The Fifth World

Defer answers.

When another player spends a moment of awareness to ask a question, the answer you give becomes true. Don’t contradict anything we already know (at least, not directly; feel free to set mysteries and conundrums in motion). The rest of the time, though, put off making definitive statements. Describe in rich detail and play characters expressing themselves, but put off commitments until the last possible moment. If you must come up with something, remember:

  • Say what seems obvious to you.
  • Say what seems most interesting.
  • Say what the principles demand.

This principle relates to our agenda to reveal everyone’s personhood by creating a space for that to happen. Throughout our story, we move from a beginning where we know nothing and every possibility lies open to us, to a conclusion where we know the story in full, but every possibility has evaporated, turned into something definite and known. The longer we defer answers, the longer we can keep that space of possibility open, and the more space we leave for characters to reveal themselves and surprise us.