Artwork for podcast Lonely TTRPG
Lonely TTRPG EP 55 - Don't Play This Game by Parable Games
Episode 559th October 2023 • Lonely TTRPG • Black Dragon Dungeon Company
00:00:00 00:16:27

Share Episode

Shownotes

You can find Don't Play This Game at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327195066/dont-play-this-game-a-cursed-solo-rpg/pledge/new?clicked_reward=false

Find our merch at https://my-store-d24802.creator-spring.com/

Find our games here at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/20990/Black-Dragon-Dungeon-Company.php?affiliate_id=3362048

BDDC logo by https://www.instagram.com/craftyteapotfox/

You can find us on Twitter @bddc_pod or Tumblr @bddc-pod

You can support us on Patreon https://patreon.com/blackdragondungeoncompany for early releases and exclusive content.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

SteelStash:

Greetings weary wanderer, and welcome back to Lonely TTRPG, the

SteelStash:

solo actual play and review podcast.

SteelStash:

But this week, we're going to be doing something a little bit different.

SteelStash:

We are going to be talking about...

SteelStash:

Don't play this game by Parable Games.

SteelStash:

Now, the reason we're going to be talking about it is because this game

SteelStash:

is an active Kickstarter right now.

SteelStash:

We have the demo version that they kindly sent to us to drum up some hype,

SteelStash:

but, as you will see as we're going through it, the demo version, great for

SteelStash:

giving the vibes of the game, but...

SteelStash:

The gameplay side of the demo is a little lacking, but before we get on into that,

SteelStash:

let's dive on into the game itself.

SteelStash:

And right up front, we got some safety tools.

SteelStash:

This is a horror story after all, and at times it is purposefully

SteelStash:

distressing, designed to shock and run shivers up your spine.

SteelStash:

But!

SteelStash:

Like any other media through which horror is transmitted, there is

SteelStash:

always a boundary, a line where you no longer want to cross.

SteelStash:

So, when doing that, by all means, take a break.

SteelStash:

Walk away.

SteelStash:

Put the game down for a little bit, because, after all, it is a game.

SteelStash:

Now, another unique safety note in this is, at times, this game is gonna ask

SteelStash:

you to go out and gather some stuff.

SteelStash:

That's right, you have to go outside in this game.

SteelStash:

Who do they think they are?

SteelStash:

Pokemon Go?

SteelStash:

Regardless, when you're going outside, make sure that

SteelStash:

you're doing it safely, okay?

SteelStash:

No trespassing, no...

SteelStash:

Tramping around private property that isn't yours, and just be

SteelStash:

aware of your surroundings, okay?

SteelStash:

Don't put yourself in a silly situation over a game

SteelStash:

and then of course when you're gathering artifacts or anything like that Make

SteelStash:

sure that you check the item and around the item so that you don't accidentally

SteelStash:

pick up some other hitchhikers Like bugs, snakes, that sort of thing.

SteelStash:

Also, make sure that you're doing a personal check in So after you do a

SteelStash:

couple of events, make sure that you put the book down and ask yourself.

SteelStash:

How am I doing?

SteelStash:

Do I want to go on or do I need to take a break?

SteelStash:

And remember, it is perfectly fine to take a break at any time.

SteelStash:

Now for the meat of the story, don't play this game.

SteelStash:

Oh, come on, please stop reading.

SteelStash:

Otherwise it'll happen to you too.

SteelStash:

It says it on the cover for Christ's sake.

SteelStash:

Well, if you're reading this, it's already too late.

SteelStash:

You're cursed now.

SteelStash:

Anyone who reads this must play this game or bad things will happen.

SteelStash:

Trust me, because, well.

SteelStash:

I didn't play, and if you're reading this, then I'm dead.

SteelStash:

So the story of this game is there is a cursed entity who has now cursed

SteelStash:

you and you have seven days to play this game or something bad will

SteelStash:

happen and will continue to happen until you start playing and either

SteelStash:

defeat or succumb to the entity.

