This was my first solo journaling ttrpg and it really clicked with me. Considering my fascination with death, macabre, and the story-telling that comes from dreaming I’m not surprised. I’ve always liked the dark and moving story of wishing I could forgive my past mistakes and give those I’ve wronged what they truly deserved. “Oh to wear the purple hyacinth of forgiveness.” A moving experience that’s worth far more than the asking price!
With These Phantom Hands
A One-Player Tabletop RPG for the #YourMoveJam
You are a ghost, and you can’t even remember how you died. There are three living people who you know to be important to you in some way, but you don’t know why. More important than anything, you have a message you must convey to one of them, but you don’t know what it is.
You are unstuck in time, unsure of who you are, and unable to rest until you’ve figured out what your message is and delivered it.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $3 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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Every purchase pays for an additional Community Copy of the game. These copies are for members of marginalized communities, either because of their race, sex, gender identity, disability, religion, or living in poverty. No one is going to follow up to make sure you've "earned" it. I've had times where I stared at a checkbox asking "Are you a member of a marginalized community?" and sat there frozen, feeling Not [Something] Enough, and if you're doing that, you are Enough! <3
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With These Phantom Hands is a gorgeous and intense short game where you play a ghost stuck on loop, its memories in pieces, haunting the same three people at various points in their own timelines.
It's three pages, with no illustrations but an excellent layout, and it's extremely well written and designed.
It hits hard.
Phantom isn't really a game about mechanical conflict. You encounter the same people over and over again until you think you've pieced together what happened to you, and then you take one final action and fade away. There isn't anything to mechanically stop you from succeeding, and it's on you to tell a solid story with the prompts.
If you're looking for an adventure game, Phantom isn't that, but if you like more narrative-focused stuff, and if you're willing to let a game hurt you, Phantom is a strong pick. It's really solid, and I definitely recommend getting a copy.
Hey! Can you share some more specific instruction on how to play? I don't understand how you pick your words, people, etc? Instructions only explain what to do when manifesting, unless I'm missing something. Thanks!
Thanks for asking! This is a "play to find out" game, following some of the principles of the Powered By The Apocalypse system. Both your ghost character and you, the player, start out without knowing any of that information, and you'll make it up on the spot as you play.
For example, I might start out thinking about a scene with a person I'm haunting, maybe she's in a kitchen, mixing ingredients in a large bowl. I try to reach out and touch her shoulder, Manifesting Supernaturally, and roll the dice, getting a 3.
Reading that entry, "you break something important, but in doing so realize it is tied to your memories... of what they were to you", I might decide that when I reach out, the bowl starts to vibrate and breaks into several pieces, and I suddenly remember it, the blue ceramic with a pattern of white flowers, my mother's favorite bowl. I conclude, for now, that this person is my mother, and write this detail under the first "what they were to you" section.
Notably, I could end up changing my mind about that conclusion as I play: maybe later I see this person at my funeral talking with someone who looks like her, but older, and realize she's actually my sister.
Getting one is impossible with two d6s...
Good game! Just... one is impossible..
And intentionally so! In order to be able to get a 1, you need to use the 8 move, "Cross out any other entry on this list, or restore any crossed-out entry", to remove the 2 or 12 option, then when you roll that one, you can pick the 1! :)
I wanted the possibility of being a scary, harmful, dangerous ghost to be on the table, but something players have to choose for themselves to become.
I think this should be categorized as "a physical game" instead of "a game" in the itch.io app, and it also fails to install (which would just be downloading the pdf) through the itch.io desktop app