This article is about the game. For the episodes on Marielda's quiet year, see The City of Light Part 1 and Part 2.The Quiet Year is a game that was played at the start of Marielda as a means of building the setting for the rest of the season to follow. It was designed by Avery Alder.
Before beginning, the group draws a map of the setting together. Each player adds one feature to begin with, and the map is updated as the game is played. Players each come up with a resource important to the community; one of the resources is then singled out as abundant while the others are scarce.
The game is played with a standard 52-card deck with each card representing one week of a year in the life of a community. The deck is divided into four, with each deck representing one season. Each card drawn triggers certain events, developments, or complications. Six-sided dice are used as markers to represent ongoing projects, which can last from one to six weeks. Players also take contempt tokens as an ongoing tracker of tension and frustration that may arise in the community, and can choose to discard them as justification when they want to act selfishly.
Players have two roles: they must represent the community at a birds-eye level an care about its fate while also being dispassionate & introducing dilemmas about issues they care about. Players do not take the role of specific characters so much as the overall public mood, though there are times at which they will speak on behalf of specific characters or faction inside the society.
On each turn, representing a week, the active player draws a card (most of which have two options for the player to choose from), reduces all active project dice by one (projects are completed when they reach zero), and takes an action, which can either be to discover something new, hold a discussion, or start a new project.
At the end of the year, the Frost Shepherds will arrive, ending the game. The card which causes the Frost Shepherds to arrive can be drawn at any point during winter.
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