Today’s Quest: Try to survive a deadly stand-off against a lovely backdrop. Then join your fellow adventurers for a scenic Table Talk, plus I have the results of the Spring Thing competition.
First time here? Adventure Snack is a game series I email to subscribers. Play quests for free, twice a month, and turn your inbox into an adventure!
You stole the thing! What the thing is, you have no idea, but it's yours now!
As you clutch the brown leather bag tightly in your grubby, peon hand, you run like hell away from six or seven soldiers who are very upset you stole the thing. You race through the forest, the oppressive clopping of horse hooves pounding in your ears.
“Give up now, you miserable thief,” a soldier yells. “You’re heading for a dangerous cliff!”
“Nice try,” you shout back as you continue running through the dense forest.
📧 This game was created as part of Fictionistas’ Great Substack Prompt Celebration. Fictionistas is a group I co-founded to support authors of newsletter fiction. Every month they have fun writing prompt parties! If you’re an author, I recommend checking out Fictionistas for tips on writing, promotion, and building community.
When your quest is complete, it’s time to debrief. Join your fellow adventurers at the virtual D&D table we call the comments section. Should we hang outside for awhile? Our game takes place almost entirely outdoors and yet none of us have seen daylight for… I want to say days.
Discuss one (or all) of today’s topics in the comments:
🗻 Did you survive your run-in with the jerky boys, aka the soldiers?
🏝️ What’s the most scenic place you’ve ever visited? I’m incredibly spoiled. As a Buffalonian, I’ve been to Niagara Falls many times, but mostly as a kid on field trips. Recently, I went back again with my wife and family as an adult. At first, I was reluctant to go – I’ve been there sooooo many times – but this past visit it finally hit me just how magnificent the falls are. The dizzying height, the cascading water, the shocking number of rainbows. It lives up to the “Wonder of the World” hype!
💻 vs. 🚲 Are you more of an indoor or outdoor person? Has it changed over time? I’ve always been an indoor kid. Camping is uncomfortable at best.
✍️ Bonus Challenge (+50 Points): Award yourself a scout-type merit badge for something you did over the past year. For example, I won my badge in Maintaining Boundaries at Work. The design is an embroidered “Out of Office” auto-reply.
🌟 Challenge Winners: In the last Table Talk, adventurersand earned 50 points each for describing their sci-fi dream jobs! Congrats to you both! Here they are…
“I'd like to be the Seymour Hersh of the Starship Troopers universe, but I probably won't last long because truth tellers don't have great career opportunities in fascist regimes. But yeah, I'd like to be in the shit with Rico and the rest of the squad.” –Michael
“Probably writer for some sort of fancy new storytelling medium, or just writing on the space internet with cool space substack features. Wait I take that back, the demand for 2d images are annoying enough with online writing, I don't want everyone demanding 3d holographic models with their prose.” –William
Meanwhile, adventurersays she already has her sci-fi dream job IRL. So she may not have won 50 points, but she definitely won at life!
THANKS FOR THE RIBBONS, Y’ALL!
This year’s Spring Thing is over and Your Post-Apocalyptic To-Do List won three ribbons! The game won “Best Genre Twist,” “Wildest Career Aspirations,” and my personal favorite, “Most Hogs.” When it came to hogs, our game DOMINATED the competition.
A sincere thank you to all the adventurers who voted. It means a lot to me when you support Adventure Snack in these competitions.
YPATDL was an experiment for me. It’s a design-forward game, as opposed to a narrative-led game, which took me out of my comfort zone. I learned some new design tricks, made a few mistakes (never rebalance your game last minute!), and walked away with a fistful of ribbons.
Now my focus is on IFComp in the fall. I spent my trip home doing computer stuff for my mom while outlining the story of Fix Your Mother’s Printer and writing a design doc. More updates on that soon!
Oooh, but Adventure Jam is coming up later this month. Tempting…
I died doing what I love (jumping off cliffs).
I am an outdoor person who married an indoor person and then created a trio of indoor people. (Well, two of the kids don't mind the outdoors.) Anyway, the net effect is we never go anywhere cool or scenic. But as a kid I hated being stuck at home, stuck indoors. I used to bike around the streets of Skokie listlessly, trying to get lost to see if I could. When I moved to NYC in 2010, I bought a bike and went over the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey to try to replicate my childhood experience -- it's less fun when you're worried about getting nailed by crazy New Jersey drivers.
Oh my goodness, I feel like such a celebrity getting a contest shout out. I did not wake up this morning with the programming necessary to respond in a calm, cool, collected manner!
Also, I for sure died a lot. I echo @Ian Cummings on the whole “ but I was clutching the stone of invulnerability!” indignation. I guess it only affects sharks.
I even tried to play nice with the Commander (before I took the bribe money and leapt to my death)