Write to the Pilgrims!
So, we’re going to be producing Do: The Book of Letters as the Do kickstarter runs its course. This will be a digest-ish sized booklet, hopefully around 32 black and white pages, containing additional letters and letter-writing advice for the game, adventure seeds, and so forth, which we’ll be making available in print only to folks who are contributing at the $40 level or higher. (Smaller-amount contributors will get the PDF of the Book of Letters, and we’ll likely be selling it as a PDF as well, but this will be the only way to get it in print for sure.)
So who’s going to write these letters? Well, we’ll write a few. But mostly: you are. We’d love to have your letter, and to give you a chance to be a part of Do with us. Interested?
We can’t promise we’ll accept every letter we get, but we will do our very best to get into trouble with it. Ideally we should have your letters in before the end of April. This will give us time to select the letters we’ll use, and get some editing and artwork done on the booklet. And even if we don’t use your letter, we’ll save it up and possibly share it on Daniel’s blog later on. No letter goes unheard by the pilgrims.
Here are your guidelines.
Inspiration: Avatar: the Last Airbender, The Little Prince, Kino’s Journey. Stories of young people traveling through the strange, often absurd world of adults. Also check out anything related to the Green Lantern Corps, the original intergalactic troubleshooters.
Premise: There are hundreds small worlds orbiting a flying temple. Like islands, these small worlds often have strange cultures and unique problems. Whenever the people have a conflict that cannot be resolved on their own, they send letters to the temple requesting assistance. The temple sends young monks on a pilgrimage across the universe responding to a stack of letters one at a time. Their goal is to leave each world with less trouble than when they arrived.
- You’re a worldly citizen (that is, a citizen of one of the tiny worlds floating in the sky) with a weird problem. You’re writing to the pilgrims of the flying temple for help. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a letter to be included in the next supplement for Do.
- Your letter should be around 150-500 words.
- List key phrases from the letter, including character names, important locations, important objects, adjectives and verbs. Repeat them up to three times if they are very important. Depending on the difficulty level of your letter, the letter should have a list of 10 key phrases (Easy), 15 (Medium), or 20 (Hard)
- Tag your letter with two or three of the symbols that describe the subject matter in the letter. These are described in this PDF.
- Email your letters to Fred Hicks at evilhat [at] gmail [dot] com
Getting Inspired: To get started, what is your favorite episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kino’s Journey, Star Trek or Stargate SG-1? Pretty much any show where the heroes go from place to place helping people and getting into trouble is a good place to start. Imagine you are one of the people who needs help from the heroes. First you may have to explain a little about the world you’re on, just to give the heroes some context for your problem. That also gives the players more hooks and inspiration to begin their adventure.
A Dose of Realism: You may find inspiration in stories of the real world as a way to start your letter, like natural disasters, historical conflicts, and even outright wars. But make sure you approach those subjects with sensitivity and respect. Do is by its nature a comedic game. Before you submit a letter “ripped from the headlines,” try to change the circumstances enough that the letter doesn’t seem like it’s just making light of a real-world tragedy.
Symbols: The trouble symbols are described in this PDF. Think about the subject matter of your letter. What makes a TREE+BOOK letter different than a SWORD+BOOK letter? What kind of troubles do you expect pilgrims to get into when they visit this world and meddle with people’s lives?
Difficulty: A good letter suggests a complicated situation with no clear solution. A great letter suggests several problems with several unfavorable solutions. Present a Gordian knot to the pilgrims and they’ll figure out the rest.
Age Appropriateness: Do is a game designed for players 12 and up, so adjust the tone of your letter appropriately. The editors reserve the right to revise or re-word your letter in order to make it more age appropriate, if necessary.