This year the theme was A Different Audience, and the ingredients were abandon, dragonfly, stillness and dream.
I was particularly taken with the ingredients abandon and dream and at looking to find a way that different players of the game could be considered different audiences. The answer to this was to have some of the players fight over narrative control for the game, attempting to meet specific moods.
I was also interested with heightening the experience for at least one of the players. I have often found when I play story or role-play games I often close my eyes to imagine in detail my surrounding and what is happening. By forcing one of the players to wear a blindfold and have the other players describing the world to them, that player could potentially have a much richer experience.
Somewhere between here and there lies the Dwolma, a dream world filled with abandoned souls seeking their escape. Blind to the incomprehensible world around them the Abandoned have little hope.
A few of the first to be lost in Dwolma have found ways to understand and manipulate the world around them, they are known as Ushers. As the Ushers are cursed to be trapped in Dwolma forever, they seek pleasure in playing with the souls of the newly abandoned.
Ushers will often play Bēodan, a bidding game, and make wagers with each other, attempting to elicit moods from any Abandoned that they find. Appearing to act as guides they will attempt to influence the Abandoned’s mood to create a story to their individual taste, each Usher a different audience to the Abandoned’s misfortune.
The full rules are available as pdf here.