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by Ben Robbins

Early Access Edition, December 2016

Copyright 2016 by Ben Robbins. All rights reserved.

lamemage.com
SS
CE
AC
Y
RL
EA
Before You Play Quests
the Booty 41
the Candidate 43
Start
the Colony 45
Pick Our Quest 6
Sidebar: Narrowing Your Choices8
the Cure 47
What Makes Our Quest Difficult? 9 the Dragon 49
Our Fellowship 10 the Heist 51
Main Character: Want 12 the Posse 53
Main Character: Concept 14 the Raid 55
Main Character: Need 15 the Rebellion 57
Minor Character 17 the Show 59
the Siege 61
the Superheroes 63
Play
Start a Challenge 22
Its Difficult Because 23 Afterword
First Player 23 Your Challenges Define Your Quest 67
Set Pace 23 Customizing Quests 67
Scenes 24 The Pitfalls of Planning 68
Make Your Scene 24 Your Turn Is Your Turn 69
Play and See What Happens 25 Two-Player Games 69
Consequences 26
Option: Longer Three-Player Games 69
End the Scene 27
Option: Hard Mode 70
Making a Good Scene 28
Sidebar: Follow the Fiction 30 Lists of Names 71
Finish the Challenge 31 Playtesters 72
First & Second Challenge Draw 32
Third Challenge Draw 33
Outcome 34
Losing Characters & Betrayal 35
Sidebar: Kill Your Darlings 36
Epilogue 37

2
Before You Play
Follow requires no preparation and no game master to run it. You can play a
whole quest in a single session and theres enough variety that you can play
again and again and have a new experience every time. Youll need:

 Three to five players

 Two to three hours (longer with more players)

 Stones in two different colors, about a dozen of each.


Theyre called red and white in the text, but any two
distinct colors work. They can be poker chips, dice, or
playing cards, so long as they are the same size and
shape so you cant tell them apart by touch.

 A cup, bag or envelope to draw stones from. Or just close


your eyes.

 About a dozen index cards

 Pens or pencils

What if you have nothing to use as stones? The simplest solution is just to
tear up little squares of paper (half an inch or less) and mark some with an X
for red and leave the others blank for white. They wont be exactly the same
but the average person wont be able to tell them apart by touch if they
draw them from a cup.

3
Start
Follow is a game about working together to achieve a common goal. Slay
the dragon. Cure a disease. Overthrow a tyrant. Get your candidate elected.
Well pick a quest together to decide what kind of game we want to play.

Can we stay united and succeed or will our differences tear us apart? Well
play and find out.

Follow isnt about us coming up with the best plan or a clever solution,
its about seeing what these characters do, for better or worse. We may
even intentionally make bad choices because they seem like decisions our
characters would make.

But even if we do everything perfectly, our quest may fail. As players we can
push for the outcome we want to see but we cannot guarantee it. Our story
may surprise us, and thats part of the fun.

(read this page aloud to introduce the game)


start

Pick Our Quest


Read the quest descriptions on the next page, then decide as a group which
one you want to play. The quest is the framework for your whole game, so
dont settle for one someone dislikes.

After youve picked one, flip to the matching page in the QUESTS chapter.
Read the introduction on the start side aloud and then answer the
customization questions together. Youll need to refer to the quest page
frequently as you proceed, so use an index card as a bookmark.

6
the Booty the Posse
Get the treasure and get away Bring the outlaw back for trial

the Candidate the Raid


Get our candidate elected Destroy the target

the Colony the Rebellion


Build a colony and make it flourish Overthrow our oppressors

the Cure the Show


Cure the disease Put on a show the audience loves

the Dragon the Siege


Slay the beast that terrorizes the realm Hold our city against the attackers

the Heist the Superheroes


Get the loot and dont get caught Unite as a superhero team

7
Sidebar: Narrowing Your Choices
When you pick a quest, its more important to wind up
with a quest that everyone is willing to play than one
that anyone loves. If even one player hates the quest
you chose, it doesnt matter how excited anyone else is
about it: thats a recipe for a bad game.

It is often faster and more productive to have players


remove quests that dont interest them to narrow the
field. Let players go in any order, as often as they want,
and take out quests they dont want to play. No debate,
just yank quests until youre down to only two or three
choices.

If you have a spare copy of the quest list, you can cross
them off. But if you dont, just lay the page flat and start
with a stone next to each questto eliminate it, remove
the stone. By the end there will be just a few stones
remaining and you can clearly see what choices remain.

When you get down to two or three quests, stop and have
each player vote for the one they want. Tell everyone to
secretly decide which quest they want and how much
they prefer it over the others, on a scale of one to five
(one for mild preference, five for a strong preference).
Have everyone simultaneously point at the quest they
prefer, pointing that number of fingers. If youre neutral,
hold up a fist to vote for all equally. Count the fingers
pointed at each quest. The quest with the most votes is
the winner.

8
start

What Makes Our Quest


Difficult?
As a group, brainstorm two things that make our quest difficult. Take
examples from the quest sheet or make up your own.

Difficulties get everyone on the same page about what stands in our way.
They may inspire the challenges we confront later on or just tell us more
about the world and the situation were in.

Write your difficulties down on an index card. You can put the title of your
fellowship, quest or community on the top, if appropriate.

SUICIDE RIDGE

1) The warlords are well-armed

2) Morale is low

9
start

Our Fellowship
The group of characters working together to complete the quest is called
the fellowship. Well each have two characters: a main character and a
minor character. Both are part of the fellowship, but our story is about
our main characters. The minor characters are supporting cast, and some of
them will almost certainly be lost if our quest takes difficult turns.

As you make your characters, complete each step together and discuss
your choices so everyone knows what the other characters are like. When
you pick details about your character, youre telling the other players those
are the themes you want to explore in the game.

Follow these steps to prepare character cards that match the illustration on
the next page:

 Each player takes an index card. Fold the long edge in


half, then fold one of those halves into a tent, as shown.
This will be your main character.

 Turn the card so the tent is nearest to you. Draw a


horizontal line dividing the flat part of the card. Write
want at the top of the first section and need at the
top of the bottom section. Draw an arrow pointing left
on the left side of the need section.

 Take more index cards and cut or tear them in half and
give each player a half card. Fold it into a tent so it matches
your first card. This will be your minor character.

10
WANT

NEED
MAIN
CHARACTER <

MINOR
CHARACTER

11
start

Main Character: Want


First youll decide why your main character is part of the fellowship. We all
want the quest to succeed, but what does your main character want to
get out of our success? Whats their motivation? Pick from the examples
on the quest or make up your own.

I want our success to

give me respect or honor


give me fame or glory
give me wealth
give me power
redeem me
give me revenge on ________
give me peace
pay my debt
protect ________
help ________
prove ________
destroy ________

Dont worry about picking the perfect answer, just grab something that
makes sense to you and run with it. No two characters should want
exactly the same thing. If you choose the same thing, discuss until you
find the difference that sets you apart.

This is a starting point for your character, but as you play you already might
get what you want, give up or move on to entirely new things. Write your
choice in the want section of your main character card. Keep it short and
write in big letters so its easy to read.

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example
Our quest is to slay the dragon. One character is in it for
the glory. They want to be the hero that songs are sung
about.

Two other players both pick protect, but one wants to


protect the authority of the king while the other wants to
protect their family and neighbors in their village.

The last player wants redemption. For what? They describe


being part of a small army that attacked the dragon and
was destroyed, but the character was scared and ran
away before the battle. They still carry the shame of their
cowardice.

13
start

Main Character: Concept


Pick a character concept from the quest sheet or make one up. Chose
something that fits what you decided your character wants from the quest.
Pick a name and give a barebones description of who you are.

Write the name and concept on both sides of the tented part of the main
character card. There are lists of some sample names in the back of the
book if you need inspiration.

example
Were playing the Colony, and a player decided her
character wanted to be careful to protect the ecosystem.
Looking at the example character concepts, she decides
her character is a philosopher, a cerebral idealist who
believes the colony should be built in harmony with
nature instead of trying to turn this world into the home
weve left.

