The Fifth World

Roleplaying Game


While most ritual phrases do not come into play until you get to an encounter, you can use “I don’t see it” at any time, even during setup.

  1. Create a family.
  2. Reprise a character you’ve played before or create a new one.
  3. Decide on the length of the game you want to play. Each round generally takes about an hour.
  4. Separate a deck of playing cards into a needs deck, a persons deck, and a places deck.
  5. Each player takes a card from the persons deck to represent her character.
  6. If you have a card for home, lay it out on the table. If not, simply leave an empty space to represent it.
  7. Next, each player draws a card from the places deck. As always when pulling from the places deck, you can call the name of any named place to pull that card from the deck and then shuffle the deck. Lay your card next to home or the other drawn places card, forming a row of places.
  8. Place one moment of awareness on each place.
  9. Deal one card from the persons deck, face down, above each of the places you have out.
  10. Draw a card from the needs deck. This represents the family’s current need. Interpret it together to decide what this means for the family right now. Each player takes a turn describing how this situation has affected her character specifically.
  11. Choose a player to go first and then proceed sunwise (to the left). Each player chooses where she begins by placing her character’s card in a column beneath that place’s card.


Example Setup

Jason, Giuli, and Mike set up a game. Jason takes the Jack of Hearts (The Adventurer) to represent his character. Giuli takes the Red Joker (The Magician) to represent her character. Mike takes the King of Clubs (The Priest) to represent his. They each draw a place from the places deck. First Jason draws the Abode of the Spirits, then Giuli draws the Ancient Mystery, and finally Mike draws the Garden. This creates a row of four cards, including home. They deal out one person card, face down, above each of these places, leaving the remaining person deck to the left of that new row. Below that, they put the places deck, and the needs deck below that. They place one moment of awareness on each place card in the row.

Jason puts his character at Home, as does Mike. Giuli decides to start at the Ancient Mystery that she drew.