A Good Death is a solo RPG and journal game from Trent Seltzer. It’s a Name Your Own Price download from Itch.io. I paid $2, and I’ll get way more value from it than that.
You play until you die, detailing your chronicle at the end of each phase so that when in later centuries academics discover it, you may become an epic hero. Otherwise, you will be forgotten.
There are only two pages of reading, although the game comes with some art assets and a record sheet. You need only a d6 and a pack of cards in addition to something to keep your journal in and track your Glory, fate, health and strength.
Your character begins with no glory, 3 fate and the people they protect have 50 health, and the defences for the location of your last stand begin at 50.
- There are d6 prompts for;
- Who are you? (You could be a disgraced noble)
- Where do you stand? (You might be at a snow-covered high pass)
- What enemy do you face? (It could be an unstoppable undead army)
- What are the stakes? (It might be that the wild will burn)
- What is your obligation (You might be upholding your honour)
- How are you flawed? (You might be an addict)
A Good Death gameplay
There are three phases on each turn; 1) morning, 2) mid-day, 3) night. Each morning the player gets a fate token. Each turn, you draw from the deck of cards. The Ace of Spades has been moved randomly near the end.
Different cards do different things, describing various events such as attacks, friends dying, sicknesses, etc. The card’s impact can be accepted, but at the cost of Glory, and this is bad because you want as much Glory before you die.
Or, you can escalate the event, making it worse to earn more fate or contest it at the cost of fate to reduce the impact.
At the end of the phrase, you write up what happened using your imagination or by taking prompts.
When the Ace of Spades is drawn, Health or Defense hits zero, you enter a final round called “how do you want to do this…?” style write-up. If you’ve ended up with at least 5 Glory, then you’ll be remembered.
I liked this!
I went a few hours this weekend dying, and it was fun. You’re really encouraged to go for Glory because you and everyone else is doomed anyway.
Working well, A Good Death is a resource management game that encourages you to keep a journal to share or re-read your imagination running wild. When A Good Death doesn’t work so well, it’s a sprint race to Glory as the cards have left you no other option.
Perhaps the main weakness is that this review doesn’t contain a write-up of my deaths. I did try. I enjoyed some flourishes but didn’t note-take at any sort of storytelling level. A great success for A Good Death would have been to inspire me to do that. It didn’t.
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