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Home » SRD (System Ref Docs) » Lost & Found SRD

Lost & Found SRD

Most Journaling RPG games are told from the point of view of one (or more) characters over the course of the game.

Lost & Found takes this on a complete tangent.

Instead of telling the story of a person, the Lost & Found system tells the story of an inanimate object over a long period of time.

Typically the story is told from its creation, through to its final destruction.

Some of the more interesting objects include a child’s toy, a house, a set of hospital scrubs, and a cemetery tree.

How it Works

If you stick to using the SRD, the first part of the rules contains a series of definitions.

Often this section is called “Game Concepts” or the “Glossary”. It helps explain many of the terms used in the Lost & Found system.

A typical game is broken down into four parts:

  • Defining the object and a few of it traits
  • Act 1 – Creation of the object
  • Act 2 – The life of the object (may repeat many times)
  • Act 3 – Decay and destruction of the object

Act 1 – Creation

The prompts for the first act build a story about how the object came into being.

In the case of a tree, it might be who planted it or how the seed got to its final location.

Act 2 – The Main Loop

This is where the majority of the story happens.

Many things can happen over the lifetime of an object. The prompts in this section will help build a story about the objects experiences.

As well as activity, there will be periods where nothing happens. This may be seconds, minutes, hours, days, or years.

Act 2 will restart over and over until the eventual destruction of the object occurs in Act 3.

Act 3 – Destruction

There are lots of ways to destroy an object. The prompts in the section will help build the story about its demise.

It may die, get worn out, or be destroyed deliberately or in an accident.

Note: I don't post actual prompts in my reviews. This is to protect the IP of the designer. You will need to buy the game to read the actual prompts.

What’s Unique About the System

The Lost & Found system tells a story from the point of view of an object.

This is quite different to other systems. (However, it’s not like other systems couldn’t do the same thing)

The real beauty of the Lost & Found system is the concept of following an object over its entire existence – from its initial creation, through to its eventual destruction.

This lends itself to being used for all sorts of inanimate objects. Some of the better games using this system occur over hundreds and hundreds of years.

The idea of “Playbooks” allows designers to create a single game that can be used for a selection of different objects.

My Thoughts

Personally, I found the SRD difficult to consume. It is written in a fairly technical format. (Much like software documentation)

I feel that simple folk like myself could probably benefit from a guide written in a more conversational format.

Looking at existing games (eg “The Word for Me is Tree”, and “Artefacts”) helped me more than referring to the SRD.

With that said, taking the time to learn the system is more than worth it.

How to Get It

Lost & Found SRD can be found at https://srd.mousehole.press/

Several games can be found on the Lost & Found Jam page.