A close-up image of a serene character with long, green hair styled in braids, adorned with pink flowers and golden accessories. The character exudes a calm and gentle aura, with eyes that seem to hold a quiet wisdom. The soft pastel background and intricate details enhance the ethereal quality of the illustration, reflecting the mystical and heartfelt nature of the TTRPG "Pray by Letter." The "All Ages of Geek" logo is visible in the corner, indicating the source of this detailed and beautifully crafted visual.

“Pray by Letter” – A Deep Dive into a Beautiful TTRPG

Welcome to our TTRPG series on All Ages of Geek where we dive into different worlds you can immerse yourself in, and mechanics you can master. Today we jump into the world of “Pray by Letter” created by Paru Saikorou. 

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The cover image for the TTRPG "Pray by Letter" features an ethereal character adorned in a flowing white robe and adorned with green accents. The character holds a delicate feather quill, poised to write, while a serene and mystical ambiance surrounds them, enhanced by soft pastel hues and intricate background details. This captivating visual sets the tone for the epistolary RPG experience, inviting players into a world where letters hold the power to create miracles.
“Pray by Letter” Cover

Introduction to “Pray by Letter”

“Pray by Letter,” crafted by the ingenious Paru Saikorou, is an epistolary tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) that submerges players into a world where the written word holds the power to alter destiny. This unique RPG caters to two players who exchange letters, writing their tales through heartfelt correspondence. This game immerses players into the delicate art of letter writing, turning simple communications into profound prayers to the goddess Elmoira.

The World of “Pray by Letter”

Setting and Atmosphere

“Pray by Letter” transports players to a world mirroring our own with two pivotal differences: the world is a creation of goddesses, and one particular goddess, Elmoira, bestowed upon humanity the sacred alphabets. These alphabets harbor the power to invoke miracles, each letter a potential plea to defy an immutable fate. Inhabitants of this realm live unaware of the divine presence, channeling their hopes and prayers through written words, which carry their innermost desires and challenges directly to Elmoira.

Mechanisms of Miracles

The game’s core mechanic revolves around the “Ladder of Destiny,” a fate-determining tool reminiscent of the Japanese Amidakuji lottery system. Players’ destinies unfold as they traverse this ladder, their outcomes shaped by the letters exchanged. The letters, serving as prayers, gather spiritual energy through interactions, which Elmoira may choose to transform into miracles, altering the predetermined paths.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Epistolary Essence

At the heart of “Pray by Letter” lies the epistolary format. Players adopt the roles of “Epistolers,” writing letters to each other with the overarching aim to influence their destinies. This format encourages a slow, reflective pace, allowing players to deeply engage with their characters’ emotions and motivations. The game thrives on the beauty of written expression, making each letter a potential vessel for a miracle.

No Dice, No GM

In stark contrast to many TTRPGs, “Pray by Letter” dispenses with the need for dice and a game master (GM). All that’s required is a writing instrument and a medium to exchange letters. This simplicity fosters an intimate and focused experience, where the story drive emerges purely from the players’ creativity and emotional investment.

Creating and Customizing Playsets in “Pray by Letter”

Pre-Designed Playsets

“Pray by Letter” provides three sample playsets, each offering a flexible framework for players to explore. These playsets are designed to be adaptable, encouraging players to infuse their personal twists and creativity into the narrative while adhering to the core concepts, settings, and rules.

Crafting Your Own Playsets

Players are also empowered to create their own playsets, provided they maintain the fundamental elements: the epistolary nature of letter exchanges, the general world settings, and the core rules. This flexibility ensures that the game remains fresh and personal, with each session potentially offering a unique experience shaped by the players’ imagination.

Personal Experience with “Pray by Letter”

Engaging with “Pray by Letter” was a profoundly immersive experience. The act of crafting letters imbued with the hopes and fears of my character brought a sense of authenticity and emotional depth that few other games achieve. Each letter exchanged with my penfriend felt like a bridge between our characters’ worlds, with every word carrying the weight of their destinies.

In one memorable session, our characters faced a moral quandary about using forbidden magic to save a loved one. The exchange of letters over several days heightened the tension, each response revealing deeper layers of our characters’ personalities and motivations. The lack of a game master or dice meant that the narrative flowed naturally, driven entirely by our creativity and the evolving relationship between our characters.

The culmination of our story, determined by the Ladder of Destiny, was both thrilling and beautiful. The outcome, a direct result of our letters, felt earned and meaningful. This game not only provided a unique story experience but also strengthened the bond between the players, as we navigated the emotional landscape of our characters together.

Thematic Depth and Emotional Resonance

“Pray by Letter” stands out for its thematic richness and emotional depth. The game tackles profound themes such as fate, hope, and the power of human connection. Each letter exchanged between players is like a bond for their characters’ struggles and dreams, turning the gameplay into an exploration of the human spirit.

Is “Pray by Letter” the TTRPG for you?

“Pray by Letter” by Paru Saikorou is an evocative journey into the art of written communication and the mystical power of prayer. By blending a simple, yet profound mechanic with rich, immersive storytelling, this TTRPG offers an unparalleled experience for those who cherish narrative depth and emotional engagement. Do you seek to challenge fate, invoke miracles, or simply connect with another soul through the written word? “Pray by Letter” promises a journey that is both intimate and transformative for all who wander into its simple, yet profound world of the written word.

Play “Pray by Letter”

In order to enjoy the full experience and review the game yourself, be sure to play “Play by Letter” on Itch.io or Booth.pm.

Looking for more TTRPG Content?

Read our TTRPG articles on All Ages of Geek for more discoveries and creators to support. And be sure to check out our curated list on Amazon. It’s always updating with some TTRPG gear like dice, books, merch and more.

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