Feast Days of Tlön (alpha)

I’ve made another small storygame! It is not done and I need help to test it.

Earlier this year I heard about Jenn Sandercock’s Edible Games Cookbook. “That’s a cool concept,” I thought to myself, clicked through, and then thought “hunh. Still a cool concept but completely not what I was thinking of.” Edible Games is mostly built around board games, and I was thinking of a narrative TTRPG.

So I roughed out the game I was thinking of, and it is Feast Days of TlönIt’s about the cultural significance of group meals, whether they’re simple family dinners, traditional festivals or decadent entertainments. You develop the story around a potluck of actual food: everybody cooks and brings something to contribute to the meal, and then you build a fictional culture based on the food.

It is very much an alpha. It’s entirely untested. It’s a two-page .pdf at the moment, but I don’t know if that’s the ideal format for it or if it needs a more developed system. Normally I wouldn’t put a game in this state in the hands of innocents (it doesn’t even have cover art, for crying out loud), but Feast Days is the kind of thing that’s logistically tricky to get together, and I expect it to be a while before I can get a group together. There’s some prep and planning involved, and it completely doesn’t work online. (I suppose you could not make food and then pretend you did, but that would be utterly defeating the purpose of the thing and you’d be better off playing Downfall instead.) It explicitly doesn’t require you to be any good at cooking – the rules say “putting spray cheese on a toaster pastry or an ice cube into bourbon counts as ‘making'” – but I strongly suspect that nothing I could say there would reassure everyone.

If you feel so inclined, and somehow manage to organise a session, please let me know about how it went! If you have thoughts about it just from reading, that’s cool too, but the thing it needs most is live testing.

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