Four players: One Empress, four artificer-supplicants. Bring: Tokens in three colors, four bowls, one bag. The Empress is: (Circle four) Slick / Armored / Insectoid / Dead / Humanoid / Divine / Writhing / Bloody-tongued / Alien / Naked / Daemonic / Mechanical / Blind Describe Her. Each artificer-supplicant is: (Circle four) Genderless / Desperate / Skilled / Secretly, Tremblingly In Love With The Empress What you have left to give: Tokens: your VITALITY, SANITY, and DIGNITY. One-by-one, in no order, snatch one token each--concealing them under your bowls--until each player has… seven? (Did you get one more? Glow with secret pride and shame.) To embody the Empress first: sweep visible tokens into the bag. AUDIENCE: [No character speaks--make noises. You’ll make ridiculously overwrought grimdark-ass gifts for the Empress, enhancing Her GRANDEUR, HORROR, and ALLURE. Artificer-supplicants, simultaneously: prostrate yourselves. Gather tokens; raise this offering in your trembling hand. Players: each describe your offering: weapon, art-object, piece of yourself? (Yes.) Empress: Take. Everything. Describe your treatment of the one artifact that best pleases you. Stroke its maker’s head. Hurl tokens into the bag.] Next: Embodiment of the Empress passes left. Another AUDIENCE. When you’ve nothing left to give: At last! FEED YOURSELF TO THE EMPRESS. How does this change Her? Play until only the Empress remains.
Heavily inspired by Porpentine’s brilliant Twine game With Those We Love Alive. My only regret is that I couldn’t fit in a mechanic for drawing sigla on your skin. Much love to the Story Games Seattle crew!
A mythology textbook I half-remember and couldn’t find described a game as “starting with equality and ending with inequality” and a sacrifice as “starting with inequality and ending with equality”. Is this the latter? Is this even a useful/interesting distinction? Beats me, pal.