A closer look at the rules!
Want to learn a bit more about what it's like to play 14 Days? Read on!
Choosing (or Creating) Characters
14 Days comes with 8 pre-made characters along with rules for creating your own character from scratch. Each character has different weekly responsibilities to fulfill—some characters will have grueling work weeks, others will spend more time on friends, family, or hobbies. Over the course of the week, your character will have quotas to fill in the following six categories: Work, Self, Chores, Friends, Love, and Hobbies.
Every character begins the game with one depletion—a fight with a friend, a missed car payment, or...recovering from the flu! Throughout the game, if characters fall short on their weekly responsibilities, they’ll start to rack up more depletions in different areas of their life.
Planning your Day
Each day begins with a planning phase. You’ll choose the three categories you’d like to spend time in that day and you’ll give a bit of narration about what you hope to accomplish. “I’m going to get up a little early to cook a good breakfast and lunch for myself (place a token in self), then head off to the lab (token in work). Afterwards, I’ll invite Amanda over to try out my new board game (token in friends).”
After assigning a token to three different categories, the other player will roll the die. It’s time to find out if you’ll be getting a migraine today!
Dealing with Migraines
If the roll is a 1, 2, or 3, you’re in the clear. But a 4, 5, or 6 represents a migraine day. The higher the number, the more severe the migraine. On a 4, you’ll be forced to remove one task token from your calendar—that’s one responsibility you can’t meet today. On a 5, you must remove two, and on a 6 you’ll miss everything you’ve planned out.
The other player will tell you what part of your day the migraine is impacting. If you rolled a 5, they might say, “As soon as you finish making breakfast, you feel the migraine coming on. It lasts throughout the day and into the evening. I don’t think you’ll be able to make it to work or spend time with your friend today.”
At this point, you have some choices about how to proceed. You can decide whether to cancel your plans, or to take drugs to power through. Each drug you take will help you through one activity, but you only have 6 drugs to last you through 2 weeks. Drugs also come with the risk of rebound headaches—a more severe migraine roll on the following day.
After you’ve decided which tasks to remove and which to accomplish with the help of drugs, the other player will ask you a question about your day—something like, “What was the highlight of your day?” or “How did drugs impact your work?” The game comes with a large set of example questions, or you’re free to make up your own. Once you’ve answered, you’ll switch roles with the other player and they’ll play out their day.
At the end of your week, you’ll tally your weekly totals. When you fall short in a category, it gets depleted. Depletions represent ongoing troubles in your life.
It’s possible to heal depletion by spending extra time in that category. However, this gives you less time for your other responsibilities, making migraine days even harder to manage. Choosing when to deal with your depletion and when to concentrate on your weekly goals is an added challenge to your scheduling, especially in the second week.
Your Special Event
In the second week of the game, in addition to managing depletions, you’ll be adding an important special event to your calendar. This could be your best friend’s wedding, a birthday, a performance review at work, or a favorite game convention. Missing your special event will deplete the category it’s in regardless of whether you’ve fallen behind in that category or not. A migraine on a special event day is potentially disastrous.
After you’ve played out two weeks, you’ll wrap up your character’s story with an epilogue. You’ll describe the different categories of your character’s life using the amount of depletion as a guide.
Say you end the game with 1 depletion in work. That probably means you’re falling behind on an assignment, and you’ll have to put in some extra time to catch up. But if you end the game with a work depletion of 4? That probably means you’re about to lose your job.
At the very end of the game, players will compare the two weeks they just played out. Did one character coast through these past two weeks while the other got pummeled with migraines? What was it like to have the other player remove tasks from your calendar that you desperately needed to complete?
After talking about what things were like for each character, players will roll dice to see what it would look like if a migraine were to impact their own lives this week. What would happen if you couldn’t make it to work tomorrow? What major events are coming up in your life that you just can’t miss?
This part of the game is a great opportunity to reflect on some of your own experiences, and if it feels right for the players, a good jumping off point for a more intimate conversation about what it’s like to live with migraines, depression, anxiety, or another type of chronic pain.
The rules are still in beta, so there may be little tweaks along the way. Stay tuned for updates about the components, art updates, and FAQs over the next few weeks!
We’re just shy of the 60% mark after just 3 days! Thanks for all your support. Keep spreading the word!
Hannah & Evan