Lumberjills: A historical romance game of joy!

Lumberjills is a live action roleplaying game about the women of the WWII Women’s Timber Corps felling giant trees, making lifelong friendships, and finding their dance cards forever full.

Lumberjills: A historical romance game of joy!

Lumberjills is a live action roleplaying game about the women of the WWII Women’s Timber Corps felling giant trees, making lifelong friendships, and finding their dance cards forever full. With techniques built to make you feel physically competent without needing to be, Lumberjills frees you to immerse in a story about being strong, being loved and choosing the life you want to live.

Find your true capacity!

Choose your own destiny!

Be loved.

Lumberjills: One Shot, 4 players, 1 facilitator, 4 hours

World War II created an unprecedented demand for lumber: gunstocks, mining pit props, ships, barracks and telegraph poles. For every soldier in the war, the British Forestry Commission declared that five trees were required to support him in the fight.

With British soldiers off at war, lumberjacks from the Americas came to cut timber in the forests of Scotland. When the demand continued to exceed the labour supply, the Women’s Timber Corps was born. Heeding the call, British women came from all walks of life into the wild green of the Scottish Highlands to do their part for the war.

A lumberjill enjoys a mug of tea as she surveys the fruits of her day's labour. Stacks of precisely measured pit props surround her. A historical photo of a member of the Women's Timber Corps delimbing a log meant to be a telegraph pole.

This game was inspired by the first-hand accounts of these lumberjills. They described the work as grueling and often dangerous: cutting down trees, processing, milling and transporting lumber from sunup to sundown six days a week. They said that the work was daunting at first, but that they surprised themselves by quickly becoming competent and confident.

They made friendships that lasted a lifetime. They were gleeful when recounting the suitors that clamored to fill their dance cards at the lumber camp dances.  Their experience as lumberjills was full: bright, green, fresh air, outdoors, big work, great friends, delightful romances and a whole new sense of who they were and what they wanted out of life.

This live action roleplaying game invites players to climb deep into their own pair of lumberjill boots and experience this joy for themselves.

When you facilitate Lumberjills, a guide book and deck of tarot-sized cards makes it easy to jump right in. In a series of simple-to-run workshops you and the players learn just enough historical context to choose characters, and learn how to support each other in play. Next, you learn some simple embodied techniques that will make everyone feel confident "sawing" and "dancing" without recognizing a tool or being coordinated! Finally, they learn how to shine a spotlight on their own individual character's story and make decisions about what her future will be.

The facilitator uses an easy to follow act-and-scene structure to lead players through the story. Players will spend time getting to know each other's characters, and their own, while doing the work of the lumber camps. Over the course of the game, these embodied techniques evolve: when our lumberjills are new, the work will feel awkward, but as they learn on the job, players will feel their character's skills bloom into competency. 

Romance kindles in the lumber camp dances, a lumberjill dances with a handsome suitor.

Filling up your dance card makes up a key part of the game. The Lumberjills Deck provides a stack of suitors that are vying for the attention of your characters. Each one comes with a "first impression" on the back of the card, helping the Lumberjills quickly choose suitors that they find most interesting.  Once suitors are chosen, players learn more about who they are, and assign each one to one of the other players who have committed to romancing the player with all their heart. Rounds of "dancing" act as speed dates where the sparks will fly and the romance blooms. 

An example of one of the many suitor cards:

In each act, relationships deepen: both in romance and friendship. The players spend time together talking about the suitors that are ardently wooing them, and in this shared abundance of choices discover what they hope and dream for their future. They make decisions about their romances: who they want to hold on to or let go. As they do, they take brave new steps towards the kinds of lives they yearn for.  

A provided set of possible endings help the players drive the arc of their story and helps naturally and easily build a rich narrative and a diversity of stories. Each game of Lumberjills feels rich and each character's story is unique.

I love that Lumberjills is mostly about the joy in both personal strength and in love. Lumberjills provides an excellent sense of physical immersion that makes you fee gains both in strength and in romance... I really loved playing this game and I'm so excited for more people to get to feel the joy I felt playing it." Sarah Judd

Feel-Great Play: Lumberjills is a different kind of game. Lumberjills is built on joy, support, capability and choice. Character experiences are front and center with the war only distantly in the background. Players are empowered to drive their own stories, and are dedicated to helping each other fulfill them. 

