2014-04-28 : Midsummer Wood

It's midsummer and in the darkest, weirdest wood the fairies meet in mask to feast and fĂȘte. Of mortals, the canniest and most wary can dare to join them. The rewards are wealth and poetry, pleasure, love and magic. The risks are sanity and soul. One of you is just such, a mortal man or mortal woman cunning, lovely and bold. Can you move uncaught among these, the perilous and subtle, shapechangers, elementals, embodiments of the oldest fears? Can you rob them of their treasures and escape, or will they discover you, bind you, and make you theirs?

Midsummer Wood is a competitive single-session rpg for 4 or 5 players.

I've decided to publish it for free, but I'm curious about how many of you download it, so I've put it behind a little ticket taker bot. Go here: Download Midsummer Wood

Questions and comments very welcome! If you play it, come tell us how it went.

1. On 2014-04-28, Vincent said:

Asbjørn Olsen challenged me to design a nanogame for Fastaval, and this is what I made. To meet his challenge, I had to trim the game down from here to postcard-sized. I was able to make a procedurally complete version that small, but I had to cut basically all of the orientation and guidance from the text.

Anyhow, this is the full version, not the postcard-sized Fastaval game.


2. On 2014-04-28, Tom said:

It's not explicitly stated but there's only one mortal player?  Or there needs to be at least 3 fairies.


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This makes...
TLR go "It's explicitly stated at the bottom where I didn't read the first time. Sorry."
VB go "Good!"*

*click in for more

3. On 2014-04-28, Vincent said:

Tom: Only 1 mortal player.

I believe that it says it more or less explicitly at the very, very bottom of both pages.

Oh, by the way, I know it doesn't say this explicitly: print one copy of the mortal handout, and 3 or 4 of the fairy handout, so that each fairy player can have their own.


4. On 2014-04-28, Andy said:

Intriguing! Gonna have to give it a look!


5. On 2014-04-28, Marhault said:

I know you don't think we'll like this one, Vincent, but what on Earth makes you think we won't download it to find out?  Or is the counter unrelated to your expectations that people will like the game?


6. On 2014-04-28, Vincent said:

Marhault: Unrelated.

For those of you who read me only here on my blog, not on G+: I've been drawing distinctions between my games that take off and my games that don't take off, and I predict that this will be one of the latter.

If I'm wrong, I'm delighted!


7. On 2014-04-29, Tim Ralphs said:

Reading the text, I can't help but wonder what a LARP adaptation would look like.


8. On 2014-04-29, Troy_Costisick said:

Sounds like my type of game! :)


9. On 2014-04-29, Caitlynn said:

Tim, I think you could do a straight-up larp up this as-is. There's nothing really to change! Just jazz things up with some props and go at it.

Depends on how much OOC you like in your larp, I suppose!


10. On 2014-04-29, Scum of Dunwall said:

Precious! I'd love to see something alike about Wild Hunt, to mirror it...


11. On 2014-04-30, dBonar said:

The role-playing game of a geek at a high-school party. 

There is disguise among the beautiful people.  You win if you score, but damn if you can figure out how.


12. On 2014-05-06, Rafu said:

Hey, people who played this, how long did the game take?

(I'm considering bringing it to a convention, but I'm unsure which time-slot to reserve.)


13. On 2014-05-06, Vincent said:

We played it in about an hour.


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This makes...
Rafu go "Great! Thank you."*

*click in for more

14. On 2014-05-18, Skavenloft said:

I'm a wannabe-game designer and translator from Poland. I just finish the translation of "Mifsummer Woods" to polish language. Is it okay, if I publish it on my blog for free, with link to the original game page, copyrights etc?

By the way, this is quite a nice little game, almost a jeepform, I think. We played it just yesterday, about 1,5 hours and it was really well spended time :)


15. On 2014-05-19, Vincent said:

Skavenloft: Please do! Come back and give us a link when it's done.

When you played, what happened? Did the mortal win?


16. On 2014-05-19, Skavenloft said:

Mortal was choosen as a champion of Summer Queen and wounded in a fight with Willow-Hag. He cried and the feast and faeries disappear.

Right after the games ended, players yelled "We're gonna play again with different characters, aye?" :D

And here's the link:


17. On 2014-05-19, Vincent said:



18. On 2014-05-20, John Mc said:

I'm not sure about anyone else, but Midsummer Wood was an easy sell for my group.  We've had a baby invasion and a quick game after hours is just the thing.

However!  I threw a monkey wrench in that by nominating the shiest and newest player at the table to be Mortal.  It was awesome for the first couple hours.  The vibe of a mortal out of their depths in faerie court was completely evoked.  She hadn't read the Faerie rules, so we all danced around and avoided insults while she blundered right into Forfeits.  The rules give the Mortal many outs though so the music played on.  (She lost her tears at one point, but managed to defuse other forfeits harmlessly.)

None of us was especially ruthless and we all enjoyed the roleplaying and watching our heroine look uncomfortable.  So we had fun.  Eventually the beggar king was forced to a Forfeit and I told him he owed a gift, but the Mortal player didn't realize she could just ask for his grace and win.  So we played on.  The tension was high for a few scenes, but everyone was getting tired and things started drooping.

Ultimately the Mortal threw her hands up and decided to have a threesome with the beggar king and the summer queen.  We gave the two of them the victory together and called it a wrap.  (Leaving me as the willow hag, in the cold.)

In retrospect, I should have got out of character and just told her to ask for his grace (coin), but I was tired and enjoying myself.  Still, we had a good time and were well pleased.

Highlight of the night: getting our shy Mortal thoroughly kissed by her boyfriend (the beggar king).  We all cheered.  :)


19. On 2014-05-20, Vincent said:



20. On 2014-05-24, David Berg said:

Had a question; found the answer on G+.

Separately, Vincent, I'm curious about this:

"I've been drawing distinctions between my games that take off and my games that don't take off"

I scanned your G+ and was unable to quickly spot this topic.  Can ya drop one or more links?


21. On 2014-05-24, Vincent said:

I've transplanted the main post here: 2014-05-24 : Games that Take Off, Games that Don't


direct link

This makes...
DB go "excellent!"

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