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The Stolen Tea Ceremony • 2018 rpg

Matilda Marshall • https://admiralsmallhat.tumblr.com/

2+ players

A teapot and cups/ tea-set. 
A good loose-leaf tea.
 
An ancient Spirit guards a tea set. The others are thieves who have stolen the set. 
 
The thieves brew the tea and upon pouring a spirit challenges them to tell a story proving they deserve the tea set. The spirit knows the story it wishes to hear. It chooses (optional: using a d10) narrative virtues equal to the number of players:

Virtues: 
The story is true. 
The story is fantastical. 
The story has a lesson. 
The story is enigmatic. 
The story is descriptive. 
The story is personal. 
The story has a twist. 
The story has love. 
The story has death. 
The story is cyclical.
 
The thieves can barter/beg/negotiate with the spirit for clues before telling the story. Each thief must contribute to the story. If the story contains all of the virtues, the thieves become the rightful owner of the tea set and the spirit moves on. If they fail. They are killed. 
 
Variants: 
The thieves have a seer, who can see one virtue.
Two player: the spirit chooses two virtues.
Choose your own virtues.

The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief 
Othello, William Shakespeare

Author Comments

For many British people a cup of tea is mundane and innocuous. It is a part of daily life, a drink we drink like it’s water. But tea’s history, like so much of Britain’s “cultural heritage” was produced through theft, enslavement and colonisation. I wanted to write an rpg about tea. But I also wanted it to be about the theft and cruelty the British wrought upon the East for centuries. The thieves are meant to lose. They deserve to lose. The tea they are brewing has been bought with illegal sales of opiates in China. The tea set is a relic, a piece of cultural heritage sitting in the British museum. (although you may be using a pot from a charity shop.) It is exoticised and adored, but not returned. A critical piece of Chinese History stolen and used to make sure it makes as much money as possible. further reading: http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2095707/great-tea-robbery-how-british-stole-chinas

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