Beak, Feather, & Bone: A Map-Labeling RPG

Beak, Feather & Bone is a nifty creative map labelling exercise designed by Tyler Crumrine. Starting with an unlabelled map, players take turns in drawing a standard playing card, picking a building, and then coming up with the story of that building. After a few rounds, you start to see connections between buildings, and the stories of the city start to reveal themselves.

Beak, Feather, & Bone is a collaborative worldbuilding tool as well as a competitive map-labeling RPG. Starting with an unlabeled city map, players are assigned community roles before taking turns claiming and describing locations. As buildings are claimed, a narrative for the town and its inhabitants emerges, including major NPCs and shifting power-dynamics.

For each building, you define the Beak, Feather & Bone. The “beak” is what people say about this building, “feather” is the look of the building, and “bone” is the interior. By the end of the game, you have detailed notes on the who, what and where of your new city.

A great term I learned from this Kickstarter is “artefacts of play”. This is the term for the collateral that you end up with at the end of the game; the collection of handwritten notes and a colourful and detailed map.






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