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[PBF] The Quiet Year - Space: 19,990 leagues under the sea


For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. Now, finally, we’ve driven them off, and we’re left with this: a year of relative peace. One quiet year, with which to build our community up and learn again how to work together. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive the encounter. This is when the game will end. But we don’t know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

This is what I made up for us to use. You can see it is divided in two. On the top is our map, blank for now, but not for long. On the bottom are two tables, one for our ressources, either scarce or abundant, and one for keeping track with our Contempt token. They represent any tension and frustration that might arise in the community.

Who We Are:
We all have two roles to play in this game. The first is to represent the community at a bird’s eye level, and to care about its fate. The second is to dispassionately introduce dilemmas, as scientists conducting an experiment. The Quiet Year asks us to move in and out of these two roles. We don’t embody specific characters nor act out scenes. Instead, we represent currents of thought within the community. When we speak or take action, we might be representing a single person or a great many. If we allow ourselves to care about the fate of these people, The Quiet Year becomes a richer experience and serves as a lens for understanding communities in conflict. We’ll also be presented with opportunities to introduce new issues for the community to deal with. This will often happen when we draw cards or use the Discover Something New action. By dispassionately introducing dilemmas, and then returning to our other role as representatives of the community, we create tension and make the community’s successes feel real. If there’s an issue you struggle with in real life (like whether violence is ever justified), introduce situations that call it into question.

Before the game begins, we must establish some facts about the community and what its surroundings are like.
When we all agree, we will all add a detail and draw it on the map.

So what do you guys think? My first instinct is something isolated, like under the sea or a moon of a inhospitable planet.

EDIT: Quick reminder of the turn order : lovvbar, RossM, MinuteWalt, Cokho !

RPGs about building and exploring settings

I’m happy with anything. @MinuteWalt? @lovvbar?


I kind of like the idea of an inhospitable moon, but I too am open for anything :slight_smile:


I dig the moon idea. Ganymede? Europa also has some story threads because of the possibility of non-terrestrial life.

I’m also a big fan of underwater, too. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was one of the first books that I read that I really was riveted by, and I always liked stories about underwater bases, from SeaLab to Leviathan, even the Seas Pavilion at Epcot.

Maybe a combination! Europa has liquid water under its frozen surface (possibly, we’re still not 100% sure).
An underwater research base on a distant moon like Jupiter’s Europa?






It totally works with the “come Winter” vibe, too, amiright?


(@Cokho I should have said this earlier, but the graphic you made for us seems just about perfect. EDIT: not “just about”, it really is perfect. I really appreciate it.)

(Also, @ everyone else here, as has been said, we don’t all need the rules, it’s not a “dicey” rpg, but I’m willing to share a pdf in a dropbox. That being said, I’d encourage anyone to drop the dev a few bucks. It’s practically cheap-as-free anyway, the recommended $6-8 US was the cheapest price that I’ve paid for a game in years.
Sorry for the PSA! I just really like indie devs who realize protecting their IP is hopeless, but still make things anyway).


(Full disclosure I have paid for both physical and digital versions.)


Welcome to the world of

Space: 19,990 leagues under the sea.


We may be in trouble in another 10 leagues. (copyright issues, but it’s public domain, now, I think)

It’s a good name for this…campaign? I don’t know what to call this.

Well, except for The Quiet Year.


I love it :star_struck:!

We now have to start each drawing a detail about this world on the map! Here’s a few exemple from the book (I realize I didn’t mentioned it before, and in case it was not clear, I am heavily copy-pasting what is writen on the rulebook! Giving back to Caesar and all)

As an example, a group might decide to set their game in a forest. The first player introduces the detail: "Alright, the forest is full of young, spindly trees.” The next player adds, “And it’s nestled within a steep
mountain range.” The third player adds, “We’ve taken up residence in an old mining camp.” The final player says, “And the trees in this area have all been clearcut.” As details are added, the players draw them on the map. Everyone should introduce a detail and draw it on the map before proceeding.

I’ll start. (you got me heavily googling Europa fact, THANK YOU)

Not far from where we are settled, we can see strange, red alga, spreading slowly. It is certainly not of a kind we have observed before.


(sorry. I wanted to ask before I drew anything. Is there a grid to this map or places we should not draw or a scale? Or is at all just fair game haha

Edit: also a turn order? Just so we dont draw over each other)


I’ll wait until after you for this @lovvbar


Everything is fair game, it is emulating just a blank paper, so just draw wherever you want. Regarding scale, we are building a map, but at the same time things drawn can be symbolic (like if, for exemple, you want to say that we are under constant threat of a huge dinosaur, you can draw a T-Rex somewhere, and we would all know that it is here to symbolize the threat.)

For turn order, what do you think if we follow the table of contempt token ? So I f*cked it up by starting, but if we start following it from now on, it would go @lovvbar, @RossM, @MinuteWalt and then me.


ok. Works for me :slight_smile: Thanks! :slight_smile:


We can’t have an undersea home without a huge bubble for everyone to live under. Represented here in pink and yellow so we will always know where we live, even in the dark depths. Also, represents the sheer scale of the encroaching algea as well.


Out of turn, and I hope this will be the last time, I’ll try to shut up until it’s my turn, it’s super against the rules and spirit of the game, I apologise:

The turn order works for me, too. “Clockwise” doesn’t really work for the internet (I mean, unless it’s literally by time zone, but still…)

How are we drawing cards, from Spring to Winter? (there’s the Oracle, but there’s a mechanical issue with a PBF of drawing cards that are shuffled but divided by suite).

This is a new PBF, here, bumps in the road are fine, we will work this out together. (Oh heck, that’s practically a meta version of the actual game! Someone please kick me out now, I can see I’m going to be a problem.)


I apologize again for speaking out of turn:

Since this is a F2F game at heart, what you did wasn’t f*ucking anything up, it works, it got things rolling for a PBF that we have no examples for.


Oh I wouldn’t worry about that right now, the game has not “proper started”! You’re not kicked out (yet) I am becoming mad with power I don’t have

If it is alright with everyone, I think it was @RossM who said we could do with a physical “master-deck”. So I can have a physical deck at home that I shuffle and keep far, far away from my two toddlers. At the beginning of every turn, I draw one card and communicate the result on the thread.