Collect the tiny pandas! [Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple | Play Report]

Amy Houser - Tiny Panda
(Art by Amy Houser from Do: The Book of Letters)

Yesterday I ran a very fun session of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple for a group of five players! Together, they answered a letter from a third-grade class asking for help with a big problem. Actually, lots of small problems. Small, adorable panda problems.

Dear Pilgrims,

My name is Sam. I am in third grade, and our class is having a lot of trouble with our classroom pet. Our teacher, Miss Hollsworth, asked us what kind of pet we would like this year, and we decided that we would like to take care of a panda bear. It took some time to find one, but this morning we came to school, and there he was! We decided to name him Xing-Xing, and everybody gave him lots of hugs.

When Miss Hollsworth left to get our morning snacks, we were playing with Xing-Xing and climbing on him, and someone accidentally knocked him over. We were very surprised when he broke into ten thousand little pieces when he hit the ground! It’s okay, though, he wasn’t really hurt — but now there are ten thousand teeny tiny pandas crawling all over the school, and we need to find them all and figure out how to put them all back together into one big panda before our teacher comes back and figures out what happened. We don’t want her to think that we are careless with animals!

We have been trying very hard to collect up all the teeny tiny pandas, but it’s a lot of work! We have some of them in a shoebox in the classroom, but there are still so many more to catch! I know that a bunch of them must have gotten outside, and we’re not really allowed to go out there in the schoolyard and into the park without a teacher with us, but we thought that it would be okay if there were some Pilgrims with us! There are lots of places for a panda that’s the size of your thumb to hide out there - in the statue garden, on the rocks in the fish pond, underneath the jungle gym, up in the bamboo grove, out by the bicycle racks, up on the roof, so many places!

There’s no way we can do this by ourselves, and even if we did get every single little panda back in the classroom, we have no idea how we’d put Xing-Xing back together into one big huggable panda again! Please help us, Pilgrims! We don’t want Miss Hollsworth to think that we can’t be trusted with a nice pet!

Many thanks to Marc Majcher for authoring that letter! You can find it in Do: The Book of Letters. These are the goal words that the players will try to use in the story before time runs out.

Panda
Panda
Panda
Xing-Xing
Xing-Xing
Miss Hollsworth
Miss Hollsworth
Sam
classroom
shoebox
window
bamboo
pond
fish
statue
garden
playground
roof
park
pocket

These are the pilgrims of our story:

Pilgrim Flighty Ukulele (played by Jamie Sue)
Gets into trouble by being too distracted
Helps people through music

Pilgrim Stumbling Beaver (played by Seth Harris)
Gets into trouble through his natural clumsiness
Helps people through his hard working nature, also has buck teeth

Pilgrim Silly String (played by Kate Niman)
Gets into trouble by causing hijinks, nothing too serious
Helps people with ropes and knots and lassos and stuff

Pilgrim Bright Flower (played by Ariana Ramos)
Gets into trouble by being too loud and brash.
Helps people by brightening people’s lives.

Pilgrim Spinning Candle (played by Shoe Skogen)
Gets into trouble by getting hyper and zoomin’ about.
Helps people with her inner fire: her passion and warmth.

And this is the story of how the Pilgrims helped... kinda.

Pilgrim Bright Flower grabs an armful of pandas at first sight. PANDA!!!

Pilgrim Flighty Ukulele lures the pandas with her ukelele into her pocket. The pandas swarm into her Ukelele!

Pilgrim Silly String knocks over the shoebox of pandas! She re-strings the ukelele and captures all the pandas still in there!

Pilgrim Stumbling Beaver searches Miss Holsworth’s desk for the panda invoice, finds the Curio Shop, knocks on the door. He finds a sign at the window saying the store is closed, disappointing the children who feel abandoned.

Pilgrim Spinning Candle zooms about, gathering bamboo. She builds builds a cage for the pandas in Spinning Ukelele’s..ukulele. Only...she was moving too fast to notice that some of the bamboo belonged to playground equipment! 

Pilgrim Bright Flower has scared the pandas into the neighboring park. She grabs the shoebox and collect all the pandas.

Pilgrim Flighty Ukelele gets distracted by a shiny goldfish in the pond.

Pilgrim Silly String flies to the roof and finds the frightened owner who is scared of all the pandas. She talked him down from the roof but couldn't resist a prank, and dumped a bucket of water on his head. PIIILGRRRRIIIMS!!

Pilgrim Stumbling Beaver calms down the furious owner, getting him to explain that Xing-Xing can be repaired at high velocities. The owner is calling Miss Holsworth to tell her everything about breaking the panda!

Pilgrim Spinning Candle asks the magic fish to bring all the pandas into one location, thereby also distracting Pilgrim Flighty Ukelele with her clever plan – and it happens!

Pilgrim Bright Flower sneaks into the classroom, drops off the shoebox, pretends to be the teacher while she picks up the call, gets the information. Sam sees her throwing pandas at each other! OH no!

Pilgrim Flighty Ukelele softly sings “Pandas love to be smashed together!” to calm down Sam. She abandoned her duties though, and the pandas are swarming on the statue of the school founder, which is now buckling and teetering under all the weight.

Pilgrim Silly String plays with a crystal bowl in the curio shop’s garden, causing the pandas to scream – this does not look good to the children. Pilgrim Silly String makes cute little boats out of string to calm down the pandas and get them into one place.

Pilgrim Stumbling Beaver flies to the teetering statue to hold it up as a bridge to the roof, which is just high enough to be dropped at great speed! The pandas merge together suddenly and crush Stumbling Beaver beneath Xing-Xing’s great weight!

And at this point the goal words were all used! Hooray! A Parades ending! Here's how it all got resolved in the end.

Pilgrim Spinning Candle bakes a cake to thank the fish for gathering the pandas and provides counseling to the children.

Pilgrim Bright Flower helps fix the statue and Stumbling Beaver’s injuries.

Pilgrim Flighty Ukelele plays a song, and calls upon the magic cake-sated fish to fix all her wrongs: He arises from the pond, brings the playground to life and heals all injuries.

Pilgrim Silly String disassembles the bamboo cage and makes an even more dope panda accessible playground.

Pilgrim Stumbling Beaver assists the owner in fixing up his shop to save the Pilgrims’ reputation. 

 Many thanks to Ariana, Jamie, Kate, Seth and Shoe for playing yesterday!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.