It never gets easier. Each month more unbearable than the last. Last couple of hours you’ve been trying to make a room of suits, people supposedly paying for your expertise, actually listen to you. You don’t have a lot in the fridge — some dried pasta, sauces, nothing actually fresh — there’s damp in your room, and you haven’t created anything in weeks; your flat is so cold that your hands go numb unless you wrap yourself in blankets as you work.
But, you think, smile creeping onto your face as key slides into lock, I live with some bloody rad people. Meike and Ali: people who make you feel good about who you are, make you feel human, alive. Work is shit, you’re not sure if you can make rent this month, but you’re not alone.
Tonight you’ll party. You’ll invite some friends, cook tasty food and drink good wine. You’ll spend money you don’t have, but who gives a fuck? Everything will be great.
* * *
Precariat! is a storytelling improv game by me and Adam Dixon. It’s about people building meaning on the edge; about not just surviving but loving, making and fighting against life’s hardness. They’re collaborative stories: you’ll tell the story together with friends, and a lot of the story will be about how your characters support each other when they fight, make up, make out and make do.
You might tell the story of a pair of misfits living in a loft in Weimar Berlin, dodging fascist mobs and singing in nightclubs, or of a family of spacepeons, picking up jobs on the Orbitals around Fade for the oxycreds that’ll let you can breathe for another month.
There are an infinite number of stories you might tell, but what connects them all is that they’re stories about life’s precariousness and where survival is about supporting each other.
It’s a game designed to be played over several sessions, exploring a group of workers through their time together. Each session represents a season, 12 weeks in the worker’s lives. Each week you try to make rent, keep each other happy, make stuff and resist the people that’ll tear you apart. At the weekend we explore our worker’s lives further, finding out more about them as people. The weeks are crunchy and mechanical; the weekends allow us to roleplay and examine our characters.
Precariat v0.1 for the #rentpunk game jam:
Download the rules
Download a Realm Sheet
Download a Worker Sheet
This is a public beta, so we’ll be playing and thinking and working on a full release: let us know what you think!