An Adventure Per Year: My Girl’s Sparrow (2012)

In my A Game Per Year project, my goal has been to read one roleplaying game corebook for every year they’ve been published. However, I soon started to feel that it was hard to decipher how the games were really meant to be played. For this reason, I decided to start a parallel project, An Adventure Per Year, to read one roleplaying adventure for each year they’ve been published.

The cover of My Girl’s Sparrow

My Girl’s Sparrow is a Fastaval scenario about sex and what it reveals about people. It’s very much focused on playing out sex scenes, with the limitation that players can only describe what they do, not what they think. With inner monologues edited out, the characters interact on the level of physical sexual acts.

In the small subgenre of roleplaying games and scenarios about sex, this is one of the strongest works I’ve seen. Since the players can’t elaborate on their character on the meta level, it becomes interesting to see what kind of nuance comes out of playing out the sex scenes.

Fortunately, there’s nuance aplenty in the characters. They’re some of the most well-thought out scenario characters I’ve ever read, two couples and a lone widow. The story of the scenario concerns five people in a science fiction near future where physical intimacy has become something of a taboo, replaced with virtual sex facilitated by technology. The characters come together discreetly to explore having sex unassisted by image filters and the like.

The plan is for them to stay the weekend together and try out different things to explore themselves, each other and their sexualities. Excessively dramatic subject matter such as abuse has been ruled out of bounds, making sure that things don’t escalate to a level that would smother the nuance.

The scenario is explicitly a reaction to Jeepform, specifically a Jeepform maxim that states that pillow talk is more interesting to play than sex. Here that maxim gets rejected in a very concrete way as its all about the sex.

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