Tragic magic! Executive realness! Here's a new game for 3-6 players, about drawing fashions for witches, that you can print out and play with your friends. All you really need is some tokens, a tip cup and a timer—and all those markers and art supplies you wish you played with more often.
In Be Witching, you compete for the favor of magical houses to become Witchqueen of the Ball by creating the most head-turning aesthetics and judging one another. You may remember Anthropy mentioning her work on this game as part of her Offworld piece on the frightening, normative fashion brand-land of Nintendo's Style Savvy: Trendsetter—now Be Witching is ready for you to try.
Part of the fun of this game design seems derived from playing larger-than-life characters at the table, from catty catwalk judges to fashion-conscious aspiring Queenies. Like many of my favorite pen and paper games, Be Witching seems to be more about offering you a framework for your social play than offering a rigid ruleset against which to win. Try making a paper crown for everyone to compete over, or experimenting with different arts and crafts tools to design your outfits (though styles are not judged on art skill, different creative implements could add variety).
At the end of the game, you answer pageant interview questions like "as Witchqueen, how would you use your title to rain destruction upon the land"? and "what is your greatest elemental weakness, and how do you overcome it?"
"Be Witching inhabits exactly the space in play that I am interested in right now: creative, collaborative, performative without entering full-on role-playing territory," Anthropy tells me. "It's a celebration of magical femininity and a game where little girls probably have the advantage over anyone else. I feel like that's a good "high concept" for a game to have."
Be Witching is available to buy from the creator for $2 (or more, if you feel like supporting her ongoing work).
Pen and paper games are important to Offworld, especially when they are independently-made, accessible and express viewpoints outside what we usually get in 'nerd culture'. If you make or love games like Be Witching, please let us know about other indie creators and projects we may not have heard of. Try designing some yourself!