She decides hes a slight figure his early 60s but still spry
and energetic. Looking at the list of names, she decides
hes Emil Kollard, though most people call him Professor
Kollard.

On the card she just writes Professor Emil Kollard and


beneath that Philosopher.

14
start

Main Character: Need


What does your character need from the character to your left? It must be
something you strongly want but which the other character is unwilling
to give you. Pick from the examples on the quest or make up your own.

I need, but you wont give me

your respect
your trust
your love
your forgiveness
revenge on you
the truth
your protection (or for you to protect something)
to protect you
your loyalty
your support
a promotion from you
your training
your power

Discuss with the other player to flesh out the details. What past events
or personal relationships drive this need and the other characters
refusal? The result should be something both players are happy with.

Just like wants, needs are only a starting point for your character. They
may change or be abandoned as you play. Write your choice in the need
section of your main character card. Keep it short and write in big letters so
its easy to read.

15
Example
Our quest is to come together as a superhero team. The
rookie Wyldfyre needs a veteran hero, Defender, to count
on him. Why wont he?

The players discuss and decide that Defender is Wyldfyres


mentor, but he still believes the young hero is too
inexperienced and impulsive. Its clear Defender thinks he
has to keep an eye on the rookie instead of trusting him to
handle himself.

To explain what caused this, they agree that Wyldfyre is a


little too eager to be a hero and sometimes leaps before
he looks, even though hes still pretty new to his powers.
One time he accidentally set a building on fire when he
tried to show-off and trap robbers in a circle of flame.
Defender doesnt think Wyldfyre understands how serious
being a hero is.

In the need section of Wyldfyres card, the player just


writes count on me.

16
start

Minor Character
Next, each player makes their minor character, who is also part of the
fellowship. Just pick a concept, a name, and give a brief description. Dont
create wants or needs.

A good choice is to make a character who is connected to one of the


main characters across the table from you, or who would mostly interact
with them. Avoid making a minor character who would primarily interact
with your own main character so you dont wind up needing to talk to
yourself.

Write your name and concept on both sides of the minor character card.

17
WANT
fame

NEED
MAIN
CHARACTER < count on me!

rookie superhero
Wyldfyre

Wyldfyre
rookie superhero

government liaison
Agent Thomson
MINOR
CHARACTER Agent Thomson
government liaison

18
Table Layout (Four-Player Game)

QUEST TITLE

1)

2)

WHAT MAKES OUR


QUEST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES

MAIN MINOR

19
Play
To complete the quest, our fellowship will face three challenges. We wont
know what challenges will confront us at the start. Well only know as they
arise.

Each challenge is something we need to do to get closer to our goal. When


a player picks a challenge, they establish that it is the next important
step we need to take in our quest. If we succeed, we get closer to victory.
If we fail (or ignore or refuse the challenge), it doesnt mean the quest
immediately fails, but it makes it harder for us to succeed in the end.

The third challenge is different. It decides the outcome of the entire quest.
When you pick the third challenge, youre saying that after everything that
has happened, this final task is what we must do to succeed in our quest.
It will make or break us.

During each round well play scenes to see what the fellowship does to
overcome the challenge. Use your scenes to lay groundwork and put our
plans in motion. Explore your characters and why theyre here. But we
wont find out if we succeed at the challenge until all the scenes have been
played. We may think things are going well or poorly, but we wont learn the
outcome until we get to the climax.

When we get to the end of the third challenge and decide the entire quest,
our successes or failures in the first two challenges will directly influence
our chances of victory.
play

Start a Challenge
Choose a player to pick the next challenge. It must be someone who has
not picked one already.

That person selects a challenge from the quest sheet. This challenge is now
the next step the fellowship must take to get closer to victory. If this is the
third challenge, youre establishing the final task we must complete to finish
the quest. If we fail the third challenge, the quest fails.

You must pick a challenge from the quest sheet, but you can pick any
challenge that you think is appropriate, even one that has already been
used. When in doubt, just ask yourself: what would we need to do next?

Copy your first challenge from the quest sheet to the top third of an index
card, along with the players name. Each additional challenge will fill another
third of this card, creating a record of your quest.

X Get a spy on
the inside
(Cat)

Hide from a
manhunt
(Dennis)

22
Its Difficult Because
The player who picked the challenge describes the problem that confronts
the fellowship and fleshes out the situation. Tell us what makes it difficult
and why we need to do it. But do not say anything about how the fellowship
will solve the problem: leave that for scenes.

Example
Our quest is to get our candidate elected, and our next
challenge is to handle accusations of personal misconduct.
The player picking the challenge say its difficult because
there are stacks of pictures showing our candidate on
romantic dinners with the husband of her campaign
manager. And hotel receipts. And text messages. Weve
got our work cut out for us.

First Player
The player who picked the challenge chooses which main character they
think would be the first to decide how to deal with this problem (you cannot
pick your own character). Their player will make the first scene.

Set Pace
As a group, decide how long we envision this challenge taking: minutes,
hours, days, weeks, months or years. Scenes should follow that pacing.

23
play

Scenes
Scenes are the meat of the game, and your scene is your spotlight time.
Its your chance to explore your relationship to other characters in the
fellowship, what you think about the quest, and what you are doing to deal
with the challenge.

But no matter what happens, we wont know if we succeed or fail at the


challenge until after everyone has made a scene. Lay the groundwork and
take action, but dont jump to the conclusion.

Make Your Scene


Each player makes one scene for the challenge. The player chosen by the
person who picked the challenge makes the first scene, followed by the
player on their left, and then around the table clockwise.

 Your scene should be about your main character. Other


characters may be present as well, but this is your time.
Do not include your own minor character.

 Say who is there, where its happening and what is


going on. It is more important to describe a situation
that is clear to all the players than one that is particularly
novel or interesting.

 Two to three characters per scene is ideal. Everyone does


not have to play in every scene.

If you need an idea for your scene, just pick someone you think it would
be interesting for your character to talk to about what is going on, frame a
scene with them and see where it goes. Pick someone whose relationship
with your character you understand so you know how to talk to them, even
if its someone your character hates.

If you still cant think of anything, ask for suggestions.

24
Play and See What Happens
Once a scene is set, start role-playing. If youre in the scene, say what
your character does, say what your character says, and say what your
character thinks. Play and see what happens.

Each player controls the fate of their characters, unless the rules say
otherwise. If you want to do something to another character, describe the
action and your intended effect and the player controlling that character
will decide the outcome. Dont be afraid to let bad things happen to your
characters if it makes a good story.

Never describe succeeding or failing at the challenge in a scene. We


wont know if we win or lose until after all the scenes have been played.
If someone makes it sound like we have already succeeded or failed at the
challenge, we must also show how that is not the final outcome.

25
Consequences
If another player thinks you described your character succeeding too
easily, they can add a consequence and describe how your action put
another players character in danger or difficulty. The consequence may
be something you didnt want and could not have foreseen, but its a side-
effect of your action nonetheless.

If youre making the consquence, you can put your own character in
danger however you want. But if you want to have the consequence fall on
someone elses character, describe your idea, then adjust or negotiate until
that player approves since they have final control over their character.

Example
You describe how you cut through the enemy line and
slay the Rebel-King, despite being outnumbered. Another
player thinks thats a little too easy, so they add that the
herald who was riding with you is left behind and captured.
The heralds player asks the consequence-maker to be cut
off and surrounded by foes instead, still fighting but in
trouble. Both players agree.

You can even ask for someone else to describe a consequence for something
you do.

Consequences are a tool to make sure everyone stays on the same page
about what is possible in your story and to avoid downplaying the difficulty
the fellowship faces. In some games you wont need consequences at all.
Thats perfectly fine.

26
End the Scene
The player making the scene has final say over when to end the scene, but
anyone can suggest that its time to cut. When in doubt, cut earlier rather
than later. Shorter scenes are better than longer scenes.

How do you know when your scene has done enough? Every scene should
advance the story but that doesnt mean you have to wrap up all the
questions you raised to end your scene. If youve shown some decision
being made or revealed something new about a character or the
situation, thats a good scene. In fact its often more dramatic to leave
new problems hanging and resolve them later.

