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Some friendships end with words thrown across the room, flung like stones, meant to hurt and sever. But most friendships end because you drift apart. Not because you want to, necessarily, but you do. More than anything, this holds true for childhood friendships. One day, you wake up and realize that you have become a different person. And so has your best friend. You look at each other, and you know: Where just a few months ago, nothing could have come between the two of you, you are now worlds apart.

Did you take the first step, or did they? Did either of you try to stop it? Would it have mattered? Life went on, swallowed you up, and sent you off in different directions. And so, time went by.

One day, you are back in your hometown. Just stopping by, paying a visit over the holidays. You are grabbing a coffee at this new place that was not here the last time you visited. And in a crowd of unknown faces, you spot one that you know intimately. It has changed, but you would still recognize it anywhere. Your eyes meet, and you can tell that, for both of you, this is what you expected least.

Before you know it, you have walked over. It is awkward at first. But then, as if you had planned to all along, you grab a table along with the coffee. And talk. About the good times, about the things that were not so good, and how, eventually, you grew apart. You cannot tell if this is a new beginning, or if it even should be one. But right now, that is not important. You stay in the moment, as you relive memories—good and bad—with someone with whom you were once best friends.

Once Best Friends is a melancholic slice-of-life roleplaying game (RPG) for two meant to be played as a one-shot. It needs very little preparation and focuses on improvised storytelling. One the following pages, you find guidance on how to run the game, memory prompts, and an empty glass jar you will fill with tokens of your shared childhood memories. Since you can work with as many memory prompts as you like, a session can last anywhere from one to three hours.

(Game intro from the PDF)

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