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One Last Night Together • 2018 rpg finalist

Tyler Wayne Detrick • @twdetrick

Players: at least 3
-2 opposing sides
-1 GM

"It's a cold night.  You huddle in your trench, mere meters from the enemy.  You wait for your signal to attack, but it's been a long time.  You start to talk to the humans in the other trench."

Players: Create your soldier.  Describe yourself, think about why you're here, why you fight.   Your side is a distinct faction, the enemy is another.  Decide with your allies what your faction is. Find a way to introduce yourself to the other side.  Get to know the enemy.  Share stories, drink, smoke, candy.  

GM: Keep the conversation going.  Ask questions, let the players answer them.  Don't control.  Only step in if talk is waning or stops being in-character.  Narrate occasionally.  Distant artillery.  Gentle Snowfall. 

Without warning, blow the whistle.

The players may point to their target and shout "BANG!"  If they shout and point first their target dies. GM rules who shot first (or if both die).

The player doesn't have to shoot, but will still die if shot.

Everyone: describe the aftermath.

Did you kill?  Describe the feeling.
Did you die? Describe your last moments.
GM, describe the ending scene.

Author Comments

I wanted to capture the deeply human feeling of war, and intimate interactions that take place in the quiet moments between the gunfire. Each and every soldier is a human that has lived up to this moment and wants to live to the next one, but war seeks to dehumanize those in the sight picture.

Judge Comments

There’s been a lot of revisiting World War I recently, and amidst all the games tied to the centennial of the Great War, “One Last Night Together” struck me for how well it holds tension between trying to pass time while waiting to both deliver and receive an end that could come at any time. To bond, be sundered, and then process the whole strangeness of battle is I think a profoundly concise encapsulation. - Kelsey

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