SteelStash:

To play the game, you're going to need a full set of role playing polyhedrals.

SteelStash:

So that is the D4 through the D100.

SteelStash:

And these are used to find the next event.

SteelStash:

You're also going to need something to record your journey.

SteelStash:

Either a journal, or word processing, or a memo app on your phone.

SteelStash:

Doesn't matter, you just need something to write it down.

SteelStash:

And you're also going to need some type of camera for the various

SteelStash:

images it's going to ask you to take.

SteelStash:

Or, a sketchbook in order to draw those images if you do

SteelStash:

not want to take a picture.

SteelStash:

And finally, you will need an anchor, which is what they

SteelStash:

call their character sheet.

SteelStash:

Now, flipping to the back of the book, you will find the character

SteelStash:

sheet or anchor, which is going to ask for your character name, age,

SteelStash:

profession, pronouns, description.

SteelStash:

You're going to have your life bar, which once you run out, you have lost.

SteelStash:

And then you have your attributes.

SteelStash:

Your attributes are divided up into six things.

SteelStash:

Talents, which is what you're good at.

SteelStash:

Resources, which is what you have.

SteelStash:

Friends that you've made along the way.

SteelStash:

Secrets that you were trying to hide or discover.

SteelStash:

Any fears that you have developed, and any artifacts you have collected.

SteelStash:

And for those of you watching on YouTube, yes, artifacts is spelled correctly here.

SteelStash:

The game designers are British, so they are using the British spelling.

SteelStash:

Now, before you start the game, you do get to add a couple attributes.

SteelStash:

You have one talent, one friend, and one fear.

SteelStash:

So this is your baseline, this is just what you're starting out with.

SteelStash:

Giving you a little something to go off of as you start the game.

SteelStash:

Now for the game proper, it is fueled by events that the Entity puts upon you.

SteelStash:

A series of experiences that deepen the mystery around it and haunt you.

SteelStash:

Amidst the horror of what's to come, there will be opportunities

SteelStash:

to gather information and help in defining what evil plagues

SteelStash:

you a slim chance that you can win.

SteelStash:

It is a game after all.

SteelStash:

So again, this is a demo version, there are limited events in here

SteelStash:

that have been selected just to give you a taste of the whole thing.

SteelStash:

So we're going to be going over those events a little bit, and you will see

SteelStash:

why we are merely talking about the game as opposed to actually playing it.

SteelStash:

So, Event 1, Tragedy Strikes.

SteelStash:

The world ticks along as normal, your day trickling along like any other as you

SteelStash:

go about the usual business of existing.

SteelStash:

Then the phone rings.

SteelStash:

There's been a tragedy, one that deeply affects you.

SteelStash:

What is it?

SteelStash:

Who is calling you to tell you this?

SteelStash:

How do you feel?

SteelStash:

And what have you lost?

SteelStash:

And there is a table at the back of the book to help define that tragedy.

SteelStash:

But there are two additional prompts that go with Event 1.

SteelStash:

One of which is making a friend, and the other is finding an artifact.

SteelStash:

Event two is a disturbing dream.

SteelStash:

You have a disturbing dream, and as you are talking about it,

SteelStash:

and experiencing it, you have an opportunity to make another friend.

SteelStash:

And you'll be asked to sketch a figure that you see within the dream.

SteelStash:

Event 3 is Sleepwalker.

SteelStash:

Falling into a deep sleep, you find yourself in a familiar location.

SteelStash:

Its form and logic, however, warped by the nature of dreams.

SteelStash:

Where do you find yourself?

SteelStash:

What significance does it have to you?

SteelStash:

And this is our first opportunity to roll a dice.

SteelStash:

Where you'll be rolling a d6, 4 or above.

SteelStash:

You lose 1 life point from the lack of sleep.

SteelStash:

3 or below, and you lose 3 life points.

SteelStash:

After that, you wander around while something is calling you.

SteelStash:

You find a strange relic that you gain as an artifact called the Dream Relic.

