun.

A handful of small plot points and unexplored hooks: the formation of a two-team football league, the raiding of a crumbling sporting goods store for more footballs and equipment, ghosts, an unearthed laptop with a tiny bit of battery power remaining.

I enjoyed the game, but it took me awhile to really get into it. Even though the rules suggested not taking a single perspective, it wasn't until I adopted the more peaceful part of the community as my own, that the game clicked with me. Also, despite the tension from a community dividing in two, very few Contempt tokens were taken, probably because of a lack of familiarity with the mechanic.
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 43
Thanks for the write-up, Chris. I liked this game. Lots of fun little subplots, and the divided community was an interesting challenge.

I've struggled with the "taking a perspective" thing in Quiet Year before as well. The first game I played, I sort of jumped all around... in one discussion I'd advocate violence, in another I'd speak against it, etc. It felt pretty disjointed that way.

In this game, I waited until I noticed a group consensus about something (leaving the social elite alone in their tower) then deliberately took the opposite perspective and stuck with it for the rest of the game. Part of that was just to show you guys how contempt worked by starting a project I knew would piss everyone off. I definitely agree that the game is more satisfying if you stick to a consistent "current of thought" throughout the game.

I don't think the rules recommend against that-- although I may have mistakenly given that impression when explaining things. I think the idea is you're not representing a single character in the community, but speaking on behalf of a sub-group in the community (i.e., the pacifists) is fine. At least that's my interpretation. I'm going to forward this thread to Joe, so maybe he can chime in.
A former member
Post #: 4
I forgot to ask then, but you mentioned that in some of the other The Quiet Year games you've played, every player had piles of contempt. How did that happen? I'm sure I forgot to take a token once or twice, but all told, I probably wouldn't have taken more than four total over the course of the game, and I got the feeling that none of us felt particularly ignored. Did your other games have fewer discussions or were there more fundamental differences in your approaches in them?
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 44
I've only played one other time before. I think what resulted in so much contempt is that there were clear differences of opinions on a couple issues, but we all kept acting on our views despite the opposition.

For example: two of us wanted to be violent to a nearby tribe, one of us wanted peace. We ended up attacking the tribe several times as well as trying to appease them with sacrificial brides and food. Contempt was taken for most of those actions.

We had a similar dispute over respecting the spirits that roamed the area and just pillaging the buildings they haunted.

We also didn't give back Contempt very often. I feel like it was only once or twice, and often a single action would cause one player to give Contempt in support while another took Contempt in protest.
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