The Boiler

by Jackson Tegu

In Bulgaria, poorest country of the European Union, most young people have left for opportunities elsewhere. In the second largest city, an old grandpa prepares for his adult granddaughter’s visit from her new home in America. It’s been years. Can he prove that Bulgaria is something to be proud of? And can she make her grandpa understand her new life and who she has grown into? Before she arrives, the boiler gives out. He knows that she will be ashamed of him if he can’t fix it. She must have so many luxuries in America, how can she love Bulgaria with only a cold shower?

A reflective, spacious character drama. The characters are not handed to the players at the beginning of the scenario; we gradually meet and get to know them as the scenes progress. They know things about one another that we will later discover, revealing new possibilities. We share characters, sometimes playing different parts of them at the same time. Our story pulls in family members, neighbors, an old friend, and a police officer, offering new perspectives on the granddaughter and grandfather’s lives.

 

Facts

A note for North American players: a boiler is a water heater.

Type: Classical Scenario (Tabletop)

Duration: 4-5 hours

Number of players: Strictly 4 players and 1 GM.

Tags: social realism, postmodern literary fiction, family drama, shared characters, solitude.

Player Type: You’re fascinated by details and want to zoom in on them. Instead of having a character of your own, you’ll breathe life into the shared characters and environments. You want to actively collaborate, and contribute from many angles to a central plot.

GM type: You like to pace scenes carefully and cut them with precision. You’ll anchor the tones of the story and the reverence of the game-space, presenting scenes with a ritual-like care. You enjoy constraints and limited GM toolsets.

About the author: Jackson Tegu was Fastaval’s 2016 Guest of Honor. He’s very excited to bring a scenario to Fastaval this year. He plays and writes along the West coast of North America and other liminal spaces, making many small (and often silly) story games via patreon.com/jacksontegu.

Language: English

Age: 13+, though young players may find the pace too slow and the subject matter too nuanced to be enjoyable.