A downloadable game

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Last Tea Shop

You run a tea shop on the border of the living and the dead. The recently deceased visit for one last hot drink before their long journey into the Great Beyond.

Time is strange here. Days and memories blur. Nobody visited yesterday—you are sure of that. Someone passed last week, but you can't recall their face.

The fog thins. A figure approaches. You stoke the fire.  


Last Tea Shop Classic is a one-page solo game about tea and conversation. Set up your stall and wait for visitors to emerge out of the mist. Over a cup of tea, chat to the visitor about their life and help prepare them for their trip into the Lands of the Dead. Record their thoughts, fears, dreams and hopes in your journal for posterity.

Play finishes when the mysterious Veiled One comes to visit.

You will need:

  • An hour or so of quiet time
  • Pen and paper
  • One or two six-sided dice
  • Tea (optional, but recommended)

Expanded edition

Last Tea Shop Classic will always remain free. There is also an expanded version available as Last Tea Shop Complete for people who want more of everything.

Actual play

Tim from Old Dog Games illustrated a game of Last Tea Shop and shared it the Twitter

See Tim's complete playthrough at Old Dog Games.


Example of play

I roll against the tea SUPPLIES table and find that my cupboards hold a quartz crystal, feather moss and a bright gumdrop. I note these ingredients on my character sheet.

I roll for how many DAYS have passed and get a 4. Checking the VISITORS table and find my first customer is a sailor. I roll for WEATHER and get a 3. The sailor arrives scared, surrounded by shadow mists.

I prepare a Draft of Recall, crossing quartz crystal from the SUPPLIES section of my character sheet. I ask the sailor about her life and her journey to the teashop.

She drinks the tea and I ask about her earliest memory. She tells me about a turtle in a rockpool. She bids me farewell, walking into the mists a little lighter.

I roll again for how many more DAYS pass before the next customer and get a 3. Adding this to my DAYS total, I get a 7. A beekeeper is coming to visit. The beekeeper knew the sailor...

Two-player variant

Last Tea Shop was written with solo play in mind, but it works well with two players. Instead of a journalling game, play it out as a series of conversations. One player takes the role of the tea shop owner. The second person plays the various visitors.  

Inspirations

Credits

License

Game text is © 2021 by Spring Villager.
Game format is open for hacking + remixing under a CC-BY 4.0 license.
Hacks and reimaginings encouraged; word-for-word reprints are not.

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

last-tea-shop-guide.pdf 489 kB
last-tea-shop-stall-sheet.pdf 794 kB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

This is an absolutely wonderful game! I originally wanted to play the Completed version but I settled for this one and I’m glad I did! My playthrough of it was such an emotional rollercoaster and I loved every minute of it! I shared my experience on Tumblr as my first game played and hope I can play the expanded version in the future! Thank you for such an amazing game. It was heartwarming, a bit sad but definitely a game I will be recommending to those who need a solo game to play in the future!

That was really cool to read. Thank you for writing up your experience with Last Tea Shop and sharing.

(+1)

This was my very first time playing a solo rpg game and I made a whole thing of it. Got my dice, a notebook, hot tea and some ambience music. Super recommend. 

Meeting the first visitor is a little daunting. What do I ask? How do they answer? On the second visitor, I fell into the world and realized it was a writing exercise. So I gave myself over to the game. 

And a terribly sad one followed. Of a messenger who failed to deliver her final message. A beekeeper who was an untimely victim of the following coup. A heartbroken librarian who followed his lover in death. Then the weary Sister who did her best to halt the coming days of darkness. 

I acted a little selfishly to bring clarity to the mind of the diplomat, who had been a pawn in the grand scheme and lost their memory. It was awful to see the Hero finally arrive, defeated after losing her kingdom. In the end, it was the Veiled One who had been the puppet master. It was the necessary cycle, though it pained them to enact it. They drank their tea and left to begin it again.

(Immediately bought the complete game and will be playing friends this weekend).

Thank you for writing this. love the story you shared. Comments are like this are the reason I create games. I

Thank you so much for your support! 🙏

(+1)

Thank you for creating something so unique and lasting!

(+1)

The one page version of Last Tea Shop is one of the most affecting journaling games I've played. I bought the expanded version instantly.

Thank you, Paul. This comment, along the other feedback you've provided, means a tremendous amount to me. I've long been a fan of your games and I have learnt a lot from you over the years.

(+2)

Hello, I made an account in order to post my comment about this game : ) It was sad, in a calming way. I accidentally created a love story between a tailor in a small town and an artist - a womanizer -  who paints for the royalty. Both live in the same kingdom and met each other in the royal court upon the king's request for new clothes and a new portrait. When I asked the artist who would miss him, he admits there might be no one, but there's a person he hopes would grieve. He learns  said person already died because I asked him how he knew the tailor who visited six days ago. He tells me how she taught him kindness, helping anyone who knocks on her door and how she's content despite living a simple life - unlike him who mingles with the nobles and would still feel lonely, with painting being  the only way he would cope. His last work was a portrait of the tailor he was supposed to give on the evening of a ball. When he finishes his drink, he musters the courage to ask, "Do you know where souls go after this? There's an unfinished business I need to attend to." I told him all souls go to the same place. 

