Fly Air Fafifi (TTRPG)

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People sitting & playing around a table laden with a game board, cards, pens & pencils, sticky tape, mug, drink bottle

Ruchira & Rose getting stuck into Level 1 of "Fly to Fafifi" during game Test 2 (Cafe Collab night @ Catalyst Social Centre)


Working Title: Fly Air Fafifi

Tagline: Journey through the skies and come back with stories to tell.

Description: A multi-level tabletop board game centred on themes of travel and museums, it incorporates role-playing, quizzing, art-making and story-telling.

Document Status

This is the Game Design Document (GDD) for the Fly Air Fafifi table-top roleplaying game.

It is currently an incomplete second draft.

Associated DevLog

The Development Log associated with this project, is in the form of a Forum on the Discord server. The Forum name is "tabletop-rpg-devlog" (which is listed under the category Game Design and Development).

To access the Dev Log, follow the instructions to get invited to the server at this Discord link - then navigate to the Forum.

Please feel free to get involved in making this game, we would particularly appreciate recorded feedback from players and participants.


The game is initially being designed for a mature human audience. We are guided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board classification system and rate this game Mature 17+

However, it would not be difficult for a skillful Game Master to adapt the game for a younger audience.


What we are describing here is what could be called a base game. The MOMA Game includes game-making. It is expected that this game will be extended and modded.

In this document we intend to robustly describe the game and the process of making it, so that others can easily make there own versions of it.


Fly Air Fafifi is a physical race-the-clock-co-operative-role-playing-game that incorporates quizzing, collaborative art-making and story-telling.

It is very tactile and theatrical by nature, designed to woo players into a creative fantasy mind space... let's pretend :-)

Playing Fly Air Fafifi means being a participant in a community arts project that has physical creative outcomes. Playing means that you are going to help make a bigger public artwork. Therefore it is understood that by playing the game, the participant relinquishes any intellectual property inherent in the play and any physical artwork generated during the play so that it may become a part of the Museum of Moving Art (as a work of art).


  • Most players (in this version) need basic English literacy and numeracy skills
  • As it is a co-operative rather than a competitive game, players can help each other out in this regard to the above
  • People can play in pairs (two people making and/or playing one Character in the game)
  • We want the game to be as accessible as possible
  • A game bag or box containing the Game Kit: game board, dice, pieces, 3 minute egg timer, card stacks, art materials, etc. (It is expected that when this document is complete, new Game Masters will be able to generate their own Game Kit from the information herein.)
  • A Game Master's Guidebook
  • 1 large-ish table to sit around - there needs to me enough space for each Character station to have an open A3 sheet of paper. There also needs to be room on the table for the board in the center, cards, pens & pencils, etc. It could also work in a larger room with smaller tables, like a cafe or classroom for example.
  • a bell, gong, whistle or some other sound-making instrument to mark "time up"

Re-drafted slash edited up to here

  • A number of hand-held online digital devices such as mobile phones and tablets (can be shared between players)
  • basic collection of art supplies such as paints, markers, glue, scissors, pencils, collage material such magazines, cut out images, wrapping paper, etc
  • the Game Master requires a stop watch (mobile phone will do), organisational skills and commitment to see the game and players through its various stages over one long or several more shorter sessions

Story World

Gameplay involves characters undertaking a journey to an island and returning with stories to tell of their adventure/journey/quest.

The background narrative for the game is this:

The Commonwealth of Fafifi is a south Pacific island nation state that is small in size but big in character. The mainstays of the nations's economy are:

  • permaculture/agriculture
  • international marine & aviation transportation
  • cultural tourism
  • education

The Museum of Moving Art (MOMA) is a major employer and hosts 5 new travelling exhibitions from one of the major Art institutions from around the world - such as The Guggenheim in New York or the Louvre in Paris, even Australia's Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. Once a year for two months, the Island is absolutely full to capacity with overseas visitors) for the Fafifi Internationali - a spectacular world class arts and culture festival.

At the centre of the Festival is the coveted Fafifi International Arts Prize, which for artist not only looks great on their resume but is worth $100,000 USD. Thousands of emerging artists from around the world pay $1,000 each to enter the competition: 25 are selected as Festival Winners and from them emerges one Arts Prize winner. The most valuable prize for the artists though is the kudos and exposure that participation brings, for the Fafifi Internationali (Exhibition) does a two year circuit of 20 major international art galleries and museums (at the end of which most of the works are auctioned off to wealthy art collectors at Christies in London - the proceeds being used to help fund the competition).

The Festival Winners (every artist who gets chosen to exhibit their work) each receive: a silver medal, an all expenses paid 3 week trip to Fafifi for the Internationali festival (airfare, accommodation, etc) and VIP Access to the full program of Festival Events. Selected artists give workshops during the festival. The Art Prize Winner receives a gold medal and $100,000 in cash in addition to the above mentioned benefits.

