Admiral Bulletin is a storytelling game. Players choose locations and follow prompts on Event Cards to collaboratively tell a ’30s pulp adventure story. Players can reward one another for especially entertaining additions. The game is 100% free and can be printed at home, as well as supporting online play over video chat.
2+ (ages 12 and up)
- 16 Character Cards (Gold)
- 32 Event Cards (Blue)
- 3 Chapter Sheets (Acts I, II & III)
- A handful of counters (glass beads, coins, etc.)
- A pen
- A bit of scrap paper, or your phones
Give everyone 3 counters, and leave the rest in the center. Put out the Act I Chapter Sheet.
If there are Characters people don’t want to use in this story, remove them from the deck. Pull the Character Cards for Bulletin and Miranda out, as they’ll be required in Chapter 2. Shuffle the rest of the Character Card Deck.
If there are Events people don’t want to use, remove them from the deck. Shuffle the Event Card deck.
Everyone now writes down 3 Locations:
- 1 specific (Paris, Asia, Tiffany’s, etc.)
- 1 vague (at sea, on a train, etc.)
- 1 more of the player’s choice
The starting player is the person who most recently finished a novel.
Beginning a Chapter:
Unless the Chapter already has a Location filled in, the starting player chooses one of their Locations, adds it to the space on the Chapter Sheet, and announces it to the other players. Locations can be used more than once.
If the Chapter has one or more empty Event Card slots, draw cards from the Event Card deck to fill the slot(s). Many Chapters come with Event “Cards” of their own. If Event Cards say to add Characters, draw the appropriate Character Cards and add them to the Character Pool before starting the Chapter. Otherwise, the Event Cards will guide your storytelling during the telling of the Chapter.
When ready, the starting player slides their first counter forward and begins speaking. Until the end of the Chapter, the only spoken words should be story content.
When it’s your turn, you push the first of your 3 counters forward, and begin speaking. Each counter represents one natural, speaking breath (roughly a sentence). You speak all 3 breaths, and then take your 3 counters back as the next player begins.
If playing over video chat, you can hold the counters in your hand, or just use your fingers as “counters.”
The Character Pool reminds you of the recurring characters in the story, all of which are available for use. One-off characters and henchmen are yours to invent as you go, but shouldn’t persist beyond the current Chapter.
If you particularly like what someone adds, you can reward them with an additional counter (from the center). They can use this on their next round, though it doesn’t come back after they’ve spent it like the original 3 counters do.
On video chat, type the person’s initial into the chat window to give them a 1 Up.
Ending a Chapter:
When the Chapter reaches a good stopping point, push all three of your counters into the center without speaking. The Chapter ends.
The next player now becomes the starting player. They select a Location, draw cards as needed, and begin.
Keep in Mind:
- Have fun! It’s not a competition.
- Let the story decide where to go.
- Don’t race to the end.
- This is improv: “Yes and…” one another.
- Use the cast.
- When in doubt, character quips.
- You’re doing better than you think.
- Have fun!
Admiral Bulletin v2 beta 1