And that he can meet her there if fate allows him to. 


Thank you for making this. : )

(+2)

Thank for for taking the time to share this. It made my day. I'm so glad this game resonated with you. 
🙏 🍵 🌿

(+2)

More people should share like this. :) <3

(+1)

so, so fun to play! The conclusion was mind blowing haha and I never imagined that all guests of the tea house would have relationships which I didn’t image before the game :D.

There’s enough time for the characters to evolve without being too long and enough room for spontaneous plot twists. Love it!

Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it. :)

(+1)

I really enjoyed this solo journaling game! The atmosphere was absolutely wonderful and I got really into creating backstories for my patrons through the shopkeeper’s questions. I love how the Veiled One is cast as neither sinister nor benign in the rules. The game is VERY fun when enjoyed for its own sake, but imo has an additional use as a series of writing exercises for characterization and atmosphere. I’m going to be sharing this with my writing club!

Thank you! I am so glad that you like Last Tea Shop. 

I'm (hopefully) pulling the final draft of an extended version together this coming weekend. I'll send copies to a few people for feedback before publishing. If you would like an early copy and can send a few sentences of feedback, DM me on Twitter and I'll send one your way.

(+1)

I followed you on Twitter but I don't see the option to DM you? I wrote a full review of Classic Last Tea Shop on my blog a few days ago and would be happy to write another one (or just send private feedback; whichever you prefer) for the extended version if you could send it my way. Good luck with the finishing touches of the extended version! I can't wait to play.

That was wonderful to read. Thanks for taking the time to write your review.

I'm going to try to finish things up over the weekend. Once it's done, I'll message you over Twitter and share an advance copy. Thanks again for taking an interest in the tea shop. :)

(+1)

The game has a great sense of atmosphere and a certain feel to it. It felt great to play and lingered with me for a while after. Beautifully laid as well!

Thanks so much for these kind words I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to the tea shop.

(+1)

Last Tea Shop is an atmospheric solo ttrpg about running a weird tea house.

The PDF is one page, and neatly organized. Everything is easy to read and has a consistent aesthetic, and there's even a tiny spot of art.

Last Tea Shop's writing is strong and atmospheric, and it's also kind of ethereal and comforting. The tea shop and its customers are weird and slightly tragic, and so are you, but this isn't framed as a horrible, permanent thing. Life is arduous and lonely, but also there's solace.

Mechanically, Last Tea Shop is pretty simple. You progress through a set number of days, periodically encountering and chatting with customers. You brew them tea while talking, which changes their mood, and eventually they chat some more and move on. At the end, a Veiled One arrives, and you decide how the story concludes.

I couldn't quite figure out how supplies restock (is it only through visitor gifts?) or how tracking measures of a supply work, but you can kind of handwave this. The game isn't about rigorous inventory management, and it seems fine to assume you just start with one of each supply.

As far as player resources, the game's rules are explained thoroughly and there's also a character sheet provided. The sheet is neatly organized and a little understated.

Overall, for players looking for cozy and well-made solo games, I think this is a stellar pick. There's notes of Spiritfarer, VA-11 Hall-A, and other games that are designed to feel intimate in scope in here, and Last Tea Shop executes on the style perfectly.

(+1)

Thanks for your thoughtful review!

The only way to restock supplies is through visitor gifts. I'll try to figure out a way to explain this in the guide.

I am working on an zine-length version of tea shop, which includes rules for venturing away from the stall and foraging for supplies. I'll always keep the original as tea shop "classic", but the updated version will offer a deeper and more varied experience.

(+1)

Are you still working on the zine-length version? I'm really enjoying this game, I'd love to see more of it

I put it aside a while, but I picked it back up a week ago and have been working on it each evening. Aiming to publish it before the end of March. Looks like it will be around 16 pages.

(+1)

Awesome! I'm looking forward to it!

(+1)

Hi, any news on the zine- version of the game? It is such a great game with a great atmosphere. I love playing it during my quiet time and would love to have a deeper version

(1 edit) (+1)

I got close prior to Easter, but then life got in the way and I haven't had a chance to work on it. I'll try hard this weekend to wrap it up, but it still might still be another couple of weeks. Here's a sample spread showing how things are looking. Art by the amazing Stoneshore.

(+1)

I really liked its simplicity but openness to deeper solo storytelling. Each visitor and moment feels like it can be a poignant encounter, or perhaps an inroad toward a latter story development.

I'm amazed how it was all fit into one page. A wonderful work.

I'm so glad that last tea shop lands for you. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. :)

(+1)

Thank you, this is a delightful and inspiring game.

I'm glad you like it. :)