Playing The Quiet Year in One (1) Hour

You should play The Quiet Year! If, at all possible though, you should not play The Quiet Year in only 1 hour.

I was running this as part of an event and only had one hour so the constraints forced my hand somewhat.

Here’s how I approached it:

  • Each turn encompassed 3 weeks instead of 1. This is where the game suffers the most because projects start less frequently and end more quickly.
  • Cut down each season drastically. 3 cards for Spring, 4 for Summer (make sure to remove the King of Diamonds), 4 for Autumn, and 4 plus the King of Spades for Winter. Put the King of Spades at the bottom of the deck. Draw all but the King of Spades randomly.
  • Keep an eye on the time. If it’s looking like you’ll go long you should remove one of the cards from winter.
  • Your goal is actually to hit around 55 minutes for the game so you have 5 minutes to decompress and make up an epilogue. This is extremely important because everyone will have questions.

A few other items of note. I started the setup for the game by telling folks that the following:

I do not know if this game is fun. It is fascinating though. Keep in mind that we are collectively role playing a community and as such you will sometimes be frustrated with the direction things are taking. There is no win or lose state either, we see what happens and then the Frost Shepherds come.

Saying that the game might not be fun has a weird effect of making the game quite a bit more fun since everyone can just relax and see what happens.

Thanks to Sam and Brendan for helping out with a playtest of this compressed version of the game!