Collaborative Role Playing Game

Spirits of Gaia

Embody an animal spirit and explore a natural and complex world with your friends. This easy to learn game is equal parts performance and design. 

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Intro

Teams of Animal Spirits Encounter User Generated Adventures

Spirits of Gaia was created as a project to engage a whole school in a state of play, starting with the youngest grade (6 years old) and evolving to the oldest kids in REAL School at that time (14 years old). The objective was not not only play together, but to create a game together. 

Spirits of Gaia took inspiration from a series of TTRPGs like Dungeons and Dragons and Tails of Equestria. However, our objective was not to create a complex and engaging story, but a foundational ruleset that would allow the learners to build off of on their own maps. 

Spirits of Gaia is situated in a natural world, devoid of human impact. Each player is a spirit who can be embodied through several characters. The characters are all animals. They join together to adventure through player created maps; these may be cave systems underground, a thicket, a mysterious island, or a huge tree reaching into the sky. Over a 20-30 minute session, players collaborate on building a story out of the adventure through performance, decision making, and creative thinking. 

Resources

Materials and Media on the Game

Media

These articles written when we first played Spirits of Gaia, and as we neared the end of the unit.  

There are a few videos which can provide tutorials and gameplay guides for you. Additionally, feel free to browse examples of past student’s works.  

Resources

Below are some of the core resources for the game. The rulebook is a great place to start, so you may understand how the game is played. 

Of equal importance to the ways to play, are the ways to develop characters and maps. Both of these pieces are critical to bringing the game to life.  

Ages

7+

Players

>5

Class Time

20 hrs

Challenge

variable

Start to play now!

Let’s Get Started

Create a character that you will embody as you play your first round.
Join your first game on a ready made adventure.
Design your own adventure for others to attempt.

1. Creating Your First Character

Even before you understand how to Play Spirits of Gaia, you can create your first character. While later you will be able to select among an expansive number of animals, suited for different maps and adventures, we all start somewhat simple. 

What kind of animal will you start with? A mouse, bat, snake, or frog? From this decision, you will be able to build a personality into your character. Use the character development prompts to consider who your character is. You will need to take on this role in gameplay, so make sure you are comfortable with it. 

Next, go through the character lab, which will help you create the visuals for your character. This is something that is great to share and present to your team upon the start of an adventure. 

Take your sketches and character development notes and fill out a character sheet. This will be a critical tool for playing Spirits of Gaia. Add whatever you like to personalize the sheet. 

Et Voila! You have a character, ready to go adventuring. Are you ready to jump into this role wholeheartedly? Let’s hope so!

 

2. Going on Your First Adventure

Now that you have a character you are ready to join in the fun! To start, it is important to go through the rulebook, just so you are familiarized with Gameplay. 

Joining you in your first adventure will be a Gamemaster and up to 3 other adventurous souls. The Gamemaster will guide you through the process, laying out the setting for the adventure along with any special rules. 

As the adventure begins you are now your character. The decisions you make, personality you have, and mannerisms are all part of the act. The goal here is to go through the process of building a shared imaginary story that is amusing and engaging. In short, have fun and let the story carry you away! 

 

3. Creating an Adventure

This game is all about creativity, and as you learn how the game is played you may start to have ambitions to create your own adventure. The answer is absolutely! Yes!

There are two parts to building an adventure: the map and the narrative book. The two pieces require some time to perfect, and part of the process in SoG is to join together with other players for regular prototyping sessions. Feedback is critical to a good map.