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Lonely TTRPG EP 3: As the Crow Flies by Harper Jay
Episode 38th April 2022 • Lonely TTRPG • Black Dragon Dungeon Company
00:00:00 00:17:39

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As the Crow Flies is a fun, cute solo TTRPG where you are a crow leaving your nest for the first time. Using the Carta System, you explore the map and uncover a world that has been abandoned years ago by the humans as you attempt to find a new home amidst the decaying remains of civilization and the return of magic.

You can find As the Crow Flies at https://harper-jay.itch.io/as-the-crow-flies

BDDC logo by @TeapotFox

You can find us on Twitter @bddc_pod

You can email us at blackdragondungeoncompany@gmail.com

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Transcripts

SteelStash:

Hello and welcome to lonely.

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TTRP G I am steel stash and today we are going to be playing as the Crow

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flies by Harper Jay of chubby Crow games.

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So as the Crow flies is a solo game , using the Carta system.

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So the Carta system is you arrange cards on your playing field and based on

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that, you use whatever the prompts are.

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So backstory for.

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This is you are a crow you hatched one month ago, and now your siblings

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are ready to leave the nest.

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There used to be humans here, but they all left.

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That's what your mama told you and what her momma told.

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Many lifetimes ago, the humans gathered into their rockets and

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flew to the stars in the decades.

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Since the earth mother has begun to retake the land and bring magic back to it,

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green grass and vines cover the cities.

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The humans left behind nature and magic thrive, offering comfort to

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those who wish it and adventures for those who are willing to seek them.

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Those such as yourself,

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, you take flight from your nest eager to explore.

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So like I said this uses the Carta system.

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So, , in order to play, we're going to need a deck of cards with the jokers,

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removed a token to represent ourself and.

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10 feather tokens for exploration tokens.

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And, , we're just going to keep our journal digitally.

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All right.

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So to set up, we're going to remove the two of diamonds and Jack of hearts.

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Then shuffled the deck and draw 22 cards.

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, the Jack is going to get added to the 22 pile and these cars are all going to

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be dealt face down in a four by six with the two of diamonds in the final spot.

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. . So the goal is to find the Jack

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, the two diamonds is our nest.

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It's going to represent our home, , to move.

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We can move anywhere that we want.

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, just as long as we land on a new card, we will flip.

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And we will use whatever prompts are in the game for that.

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Our feather tokens represent health, stamina, willpower, and

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food, allowing us to have strength.

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, when we read zero tokens, the game ends, , we are still alive, but don't

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have the strength or drive to continue on.

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The exploration tokens are for.

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, each time you find a suitable location for a home, , in the form of a club, you

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will gain one exploration token, , to win.

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You must find the Jack of hearts and have collected all four exploration tokens,

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or have explored every card on the board.

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Alright.

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So I think we're actually going to do a four by four grid.

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So we're only going to a deal 14 cards.

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We're just going to play a short game today.

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, but we will start with six feather tokens and we will only need

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three exploration tokens to win.

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So we're going to go ahead and, . We're going to go ahead and add

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our token counters to the board.

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All right.

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So now we're just going to arrange this in a four by four, just

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grabbing random cards off of here.

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So to move, we need to spend a feather token and move our crow

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to anything that connects to the card that we're currently on.

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So, we're going to use a feather token and we're going to go ahead and move up one.

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, so we're gonna flip that card and we got a four of clubs.

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So clubs represent flora and scenery.

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And going down to the prompt for clubs for the, four a clearing in the center

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of a dense Grove of trees, houses, many animals living peacefully together.

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, if I lived here, would I be a social butterfly or a quiet recluse?

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Well, I am a crow who has just left home.

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Considering how close I am.

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I think that'd be a social butterfly.

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I probably know a fair amount of these animals anyway.

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, so.

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Yeah, I'd definitely be a social.

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Butterfly in this spot.

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because again, I know people and like, this is my backyard basically, but

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the bright side is because I landed on a club, I get an exploration token

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and I need to earn three of those.

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so we were going to.

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Use another feather token.

