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Towpath • 2016 rpg

Jordan Saxby • no link

Canals cut unknown paths through well-known places.
You're all going on a canal boat trip.
All you need is a sheet of paper (the map) and a pen (the memories).
You may be whoever you want to be.

1. Draw a small circle, give it a random number. This is your starting lock - agree on what is here, place the description above the circle.
"54, A green figure"

2. Draw another circle, your destination awaits. Agree where you are going.
"The Rover Inn”

3. One of you is the driver. Draw a lock elsewhere on the map and give it a consecutive number. Draw a connecting line.

4. Driver, describe what you see as you float down the canal. Passengers, you may interact with or comment on anything you find interesting; if you do, write a phrase next to the canal. 
“The skyscraper’s roots”

5. Driver, you have freedom to write what awaits at the next lock. 

6. At each lock, switch drivers - the journey continues.

7. The game ends when your journey is complete (number the final lock) - together, reflect on the journey you've had.

After you've finished, why not complete a different journey on the same map?

Author Comments (if any)

I almost didn’t submit a game to this competition, as every idea I came up with (including one called “The Dice-man cometh” which involved about 200 words of straight mechanics using a lot of d6’s) was pure garbage. However, two days before the deadline, I walked through Manchester city centre on the canal tow-paths, and at one point I turned into a tiny winding tunnel, lit by an orange half-light. There were warning signs dissuading lewd behaviour. And two ugly men stood silently in the dark, too far away to touch. I thought that odd circumstances such as these would be a great basis for a game.

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