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


…but Europa is also a place of great beauty. The moons still active core leads to a constant struggle between the liquid water of the hidden seas and the frosty permafrost of the surface.

Brinicles, hundreds of metres long, are formed as the ice hardens, pushing out the salt content onto their surface. Beautiful and delicate, they look almost like inverted trees, but are as sharp as razors and can form overnight…


Hey, I’m cool with anything @RossM suggests for gameplay. He’s a veteran of this here forum (I’m so sorry, Redemption 2 is still coloring my language). I certainly trust you to set up the deck and draw for us, you’ve been nothing but awesome.

Should we distribute The Oracle pdf so players can know what to do/choices they have on their draw without broadcasting the draw out loud to everyone? It’s not really a hidden, secret thing, but I think a part of the fun is finding out what the player wants to do without the rest of us worrying about the choices on card they draw.

(Again, maybe I’m overthinking this like I always do with new games, especially PBF).


Also, this:

A deep rift nearby, one the folks on the base haven’t been able to explore.

I think that’s my feature? Now we do resources? (I have to say, and yes, I’m technically out of turn again, if we have one thing in Abundance, it’s water).


That’s a great idea! Thank you for sharing it (EDIT: I meant sharing the idea, but thank you also if you want to share a link to the Oracle. Although, I think @lovvbar got the PDF, and everyone else already had it, but just to be sure, we can share it again) . And I think it even speeds up the game to do it this way.

Now, as @MinuteWalt said, we declare ressources. Traditionnaly we would just say a ressource, and declare afterward if it is in abundance or scarcity, but for the sake of moving forward in a PBF, I am fine with the idea that we do both at the same time.

From the rulebook :

Choosing a resource makes it important, if it wasn’t already. If you pick ‘gasoline,’ it becomes something
that your community wants and needs.

We then have to draw the ressource on the map, either to show it’s abundance, or to signify its scarcity or absence. How to you draw absence of something? Good question, one I’m eager to see an answer from!

One important thing to keep in mind though; is that only one of the four ressources that we will choose can be in abundance, the rest have to be scarce.

Let’s do this properly, follow the turn order and so, it is @lovvbar turn to choose and draw one ressource, either in abundance or scarcity, and then we will follow .


A bunch of humans living underwater on a distant moon, the most important thing to have in place - long term - was breathable air. The tanks behind the dome are absolutely massive, dwarfed only slightly by the dome itself. The supply is recyclable, the tanks and recycling system build to last under the harshest of conditions. We will be kept breathing, if nothing else.


(Is it me for a scarcity?)


Oh whoops.
sorry everyone, I misread this, I didn’t necessarily mean to make an executive decision about which should be abundant…


(It’s fine! I like it. I was going to do a scarcity anyway.)


I am also fine with it! I think it is a great idea, and it makes breathable air an important ressources, so that could be interesting during the game. (I mean, obviously air is important, but now in the inevitable TV adaptation of our story, in the opening shot, we can see the big tanks and two people talking about how great it is to have air to breathe, imagine if something were to happen to it!)

EDIT : @RossM, it is your turn ! To remind everyone, the turn is @lovvbar, @RossM, @MinuteWalt, @Me!
When you draw your resources, could you also add it on the table on the bottom left corner, so we have a written track of what we have and what we don’t!


I’ll do that now if folks are ok waiting a couple of minutes :slight_smile:


There we go :slight_smile:


Of course, living under hundreds of tonnes of ice, half a billion miles from the nearest other off world colony (New Berlin on Luna) means things are very sheltered. The only books in what could be called a library are over 30 years old. Having a small group of scientists in such close proximity means that is little opportunity to make huge leaps in terms of culture or identity.

Our community has a scarcity of fresh ideas.


(I fell out of my chair when I read that)


I would say we have more than enough water, but not a whole lot of drinkable water. It’s not exactly potable. Since the base is underwater, I don’t think I can draw it on the map in a reasonable way, but I’ll list it in Scarcity.

What is that blue bar on top? Is that just an artifact from @RossM’s image?


It’s my attempt at showing the ice, to reinforce that the base is cut off.


OK, now I get it. It totally makes sense.


We are scientists, we have the tools necesserary to observe, to analize all of the recent change in our environement from the safety of our labs. But we need field data if we want to rebuild and deal with what is coming for us. But the war left us with destroyed subs, unlaunchable ship, and impracticable roads. We realise with horror that we are not only isolated from other planet, but also from our own home. We need means of transportation.


(it’s night time here in France, I’m already in bed. I’ll draw the first card and launch the first turn tommorow morning. I already love what we came with, so happy to see what it will become :kissing_heart:)


Can I just say, even though this game hasn’t started yet…this game is freaking amazing.


