“They didn’t die from cold without. They died from cold within.” - Timothy Kinney, The Cold Within Each of you has been stranded. You are waiting for rescue, but the Winter Cold is coming. Whether you survive is up to you. Each player starts with four sticks. These are your resources against the cold. Every round, players choose to contribute zero to four sticks to the fire. Choose in secret. Reveal simultaneously. Sticks contributed are discarded For each stick they contribute, that player rolls one D6. Add all results - this is you fire’s strength. After the players roll, one player rolls two D6 for the Winter Cold. If the fire exceeds or ties the cold, all players survive the night. Begin the next night. If the cold exceeds the fire, each player rolls one D6 for each stick they still have. The cold rolls four d6. Each player that rolls higher or ties the Cold survives. Every player that rolls lower dies. Their remaining sticks are lost. Begin the next night. Players must survive 2 nights for every player that started the game, or the Winter Cold takes them all. (3 players must survive six nights, for example)
This actually started as a game about a sinking ship, and how players would choose to sacrifice. After playing with the numbers, the mechanics didn’t really match the theme. Thinking on it later, I remembered the poem “The Cold Within” Don’t ask me why. It seemed like the theme of surviving winter was more in line with what I wanted.
Playing optimally, it is still possible to lose. I wanted the Cold to feel like a very real threat, even if it meant the most in synch groups couldn’t guarantee victory. When things go wrong, it’s the nicest players that get punished. Knowing that, can you work together and face the Winter Cold.