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Actual Play – Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple – Vomiting Whales and Poor, Poor Kitties

My game group tried out Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple tonight by Daniel Solis. We had a great time. In short, the game involves Pilgrims (teens with too much authority) who go about the various worlds doing two main things: Helping people, and getting into trouble. The game is played by drawing three stones (or electrical connectors, in our case) from a bag. There are two colors of stones, and you pick one color or the other to keep. The amount you keep (from 0 to 3) determines on that turn if you get into trouble, get out of trouble, get into worse trouble, or help someone. You accomplish these things by writing sentences that briefly describe how a pilgrim gets into or out of trouble, or how they help either a fellow pilgrim, or perhaps the person you came to help. As an example, I’ll put below the results of the game. I’ll start with the pilgrims, who are defined by how they get into trouble, and how they help people, with both a word, and a phrase. Then I’ll post the story sentences that resulted. The Cast: Pilgrim Righteous Fire Gets into trouble by being self-righteous Helps people by enthusiastic encouragement Pilgrim Leavett Nethers (not exactly a naming convention according to the rules, but oh well.) Gets into trouble by running away Helps people by shaking his hips Pilgrim Lively Strong Gets into trouble by being too friendly Helps people by taking the moral high ground Pilgrim Soapy Bebop (my character) Gets into trouble by being melodramatic Helps people by playing jazz music The Game Melanie’s planet was swallowed by a whale. She would like us to help her planet to bot get swallowed any more. We arrive at the whale, and there is some confusion in the story as to when we entered the whale, so just keep that in mind as you read. Slightly edited to keep in the 3rd person and same tense.
Righteous Fire called out to Melanie. When she heard, she cried out and Righteous fire assured her they’re there to help. The whale heard the haughtiness in Righteous Fire’s words, and knocked the pilgrim senseless, and he started falling. Lively Strong shouted “Hello! It’s wonderful to meet …” and dove into the whale’s mouth and toward Melanie, but clotheslined himself on the trees. After waking up from a concussion, he gave the tree a lecture about where to grow. Leavitt whipped his hips in a clockwise motion, causing the whale to get nauseous and flip upside-down, and his tail struck Righteous Fire back up into the air. The world tumbled in the whale’s tummy, making Melanie toss her cookies, which grossed out Leavitt, so he flew off to avoid the smell, which made Melanie sad. Soapy Bebop played a mystical jazz tune which cleaned the mess and smell from the house, so Leavitt returned. But in his high state of emotion he is filled with melancholy and wept loudly into his sax, which emitted a noise so piercing that Menalie’s cat’s head explodes. Righteous Fire enthusiastically began to list gross meals to the whale, encouraging it to upchuck the world. Pilgrim Lively Strong decided to console Melanie by giving her a hug. Lively Strong’s hug squeezed a little to hard and Melanie said ‘Ouch.’ Leavitt Nethers, as the world was being spewed from the whale, tried to run out first, slipped, and was in danger of being eaten. Wiggling his hips vigorously, he was able to propel himself into the air and out of danger. — At this point, we used all the goal words (you try to use them before the game is up) and got the Parades (good) ending (as opposed to the bad Pitchforks ending.) We then wrote a little ending to the story. Melanie thanked Soapy Bebop for cleaning her house and putting her cat, who was dying of cancer, out of its misery and saving her a veterinarian bill. Melanie expressed her admiration for Righteous Fire’s ability to enthusiastically encourage the whale to throw up. Pilgrim Lively Strong released Melanie from the purely platonic embrace (don’t ask) and walks (probably flew, really) into the sunset. Leavitt, well satisfied with with work, looked down on the group as he floated, hips circling like a propeller. He heard Soapy’s music and realized he could do more good by shaking to the rhythm and became Leavitt Salsar.
Afterwards, the stones you have the most of determines what part of your character changes. Two changed their first name, the other two their second. Righteous Fire became Insecure Fire He gets into trouble by not being confident in his abilities, because things didn’t always go as planned. Leavitt Nethers became Leavitt Salsar He helps people by dancing salsa, because it’s better than just shaking your hips. Lively Strong became Fool Strong He gets into trouble by being aloof, overcompensating for being too friendly and causing problems. Soapy Bebop became Soapy Sweepy He helps people by cleaning up messes, deciding that mystical music is too unpredictable,  but that cleaning up messes is always good. There’s a lot more to the game that I wont cover in detail, but the book has lots of setting to paint the worlds and skies the pilgrims play in, and explains each bit of the game fantastically. The art is top notch, as well. The target age group is 12+, but our group was 27+, so it was I think it came out different than if there had been young teens playing. The cats head exploding was a little outside the theme of the game in my opinion, but I was the only one who had actually looked at the book and read the setting and whatnot. It was kinda hilarious, though. Lots more is explained on the game’s page if you want to know more specific details. I think everyone should give this game a try. Anyone can play, really. It’s simple, fun, whimsical, and creative, which are all things I like.

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    As a Player in this game (Lively Strong) I agree that maybe we were a little too old for it. BUT we still had fun and it was nice to do something that didn’t require a win.

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    I don’t think we were too old for it, there’s no age cap.

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