Embers – Story about love in old Japan.


This here is the current version. I am so thankful to my play testers (Gabrielle, Anastasia, Alex) and look forward to running it again. This is intended for the 200 word rpg challenge.

In the end, I hope to publish this via the 200 word rpg challenge – a free non-for-profit online publication.

Stretch goals I have in mind are 1) art by a japanese artist/friend, and 2) a small non-core guide of settings and inspirational suggestions – tools that can help point an interested participant to the vibrant cultural world that informs this game, namely:

    • Amatarasu, the sun goddess, and Japan’s creation myth.
    • Lady Murasaki Shikibu’s, Genji Monogatari
    • Samurai Champloo
    • Ghibli’s Mononoke Hime and Spirited Away
    • Tale of the Heike


Love burns us in this story game, set in preindustrial Japan.

The stones remember.


What do we need?

  • A handful of stones.


What themes weigh on us?

  • How heavy are they?
  • What should not be touched?


Remember. Ask yourselves:

  • Traveler – What do you carry? Which worlds do you tread?
  • Changed One – Who needs you? How do you need them?
  • Lost Spirit – Where are you welcomed?


Play through each moment, informed by a related question —

  1. How does darkness taste?
  2. Whom do we turn to for help?
  3. When do we find a comfortable silence?
  4. Where do we sniff out the truth?
  5. The Trial: what burns us?


Go around.

  • Pull a stone from the center to recall aloud:
    • An action.
    • A small detail.
    • How our hearts led us astray.
  • Place a stone back center to express:
    • A wish.
    • A secret.
    • A promise.
  • The moment fades to black when no stones are center.


Please, steer the narrative with clarifying questions.

If you feel uncomfortable and need to speak, raise a stone into the air for quiet.


Embers – Reminisce.

Where do we dream the story ends? How can we leave, unburdened?


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