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A jam submission

The Myth of The MachineView project page

What will you do for warmth?
Submitted by TheGarth — 1 day, 1 hour before the deadline
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The Myth of The Machine's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Use of Theme#123.7503.750
Story (or Starting Scenario)#323.3333.333
Setting (or Location)#632.7502.750

Ranked from 12 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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We think there might need to be an added clarification that leaving your candles lit isn't always a good idea - just to make it clear candles naturally burn out. And you might have to be cautious that you have a decent enough GM to balance character screen-time, because it might be a little unfair if some of your candles burn mostly out just because another player is taking a lot of time in a scene, and you didn't have chance to take a moment to relax. Just some initial thoughts!

Other than that, it seems absolutely awesome. Fabulous ideas on mechanics and sparking player interaction as gameplay. Definitely a game both of us are going to playtest when we can get our hands on some candles! 

Submitted (1 edit)

Nice mechanic with the candles and story telling. There's a sense of urgency that is missing from other games without candles. This one is also sad without being too emotionally dark. And the die roll seems to be well balanced, too (as much as I dislike the 50% fail, at least it's on Difficult and not just Uncertain, with the added candle bonus). Very Nice.

 I'd like to see some recorded sessions of this played out to see if anyone manages to re-ignite the sun. Rolling a six with six lit candles should definitely do that, but at what cost?! Dun-dun-duuuuunnn!


Really solid entry.  The rules encompass relationships, secrets, challenge, trials, and a fail state.  Hard to do in the word count for sure.

Mechanically, my one question is why a player would ever choose to extinguish candles when resting.  I was looking for a push/pull mechanic of some kind against having lit candles and couldn't find it.  Otherwise seems great!


Thanks for the feedback! The idea I had for the candles is that they would be a way to measure how hard a character was pushing themselves/their resources. A standard birthday candle burns for approximately 15-20 minutes (according to some brief googling I did during the jam), giving the average, 5-candle character a lifespan of 75-100 real-life minutes if they manage their candle conservatively and try to keep only one burning at a time. If they want to get the bonus to rolls from burning more, they also have to burn more candles in parallel, reducing the character's lifespan.

Due to the nature of the jam this didn't get extensively play tested, so I don't really know how much this "rest" option is used in actual play. I suppose the other similar (but more aggressive) option of stealing candles from others may come up more often. Which is also okay by me!


I had not even once considered the obvious metaphor of candles as the actual lifespan of the character... That's excellent.

The mechanics facilitate a great degree of tension and drama. Unique way of showing stress and exhaustion in the characters. As a GM, I would have difficulty keeping track of character secrets. Writing them down would help (and would make it easier to keep secret). Establishing relationships helps players create interesting dynamics right out of the gate.


Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I'd have trouble keeping track of the secrets as well. In order to save on word count, I decided that I'd leave the method of tracking the secrets/relationships up to the individual GM. If they can keep it all in their head, great! If not, index-cards/text-messages/ect are also good options.