Alright! Let’s start our first week. I know we all have the rulebook, but let me quote it so we are all on the same page:

The basic unit of play in The Quiet Year is the week. Each week is a turn taken by one player.
During each week, the following things happen:
• The active player draws a card, reads the relevant text aloud, and resolves it. They follow all bold text.
• Project dice are reduced by 1, and any finished projects are updated.
• The active player chooses and takes an action(Discover Something New, Hold a Discussion, or Start a Project).

Now let me try to summarize each phase:
Drawing cards: I draw a card, tell everyone what it is. You, as an active player, check the Oracle (at the end of the rulebook) and read the text of the week. Most of the time you have to make a choice between two situation. Choose the one most interesting for the story! If there is bold text, you have to follow it. When you post back the map on your turn, remember to also write what was the situation !

Working on project : We reduce every project on the map by one. If a project reach zero, it is completed, and the player who started it tells us what was accomplished. It should mean that the project is successful, or is at least a step forward.

Then, the active player has to make one of three actions, and I will again quote the book, because there is no way I could say it better :slight_smile:

Discover Something New
Introduce a new situation. It might be a problem, an opportunity, or a bit of both. Draw that situation onto the map. Drawings should be small and simple. Whenever things seem too controlled or easy, we can use this action to introduce new issues and dilemmas. When individual characters get introduced, we’ll give them names, and record those names.
Some example situations:
• There’s a dried-up well located at the edge of town.
• Mangy wolves have been slinking around the woods.
• There’s a broken-down waterwheel a mile upstream.
• Strange wailing noises come from the forest at night.
• A self-declared prophet arrives.

Hold a Discussion
Another of the action types is Hold a Discussion. You can choose to open with a question or a declaration.
Starting with you and going with the turn order, everyone gets to weigh in once, sharing a single argument
comprised of 1-2 sentences. If you opened with a question, you get to weigh in last. If you opened with
a declaration, that’s it for you. A discussion never results in a decision or summation process. Everyone weighs in, and then it’s over. This is how conversations work in communities: they are untidy and inconclusive affairs. Each discussion should be tied to a situation on the map. When a discussion ends, mark the situation it is attached to with a small dot.
Some example conversations include:
• Should we retaliate against the bikers? (Or, if leading with a declaration: We should abstain
from retaliation or violence.)
• Could we use the school-bus as a sleeping area for the village children?
It’s important that we stay concise. If any of us feel like we have more to say on a topic, we can always
hold another discussion about it at a later point.

Start a Project
The final action type is Start a Project. You choose a situation and declare what the community will do to
resolve it. There is no consultation about this idea - the community simply begins work.
Some example projects:
• We’re converting the mineshaft into a cold food storage.
• We’re killing those wolves.
• We’re going to sacrifice a newborn on the night of the full moon, to appease the Windwalkers.
As a group, quickly decide how many weeks the project would reasonably take to complete (minimum
1 and maximum 6). Remember that you are a small community. It isn’t easy or quick to build a house
or repair a waterwheel. Do you have the necessary tools and expertise to do this? Be generous with your
assumptions, but do remember that scarcity and difficulty are the norm. If a project would reasonably
take longer than six weeks to complete, it will need to be completed in stages.
Wherever the project is taking place, write the matching the number of weeks it will take to complete.

They are more things on the rulebook that I am not covering here, regarding the pacing of the game, the way we should adress the game and all that. I will let you read that on your own term if it is alright we you all. I just want to read with you the last bit of rule before we start, the Contempt Tokens :

If ever you feel like you weren’t consulted or honoured in a decision-making process, you can take a piece of Contempt and place it in your column under the map. This is your outlet for expressing disagreement or tension. If someone starts a project that you don’t agree with, you don’t get to voice your objections or speak out of turn. You are instead invited to take a piece of Contempt. Contempt will generally remain in front of players until the end of the game. It will act as a reminder of past contentions. Its primary role is as a social signifier. In addition, you can discard it back into the centre of the table in two ways: by acting selfishly and by diffusing tensions. If you ever want to act selfishly, to the known detriment of the community, you can discard a Contempt token to justify your behaviour. You decide whether your behaviour requires justification. This will often trigger others taking Contempt tokens in response.
If someone else does something that you greatly support, that would mend relationships and rebuild trust, you can discard a Contempt token to demonstrate how they have diffused past tensions.

I think that to avoid all of us editing the map at the same time, we should just post that we want to take a contempt token, so that the active player update the table at the same time as he draws what he has to. If we do this for the sake of streamlining, we have to resist the temptation to say why we took one, I think it is more interesting that way if we don’t explain ourself. It again reflects the communication misstep that can happens in community.

The last thing I want to say is we pick a fantastic setting. If a card say something that seems to contradict the way the world should work (out of my head, something like; there is a desert nearby), let’s not shy away from it, but embrace it and try to work out what this could mean. It will lead to an even more interesting game.

Alright, now with all that said, let’s start our first week.

@lovvbar, the card you drew is the 2 of Spring