A downloadable game

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When the music stopped...
The ballroom had grown dim. Ornate glass baubles hung in the air, slowly drifting through the air as if through molasses, much like myself. I had leapt forward as I heard the whining of the chain keeping the lighting fixture suspended, yet it had come crashing down even before I had taken the first step. My eyes grew wide at the horrific scene in front of me as I realised droplets of blood also drifted through the air, the crimson orbs almost as pristine and magnificent as the clear glass. And I felt resolved that things didn't need to turn out like this. That's where I was when the music stopped. But we can hit rewind.

When the Music Stops is a GMless story game for 1-5 players that should last 2-4 hours. The game is designed to be played while listening to a mixtape prepared in advance by one of the players and rewinding it to go back in time. The characters work together in order to prevent a big disaster from coming to pass, struggling against the rigidity of events and time itself.

The game is setting-agnostic, where the only assumption being made is that characters possess some method or ability to travel through time. It's also tone-agnostic, as what constitutes a "disaster" is left vague. It could be anything from a prom gone wrong due to a senior prank to the first omen of the world ending.

The kinds of stories that are touchstones for When the Music Stops include Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Higurashi When They Cry, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Life is Strange.

The game is loosely based on Ribbon Drive by Avery Alder, which you should definitely check out if games that interweave music with the mechanic are of interest to you.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(9 total ratings)
AuthorYuri Runnel
Tagsanalog, Music, One-shot, story-game, Time Travel, Tabletop role-playing game


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

When the Music Stops.pdf 2 MB

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Community Copies

Community copies of When the Music Stops are free on an honour system basis to those who cannot afford the game at its listed price.

If you have taken a community copy from the pool, consider - but don't feel pressured - taking a moment to leave a positive review, comment, or rating to help boost the game's visibility.

For every $5 of tip revenue, I'll throw in another copy, so any amount paid above the minimum will count towards adding copies to the pool.

If there are no copies available and you're LGBTQ+, disabled, and/or BIPOC, feel free to contact me via DM on Twitter to inquire for one @JyriR


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Would love a print-friendly version of this PDF! But neat concept and I can't wait to play this :)

Me and my friends played this and while we didn't follow the rules exactly (house rules y'know?) it was still very fun and we loved doing it!

A time travel game based on a simple principle: you build a playlist as long as the desired time of the game, start with the last song (and the last chapter of the story, which ends with a terrible catastrophe), then you rewind the playlist and go back in time to try to prevent this catastrophe. The rules of the game are maybe a bit too confusing or unclear, but in the end it doesn't matter, because with such a concept that can be explained in two minutes you can in my opinion produce very very nice games!