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Kepler • 2018 rpg

Cal Filkin •

Primary seeks a habitable planet. Crystal Palace tells Primary what she knows and what challenges she faces in her search.
  - What's the planet like?
  - What stands in the way?

Satellite voyages to where Primary says. Primary tells Satellite what she knows. The Cosmos introduce challenges.
  - What didn't we foresee?
  - Are we endangered?

The Beloved explore the destination. Satellite tells them what they know. Any player may introduce a challenge.
  - Are we well-equipped?
  - Are we alone?

Character                 # Players
Primary                   1
Crystal Palace            Many
Satellite                 1
Cosmos                    Many
The Beloved               Many

Roll 18d6. Each die's a Challenge; each number, its difficulty.
Players agree on a Challenge's difficulty and select an appropriate die from the pool. To face a Challenge, spend Funding (start with 18) one-for-one for dice to roll against it, taking the highest result.

Result          Outcome   Challenge die    Funding
<               -         -                -
=               ~         +                -
>               +         +                -
6               +++       +                Keep 1

Each stage ends when it's finished. Roll collected Challenge Dice for the next stage's starting position and/or hold one die for the next stage. Stage 3 players may roll unused Funding or forgo one die each. 

Matches         Communication     Starting Position
0               10 words          --
1-2             1 fact            -
3+              5 facts           +
All             Unlimited         +++

Author Comments

I don’t want to explain what this game is about or what it means because I feel like that’s the job of the players, to discover their own meaning in games, but I will say a few things:

This game owes a lot to the fourth season of Friends at the Table. I’ve read lots of books and seen plenty of movies, but no creative work has ever affected me in the way that Friends at the Table does. The reverence the Friends have for their characters, the passion with which they represent and discuss queer and racial politics in and out of character, and the love they have for one another is moving and refreshing. I wouldn’t have done this without them.

If you played this game and liked it/hated it/felt neutral about it, tweet at me! This was my first time designing a game, and I had a lot of fun, so I’d love to get advice on what worked or didn’t work in case I end up writing more!

Thanks to Joshua Flores from the Fans at the Table Facebook group for reading through my game and giving me Confidence Alive to post it, good luck on your submission! Thanks to David Schirduan for polishing up Kintsugi, posting it on, and name-dropping this challenge, else I would’ve never heard of it. Thanks to my gaming group for being ready for anything. And thanks to my girlfriend for making my write That Gay Shit.

These comments are probably longer than the game itself, but thanks for reading them too! I hope you enjoy Kepler! Thank you!

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