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I'm down to four and we're just going to go ahead and move diagonally.

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and what did we get?

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Two of spades.

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All right.

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So spades are resources to help keep you alive.

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So for the two of spades under the cover of night, you unearth an old

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cache of food gain, one feather token, is this an abandoned and forgotten

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place, or are you stealing resources from the animal that left them here?

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now that, that is a tricky question.

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Am I stealing I don't know.

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I'm new to this world.

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, I don't think I'm sealing the area looked pretty old and abandoned,

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but, you know, it is one of those, hopefully it wasn't somebody who already

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started stockpiling for the winter.

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it is it's early summer, so it's not out of the question, but again,

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like I said, this area looks pretty, this area looked pretty abandoned.

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It was covered in dust and everything.

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hopefully I'm not, hopefully I'm not.

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But I did get another feather token, which comes in handy because I'm going

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to need to use that right now to move and I'm going to move diagonally downward.

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And I got the king of hearts on that.

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So heart cards are magic and mystery, things that stand

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out among the natural world.

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So the prompt for the king of hearts among the desolate and uninhabited

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ruins of an ancient human city, the spirits of humans long since the ceased

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wander the streets, looking for purpose.

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What do these spirits teach you about the fall of humanity and what

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can you learn from this infamous?

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So my crow has just flown into a city and we have all the abandoned buildings

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being reclaimed by nature already having been reclaimed by nature.

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But as I look out on these buildings, I see these spirits and these etherial

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entities just floating around.

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And as I watch, I see how little regard the people in the city seemed to have

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for a nature like this whole plate.

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Like this whole place is hard stone, unnatural stone and, and metal.

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And.

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Yeah, this, this does not seem like a people who enjoy

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their connection to nature.

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So I'm going to use another further token.

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I am down to three feathered tokens and I'm going to go ahead and move straight up

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and seven of hearts.

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Oh, that was the king of diamonds, not the king of hearts.

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Darn.

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Screw it.

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It's a king of hearts now a seven of hearts.

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So we're still in MIS or we're still in magics.

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the blue, green needles of a pine tree catch your eye it's

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branches long and arching some drooping all the way to the ground.

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What do you learn from the song?

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This tree seems through its bark and Pines.

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so after leaving the city, I find this nice Grove of pine trees and

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I listened to the song of the wind.

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In their branches and the needles, watching the needles, dance.

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And I just take the moment to reconnect with nature, the call back to the earth,

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the call to put down a roots and plant myself that this tree is telling me.

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so using a, another feather token, let us go ahead and go one card to the right.

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So I'm now at the righter most layer and

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. Three of spades, so spades are resources, spades gives resources.

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Or lose the resources like now three of spades, as you settle in for a

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night's rest a bright orb of light appears among a decrepit human street

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as lamps from ages past somehow flicker to life lose one feather token.

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How is it possible that these lamps work after all this time?

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The strange magic of humans

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, even after all this time, their technology still works.

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Their harsh glare still reaches out reaches out for

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us and mocks us and nature.

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So using my last feather token, I'm going to go ahead and move down.

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I hope this is a club.

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Yes, queen Nope, darn clubs, gain exploration tokens, not resources.

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So the queen of clubs, what started as a dam kept growing

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onto the shore of the river.

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It spans growing longer and taller as the years went by until a thriving

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animal city formed along the woods.

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If you made your home here, what would you become a great dam builder or

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would you contribute in some other way?

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So

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as I am out of feather tokens I am no longer able to I'm

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no longer able to explore.

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But I am able to make a new nest.

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On any of the clubs and I think I'm gonna make it on the queen of clubs and

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this great dam city . Now I don't think I would become a dam builder myself.

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But I would definitely, I would definitely attempt to contribute

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to the city in some other ways.

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While tired and worn down from my trip in my small interactions with humanity.

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I still feel comfortable going out and finding any resources that might

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be necessary and that might help.

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So I can definitely be a resource gatherer for this for this animal

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city and find my place among them.

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And with that, I'm going to make my nest in this town and

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start building my new home.