If you need to take some action to put what you talked about into effect,
dont try to expand the scene to encompass that new situation. Either save
it for later or just summarize doing it.

Example
After we finish the meeting, I go off to put the demolition
charges on the bridge, as we discussed. End scene.

After every player has finished making and play a scene, go on to resolve
the challenge.

27
Making a Good Scene
A game scene is like a scene in a movie: we see a situation, interesting things
happen, then we cut to the next bit when the interesting part is over. But
since were all simultaneously co-writers and audience, each of us might
have an idea about what we want to happen in a scene, but we wont know
what will actually unfold until we play.

When you frame your scene, your job is to paint a clear picture so
everyone can visualize the situation. If were all on the same page about
where we are and whats going on, playing our characters and making
interesting things happen is easy. If the environment is hazy or confusing,
its much harder.

Whos In the Scene?


Your main character must be present, but you can include any other
characters you want, including characters who are not part of the fellowship.
You are free to make people up on the spot. Avoid including your own
minor character so you dont talk to yourself.

Fewer characters leads to better, tighter role-playing. Two or three


characters per scene is usually ideal. With more people you can lose focus
and get bogged down. Save big group meetings for when you absolutely
need them. Even if characters would logically be present, you can make a
scene that doesnt include them. They have stepped out for the moment or
are otherwise occupied.

Example
The entire team is marching through the jungle single-file,
but the player describes two characters having a private
conversation just out of earshot of their companions.

The player making the scene has final say over who is present. No one can
enter the scene without their permission.

28
Where Are We?
Describe a physical location. You dont need a lot of detail, but everyone
should be able to visualize where the scene is taking place. The clearer the
environment, the easy it is to role-play. Never play a scene in a vacuum.

A scene also doesnt have to take place right after the action in the last
scene. Depending on the pace you picked for the challenge you can jump
to much later and somewhere else entirely.

ExampleS
Were lost in the jungle and the sun is just going down.

Were at the foot of the wizards tower. The doors loom


before us, portals of brass graven with arcane sigils.

Were chained to the wall in the kings dungeon.

Whats Going On?


What are the characters doing here? Why do they think theyre here?
Sometimes its completely obvious, but understanding what the characters
expect to be doing makes it much easier to role-play.

ExampleS
Were searching for supplies.

Youve called me in for a status report.

Im preparing the magic circle that will bind the jinn.

Your scene does not have to be a situation your character created. You
could describe being called in for a meeting or your character getting
ambushed.

Its important that the what is going on may not be what the scene will
be about at all. Its just the superficial reason the characters are here. We
were searching the bunker for supplies, but now that were alone its a great
chance to confess your true feelings.

29
Sidebar: Follow the Fiction
At the start of the game, we are required to create
characters who are working together and want to
succeed at the quest. But what if things happen during
play to change that? What if you decide your character
wants to quit the quest, or turn against the fellowship, or
find their own path to victory?

Go right ahead. Role-play whatever make sense to you.


The rules are designed to embrace your decisions, not
force you to follow a certain path.

Likewise, your wants and needs are only starting points.


Your characters may grow to be something entirely
different than you expected. You may fall in love with the
character you needed revenge on or give up on what you
wanted from the quest in your first scene. Thats great.
Now keep playing and see what happens next. You can
can even decide to kill off your characters or have them
leave the fellowship.

But there are some facts you cant change. You cant go
back and change a challenge thats been set or the goal
of the quest, even if everyone in the fellowship wishes
they could. When a challenge is picked, that defines it as
the next thing that will further your quest if you succeed
or hurt your chances if you fail or ignore it. No matter
what you say or do during scenes, that remains true.

And if you change your mind about the quest and want
a different outcome, the quest goal as written doesnt
change, only now youre trying to fail. Your challenges
may become things you dont want to do and are trying
to stop.

Follow the fiction. Do what makes your story great and


the rules will keep up.

30
play

Finish the Challenge


After every player has made one scene for the challenge, we see if the
fellowship succeeded or failed. If this is the third challenge, follow the
second set of instructions to determine the outcome of the entire quest.

Well draw stones to determine the outcome and then narrate the results.
Sometimes the outcome will surprise us, but even when its not what we
wanted or expected, its our job to explain it. Interpreting those unexpected
results can push our story in exciting new directions we wouldnt have
thought of on our own.

And even if failing the first or second challenge sounds like it would give us
no way to continue, its also our job to explain how we find a way to push
forward or work around our setback in the next challenge. We are never
truly defeated (or victorious) until the third challenge.

31
First & Second Challenge Draw
Failing the first two challenges doesnt mean the quest fails, it just means
we have to work harder later to succeed.

1) Start with no stones in the pool. Add 1 white and 1 red.

2) Each player takes 2 red. Say,

If your main character is unhappy about the path


the fellowship has taken, hold 1 red stone. If your
main character actually wants the quest to fail, hold
2 red stones. Otherwise hold no stones.

Decide secretly, then reveal simultaneously. Maximum 2


stones, even if the answer is yes to both. Add them to the
pool. If you put in any stones, briefly explain why.

3) Each player takes 1 white and 1 red. Say,

As a player, do you think the fellowship did what was


necessary to succeed at the challenge? Hold white if
yes, red if no.

Decide secretly, then reveal simultaneously. Add them


to the pool.

4) Put the stones in a cup. Without looking, draw one stone


and reveal it, then draw and reveal a second. Dont put
the first stone back before drawing the second. Consult
the outcome table to interpret your results.

5) On the challenge card, put a check next to this challenge


if you succeeded, or an X if you failed.

Start a new challenge.

32
Third Challenge Draw
The outcome of the the third challenge decides the entire quest. If we fail
now, the quest is lost.

1) Start with no stones in the pool. Add 1 white and 1 red.

2) Add 1 white for each successful challenge and 1 red for


each failed challenge (2 stones total).

3) Each player takes 2 red. Say,

If your main character is unhappy about the path


the fellowship has taken, hold 1 red stone. If your
main character actually wants the quest to fail, hold
2 red stones. Otherwise hold no stones.

Decide secretly, then reveal simultaneously. Maximum 2


stones, even if the answer is yes to both. Add them to the
pool. If you put in any stones, briefly explain why.

4) Each player takes 1 white and 1 red. Say,

As a player, do you think the fellowship succeeded


at the challenge? Hold white if yes, red if no. This will
decide the entire quest, not just this challenge.

Decide secretly, then reveal simultaneously. Add them


to the pool.

5) Put the stones in a cup. Without looking, draw one stone


and reveal it, then draw and reveal a second. Dont put
the first stone back before drawing the second. Consult
the outcome table to interpret your results.

6) The quest is now over. Proceed to the epilogue.

33
Outcome
Stones are shown in the order they were drawn: the first tells us the impact
on the fellowship and the second determines if we won or lost.

WHITE, WHITE
win the challenge

RED, WHITE
lose one character but win the challenge

WHITE, RED
lose one character and lose the challenge

RED, RED
a character betrays (or is betrayed by) the
fellowship and is lost, and lose the challenge

As a group, describe the outcome of your challenge to match the results


of your draw. If this is the third challenge, the outcome decides the entire
quest, so describe the outcome of the quest as well.

If any characters were lost, agree as a group who it was and what happened.
It can be a main or a minor character, but the player losing the character has
final say over what happened to them. You must have the consent of the
player who owns that character, but if the group absolutely cannot agree,
the player who picked the challenge is the one who loses a character.

The draw only indicates the minimum you must lose. You can choose to
lose more characters than are required, or escalate a loss to a betrayal.

34
Losing Characters & Betrayal
When you lose characters because of the draw, they are out of the game.
They may die, quit or be kicked out of the fellowship. It could be bad luck or
a noble sacrifice. But however you want to describe it, they are gone.

If its a betrayal, it must be a conscious decision which the side being


betrayed does not want (whether thats the fellowship or a character). If we
betray someone and leave them behind in enemy territory, they must curse
us for it, not willingly sacrifice themselves.

You can also choose to voluntarily lose one of your characters at any time
during the game. Just describe what happens to them and why theyre no
longer in the fellowship.

