Welcome back to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly(ish) (formerly) Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. This month, we decided to do something different: instead of talking about games for an hour and a half, we played one for… longer. In this episode, we play the first season of Avery Alder’s incredible GM-less tabletop roleplaying game The Quiet Year, in which we play a community of people trying to rebuild after the end of a long war. We also spend a lot of time with a big tree. Love that big tree.

Games we discussed:

  • The Quiet Year

We didn’t mention any pieces this episode, but please enjoy the state of the map (and our reminders to ourselves) at the end of the episode:

A slightly chaotic Quiet Year map showing the features described in the episode. Zora has added descriptive text near the features.

Pieces we didn’t mention but you might like:

Theme music is Bass Thee by Alexander Nakarada, used under Creative Commons 0. Episode produced by Zora Gilbert and Melissa Brinks.

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Melissa Brinks: I think they discover some kind of ancient weapon—ancient from their perspective—which could be dangerous to interact with, and is probably unstable. And I think they come together to destroy it by learning everything they can about it through research, which I’m sure is a process, and consulting elders of the community who maybe have some familiarity with it in history.

Zora Gilbert: How do they know it’s a weapon?

Melissa: We could say that, like, they discover—it says an old piece. Can I interpret it as pieces instead?

Zora: Yeah! Sure.

Melissa: Sorry to go down the dark route so soon, but maybe one of them causes harm early and hurts or kills somebody. And they discover that they’re going to have to get rid of the rest of them before they can progress.

Zora: Wait, so is it like an armory? Or is it just like—

Melissa: I don’t know, necessarily. An explosive or some kind of biological weapon or something—

Zora: Ooh, OK.

Melissa: —something that causes harm when it is interacted with, basically.

Zora: OK.

Melissa: So yeah, they discover this, it causes some kind of harm, I’m open to anybody’s thoughts there. And it’s decided that they have to be dismantled, because they’re in the way or otherwise causing a problem. They can’t just be left alone. So if anybody has any input as far as like, what the damage is, whether it’s like—

Zora: I kind of like the idea of it being a biological thing. I say, in a pandemic. But no, I like the idea that—like radiation, or the idea of tetanus or something.

Melissa: Oh, what if instead of harming the people directly, it instead harms the surrounding landscape?

Zora: Yeah. Ooh, yeah, I really like that.

Melissa: So, like, a contagion that’s spreading through the land itself and therefore needs to be dismantled and destroyed.

Zora: Yeah, like, they turn something on. And then the next day the grass around it is dead.

Melissa: Yes.

Zora: Fun!

Melissa: Yeah, super fun!

Maddi Butler: I’m getting some The Last of Us vibes.

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