Creative Riting


What is this?

This is a game to create a ritual. As a group you will decide what your ritual is about, and then, with guidance from the game, create and perform a ritual together.

You will need at least one player, a deck of cards (including a Joker), and a copy of these rules.

Who made it?

Nick Brett

Twitter: @nickdbrett

Jonathan Whiting


Twitter: @whitingjp

Define the scope

The first thing you will need to do as a group is to decide what you want to make a ritual about. It could be a personal greeting for a secret society, a performance before enjoying a meal or a ritual for brushing your teeth.

Your ritual should be attached to a particular occasion. Maybe this is something frequent and quick, every minute that passes, but it could also be something infrequent or slow, something that occurs once a week, or once a year. You might consider trying a faster occasion and shorter ritual first, to try and get a feel how it works.

Once you have decided these things you should have some idea of the flavour of your ritual, but little idea of its content. The game should help you figure out what the ritual is.

The final thing you need to decide is an appropriate method of selecting a player after the ritual has been performed. This person will be responsible for making some small modification to the ritual ready for the next time. Some simple methods that might work are taking turns or drawing straws. Another possibility is each player drawing a card from the Creation deck, highest card acts. The only important thing to consider is that the method of selection is appropriate to the occasion of the ritual. Pick something easy.


Take your deck of cards. Remove all the clubs, these make up the Creation deck. Shuffle the rest of the cards and draw thirteen of them. These make up the Development deck.

Remove five cards from the Development deck, shuffle the Joker in with these. Place these all at the bottom of the remaining Development deck.

Shuffle the Creation Deck.



First you need to establish an initial ritual, don't worry about getting this bit 'right', it will change as you play. You should perform this creation step immediately before performing the ritual for the first time.

Create your ritual in three steps. In each step you will draw a Creation card and add two contrasting parts to the ritual. The parts you add could be vocal, physical, symbolic, a combination of the above, or something completely different. Ideally the parts will relate to the theme in some way, and will be appropriate for the timescale of your occasion.

For each phase:

Once the three phases are complete you should have a proto-ritual ready to perform. If you think you might struggle to remember by the time the next occasion comes around, feel free to record it in some way, no need to be precise.



Every time the ritual is performed a player will make some sort of change it. After the ritual has completed, use the selection method determined while defining the ritual's scope to pick one player.

This player:

The next time the ritual is performed it is changed in the described way. Again, if you need to record this, feel free.

Continuing to play

From now on perform the ritual whenever the occasion is appropriate. Afterwards perform a Development step as before.

When the Joker card is drawn from the Development deck the ritual is complete. The game is over, however you are encouraged to continue using your completed ritual for as long as you like.


Creation table

This table is used during the initial Creation of the ritual.

A Add something internal. Add something external.
2 Add something natural. Add something artificial.
3 Add something familiar. Add something original.
4 Add something fast. Add something slow.
5 Break something. Mend something.
6 Add something warm. Add something cool.
7 Add something light. Add something heavy.
8 Add an element of rythm to the ritual. Add an element of space to the ritual.
9 Add something performed by one person. Add something performed by everyone.
T Accept something. Reject something.
J Describe what has been before. Describe what will be after.
Q Share something. Contemplate something.
K Make an offering. Request a contribution.

Development table

This table is used during Development following completion of the ritual.

A Touch a valuable object as part of the ritual.
2 Incorporate your environment into part of the ritual.
3 Tie the end of the ritual to the start.
4 Make a connection between two parts of the ritual.
5 Make part of the ritual more obscure.
6 Emphasise a transition in the ritual.
7 Add something to clarify the purpose of the ritual.
8 Make part of the ritual more like the whole.
9 Replace part of the ritual with a symbolic representation.
T Hold part of the ritual to a higher standard.
J Add something that explains the significance of part of the ritual.
Q Add an introduction to the ritual.
K Draw another development card. Form a committee of players that must come to a majority decision when responding to that card.

A Make the ritual harder to perform.
2 From now on, perform a part of the ritual twice.
3 Make part of the ritual shorter.
4 Humm four notes then set a part of the ritual to those notes.
5 Make part of the ritual private.
6 Make a part of the ritual have a permanent effect.
7 Make the ritual easier to follow.
8 Swap two parts of the ritual.
9 Change the medium of part of the ritual, but not the meaning.
T Do two parts of the ritual in parallel.
J Turn part of the ritual sideways.
Q Make part of the ritual different to the rest of it.
K Draw another development card. Each member of the group must contribute one word to the response to that card.

A Change a part of the ritual to bring you closer.
2 Explain the ritual as if to somebody else.
3 Soften a transition in the ritual.
4 Remove the worst part of the ritual.
5 Add an element of trust to the ritual.
6 Relax in the middle.
7 Open up part of the ritual.
8 Reverse part of the ritual.
9 Make the middle of the ritual more important.
T Reveal something hidden in the ritual.
J Discuss your favorite part of the ritual.
Q Make part of the ritual more humble.
K Draw another development card. You must bring the whole group to a consensus when responding to that card.