SteelStash:

And then you are asked to make a physical manifestation of it.

SteelStash:

And finally, you awake, covered in blood, holding the relic in your hand.

SteelStash:

Standing outside a building you recognize that is not your home.

SteelStash:

You gain the secret of Violent Sleepwalker.

SteelStash:

Go outside, take a photo of a building that represents where you awake.

SteelStash:

Event 4 is the library.

SteelStash:

Gathering your thought on the strange occurrences of the past couple weeks,

SteelStash:

a single element jumps out at you.

SteelStash:

A common thread that has run through all the bizarre encounters you have.

SteelStash:

What is this information?

SteelStash:

How are they linked?

SteelStash:

Reminisce on your cursed character's journey so far and connect some dots.

SteelStash:

At this point, you're asked to go to your local library, find a book,

SteelStash:

newspaper, or other piece of information, take a picture or copy it for your

SteelStash:

records, and add it to your resources.

SteelStash:

Add your research to your resources.

SteelStash:

Then you're going to roll a d10.

SteelStash:

If you roll less than a 6, then lose one life point as paranoia

SteelStash:

begins to fray on your nerves.

SteelStash:

Event 5, a panicked phone call.

SteelStash:

You receive a panicked phone call late at night.

SteelStash:

Pick a friend who this is happening to.

SteelStash:

As you hear the terror on the other line, flip a coin.

SteelStash:

Tales your friend lives, heads they die.

SteelStash:

If killed, remove them from your character sheet.

SteelStash:

Event 6, The Abandoned Place.

SteelStash:

Find an abandoned place, take a photo, and add it to your record.

SteelStash:

Then, for the game, again, do not actually go and...

SteelStash:

Try to make your way into abandoned places, but for the game, you can

SteelStash:

either expend a resource to gain access to the abandoned place, or roll a d6.

SteelStash:

On a 4 or less, lose one life point as you injure yourself.

SteelStash:

Make a note of what the injury was and how you got it.

SteelStash:

And then finally, as you are wandering the abandoned place and

SteelStash:

the desolate rooms, roll a d10.

SteelStash:

If you roll a 7 or under, lose one life point as panic begins to swell.

SteelStash:

Event 7, an exchange.

SteelStash:

A dark open maw stands before you, carved into the surface of

SteelStash:

the wall like an opened wound.

SteelStash:

Something whispers to you, making an offer to help.

SteelStash:

For a price, of course.

SteelStash:

If you refuse the offer, move on to your next event.

SteelStash:

If you accept, then continue on with the rest of this one.

SteelStash:

Where you will choose an artifact to exchange with the

SteelStash:

voice and place it in the maw.

SteelStash:

Roll a d4 and regain that many life points.

SteelStash:

And if you have a friend accompanying you, the voice in the Maw will

SteelStash:

ask for them to be sacrificed.

SteelStash:

If you agree, cross your friend off of the sheet as they are consumed by the Maw.

SteelStash:

If you refuse, the Maw will shriek and writhe in anger.

SteelStash:

Roll a d12.

SteelStash:

If you roll a 6 or lower, lose 1 HP as you flee the room.

SteelStash:

Event 8, The Tunnel.

SteelStash:

You are running down a tunnel.

SteelStash:

If you wish to restore some life points, if you have a resource or

SteelStash:

artifact that could feasibly be used to do so, now is the time.

SteelStash:

Cross it off your character sheet and restore one life point per item.

SteelStash:

Event 9, Facing the Nightmare.

SteelStash:

The entity swirls around you, warping what you see, twisting everything

SteelStash:

within its grasp into a withered, crawling version of what it should be.

SteelStash:

Whether it's real or not, you can feel it trying to warp your form too.

SteelStash:

Roll a d10 three times.

SteelStash:

For each result under 7, you will lose one life point as the

SteelStash:

entity has you in its grasp.

SteelStash:

And finally, Event 10, Fighting Back.