But no matter what happens, players are never eliminated from the
game. You always get a new main character to play:

 If you lose your main character, your minor character


character is promoted to be your new main character. If
you have lost both your characters, you can ask another
player to let you take over their minor character, or you
can introduce a new character joining the fellowship,
whichever makes the most sense. That becomes your
new main character.

 If you lose your minor character, dont replace them.

 When you promote a minor character or make a new


main character, dont go through the process of creating
wants and needs. The story is already in motion so just
work with what you know.

35
Sidebar: Kill Your Darlings
When you see that red stone and start thinking about
who to lose, your first instinct is often to sacrifice
someone who no one cares about. We hardly saw that
minor character: toss them on the fire!

But sometimes its much more fruitful to go the other


direction and look at characters who you would never
expect to lose or to betray us, even seemingly critical
main characters. You might find that an unexpected but
more poignant choice is a lot more fun.

If its your character, a good test is to ask yourself if there


is still more you want to do with their story. Sometimes
you realize youve already said all you wanted to say
about them, maybe even very early in the game. If so,
youre done! Thats a perfect candidate to lose.

36
play

Epilogue
After three challenges, the quest is over. We succeeded or failed, but our
characters live on (some of them, anyway).

Each player briefly narrates their main characters life after the quest.
Show us whether your character feels the quest was worth it. You may
stick to just the immediate fallout of the quest, or you could go big and
summarize the rest of your life. Its up to you.

If your main character was lost just before the epilogue, you can narrate
their legacy or memory instead of switching to a new main character if you
prefer.

After that, your game is done.

37
Quests
Each quest has two pages: a START section and a PLAY section. Youll use
the first page to set up your quest, and then flip to the second once youre
ready to play.

The start section includes an introduction and questions to customize and


clarify your setting. There are also examples for what makes your quest
difficult and character ideas. You can use those examples or make up your
own answers. Most quests can also be easily adapted to other settings, so a
few alternate ideas are included as well. But the more you change the quest
the less useful the provided examples will be.

Once youve finished setting up your quest and flip to the PLAY page, all
the material on the START page no longer matters. Whats important is
what you picked for your game, not all the things you could have picked, so
hiding those choices keeps them from being a distraction.
the Booty the Posse
Get the treasure and get away Bring the outlaw back for trial

the Candidate the Raid


Get our candidate elected Destroy the target

the Colony the Rebellion


Build a colony and make it flourish Overthrow our oppressors

the Cure the Show


Cure the disease Put on a show the audience loves

the Dragon the Siege


Slay the beast that terrorizes the realm Hold our city against the attackers

the Heist the Superheroes


Get the loot and dont get caught Unite as a superhero team

40
the Booty
The treasure galleon Glorioso sails for Spain from the West Indies, swollen with gold
and spices. We are pirates or privateers determine to take her booty for our own!

Are we notorious, forgotten, or just rising in our pirate fame?


Whats the name of our ship? You can also start without a ship and get one
as part of our quest. Examples: the Harpy, the Red Swan, the Constance, the
Fox, the Clever Twine.

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | The Glorioso is a war galleon (or has an escort).
2 | Other pirates are after the treasure too.
3 | Some fear the gold and jewels bear an Aztec curse!
4 | Storm season is approaching.
5 | Our ship is in disrepair.
6 | Morale is low. Thar be grumblings of mutiny

what I want from the quest


1 | Fame. Folk in every port should see us as heroes.
2 | Fame. Our names should invoke terror.
3 | Dont harm innocents.
4 | Revenge. Kill as many Spanish soldiers as possible.
5 | Dont risk the ship.
6 | Be loyal to each other. There is honor among thieves.

Characters
1 | captain 5 | daring cut-throat 9 | green recruit
2 | first mate 6 | wizened old sea dog 10 | coward
3 | quartermaster 7 | clever schemer 11 | deserter soldier
4 | enforcer 8 | dashing rogue 12 | dilettante noble

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Admit Im the better ____ (swordsman, sailor, leader, more popular)
2 | Trust me with ____ (the helm, leading an attack, navigating, the treasure)
3 | A promotion
4 | Revenge on you for ____ (this scar, stealing my love, cheating at dice)
5 | Respect
6 | More rum!

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Star pirates. Swords & sorcery raiders. Train robbers. Any setting where one vessel is
chasing another and stealing whats inside.

S TA R T
the Booty
our goal

Get the treasure and get away


Challenges

Get a ship

Get a crew (or get more crew)

Repair our ship

Learn what route the targets taking (or find her in the open sea)

Thread the reefs

Weather the storm

Survive being becalmed (without enough food or water)

Put down a mutiny

Choose a captain (or re-elect the old one)

Chase and overtake her

Board and capture her!

Split the loot

Bury the treasure

Escape pursuit

P L AY
the Candidate
Our goal is to get our candidate elected. We are the staff, supporters and campaign
managers, plus friends and family who are taking an active role in the campaign. No
one should pick the candidate as their character, even though they are the center of
the story. If you did, you would have the unilateral power to stop the quest.

What office is our candidate running for? President, Senator, Mayor, Union
Leader, Class President.
Are we up for re-election, challenging an incumbent, or are both new?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | Our opponent is very popular, politically connected, or well-funded (choose).
2 | Our candidate made some mistakes in their past (what are they?).
3 | Our candidate has unpopular or unorthodox positions.
4 | Our candidate does not stand out. They are just like every other politician.
5 | Our candidate is a loser. Theyre just no good.
6 | No one thinks we can win.

what I want from the quest


1 | Clean campaign. No mudslinging.
2 | Humiliate our opponent.
3 | Honest campaign. Dont make promises we cant keep.
4 | Dont pander to special interest groups.
5 | Promote a specific agenda (choose: environment, defense, education, etc.).
6 | Fame. I want credit for engineering the win.

Characters
1 | campaign manager 5 | speechwriter 9 | elected official
2 | strategist 6 | spokesperson 10 | wealthy backer
3 | policy advisor 7 | assistant 11 | celebrity backer
4 | pollster 8 | personal aide 12 | candidates family

I need, but you wont give me


1 | A promotion.
2 | Your support to ____ (to put me in charge, get my agenda followed, etc.)
3 | Admit you were wrong about ____ (strategy, a previous campaign, etc.)
4 | Ask your friends/connections to donate/support the campaign.
5 | Use your personal connections to get info from inside the other campaign.
6 | Your love or a divorce (pick one).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Head of a fan club. Pretender to the throne. Religious leader. Corporate chairman.
Guildmaster. Even if the decision is controlled by a particular subgroup (e.g.
aristocrats pick the monarch) it works so long as that group is fairly large.

S TA R T
the Candidate
our goal

Get our candidate elected


Challenges

Get on the ballot

Raise funds, win over backers

Prep for a debate

Shape the message. Announce what our candidate stands for.

Handle accusations of personal misconduct (an affair, etc.)

Handle accusations of financial misconduct (personal use of funds,


unreported donations, etc.)

Make the public aware of flaws of our opponent

Deal with attack ads (what do they say?)

Deal with a vocal special interest that hates our candidate (which
one?)

Get the support of a special interest group (which one?)

Win over the voters

P L AY
the Colony
Were on a new world, far from home, and theres no turning back. We must build a
colony and make sure it survives and thrives.

Are we the first planet settled outside of Earth? Or just one of many?
We will each have a personal reason, but why did the settlers come here as a
whole? To represent our home world? To escape danger or oppression?
How many people came with us. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?
Name our colony. Examples: Haven, Eden, Green, Winter, Crucible, Carsons
World, New Canaveral, KJ-427.

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | We dont have the supplies we need.
2 | The ecosystem is inhospitable (pick: extreme weather, poor resources, etc.).
3 | There are dangerous life forms.
4 | Other colonists are already here, and theyre not happy about our intrusion.
5 | We were forced to land on the wrong planet. Our surveys are useless.
6 | Theres dissent and disagreement.

what I want from the quest


1 | Start fresh instead of imitating the society we came from.
2 | We should never forget where we came from.
3 | Everyone should be equal.
4 | No one should put their own interests before the communitys.
5 | Be careful not to harm the natural ecosystem.
6 | Tame the land and build a proud, shining city.

