The Day of the Colossus

You are in a field.

What lies around you? 
grassland? 
ancient temples? 
the ruins of war long past?


Before you, in the ground,
lies a massive head.


How did it appear here?
Earthquake?
Excavation?
Explosion?


Deep within the mysteries of your being, it beckons. You approach.

1-4 players

The Day of the Colossus is a relatively short game that uses an evolving deck to illustrate both the reactions of a buried colossus to the actions of small group of explorers, as well as their own history with the Colossus in their lives.

Setup

You’ll need a deck of cards—separate the suits and lay them aside. These are your pull decks. Take the 2 of each suit and create the play deck.

Play

Read the introductory paragraphs and answer the questions within through consensus. Once finished with the introductions, as a group decide what actions you’d like to take. You may discuss as much as you like until someone says they will perform an action—no take backs! Sometimes, we act and react rashly in real life, without thought of the consequences. If the group decides the action was carefully thought through, the player who called out the action will pull three cards from the top of the play deck and choose one. If the action is decidedly rash, the player may only pull the top card of the play deck.

Once a card is chosen/pulled a player will:

  1. Read it out loud, answering any questions associated with the card and narrating how your actions bring about the result.
  2. Follow the associated deck instructions.
  3. Decide your next action.

Follow this loop of play until you reach an Ace in the play deck. At that point, read the card aloud; questions asked will be answered by the group to conclude the session.

Cards

♦ Discovery

  • 2—Nothing happens, but you feel like you’re on to something. (Add ♦ 3-5 and shuffle the deck) 
  • 3—Your action reveals something on the Colossus – a removable panel? A sigil? An inscription?
  • 4—You hear something from within the Colossus – grinding? Buzzing? Singing?
  • 5—The earth trembles – your actions have caused the Colossus to Rise! (add ♦ 6-9, remove any lower ♦ and shuffle the deck)
  • 6—The Colossus locks eyes with you – a connection? (Draw the next ♥ shuffle the deck)
  • 7—Something goes wrong you’ve angered it! What happened? (Draw the next ♠ and shuffle the deck) 
  • 8—You’ve pushed to hard – something breaks (Draw the next ♣ and shuffle the deck)
  • 9—A breakthrough! What happens? (Add ♦ 10-K, remove any lower ♦ and shuffle the deck)
  • 10—Your actions have altered the Colossus in some way, breaking much of the connection you held with the monument. How?  (Remove the next two ♥ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • J—Somehow you’ve soothed the beast within. How did you accomplish this? (Remove the next two ♠ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • Q—You discover an easily-fixable flaw. What happens when you fix it? (Remove the next two ♣ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • K—Just a little more – you are so close to knowing. What do you seek? (Add the ♦ A and shuffle the deck)
  • A—The true purpose of the Colossus is fully revealed. How do you react? Can you use it for your own ends? How do you do it? <END>

♥ Connection

  • 2—You feel connected, somehow, to the immensity before you (Add ♥ 3-5 and shuffle the deck) 
  • 3—Almost imperceptibly the Colossus focuses on you. What happens?
  • 4—You feel called to touch it. What do you feel? What happens?
  • 5—It speaks! What does it say? What question does it ask of you? (add ♥ 6-9, remove any lower ♥ and shuffle the deck)
  • 6—Something you’ve said has soured its mood. What did you say? (Draw the next ♠ and shuffle the deck) 
  • 7—It has over-exerted itself to be nearer to you. why? (Draw the next ♣ and shuffle the deck)
  • 8—You have a flash of inspiration! What inspired you? (Draw the next ♦ and shuffle the deck)
  • 9—It tells you its name. What is it? (Add ♥ 10-K, remove any lower ♥ and shuffle the deck)
  • 10—Somehow you’ve soothed the beast within. How did you accomplish this? (Remove the next two ♠ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • J—The power of your connection renews its spirit – how did it react to your actions? (Remove the next two ♣ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • Q—Its purpose has become more mysterious to you. Why? (Remove the next two ♦ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • K—You feel its spirit within you. What question do you ask it? (Add the A and shuffle the deck)
  • A—The connection you have nurtured has gone to fruit and is ready for harvest. What will you do with your new friend? How will you enrich its life and how will it enrich yours? <END>

♠ Emnity

  • 2—You feel a chill within your soul.. (Add ♠ 3-5 and shuffle the deck) 
  • 3—Your actions have brought offense. The stones and the earth itself echo an unseen anger.
  • 4—You feel something more – unease? Hate? Malevolence? fear?
  • 5—Its eyes glow red as Its original, dark purpose is brought to light. How? (add ♠ 6-9, remove any lower ♠ and shuffle the deck)
  • 6—It reacts angrily. In its frustration, something fails. What? (Draw the next ♣ and shuffle the deck)
  • 7—Your actions give the Colossus pause. How do you capitalize on this connection? (Draw the next shuffle the deck)
  • 8—The Colossus readies to fight – how? In doing so it, reveals a weakness. What? (Draw the next ♦ and shuffle the deck) 
  • 9—It reveals a weapon. What is it? You cannot escape. (Add ♠ 10-K, remove any lower ♠ and shuffle the deck)
  • 10—Its anger is palpable, like a new source of energy. How does the Colossus change? (Remove the next two ♣ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • J—“No Quarter will be given,” it says. You realize the ground around you is riddled with devastation. What does it look like? (Remove the next two ♥ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • Q—The Colossus’ aggression hides its mysteries. How? (Remove the next two ♦ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • K—You have crossed the Rubicon. It readies its weapon. (Add the ♦ A and shuffle the deck)
  • A—The Colossus crushes you under its cyclopean palms. Many come looking for you, but find nothing. <END>

♣ Entropy

  • 2—Nothing happens. (Add ♣ 3-5 and shuffle the deck) 
  • 3—Something falls from the head. What and how?
  • 4—Creeping moss infects its crevices. How old can this Colossus be?
  • 5—Your actions have caused the Colossus to lose function in some way. What has it lost and how? (add ♣ 6-9, remove any lower ♣ and shuffle the deck)
  • 6—Somethings falls from the Colossus and reveals a secret. What is it? (Draw the next ♦ shuffle the deck)
  • 7—The Colossus pleads for help. What does it ask of you? (Draw the next ♥ and shuffle the deck) 
  • 8—The Colossus reacts to you as if you were a memory out of time. A bad memory. What does it say? (Draw the next ♠ and shuffle the deck)
  • 9—Rousing the Colossus costs it much. What else does it lose? (Add ♣ 10-K, remove any lower ♣ and shuffle the deck)
  • 10—Your actions rush the Colossus towards oblivion. Now is not the time for discovery. What knowledge have you lost now? (Remove the next two ♦ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • J—The Colossus becomes resolute as it contemplates the end and begins repeating a phrase. What is that phrase? (Remove the next two ♥ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • Q—One of the Colossus’ weapons fails. What memory does the weapon evoke in the Colossus? (Remove the next two ♠ in the play deck and shuffle)
  • K—The Colossus shudders as if gasping for breath. It won’t be long. What does it say? (Add the ♣A and shuffle the deck)
  • A—So often, we don’t get a chance to say goodbye. Whatever fuels the Colossus’ life ends abruptly, leaving the Colossus frozen upon the field in front of you. What do you do with the Colossus empty form? <END>