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So that is as the Crow flies.

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So as the Crow flies is a solo TTRPG written by Harper,

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Jay of chubby Crow games.

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Now full disclosure.

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I was given a copy of this . By Harper Jay he saw me on Twitter and was

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interested in my podcast and asked if I was interested in playing this game.

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So full disclosure before we get into the full on review.

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Yes, I did receive a free copy of this.

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Now, all that being said, this is a, a, this is a fun, cute game.

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I don't know how I feel about the resource management.

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And your movement being tied to your feather tokens or at the very least

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how few feather tokens you have?

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Because

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I was only able to gain one additional feather.

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I found two cards that had the potential.

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Only one of them gave me a feather token.

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I got to play 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 rounds.

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So granted on a larger, on a larger deck or playing the larger game,

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that would have been 10 tokens, but

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I don't know if I would have fared any better.

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Which really, if you're going to have a, if we're going to have a

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main complaint for the game, the fact that the game was too short and you

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wanted to play more that's not a bad complaint to have, but no, it's a, it's

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a fun, it's a fun, cute little game.

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I liked the concept.

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I like the core conceit that you are a crow exploring the remains

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of the earth after humans have.

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It's a nice chance to stop and reflect on what we've done and like, you

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know, really stop and think about it.

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The Carta system is nice.

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This is my first time playing Carta using the Carta system.

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, I think Carta is.

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Really a nice mechanic for these exploration type games.

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And I'm definitely looking forward to playing more games in the Carta system.

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But what Chubby Crow games does with the Carta system is what they do with

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their prompts and their reflections.

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I like, I like how every card has a prompt and a reflection question

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that is definitely a lot of work to put into to put into this game.

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That's a lot of stuff that you have to think about.

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Now granted, a lot of the reflection questions are.

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What would you learn and how would you interact in these situations?

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So the reflection questions are fairly basic, but I do like that the

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reflection questions are given in there.

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Last episode, I played the Wretched which at the end of every day, you had

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a reflection period and kept your log.

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And one of the one of the things that I struggled with with that was while

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I was completing my tasks while I was completing my tasks in the Wretched

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and I would have multiple tasks in a day.

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I would get kind of caught up in describing my task.

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And then I got to my reflection and log and I felt like I was restating myself.

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Which in the grand scheme of things wouldn't necessarily be that big

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of a deal for something like just playing, like just playing by yourself.

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You're keeping a notebook, but.

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If you're doing any type of a, if you're doing any type of audio or interactive

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engagement with this, then it, it made the reflection less impactful.

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Whereas in as the Crow flies, you have one prompt, immediate reflection.

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So I do like that.

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I do like that.

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It does, it does make things flow a little bit easier.

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If a little fast like I said, a relatively short game, especially if you're playing

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the smaller board all in all, I think I completed the game in 15 minutes.

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So definitely, definitely lends itself.

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Well, to just, if you got some free time knocking out a quick game and with

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a short, as it is just reshuffle and reshuffle and redo because again, it

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doesn't take a lot of time, as long as you have the a as long as you have the

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book in front of you or the PDF pulled up.

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Then, yeah, it doesn't take any time at all to just set up a game, knock

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it out, set up a game, knock it out and just have those quiet reflections.

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And because you're using a deck of cards you have you've got 52

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options for prompts and reflections.

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You know, and granted, yes, I'm in a four by four.

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So that's 16 total cards.

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That's just over a quarter of the deck on the field right now.

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I only got six of those 16 cards and , I only got to play six of

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those 16 cards, so like a 10th.

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So there's a good opportunity for.

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Several play throughs in a row without necessarily getting too repetitive.

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So all in all, again, as the Crow flies is a fun game.

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If you've got a couple of bucks, go ahead and check it out.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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It's.

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It is only $5 on itch.

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So if you're looking for it, it is Harper dash jay dot itch

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dot IO slash as the Crow flies.

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so go check it out, get yourself a copy and enjoy.

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Spread your wings and fly.

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This has been steel stash for lonely TT RPG, the solo play and review