Alright, so finally, we’ll begin playing those two games I statted for. The first will be Quill, which is pretty easy to play. First, we just need to get a scenario. For this game, I’ll be doing the Archduke’s scenario. In his scenario, his sister died and the player character (that’s me) had a history with her as children. As such, they want to write up a letter expressing their deepest condolences.
This scenario actually benefits my character, who is a Courtier. It gives her an extra Heart Die to throw around. On top of this, we are also able to roll around an extra Penmanship Die. I figure I’ll go about the first paragraph giving you guys a heads up on how to play the game.
Dear Archduke Godfrey,
My deepest condolences for the loss of your sister, Mary of Linchester.
Now, this is where the game will begin. See, as you’re writing the letter, you’re supposed to insert words into the letter. These words come from a list called the Ink Pot. For example, replacing loss, we have a choice between “death” and “passing”. The difference is that one’s an inferior word and the other’s a superior word.
How you obtain this? Well, you roll your dice. First, if you wish to flourish and add to the word, you roll with your Heart stat. Then, when applying the word, roll your Language stat. When finishing paragraphs, roll your Penmanship stat. How many dice you roll depends on how good your stat is. Poor means you roll one, average means two, good means three. If any one of the dice you roll is a five or a six, then your skill check is a success and you are able to gain points, either by enhancing the word, using the superior word, or just making the paragraph as neat as possible. Depending on what you use.
The Courtier has a Good Heart stat, which means she rolls three dice for Heart. Plus, she gains another one as per the scenario.
[Roll: Only one success, but that’s good.]
So now I’m able to add an adverb to it and give the word I want to describe a flourish. In this case, it’ll be unfortunate. Now I’ll roll language, which is average.
[Roll: No success]
Alright, this is bad. So I am unable to use the superior word “passing” and instead must opt to use the word “death” instead. This is incredibly bad since I’m flourishing an inferior word, thus I get a negative point. Yes, you’re playing for points. Alright, let’s keep the ball rolling.
My deepest condolences for the unfortunate death [-1] of your sister, Mary of Linchester. I do not know the pain you are going through right now, but I do know the pain I’m going through: the pain of losing a friend.
Paragraph ends, so we do Penmanship. While poor, I gain an extra die as per scenario.
[Roll: No Success]
So I get no points. Crap.
When we were kids, Mary and I used to…
Attempting to use another word from the Ink Pot. I’ll do the same Heart > Language roll.
[Roll: Two successes for Heart, one Success for Language]
Alright, good. This means I get two points to my letter.
When we were kids, Mary and I rode white stallions [+2] across…
[Roll: Three Successes for Heart, one for Language]
When we were kids, Mary and I rode white stallions [+2] across the expansive heather fields [+2]. We fed…
[Roll: Two successes for Heart, No successes for Language]
When we were kids, Mary and I rode white stallions [+2] across the expansive heather fields [+2]. We fed yellow ducks [-1] by the riverside. We even crushed on the same…
[Roll: One success for Heart, One Success for Language]
When we were kids, Mary and I rode white stallions [+2] across the expansive heather fields [+2]. We fed yellow ducks [-1] by the riverside. We even crushed on the same adorable young Herold of Whent [+2]. We were in a much more innocent time then.
[Roll: Failure for Penmanship]
Another favorite pastime was…
[Roll: One Heart Success, One Language Success]
Another favorite pastime was scaling massive oaks [+2], something in which our…
[Roll: Failures on both Heart and Language]
Another favorite past time was scaling massive oaks [+2], something in which our teachers  were very against. We were very good friends by that time, and knowing she is no longer with us breaks my heart. However, I feel safe, knowing that she is with…
[Roll: Two successes on Heart, No success for Language]
Another favorite past time was scaling massive oaks [+2], something in which our teachers  were very against. We were very good friends by that time, and knowing she is no longer with us breaks my heart. However, I feel safe, knowing that she is with holy seraphim [+2]. [+1]
[Roll: Successful Penmanship]
So now I add a point to that end of the paragraph.
I will be attending the funeral over by the…
[Roll: 1 Success for Heart, two for Language.]
I will be attending the funeral over by the Cathedral of Holy Light [+2] over in…
[Roll: Two successes for Heart, fail for Language]
I will be attending the funeral over by the Cathedral of Holy Light [+2] over in the bustling town [-1] so that I can share my condolences with you. Perhaps, if you’d like, we can meet together and catch up on what we have been doing.
Anne Ferdinand [+1]
Alright, one more roll.
[Roll: Successful Penmanship]
And done. Now we just tally all this up.
And we get 11 points. This is the highest score I can achieve (well, we can achieve past 11, but highest as in the best result) and thus, I get the best ending. The Archduke thanks me for the letter and I’ll expect a gift from him in the future.
And that’s it for Quill, really. That’s the game in a nutshell. You play out a scenario, try to write out a letter and score points. It feels pretty gamey like that. There’s two ways to play an RPG. You play a role or you play a game. While I had a brief feeling of playing a role, in the end I was having the feeling that I was playing a game.
But that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. As a game, it plays pretty well. While I chose to flourish every word because I effectively have four chances to get a two in six chance, if you don’t have a high Heart or even a high Language, it can be a game of risk and reward. Do you choose to flourish the word, knowing that you might end up botching Language and get negative points, or do you choose not to and lose the chance to gain extra points?
This game does put you in a nice role and is a very nice break from the usual format of solo RPGs. If you like playing something different to your tastes, then Quill is a good game for you. Welp, time to put down the pen and pick up the six-sided die. Bon voyage, gamers!