An upcoming tabletop roleplaying game was inspired by the creator’s experiences of living with ADHD.
Called My Brain is a Stick of Butter, the tabletop RPG sees players attempting to complete various everyday tasks in a way that takes inspiration from the author’s own personal experiences with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Designed to be played by a single person, the TRPG is a journalling game, meaning that players primarily interact with the game through a notebook in which they write their various responses, choices and thoughts.
As a solo RPG, My Brain is a Stick of Butter has players trying to balance the many aspects of their fictional life whilst managing the “constant background thrum of executive dysfunction” that the author experiences during their real-life. Players aren’t expected to be able to complete all of the tasks that they have lined up for that fictional week, with the unanticipated effects of living with ADHD causing the player character’s thoughts to be derailed from the task at hand.
Players begin the game by creating their own character with a collection of tasks they need to perform, as well as other people that they spend time with. The rules-light RPG is then played on the course of an in-game week, with every day being split into about four to six rounds. Every round begins with players deciding whether they’d rather working on an existing task – such as chores, work, social activities or personal enjoyment – or if they will shift tasks. In order to switch tasks, players pull cards from a deck to see if they’re able to successfully do so or if any tasks take their attention instead.
When trying to stay on an existing task, players roll a brain die to see if their attention can remain on the chosen task or if they become sidetracked. Staying on tasks will enable players to tick off sections of the appropriate pie chart indicating progress. Whenever players manage to finish a task they can note it on their ‘whiteboard’ and add it to their cumulative completed tasks for the week. However, there is a chance that all progress on a given task can be lost if the player character becomes too distracted. There is no win or lose state, instead the author intends the game to be “informative” about living with ADHD.
My Brain is a Stick of Butter was created by Adam Bell, who has previously designed tabletop RPGs such as Legend Has It – a storytelling game wherein prompts are taken from random books players have – and No Stone Unturned, a GM-less RPG about trying to rebuild a settlement after an apocalypse.
The Kickstarter campaign for My Brain is a Stick of Butter is live until November 22, with a pledge of $20 (£18) getting backers a print version of the book in December. Alternatively, a digital version of the RPG is available for a pledge of $8 (£8).