Characters
1 | leader 5 | doctor / therapist 9 | true believer
2 | visionary / planner 6 | philosopher 10 | sorry we came
3 | scientist 7 | family homesteader 11 | free thinker
4 | engineer / technician 8 | loner 12 | youth

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Forgive my mistake (bad landing, hurting someone, damaging supplies, etc.)
2 | Fudge the data to convince other colonists of my plans.
3 | Convince the other colonists that were doing fine.
4 | The truth about why you came on this mission (agree on the secret).
5 | More responsibility.
6 | Your love, a child, or a divorce (pick one).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Modern commune. Religious mission. Border fort. Undersea dome. Puritan settlers.
Any isolated community works, but decide if there are native people or not.

S TA R T
the Colony
our goal

Build a colony and make it


flourish
Challenges

Survey the region

Pick a good spot for our settlement

Clear the land

Harvest natural resources (what resources?)

Head-off starvation

Survive harsh weather

Deal with dangerous wildlife

Treat a disease afflicting colonists (is it Terran or from this world?)

Expand the settlement

Build an outpost nearby

Judge someone who committed a crime (pick: theft, murder,


assault)

Establish a government

Raise morale

Prevent a schism in the community

P L AY
the Cure
Our goal is to cure a disease. We are the doctors, researchers, lab workers and
administrators working on the cure.

Whats the disease? Is it an illness that has vexed humanity for decades or a
virulent new plague? Is it deadly or just debilitating? Give it a name.
Are we part of a pharmaceutical company, government agency, university,
hospital or a humanitarian research institute?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | The disease is very contagious so treating or testing it is dangerous.
2 | Its spreading fast so were racing against the clock.
3 | Many dont believe it can be cured.
4 | Lack of funds.
5 | Regulations and restrictions hamper us.
6 | Our team is second-rate. We dont have the best people or facilities.

what I want from the quest


1 | Wealth. We should profit from our work, not give it away.
2 | Everyone should have access to our cure. Its for the greater good.
3 | Fame. We should get the credit.
4 | We should make sure there are no side-effects.
5 | We shouldnt endanger human test subjects.
6 | Help a loved one who has the disease. Who is it?

Characters
1 | director of research 5 | administrator 9 | financial backer
2 | research team leader 6 | liaison (gov/corp) 10 | political backer
3 | research scientist 7 | security officer 11 | lawyer
4 | lab assistant 8 | media relations 12 | patient / subject

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Access to your data.
2 | A promotion / more responsibility.
3 | Permission to try my own approaches to the problem.
4 | Bad mouth the rival who stands in my way.
5 | Revenge on you for proving my theories wrong in the past.
6 | Your love or a divorce (pick one).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Zombie infection. Medieval monks fighting plague. Wizards breaking a curse. Alien
spores. Cold War bacterial weapons. Cyber-virus that afflicts people with implants.
Hackers stopping an internet virus (affects computers, not people).

S TA R T
the Cure
our goal

Cure the disease


Challenges

Get funding

Get state-of-the-art facilities

Recruit the best talent

Win public support

Get legal approval

Demonstrate it could work

Test it on human subjects

Treat a sudden outbreak (where is it?)

Deal with a safety failure within our facility (what went wrong?)

Deal with criticism from outside researchers. They say it wont work
or will cause terrible side-effects.

Fix the terrible side-effects our treatment causes

Find a way to mass produce it

P L AY
the Dragon
The dragon terrorizes the land and it must be slain. Were warriors, knights, rogues or
wise ones that dare to face the monster.

Is the beast a dragon or some other monster? A hydra, a hell-spawned wolf,


or a kraken?
Is there magic? If yes, is it obvious or subtle?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | No mere sword can slay the beast.
2 | Some oppose us: they fear angering the beast.
3 | Some oppose us: they worship or revere the beast.
4 | Its lair is remote, well-hidden, or in dangerous terrain.
5 | The beast is crafty and clever.
6 | It can travel far and fast very quickly.

what I want from the quest


1 | Fame. This deed will make us heroes of legend.
2 | Wealth. We must return its treasure to the King, the rightful owner.
3 | Wealth. Its treasure will make us rich.
4 | Protect my homeland.
5 | Revenge. It destroyed my homeland.
6 | Redemption. Slaying the beast will absolve me of my past cowardice.

Characters
1 | knight of the realm 5 | mercenary 9 | servant / retainer
2 | veteran warrior 6 | treasure hunter 10 | local guide
3 | would-be hero 7 | wise one / sage 11 | peasant
4 | noble 8 | priest / hermit 12 | survivor of attack

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Your respect
2 | Swear to serve me
3 | Swear me in as a ____ (knight, priest, apprentice, retainer, etc.)
4 | Pardon me for past crimes / dishonors
5 | Admit Im ____ (braver, the better warrior, a hero of legend)
6 | Revenge on you for ____ (taking my beloved, defeating me, betraying me)

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
A cat terrorizing mice. A city-stomping kaiju or giant robot. A man-eating shark
terrorizing a sleepy coastal town. The white whale. An unspeakable elder god
awakened. A werewolf or vampire preying on a community.

S TA R T
the Dragon
our goal

Slay the beast that terrorizes the


realm
Challenges

Convince a group to aid us (pick one: a kingdom, a city, a tribe, a


priesthood, etc.)

Learn the beasts weak spot / true name (pick one, then describe
where we can we learn it)

Get the weapon that can slay it

Raise an army to fight it

Lure it into a trap

Protect a village from the beast

Travel through dangerous lands

Track the beast

Find its lair

Get to the heart of the beasts lair

Escape the beast

Face the beast

P L AY
the Heist
Get the loot and dont get caught. Were criminals or would-be criminals, thieves,
robbers, hackers or con artists. The actual robbery could happen in the middle but
the quest isnt complete until we get away clean.

Whats the score? What are we stealing?


Are we experienced criminals or newbies lured by an opportunity? Are we
an old or new crew?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | Its well-guarded.
2 | Were already suspects.
3 | Were inexperienced and dont know what were doing.
4 | Were stealing something big or very hard to move.
5 | Its hard to fence.
6 | Were stealing from vengeful people. They will come after us.

what I want from the quest


1 | Wealth. Get enough to quit.
2 | Keep our criminal life a secret. Dont let our families know the truth.
3 | No innocent people get hurt.
4 | Lets not take stupid risks.
5 | Fame. Make a name for myself on a big score.
6 | Revenge. Stick it to the people were stealing from.

Characters
1 | planner 5 | natural 9 | man on the inside
2 | hardened criminal 6 | amateur 10 | dirty cop
3 | ambitious criminal 7 | trying to go straight 11 | ordinary citizen
4 | older & wiser 8 | unlucky criminal 12 | loved one / family

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Forgive me for ____ (leaving you behind, cheating you, taking your beloved).
2 | Revenge on you for ____ (leaving me behind, cheating me, ratting me out,
taking my beloved).
3 | Trust me. Tell what youre planning.
4 | Do as youre told. Dont get into trouble.
5 | Your respect.
6 | Teach me all the tricks.

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Steal the Death Star plans. Thieve a sacred idol, the kings jewels, or a wizards scrolls.
Rob an ancient tomb. Corporate espionage to learn next years fashion secrets.
Invade dreams to steal memories. Spies lifting national secrets.

S TA R T
the Heist
our goal

Get the loot and dont get caught


Challenges

Case the joint

Get the layout or security plan

Acquire the keys (choose: actual keys, security codes, lock


combination. Who has them?)

Get someone on the inside

Find whos ratting us out (may not be someone in the fellowship)

Defeat security (what security?)

Break in

Get away

Lay low

Cover our tracks

Get rid of evidence

Fence the goods

P L AY
the Posse
Find the outlaw and bring them back to stand trial in the Wild West. Were the lawmen
and ordinary citizens that have been sworn in to hunt the wrong-doer.

Whats the outlaws crime? Whats his/her name?


