APPENDIX 1. THE LIMBUKHA-DOMPOLA RPG
The game board
Two simple game boards (one for Limbukha and the other for Dompola) were
drawn on a 0.5 m * 1 m poster paper representing the farmers in columns
and their plots in rows (Fig. 3). On the game board, columns represented
six farmers. For Limbukha, each column was divided into two subcolumns to
represent potato (grown from March to June) and rice (grown from June to
October). The game board for Dompola displayed just one column, implying
that its farmers can grow only rice (June-October) and then fallow their
Rows represent plots that ranged from 1 to 8 (depending on the category of
the farmer). Each plot is equivalent to 0.1 ha of paddy field. Only one crop can
be grown at a time. However, in the actual game, players proposed that Limbukha
villagers could grow a crop of potato before any rice field. The year and cycle
of the game (e.g., 4/2: implying year 4 and cycle 2) were indicated in the lower
left corner of the board.
The playing cards
Six types of cards were used as a medium in the game:
- Name tag.
- Cash. Each player received initial cash to start farming at the
following rates: Thruelpa = Nu. 20,000 (US$1 = Nu. 47.50), Chhep = Nu. 15,000,
Chatho = Nu. 10,000, and Lhangchu = Nu. 5,000.
- Rainfall. Two cards normal (N) and low (L) rainfall for each cycle
were used as chance cards to determine the volume of water available for
sharing. Depending on the rainfall pattern, the units of water received by each
player were regulated to induce dynamism. Before each cropping cycle, the card
was randomly drawn and declared.
- Potato card. Limbukha farmers received yellow cards representing
potato fields. One card was equivalent to 0.1 ha of potato grown before rice.
Each player could use a maximum of three cards, and could also skip a season
without growing potato.
- Water cards. Pink and light blue cards were used to represent water.
One pink card was used as the equivalent to the volume of enough water to
transplant and irrigate 0.1 ha of rice. Pink cards represented water used in the
first cycle (first week of June to October) and light blue cards represented
water used in the second cycle (third week of June to October). This means that
farmers could place only one water card in one plot to indicate that that plot
has been planted to rice. This card could be sold, exchanged, or used for
transaction among villagers in a community or between farmers of the two
communities. The game facilitator issued water cards in correspondence to the
rainfall type. In the normal-rainfall season, Thruelpa received 5 water cards,
Chhep 3 cards, Chatho 2 cards, and Lhangchu 1 card. During the low-rainfall
pattern, the water provision was reduced by one unit, that is, 1 card less for
- Market price. Two cards representing a high and low price were used
to indicate potato and rice prices. One of these cards was drawn randomly and
declared after each cycle.
A spreadsheet program (Microsoft Excel) was used to record all the data
produced from the RPG and to run simulations. The data from the game board were
transferred into a data-capturing spreadsheet in codes (1 = rice, 2 = potato,
and 3 = fallow). The data were linked to a simulation spreadsheet on which gross
margin is analyzed. This spreadsheet was used to calculate income from land-use
decisions. Based on the simulated results, each player was paid an income at the
end of each game. Other data such as water dynamics and land-use changes were
analyzed after all the game sessions concluded. This actually facilitated the
game session, thus enabling rapid calculations and inter-annual comparisons if