Words contain forbidden power. You are a WIZARD. You have a SPELLBOOK made of a journal, folded paper, notecards, or whatever you like. Draw a SYMBOL and assign a SPELL ASPECT to it: a triangle for fire, a circle for binding, an arrow for movement, whatever you like. Be creative, but keep the symbols simple. There is a surface (paper, whiteboard, etc) on the table that everyone can draw on. Spells are made by DRAWING SYMBOLS on the surface. Combine the symbols creatively and explain what the spell does to solve your problem. Combine as many as you like. EXAMPLE: A triangle inside a circle binds fire in place to stop a building from burning down. Wizards can work together and combine their symbols to make stronger spells. The GM creates a problem and writes down a WORD, invoking its forbidden power. Wizards use their magic symbols, but be wise: you can only use a symbol three times a day. Wizards start with FIVE SYMBOLS. When you get stronger or gain a level, add two more symbols. OPTIONAL: Colors have SPELL ASPECTS. Start with two colors, gain one per level. Beware, the GM can use colors as well.
This was inspired by an argument I saw on reddit and by the traditional Chinese character for “prison”, which is writing the character for “person” inside a box.
If you enjoy stories about short aliens in the Star Wars universe, go to silzero.podbean.com for my Edge of the Empire Actual Play podcast, SILHOUETTE ZERO.