What town are we from? Whats its name?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | The outlaw has their gang with them.
2 | They are a clever snake.
3 | They has a big head start.
4 | Its a lawless territory. There are outlaws everywhere that could help or
shelter our prey.
5 | The badlands have a thousand places to hide.
6 | Were not experienced gunmen.

what I want from the quest


1 | Revenge. Make the outlaw suffer.
2 | Dont take any chances. Lets get home in one piece.
3 | Fame. Make a name for yourself, bringing down a feared outlaw.
4 | Wealth. We should be well-paid for risking our necks.
5 | Prove that law rules. If we dont, it hurts our community.
6 | Protect others. Catch the outlaw before he/she can harm anyone else.

Characters
1 | sheriff 5 | vengeful townsfolk 9 | town drunk
2 | deputy 6 | fearful townsfolk 10 | wizened old coot
3 | federal marshall 7 | teacher / priest 11 | family of victim
4 | gunslinger 8 | young hothead 12 | former outlaw

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Forgive me for ____ (shooting you, cheating you, taking your beloved).
2 | Revenge on you for ____ (humiliating me, shooting me, taking my beloved).
3 | Teach me to ____ (shoot, ride, ride, be tough, not be afraid).
4 | Do as I tell you.
5 | Trust me / rely on me.
6 | The truth about ____ (my father, my beloved, what happened that night).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Chasing a demon that can possess unsuspecting victims. Tracking an rogue AI.
Hunting a bandit in the Dukes forest. Bounty hunters in space, cyber-future, or
modern day.

S TA R T
the Posse
our goal

Bring the outlaw back for trial


Challenges

Find the trail

Catch up / gain on him

Get through bad terrain (badlands, mountains, etc)

Get a person who helped him escape to talk (who is it?)

Catch one of his accomplices (name them)

Escape an ambush

Deal with his gang

Go in and get him (wheres he holed up?)

Capture him

Stop a mob from lynching him

Bring him back for trial

P L AY
the Raid
Sneak behind enemy lines, locate the target, and destroy it. We are the commandos,
soldiers and specialists going on the mission. If your target is a person, its an
assassination. Our goal is to destroy the target, not necessarily escape again, so
getting out is not part of the quest.

Whats the target? A bridge, dam or experimental rocket lab in World War II?
A Colombian drug kingpin?
If it isnt obvious, what kind of team are we? Are we military?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | Were ill-equipped.
2 | Our team has not worked together before.
3 | We have to travel far or cross rough terrain.
4 | The target is heavily guarded.
5 | The enemy knows were coming. Spies. Leaks.
6 | There are civilians near the target. The risk of collateral damage is high.

what I want from the quest


1 | Get the whole team out alive.
2 | Destroy a secondary target while were there (what is it?)
3 | Dont hurt civilians.
4 | Follow orders, maintain chain of command.
5 | Kill as many of the enemy as possible.
6 | Get a promotion and recognition.

Characters
1 | team leader 5 | traumatized veteran 9 | foreign soldier
2 | sergeant 6 | secret coward 10 | local guide
3 | grunt soldier 7 | specialist 11 | desk jockey
4 | rookie 8 | spy 12 | accidental addition

I need, but you wont give me


1 | You to follow my orders, without question.
2 | Forgive me for ____ (trying to keep you off the team, leaving you for dead).
3 | Revenge on you for ____ (trying to keep me off the team, having me
demoted, stealing my beloved).
4 | The truth about ____ (why you volunteered, a previous mission).
5 | Your protection. Keep me out of danger.
6 | Trust me with your life.

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Destroy the source of the dark lords power. Sabotage the tractor beam preventing
our ships from escaping the Imperial blockade.

S TA R T
the Raid
our goal

Destroy the target


Challenges

Get supplies we need (explosives, ammunition, etc.)

Get transportation (choose: trucks, planes, boats, trains)

Get through difficult terrain

Cover ground to make up for lost time

Get past enemy patrols

Lay low to avoid the enemy

Neutralize enemy outpost

Make contact with the resistance / convince them to help

Scout the target

Get past the defenses of the target

Get in position to attack

P L AY
the Rebellion
Overthrow our oppressors and free the people from tyranny. Were freedom fighters,
dissidents and just ordinary people who yearn for liberty.

Whats the setting? A modern nation, a planet conquered by aliens, a


medieval countryside invaded by foreign lords?
What was our society called before it was conquered and what is it called
now? Name the oppressors.

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | Collaborators and informers are everywhere.
2 | Police patrols are everywhere.
3 | The occupiers are much better armed.
4 | Many people welcome the new regime.
5 | The people are hopeless and have no will to resist.
6 | Our people were not united before the oppressors.

what I want from the quest


1 | Return to our old traditions
2 | Establish democracy
3 | Lead the post-rebellion government
4 | Protect ____ (loved one or community) from harm
5 | Punish our oppressors
6 | Pardon collaborators

CharacterS
1 | leader 5 | true believer 9 | insider
2 | would-be leader 6 | ordinary citizen 10 | old regime figure
3 | vengeful rebel 7 | veteran 11 | ex-collaborator
4 | reluctant rebel 8 | academic 12 | escaped prisoner

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Forgive me for ____ (an act of violence, an act of cowardice, collaborating)
2 | Your trust
3 | Your love or forget me (pick one)
4 | Let me protect you
5 | You to renounce ____ (violence, pacificism, our traditions, your religion)
6 | You to embrace ____ (violence, pacificism, our traditions, my religion)

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Alien invasion. Heroes overthrowing the sorcerer-king. Kids fighting bullies. Cult
awakening elder god (rebelling against humanity). Any modern or historical invasion
or oppressive regime works.

S TA R T
the Rebellion
our goal

Overthrow our oppressors


Challenges

Get the weapons we need (from where?)

Establish cells across the nation

Get a spy on the inside

Purge traitors in our ranks (in the whole rebellion, not the
fellowship)

Rally the people to our cause

Assassinate a troublesome official (describe them)

Cut their supply lines (what supplies?)

Tap enemy communications

Sabotage infrastructure (specify bridge, rail, communication, etc)

Capture a critical enemy base

Hide from a manhunt

Rise up and fight / open war

P L AY
the Show
Were putting on a show! Our goal is to put on a great performance that the audience
loves. The lights! The applause!

What kind of show? High school play, mainstage play or musical, community
theatre?
Are we an existing company or is this our first time together?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | We have (almost) no idea what were doing.
2 | The last show we did was a complete disaster.
3 | The script is a mess. What there is of it.
4 | We have a shoe-string budget and/or no place to perform.
5 | Our subject matter somewhere between obscure and totally opaque.
6 | We are being heavily censored by the powers-that-be.

what I want from the quest


1 | Be the star!
2 | Challenge the audience. Make them wake up and think!
3 | Upstage a competing production (what is it?)
4 | Dont make fools of ourselves. Take the lowest risk approach.
5 | Everyone on the production to come together as a team.
6 | Impress ____ (my love interest, my family, a recruiter).

Characters
1 | glory hound 5 | director or author 9 | costumer
2 | amateur 6 | visionary or plagiarist 10 | den mother
3 | stage fright actor 7 | stage manager 11 | money-bags
4 | washed-up star 8 | stage hand 12 | family / loved ones

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Respect ____ (me as an artist, my humble but critical labor).
2 | Give me your role.
3 | Dont upstage me. Hold yourself back to make me look good.
4 | Teach me to ____ (act, sing, pick up dates).
5 | Revenge on you for ____ (getting the part I wanted, humiliating me, stealing
my true love)
6 | Love me / be my best friend / get over me (pick one).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Special live performance of a normally recorded TV show. Circus coming to town.
Fringe vaudeville / fire / acrobat warehouse performance. Civil War re-enactors.

S TA R T
the Show
our goal

Put on a show the audience loves


Challenges

Fix the script

Add a catchy musical number

Cut twenty minutes from the run time

Rehearse

Get a place to perform

Build the set

Get costumes

Get the critics on our side with a sneak preview

Get the word out

Sell some tickets

Perform

P L AY
the Siege
Our city is under siege. Hold off the attackers long enough and theyll have to quit
and go home. We are soldiers, citizens and unlucky refugees in a medieval city.

