In the last episode of 2020, I cover The Sundial by Shirley Jackson and discuss how to turn it into a pseudo-LARP based on the UK indie game Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne.
– No appeals to authority
– Oracles and weirdness
– Across the Table episode on Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne
– Adapting Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne to the Halloran Witches
– Fictoplasm episode 4.03 (The Last Policeman, Hard Sun, The Three Body Problem)
– On the Flip Side by Nicholas Fisk
– Interview with Flatland Games
– Through Sunken Lands and other adventures
Music is by Chris Zabriskie: chriszabriskie.com // bandcamp // free music archive
Samples: “Is that you or are you you?” from Reappear // “Another version of you” from Thoughtless
One thought on “85: The Sundial by Shirley Jackson”
Witch is a great game. I ran it at Gen Con US once and even though I warned about the themes still had two teenage players. They were both good, especially the one who played the witch. She used the safety of the structure to generate a lot of tension between the other characters.
Generally I’ve found in games that the threat of loss of agency is what players fear the most, and it prevents them from fully engaging in the game. Appropriate boundaries create a freedom from this fear, and a goal gives them something else with which to engage, instead of worrying about orcs behind the next door.
I’ve only read the last two Jackson novels (Hill House and Castle) but the boundaries which constrain the action are still very much there. It’s almost as if she was rewriting as Castle and Sundial’s world have a very similar structure.
And I’m also a fan of Nicholas Fisk. I got Trillions and Grinny from the book man who visited our junior school from time to time. Ah, new book smell.