Author – Kalum from the Rolistes Podcast (@rolistespod)
Where to Buy – https://rolistespod.itch.io/paris-gondo-text-only
I’m not gonna lie. When I first read the title Paris Gondo: The Life-Saving Magic of Inventorying, I had no inkling it was a pun or play on words because, well, I’m an American and we pronounce the S in Paris. Also, I’m a bit slow, apparently. There’s a few of you reading this now who figured out the reference immediately and another few of you who are still in the dark. You know what? That’s okay. I’m here for you. We’re going to get through this together. Ready?
Paris Gondo is the fantasy version of Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While Marie Kondo is widely known for helping people declutter their homes, Paris Gondo helps adventurers with limited inventory space decide what’s really worth bringing back from those deep, dangerous dungeons. At the end of the game, whichever players survive with their loot determines if their recovered items sparked joy or if they left the dungeon unfulfilled.
Though Paris Gondo is GM-less, one player takes on the role of facilitator to help guide the other players through the six-steps of the game. These steps are (and I’m paraphrasing):
- Creating the dungeon
- Creating the party
- Creating the loot
- Leaving the dungeon
- The epilogue
I find many ritual-heavy games can be overly-prescriptive in terms of what players are allowed to do. It’s as if the designer needs to know the players are having fun only in the approved way, and that just doesn’t spark joy for me. While Paris Gondo has a definite flow to the game, each step is designed to foster creativity and collaboration rather than hinder it. The prearranged opportunity for collaboration throughout the game means that all players must be active participants. Further, the (mostly) flat hierarchy of Paris Gondo gives everyone an equal opportunity to shape the game and to put their creativity on display. This does spark joy.
Okay I’ll stop. Maybe.
Reading the review this far, you might expect this game to be a dozen pages given how straightforward and simple (but not in a bad way!) the rules are. Nope! The text-only version I’m reading (the designers are currently crowdfunding art) is over 100 pages long. This is primarily due to the author providing a complete 60+ page playthrough at the start of the book. While this is something more commonly seen in Japanese TTRPGs, I loved the inclusion of it here as an entertaining way of displaying both the spirit of the game and its rules.
As I mentioned earlier, this is an incomplete version of this game in terms of final formatting and art, but in no way will it provide an incomplete experience in its current form. Also, don’t let its unfinished status deter you from buying the game now; you’ll get a voucher of equal value to put towards the complete version of the game when it comes out. Now tell me that doesn’t spark joy!
DISCLAIMER: I do not know anyone involved with this game, nor did I receive anything for free in exchange for this review. Also, you should check out the Rolistes Podcast – it’s great!