Whats our city called? Is it large or small, prosperous or humble?


Why are they attacking us? Are they religious crusaders, conquerors seeking
loot and glory, or are we caught in the path of a larger war?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | Many citizens share the race or religion of the attackers. Can we trust them?
2 | Factions in the city are divided. Wealthy landowners, nobles, and theocrats
each look after their own best interests.
3 | Morale is low. Many within the city would rather surrender.
4 | The city is too sprawling to defend. We cant guard everywhere.
5 | There is disease in the city.
6 | Supplies are low.

what I want from the quest


1 | Keep the city united. Protect everyone in our walls equally.
2 | Root out the disloyal.
3 | Get rid of ____ (the wealthy, the nobles, the priests, foreigners, the rabble).
4 | Protect ____ (the wealthy, the nobles, the priests, foreigners, the poor).
5 | Crush the besiegers, dont just outlast them.
6 | Protect my family.

Characters
1 | city guard 5 | craftsman / shopkeep 9 | noble
2 | soldier 6 | merchant 10 | priest
3 | captain or knight 7 | laborer 11 | foreigner
4 | neer-do-well 8 | country dweller 12 | deserter

I need, but you wont give me


1 | A promotion. Put me in charge of ____ (fighting, food, repairs, allocation).
2 | Special treatment. More ____ (money, food, protection, status) for me and
my people.
3 | Revenge on you for ____ (accusing me, cheating me, taking my beloved)
4 | A legal pardon for past misdeeds (what did you do?)
5 | Keep me out of the fighting.
6 | Your love or forget me (pick one)

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Samurai (or cowboys) defending a humble town against bandits. Zombies. Dwarf
fortress. Minas Tirith. Defend the embassy, or be the terrorists/rebels who captured
the embassy. Protect wilderness from developers.

S TA R T
the Siege
our goal

Hold our city against the


attackers
Challenges

Find food for the starving populace

Deal with spreading disease

Deal with looting

Deal with low morale

Deal with witch hunts for traitors in our midst

Root out traitors in our midst

Unify rival city factions

Stop citizens from accepting terms of surrender

Prevent people from leaving / abandoning city

Draft civilians to fight

Get reinforcements from outside

Address a weak point in our defenses (we may abandon that


section or reinforce it)

Repel invaders storming the walls

Counter attack to throw besiegers into disarray

P L AY
the Superheroes
Our goal is to form a team of superheroes to protect society. Were the heroes,
sidekicks, allies, and organizers who are trying to bring it together. We may team-up
and think weve succeeded in the middle of the quest, but well only know if we truly
hold together at the end of the quest.

Are superhumans a new thing or have they been around?


Is our team intended to protect the world or just our city?

E x a mp l e S

What Makes Our Quest Difficult?


1 | The last superhero team caused a disaster.
2 | The public (or the government) doesnt trust superhumans.
3 | Vigilantes (e.g. superheroes) are against the law.
4 | People expect miracles from us. Anything we do may disappoint them.
5 | Society is peaceful. No one thinks we need heroes.
6 | Crime, monstrous attacks and other threats are overwhelming society. Weve
got hard fights ahead of us.

what I want from the quest


1 | We should change society, not just put out fires and protect the status quo.
2 | Punish criminals. Make them regret what theyve done.
3 | We must have the governments blessing.
4 | We dont answer to the government. Were not their enforcers.
5 | We must be good role models.
6 | No masks. If we hide who we are, how can people trust us?

Characters
1 | grim avenger 5 | uncontrolled power 9 | trusted aide/valet
2 | celebrity hero 6 | fake hero 10 | government agent
3 | legacy hero 7 | reformed villain 11 | wealthy patron
4 | inventor 8 | sidekick 12 | friend/family/love

I need, but you wont give me


1 | Trust me with your secret identity.
2 | Teach me to ____ (control my powers, fight crime, be a leader).
3 | Depend on me to handle dangerous situations.
4 | Stop telling me what to do / thinking you know whats best.
5 | Forgive me for accidentally ____ (destroying property, endangering civilians,
letting a criminal get away).
6 | Love me / be my partner / be my best friend / get over me (pick one).

a lt e r n at e s e t t i n g s
Wizards and warriors who defend the realm. Secret agent strike team. Vampire
enclave. Real masters of magic hiding in the modern world. Neighborhood watch.

S TA R T
the Superheroes
our goal

Unite as a superhero team


Challenges

Take down crime ring (choose: mob, street gangs, advanced


tech-cartel)

Take down mastermind (whats their evil plan?)

Defeat a massive attack (choose: alien invasion, giant monster,


giant robot, hordes)

Deal with a war between nations

Deal with a disaster (choose: earthquake, flooding, nuclear


meltdown, meteor)

Bring a rogue hero to justice (who is it? not someone from the
fellowship)

Establish a base

Pick a leader

Get another established superhero team to support us

Get the authorities on our side

Win over the public

P L AY
65
Afterword
Your Challenges Define Your Quest
You must pick challenges from the quest sheet, but your choicesand the
order you put them indefine the unique flavor of your game. Two games
using the same quest might follow completely different arcs. Do we start
our Heist assembling a team and figuring out how to get into the vault, or
do we start with the loot in hand and spend the rest of our game trying
to get away? Do we spend our scenes scheming and planning or running
around, guns blazing? You may pick challenges that reflect the things we
thought would make the quest difficult from the start or you may not.

Customizing Quests
Dont want to saddle up your Posse in the Wild West? You can easily take any
quest and put it in a different setting or genre. Your Posse could be fantasy
heroes tracking down the necromancer who put a curse on the kingdom.

Want to steal the plans to the Death Star? Whip out the Heist quest. By
default its a standard robbery caper, but with a flick of the wrist it could just
as easily be Rebel spies lifting Imperial secrets.

So long as you stick to the core concept of the quest (were people working
together to steal something) you can adapt it to just about any setting. The
challenges should still work, with a little colorful interpretation.
The Pitfalls of Planning
In a game about accomplishing a goal, theres a danger of getting so caught
up in planning what the fellowship should do that you stop being in the
moment and playing the characters facing those challenges. The game
devolves into players sitting around the table, logically plotting the best
solution. Totally boring.

How do you avoid it? First off, if you want to talk about plans or do anything,
you have do it in-character, in scenes. By the rules of the game, there should
be no time when youre having out-of-scene discussions about whats going
to happen or what youre doing. Theres no step for that.

But even in a scene, players can slip into cerebral planning mode. If youre
in the scene with them, here are tricks to get everyone back in the moment.
Theyre good habits even when a scene is going great:

 Bring in the physical location of the scene. If youre in


the jungle, mention the buzzing insects or how sweat
is dripping into your eyes. A little sensory narration
reminds everyone that you are characters in a fictional
place, not players sitting around a table. Likewise,
describe your characters physical actions, like pacing or
flipping through files.

 Address other characters by name. Its a reminder that


its your characters talking, not the players. The natural
reaction is to respond in-kind.

 Use your characters relationships and personality to


bias your reactions. Dont just consider if what someone
is saying makes sense, think how your character feels
about that person. Embrace status imbalances between
the characters. Sure that plan sounds great, but if the
character who came up with it is just an intern, why
would we listen to them?!?

Dropping out of character is contagious, but being in the moment is


contagious too. If you role-play, others will follow.

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Your Turn Is Your Turn
When the rules say a particular player makes a choice, the decision is up
to them. If they want, they can ask for ideas. But if they dont, no one else
should jump in with suggestions. Its their turn to steer the story.

Thats true whether youre picking a challenge, framing a scene or even


saying what your character does.

Two-Player Games
Follow is designed for three to five players, but if you want to play with only
two, use these rules changes:

 During setup, each player makes a second minor


character, for a total of six characters in the fellowship
(two main, four minor).

 During play, the first player to make a scene also makes


a second scene at the end of the challenge (three scenes
total, alternating players A-B-A). Because you cannot pick
yourself as first player, the player making the extra scene
will always be the one who did not pick the challenge.

 Either player can pick the last challenge of the quest.

Option: Longer Three-Player Games


Since each player makes one scene for each challenge, the length of the
game is directly related to the number of players. In a four-player game you
play twelve scenes, but in a three-player game you only play nine.

