Have You Played… The Yawhg?
Go for a Yawhg
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Get thee to a tavern house. The Yawhg puts you and some friends into a fantasy city on the brink of a mysterious disaster and asks you to roam around doing whatever the hell you like. You don’t know anything about this looming apocalypse (and you never will) except the name – the Yawhg. You have six weeks before it comes. What will you do? Spend the whole time drinking and gambling, clearly.
It’s a fairytale story with a hint of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Each player takes their turn going to whatever location they feel like – the arena, the hospital, the slums, the palace. Here they are assaulted with some decision or event. Maybe leeches break free from the hospital, maybe you build up your strength in the pits of the arena, or maybe you just bet on other fighters. Your strength might go up, or your money, or your charisma. These stats are important for the end of times. After six turns, the Yawhg comes and every player gets a little story about how they fared in the ruins of that event.
It reminds me a lot of pen and paper game, The Quiet Year, which is about drawing a map of a town and getting yourself and your fellow villagers prepared for the arrival of the ‘Frost Shepherds’. But unlike that game of scribbling and silliness, this actually shows you what happens afterwards, as a result of your actions. Maybe you become the leader of the survivors and start rebuilding the city plank by plank. Or maybe you become a traumatised alcoholic. It’s consequential storytelling at its prettiest and demands to be played at gatherings and demi-parties.