A Game Per Year: The Dig (Bonus 2016)

I started to feel that I didn’t know roleplaying games well enough so I came up with the plan to read a roleplaying game corebook for every year they have been published. Selection criteria is whatever I find interesting.

The cover of The Dig

The Dig is a light, casual story-driven game about hapless dwarves who decide to attempt a great venture together. It’s meant for games of an hour or two, with the focus on collaborative, GMless play where the participants shape what happens to their characters’ project together.

Once the players have settled on a venture (for example, to build a marketplace) and motivations, play proceeds in specially themed rounds, such as Social. The players figure out how their characters solve issues in the spirit of the round’s theme.

After three rounds, it’s time to see whether the venture was a success and narrate the ending.

The take on dwarves is lighthearted. For reasons of comedy, they’re shiftless layabouts seeking to gather their haphazard energies into a successful scheme. The Homes, the dwarf realm in which the characters live, is a lesser one, overshadowed by more dynamic neighbors.

The game contains a quickstart version written so that one player can just read aloud from the book for the entirety of the session. It has game mechanics, characters, everything. I’ve never seen an introductory experience in such a comprehensively packaged format, although it may require a game such as this, with very simple mechanics and concept.

Because of the game’s focus on ventures, it feels like it could be a fun icebreaker in a business teaching environment.

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