SteelStash:

This is a dice challenge, where you start off with a d4, attempting to roll a 4,

SteelStash:

then trying to roll an even number on a d6, trying to roll 6 or higher on a d8,

SteelStash:

trying to roll 10 or higher on a d12, and trying to roll 18 or higher on a d20.

SteelStash:

The only way to move up the chain is to succeed.

SteelStash:

And every time you fail, you lose one life point.

SteelStash:

Now you can always sacrifice a resource in order to try to improve your role.

SteelStash:

You can use a resource to either add or subtract three from your role.

SteelStash:

You can use the artifact Dream Relic if it's in your possession

SteelStash:

to reroll a failure or sacrifice a friend to the entity.

SteelStash:

This triggers an immediate success and allows you to move on to the next dice.

SteelStash:

However, your friend is lost forever.

SteelStash:

Finally, you have life or death.

SteelStash:

Did you survive your encounter and how did you face off against it in the end?

SteelStash:

If you survived, you proceed to epilogue one.

SteelStash:

And if you died, you proceed to epilogue two.

SteelStash:

So, that is Don't Play This Game.

SteelStash:

So, like I said, in the demo version, the game aspect seems very,

SteelStash:

very slim.

SteelStash:

This feels, this feels very akin to a tabletop version of a visual novel.

SteelStash:

Like, you have a little bit of agency, you can choose a little

SteelStash:

bit of stuff, you have some effect on what's going to happen, but...

SteelStash:

Ultimately, the story is going to progress in a very linear fashion.

SteelStash:

And this isn't a bad thing.

SteelStash:

I know that there are a lot of people who are like, oh, but railroads.

SteelStash:

Look, I like railroads.

SteelStash:

I like railroads.

SteelStash:

I like when a specific feel or vibe is trying to be conveyed.

SteelStash:

And that's what this game is trying to do.

SteelStash:

The demo version is something like 30 pages and the first 10.

SteelStash:

The first 10 or 12 are all straight story.

SteelStash:

So, this game definitely knows the vibe that it's trying to go for, and

SteelStash:

it's definitely committing to that.

SteelStash:

Even throughout the rest of the game, it feels very much in line

SteelStash:

with, Hey, I'm the last person who played, this is what's happened, and

SteelStash:

here's me trying to explain things.

SteelStash:

So, from a vibe standpoint, this game is succeeding.

SteelStash:

And...

SteelStash:

Again, the linear, the linear progression, your, your mileage

SteelStash:

is going to vary with that.

SteelStash:

It really is going to depend a lot on what you enjoy from your gameplay.

SteelStash:

Like I said, I don't mind.

SteelStash:

I think that this game has a lot of promise.

SteelStash:

I am looking forward to more events and some of that payoff of

SteelStash:

finishing an event, and.

SteelStash:

rolling to see whether you go forward or backwards.

SteelStash:

I think that will do a lot to help out with length and overall replayability.

SteelStash:

As now you have options for missing events and getting different things as

SteelStash:

you go through them and different orders.

SteelStash:

You know, maybe you luck out and get stuck in a bit of a loop that allows

SteelStash:

you to gather more resources before you end up in that final rundown at

SteelStash:

the end.

SteelStash:

So I am definitely looking forward to seeing what the final version

SteelStash:

of this game is going to be.

SteelStash:

But like I said, the vibes on this, the vibes on this are, are pretty good.

SteelStash:

I am.

SteelStash:

I thoroughly enjoy what they have done already.

SteelStash:

And I'm looking forward to what the finished product is going to be.

SteelStash:

And if you want to check out the finished product, then good news.

SteelStash:

This project is already fully funded.

SteelStash:

However, I am going to drop the link to the Kickstarter down below

SteelStash:

For about 15 pounds or 20 American.

SteelStash:

You can back this project and get the digital copy.

SteelStash:

If you're looking for the physical copy, that is going

SteelStash:

to be about 30 or 37 American.

SteelStash:

But yes, go check them out.

SteelStash:

If you do back the project, tell them Steel Stash sent ya.

SteelStash:

And remember, I mustache y'all to stay awesome.