Requires: two people, 10-30 paper slips, pens, a cup. Together, define a LEADER: Who do they lead? What's their GOAL? What two THREATS do they face? What's their title and name? Which do they believe is best: to be loved, feared or respected? One person plays this LEADER, one is the NARRATOR. Each turn: 1) [turn 4 onwards] NARRATOR may draw a slip from the cup, narrate CONSEQUENCES they wrote, then discard. 2) NARRATOR describes recent events and presents a difficult choice or dilemma that has arisen (possibly inspired by GOAL, THREATS, previous CONSEQUENCES). LEADER asks NARRATOR three questions to explore the issue, then describes their course of ACTION. 3) Both secretly choose a number from 1-3 and reveal. NARRATOR describes short-term CONSEQUENCES based on the sum: 5, 2 good 4 mixed 3, 6 terrible 4) LEADER secretly writes the possible long-term CONSEQUENCES of their ACTION on a paper slip, then conceals by folding in half. NARRATOR writes alternative CONSEQUENCES on the slip, folds again and places in the cup. 5) Swap roles. When LEADER no longer leads, GOAL is achieved, or blank paper slips run out, each narrate short epilogue illustrating one aspect of the LEADER's legacy.
An exercise to get to the crux of what I find interesting in stories and storytelling - difficult moral or ethical decisions and their (often cascading) repercussions. Inspired by The Quiet Year, King of Dragon Pass, Reigns and recent work from Telltale Games. Short-term resolution mechanic adapted from As the Worm Turns by Paul T on story-games.com