Be a Rockstar Facilitator: Lumberjills sets you up to run a game your players will be talking about for years. Once you’ve run it once, you can run it anytime, prep-free, out of the box. You don't have to know history or have experience facilitating, you just need to be a fan of your player's stories and help them make choices that matter. And for those who like to play even more than facilitate, it is set up so you can play as you run! 

It's a "Gateway" Larp: Lumberjills has clear expectations, solid structure, and teaches players how to support each other in new ways. This makes it a great game for brand new roleplayers, or tabletop players who are curious about trying larp. Experienced players have also told us that it helped them develop their larp skills by giving them new ways to support fellow players, and new ways to think about their character's story.

Innovative Embodied Techniques: The game lets players feel competent at physical activity without needing to be. Rigorously playtested mechanics guide players to feel the growth from newbie to veteran lumberjills over the course of the game. It gives players the tools to be confident at flirting and dancing without having to be physically co-ordinated or vulnerable as a player. 

Timber! A lumberjill triumphantly fells a giant tree.

Re-playability: Lumberjills is fueled by the chemistry of the characters in the story and the desires of the players. This means that every time you play you'll get a different story, different feelings, and different results. Many of our playtesters played more than once, and want to play again. 

Deep Connectivity: Lumberjills is built on relationships. It is a game rooted in self-actualization where players delve into their character’s relationship with themselves and ask who they want to become. It's a game bubbling over with romance, where characters develop one on one romantic relationships that start from a room full of first impressions and develop into a deeply wooing relationship with a suitor. It’s a game about friendship where you and your fellow lumberjills come together in the great green wilderness and the extraordinary physical adventure of your lives - together. 

Lumberjills has something for everyone. The game effortlessly allows for a great range in tone. Your group can choose to play this as a historical drama, romantic comedy, or something in between. One constant is the heartwarming comradery and strength that our protagonists build. Marshall Bradshaw

Well-Proofed! Development for Lumberjills started a decade ago. I have tested it extensively, evolved it with care, and it does everything I hoped it would do, every single time. A real labor of love!

Owls in the Moss Cover Image

Owls in the Moss is a new War Birds game by Moyra Turkington. It is a prompt-based, one shot, 2-player, GM-less storygame of love and secrets that is played in 2 hours using StorySynth, in-person or remotely. Access to the game will be provided digitally to all our backers at Box Set or above.

When the Germans invade Norway in WWII, young lovers Per and Solveig see their lives quickly turn upside-down. The occupation seeps quietly into daily life making the familiarity of home feel dangerous and uncertain. New challenges and opportunities press upon them and put them to the test. How can they protect each other when the future is so uncertain?

Owls in the Moss: One Shot 2 Players GM-Less 2 Hours

This add-on is only for immunocompromised or Long Covid individuals that are still facing isolation and living Covid-cautious lives in this continuing pandemic.  It is $1 (the minimum Kickstarter allows for an add-on).

I see you - we’re in it together. 

It will provide early-access, at-cost, Drive Thru RPG print-on-demand codes for the play materials of the award-winning War Birds game A Plague Among Us once they are ready for release. Note that a looser delivery schedule is provided on this than the rest of the campaign, as it will be completed on a best effort basis. 

This War Birds game explores the lives of the women who served as the Searchers of the Dead during the Great Plague of London. As the powerful relegate the risk, cost and blame of the plague to the vulnerable, even the ability to dream comes into question. It's a game about how everything might be different now, yet nothing has changed at all.

A Plague Among Us was designed by Moyra Turkington, and can be played for free online at StorySynth thanks to the Big Bad Con Microgrant Program. It is a card-prompted tabletop storygame that is taught by a facilitator, but plays GM-less. You can see more about the game on

A Plague Among Us: 1 shot, 3-6 Players, 1 facilitator teaches, GM-less, 4-5 hours