If you want to make your three-player games slightly longer, then before
you end each challenge have the player who picked the challenge make a
second scene, regardless of the order around the table. That puts you back
at twelve scenes total, and since each player is picking one challenge, each
player will frame four scenes total.

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Option: Hard Mode
Your quest will be challenging. You may succeed or you may fail. But if your
group wants to play an even harder quest, where the deck is stacked against
you and you are even more likely to fail, you can agree to play in hard mode
when you are picking your quest. This must be a group decision since it
changes the odds of the whole game.

If you decide to play a hard quest, then when you finish each challenge,
start your pool with one extra red stone.

70
Lists of Names
Modern Future-Abstract fantasy
1 | Alvarado 1 | Aurin LIST one
2 | Anders 2 | Borsley
1 | Amleth
3 | Berkowitz 3 | Carelle
2 | Anwell
4 | Burns 4 | Cray
3 | Baden
5 | Carlson 5 | Cross
4 | Gareth
6 | Carter 6 | Forrest
5 | Hodge
7 | Caruthers 7 | Geti
6 | Mallus
8 | Cooper 8 | Hauser
7 | Newt
9 | Cruz 9 | Hayden
8 | Ostreck
10 | Degrassi 10 | Isley
9 | Percival
11 | Dieter 11 | Kane
10 | Prynn
12 | Ellis 12 | Karse
11 | Torman
13 | Fiske 13 | Kollard
12 | Whelan
14 | Foster 14 | Locke
15 | Gates 15 | Lukas LIST Two
16 | Green 16 | Marks 1 | Gnor
17 | Hagel 17 | Marris 2 | Gildun
18 | Hatcher 18 | Nemura 3 | Kagin
19 | Hawkins 19 | Neev 4 | Laud
20 | Hayes 20 | Phellin 5 | Mauglin
21 | Hobbs 21 | Pike 6 | Morduk
22 | Honeycutt 22 | Rogin 7 | Nord
23 | Hooper 23 | Rorke 8 | Odon
24 | Lang 24 | Sallace 9 | Revik
25 | Lowry 25 | Soren 10 | Sigun
26 | Lynch 26 | Teese 11 | Urik
27 | Madison 27 | Vail 12 | Wuld
28 | May 28 | Warner LIST Three
29 | Moore 29 | Wells 1 | Ava
30 | Myers 30 | Xu 2 | Bahar
31 | Nichols 3 | Danush
32 | Otterson Alien Worlds 4 | Ekanna
33 | Peters 1 | Alletis 5 | Kavek
34 | Rivera 2 | Cassil 6 | Malak
35 | Russo 3 | Corsono 7 | Mara
36 | Sanders 4 | Debari 8 | Mehrab
37 | Simms 5 | Foltus 9 | Quezra
38 | Singh 6 | Glade 10 | Sada
39 | Smalls 7 | Gram 11 | Vellis
40 | Soto 8 | Hanat 12 | Zaybar
41 | Sutherland 9 | Mossul
list four
42 | Tanner 10 | Tokumar
1 | Anthus
43 | Thorpe 11 | Waver
2 | Black
44 | Tvechy 12 | Vix
3 | Cogwharton
45 | Vasquez
4 | Greygazen
46 | Vega
5 | Hookling
47 | Walker
6 | Lilymane
48 | Williams
7 | Isleyladen
8 | Malzebrooke
9 | Olinosprey
10 | Rook
11 | Telmarin
12 | Wirin

Coming up with names can be hard, so this is just a small sample to get you started. For a wide range
of names from cultures all around the world, I recommend the Story Games Names Project.

71
Playtesters
Without players, a game is pointless. And without playtesters, designing a game is
just sitting around making (hopefully) educated guesses. You dont know what the
game really is until you play it.

These are all the people who helped make Follow the game it is. My sincere thanks
to every single one of you:

Aaron Biegalski, Ace Hamilton, Adrienne Mueller, Albert Bellefeuille, Alessandro


Piroddi, Alex Guerrero-Randall, Anders Hllzon, Andrew Chason, Andrew Dacey,
Andrew Hamilton, Andrew Pickard, Andrew Stevens, Andy, Anne Vaughan, Annia
Champsaur, Anthony Hamilton, Antoine Pempie, Arjuna Khan, Aryeh, Ashley Cook,
Aurlien Lemay, Barbara Fini, Bastien Wauthoz, Bay, Ben, Berzerk, Bjrn Thaln,
Brandon Amancio, Brennan Martin, Brett Gillard, Brianne Chason, Caroline Hobbs,
Caspian Priebe, Claudia, Cme Martin, Craig Apfelbeck, Dale Horstman, Damien
Rahyll C, Dana, Dani Laney, Daniel Blair, Dave Fooden, David Hertz, David Martini,
David Sharer, David Sparkes, Davis Morgan, Dedal, Derek Tseng, Dmitry, Doug Bartlett,
Doug Bolden, Drew Besse, Dustin Neighly, Ed, Emily Corbit, Emily Lissone, Enrico
Mola, Eric Borzello, Eric Levanduski, Eric M, ET, Eunice Hung, Evan M, Fabian, Fabulo,
Felisberto Lagartinha, Finlay Mackenzie, Franois T, Fred Lott, Fredrik Sergler, Garth
Rose, Gavin Speight, Gavin White, Gene Fasano, Geoff Rycroft, Geoff Vogel, Gherhartd
Sildoenfein, Guy Srinivasan, Guylne le Mignot, Gwydion JMF Weber, Hannah Percell,
Heather Currey, Heather Silsbee, Ian Humphreys, Ingvill Riise, Jake Pack, James Dingo,
James Joyce, James Lawton, James T Harding, James Torrance, James Wilson, Jared
Oard, Jason, Jasper de Lange, Javier Soto, Jeff Miller, Jeff Olson, Jeff Slater, Jem Lewis,
Jen Liddle, Joanne Piancastelli, Joe Wandyez, John Weber, Jon Cole, Jonathan Bolden,
Jonathan Miley, Jonathan Siegel, Jordan Mingus, Joshua Kaushansky, Josiah, Joy,
Julian Plaga, Julie Southworth, Justin Ford, Justin Nelson, Kai, Karen Twelves, Kate
Hymes, Kathleen Blair, Katie Tanner, Keenan Kibrick, Kim Nolemo, Lavinia Barni, Lex,
Louis Langdeau, Lucien Smith, Luis Matos III, Lukas Sernlind, Marc Hobbs, Mariana
Talone, Marie Balboa, Mark Phair, Marshall Vaughan, Matt Bickett, Matthew Fisher,
Matthew Klein, Matthew Lambert, Maxwell Hallock, Meagan Maricle, Melissa, Micah,
Michael Beyer, Mike Frost, Natasha Lewandrowsky, Nathan Bov, Neil Smith, Nicholas
VanSchaick, Nick Music, Nick Ramseth, Nick Stewart, Niko Bates, Noah Cohen, Noel
Warford, Oliver Bok, Oliver Okun, Olivier S, Paige Corbit, Pan Greenwood, Pat Kemp,
Patrick McCabe, Paul Hamblin, Paul Spragt, Pedro Lisboa, Peter Raisen, Philip
Kronenberg, Philip LaRose, Priscila Santos, Raffaele Manzo, Reagan, Reid Connors,
Richard, Richard Lutz, Rj Williams, Robert Carnel, Robert Haskell, Robert Wallas, Ross
Daly, Russell, Ryan Blazecka, Ryan Reekris, Sam Ashwell, Sam Fraser, Sam Trickey,
Sandie Robertson, Sarah Bolden, Sean Wells, Seth, Seth Slaughter, Shimon Alkon,
Shuo Meng, Simon Pettersson, Spencer Gilbride, Spencer McTavish, Steve Maltby,
Steve Travers, Stewart Wyatt, Taylor, Tim, Tim Mauldin, Tony Dowler, Tyrone Cawston,
Veles Svitlychny, Viviane Molnar, Vivien Popken, Wes Hilton, Whitney Mims, Zachary
Bolden

72

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