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[a collaborative system of creation] • 2017rpg

M Chilton • https://twitter.com/allpalaces

Sit around a table with a large bowl of cold water.

Each player lights a tea candle. Wait for the wax to melt. Tilt a light towards a wall like a projector.

A volunteer goes first. Blow out the candle and spill the hot wax into the water, waiting a minute for it to firm up. Then, pull out the wax figure and hold it up against the light. The shape it makes on the wall is a character, a creature or a country. The player names it, and the group gives it traits or a brief history. 

Go around the table. Each new creation should relate in some way to the previous creations: the character lives on a peninsula of the country, the creature is hunted there, the character is killed by the creature when it grows hungry. Feel free to debate the progression of the story, which is a joint construction of every player. 

If fresh wax snaps as it is held up, it is an event. That player only decides how it affects the story. 

If established wax snaps as it sits on the table, it is unwritten. How does the story reckon with its absence?

Author Comments

Inspired by the Polish tradition of wax divination on St. Andrew’s Eve.