Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is a fantasy storytelling game. Players take on the role of young Pilgrims, who are tasked with responding to letters asking for help. The problems can range from rescuing a world that has been swallowed by a whale, to helping a dance troupe win a competition.
Pilgrims have evocative names, like Clear Beast, or Glitter Insect. They describe both how the Pilgrim helps people, and how they get into trouble.
Our recent Kids’ RPG event featured this game, and our group responded to a letter from a cat who wishes to stop being the Queen. She became the queen after defeating a silver rat that was terrorizing the kingdom. Our group included 6 players, one of which was an adult staff member who helped lead the game and teach the rules, and the others were 4 boys and 1 girl aged 10 to 15 years old.
To begin, each player creates their character. They must decide how their character will help people and how they will get into trouble. They then choose a name based on these two attributes.
Pilgrim Glitter Insect gets into trouble by being distracted by shiny things and helps people by talking to and working with insects.
Pilgrim Hungry Lucky gets into trouble by overeating and helps people by being incredibly lucky.
Pilgrim Speculation Memory gets into trouble by making incorrect predictions and helps people by having a photographic memory.
Pilgrim Cold Dragon gets into trouble by breaking people’s hearts and helps people by having a pet dragon.
Pilgrim Jet Ranger gets in trouble by being too speedy and missing important details and helps people by killing monsters.
Pilgrim Griffin Healer gets into trouble by uncontrollably turning into a griffin, and helps people by healing their wounds.
In the game, the players respond to a pre-determined letter asking for help. Each letter is accompanied by goal words which must be included in the story that the characters create in order to “win” the game. Below is the story created by our players, the goal words have been bolded.
Judging from the ending, it seems like the Pilgrims weren’t able to use all their goal words in time! The book contains many letters to the Pilgrims, but players can create their own as well.
The Pilgrims and the Calico Queen
Pilgrim Glitter Insect met with the Cat Queen and got distracted by a shiny rock that turns out to be the heart of the silver rat. The rat comes back to life again and begins causing havoc, so Glitter Insect is thrown in jail. Pilgrim Hungry Lucky ate a sandwich that the rat stole, and was able to steal the Sword of Swiftness and because he was lucky the guards didn’t see him.
Pilgrim Speculation Memory predicts that the silver rat has left for another kingdom, but it comes out of a nearby cave and starts eating all the livestock. Pilgrim Speculation Memory is thrown into jail by angry villagers. Pilgrim Speculation Memory convinces Pilgrim Hungry Lucky to return the Sword of Swiftness, in return for freeing Pilgrim Speculation Memory. Pilgrim Jet Ranger starts to fight the silver rat. It gets away, but leads him right to its hideout!
Meanwhile, Pilgrim Cold Dragon breaks one of the nobles’ heart, and now he is on the run from the noble’s guards. Pilgrim Jet Ranger corners the silver rat in its lair. They fight and the pilgrim is wounded, but he flies to a nearby noble’s house. Pilgrim Griffin Healer heals Jet Ranger’s wounds but then she transforms into a griffin and loses control, shredding the Calico Queen’s treasured three-cornered hat of red leather. Glitter Insect summons a swarm of butterflies and sends them to convince the cat queen to release Glitter Insect, which the queen does.
Pilgrim Hungry Lucky tries to eat the dinner of the Calico Queen’s son and heir, outraging the court. They then realize that the food was poisoned, and Hungry Lucky saved the life of the heir. (Luckily, Pilgrim Hungry had found an antidote while wandering in the forest and survived the poison.)
Pilgrim Speculation Memory predicts that the cat’s letter to the pilgrims won’t result in a new king or queen, and the people (who didn’t know the cat’s plan to stop being Queen) are furious! Pilgrim Speculation Memory remembers that after the silver rat is defeated, the kingdom’s laws say you have to have a big feast and free all prisoners in celebration.
Pilgrim Jet Ranger leaves the noble’s house and sees the rat on its way to the feast. They fight and finally he defeats the rat for good, freeing the kingdom. Jet Ranger forgets proof of the rat’s defeat, and due to Speculation Memory’s failed predictions, no one in the kingdom believes him and he is barred from the feast and stuck outside in the rain.
Pilgrim Cold Dragon is unable to fix the noble’s heart and flees the planet with his baby dragon, never to return. Scared she might turn on the people, the Calico Queen banished Pilgrim Griffin Healer from the kingdom and she flies away, never to return.
Pilgrim Glitter Insect returns to the temple, ashamed of the part she played in resurrecting the silver rat. Pilgrim Hungry Lucky was a fabulous influence on the world, but his companions ruined everything. The people suspect that Pilgrim Speculation Memory was responsible for nearly poisoning the Calico Queen’s heir, and he is barely able to escape lifelong imprisonment. Pilgrim Jet Ranger begs that the nobles believe him about the rat’s defeat, but they never do.