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Benjamin Franklin's Self Help Process • 2018 rpg

John Wolf • no link

A low stakes game for two players. Each makes a realistic character who might know the other.

Franklin believed we can improve ourselves by focusing on a single virtue each week:


Each week has a goal- family, social, professional/school, spiritual, hobby, rest. Roll 1d6 or choose and narrate your character's life.
Each week choose one virtue- not necessarily from above- and try to improve your life along that axis despite life's challenges. 
Each week roll 1d6- 6 means you crush it, you narrate how something challenged you and you didn't give in. Five or four means the other person, playing the world, narrates a problem and you narrate the solution. Otherwise they narrate a problem and you narrate how you failed. 
Start with 1 point, each rolled success adds one, failures can be cancelled if you can tie the virtue you previously earned into reaching new goals. Cancelling 3s costs 1 point, cancelling 2s costs 2, cancelling 1s costs 3. 

Switch roles each week so both players get thirteen virtues. 

Once done you may start over because nobody alive is perfect. 

Author Comments

So many games are about being powerful and destined and all of that, and I wanted to try a ruleset about something more achievable like the actual historical Benjamin Franklin’s advice on how to improve your life, or as he called it in his autobiography “A bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection.” These virtues are not a perfect list for a modern audience (I didn’t even add ‘delete twitter’) but I think there’s still some value in using Franklin’s own thirteen virtues as a starting place. After all, he got things done.

This game is descended from 14 Days by the company Make Big Things, an exercise in managing expectations against the randomness of chronic illness. I’d have loved to include more rules about ways to tie in narratives, add long term goals, references to illness and breakups and all sorts of little things that make up life but luckily I’m limited to two hundred words and there’s no space for overthinking.

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