What Cannes is to the film industry, the Fafifi Internationali is to the art world. This event is how most people learn about and explore this amazing Island with its profoundly inclusive egalitarian and humane social-political-cultural landscape (which has evolved as the result of the unique way the Island was settled by a non-colonial fusion of Pasifika and European migrant pioneers in the late 1700s).

The Aims of the Game

  • Real Life Participation - In general the most important aim of the game is for players to have fun socializing in a real-life face-to-face physical setting while playing a character they develop in a fantasy world.
  • Contribute to a Greater Creative Whole - By playing a character in Flight Mode, players contribute creative outputs that form parts of the MOMA composite artwork.
  • Challenges at Different Levels - Each level has it's own challenges and goals for the team of players that relate to the basic story for that particular level (which is described, managed and elaborated upon by the Game Master during gameplay). Individual character may have specific challenges set for them by the Game Master. Players may create aims, goals and motivations for their particular character as they develop the character they are playing.
  • Character Development - One enduring goal that is quite prominent in the early levels of the game is to develop and document (in various creative ways) a set of characters that populate the Island of Fafifi.
  • Narrative Themes & Variation - Each team of players will create their own unique version(s) of stories and events in the MOMA/Fafifi fantasy world. These can be collected to form a suite of interesting texts - a composite artwork that will be interesting for future audiences to explore. Also narrative elements and characters can be drawn from these various gameplays to be woven into newer stories in different future forms such as LARPS, movies, theatre performances, audio plays, Flight Sim Scenarios, written novels & others linear texts, etc.
  • Deeper & Richer Engagement - Explore and develop new adventures in the World of Art fantasy space. Enrichen and theatricalize gameplay by use of costume and props. Discover deeper levels of the story world; add new (and develop existing) story arcs through further gameplay as you become more familiar with the game space; broaden out and connect into the other dimensions of MOMA like the flight simulator space or pop-up real-life galleries. Play with a variety your favourite characters as the mood fits.


This draft is focussed on describing the Base Game, which is designed to be played by 5 players for 20 minutes - it is race the clock (though it could be played by 3 players and take longer if all players agree). Ideally World of Art would be played in a complete Set of 5 games (Level 1). These could be played in one long session or spread over several sessions. Players could substitute for other players as long as all roles are filled in the game.

The Sets are turn-taking, each player should have one turn at each of the 5 roles in the game (in other words, play a different role in each game).

The Base Game would work on it's own with no further progression as it reaches a conclusion at the end of play. If successful it would motivate players to continue to the next level or to extend/modify the Base Game into Spin-off Versions (all are allowed and encouraged).

The 5 Roles

One predefined character:

  • Loretta Monetta, MOMA Curator-in-Chief (Game Master)

Four characters created by players during gameplay:

  • Competing Artist
  • Artist's Assistant
  • Pilot
  • Flight Attendant

In the 2nd Game of a Set players can choose to either (1) create a new character for the role they have been given (of the 4 listed above), or (2) develop one of the existing characters. However, in Games 3-5 players must further develop the characters they have been assigned for that game and add to that character's story arc.

The Start-up Pack

  • 1 X large sturdy brown paper shopping bag
  • 1 X cardboard shoe box
  • 1 X small carboard box
  • 1 X passenger jetliner (A32-NX)
  • 1 X cargo container
  • 2 X pieces of thick board
  • 2 X playing board cover sheets
  • 1 X dice
  • 6 X Manilla folders containing master sheets of gameplay pages

The first Loretta Monetta to use any particular pack makes up the playing board and photocopies/prints out the gameplay pages before the start of the game (they will also be available to download from The decorating of the bag and boxes is part of the gameplay at more advanced levels (a kind of Easter egg) and relates to an exhibition called 'Bags, Books and Boxes' in the unfolding backstory of MOMA.

Preparation & Setting Up: Level 1

The game is hosted at a location determined by the Level 1 Gamemaster playing the character Loretta Monetta. They need to prepare the space and set out all the materials in place, and put the Game Sheets in correct and tidy order ready for gameplay to start.

How to play: Level 1

  • The players arrive at the host location which has already been set up by Loretta Monetta as described above. Meet, greet & socialize.
  • When it is time to start, Loretta calls players to their seats at the table and reads from her Flying Art: Level 1 - Game Master's Play Book, which outlines to the other players what the objectives are and how the game will proceed.
  • After this introduction Loretta hands out the appropriate Gameplay Sheets to each of the other players: (1) Artist Gameplay Sheet (2) Passenger Gameplay Sheet (3) Pilot Gameplay Sheet and (4) Flight Attendant Gameplay Sheet
  • These sheets are divided into sections and guide the players through the play at each stage of the game.
  • Stage 1: (3 mins)
  • Stage 2: Be Your Character (12 mins)
  • Stage 3: Fly to Fafifi(5 mins)

1. Create a Character

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2. Be your Character

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3. Fly to Fafifi

This timed section lasts for 10 minutes. To win the game, the plane arrives carrying all four characters arrives on time - before the 10 minutes ends.