A Perfect Teenhood? Solstice explores small town mentality, shame, and burning someone alive in a wicker man.

A folk horror about small town mentality, shame, and burning someone in a wicker man to bring back the sun.

A Perfect Teenhood? Solstice explores small town mentality, shame, and burning someone alive in a wicker man.
A '90s Folk Horror RPG with no supernatural elements
This is a community submitted press release.

Which side of tradition are you on? Solstice passes this question through the lens of folk horror to create a tense and unsettling drama.

Solstice is a folk horror role-play game set in rural Scotland at the tail end of the 1990s. Everyone plays young adults between the ages of 16 and 21. Compelled by social expectation to compete for the role of The Chosen of the Solstice, the winner is assigned to burn to death inside a giant wicker man.

A copy of the Solstice RPG zine sits on top of some amber-glowing rock crystal fairy lights, all sat on a purple velvet cloth. The zine has the half sillouette of a person on cut down the middle on the left-and spine. To their right rages fire. In their sillouette is a banner reading "SOLSTICE / by Tanya Floaker / A folk horror RPG about small town mentality, shame, and burning someone alive to bring back the sun."
The PDF is already available, with the Kickstarter already guaranteed to fund a full print run

The Kickstarter campaign launched as part of ZineQuest on 22 February and ends on 3 March. Banquo-award winning designer Tanya Floaker draws heavily from two strands of fiction: The slowly unfolding yet inevitable horror of The Wicker Man, Midsommar, or Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; and the coming-of-age drama seen in Byker Grove or Heartbreak High. The queer narrative of hidden secrets and being assigned to burn in a (wicker) man also can't be underplayed.

Gameplay requires 4–6 players, and takes a total of 2–4 hours of playtime, with almost no preparation required. There is no GM, and no dice. Instead, player characters are tied to one another in a web of player-selected sweet childhood friendships, bitter teenage resentment, and ties to the local community. Secret personality traits and hidden agendas round out the mix of public and private motivations which set the horror in motion.

People sat at a pub table playing Solstice. The table is strewn with tokens, character sheets, game components cut from the book, and glasses.
Solstice has been extensively playtested over the past three years

All hell breaks loose as players compete to set the agenda from a limited number of scenes. Start sprawling arguments, sly rumour-mongering, or lead grandiose performances to sway who is chosen to burn in the wicker man. Confessions and revelations of one another's secret shame provide key moments in the proceedings. In the finale, we ask if The Chosen will defy social expectation, or accept their assigned role and burn to death inside a giant wicker man?

The same background as the book appears on above, but with a hand holding open the pages from below. The spread shows a grainy image of sillowtted people in front of a raging fire. Text boxes over the top describe how scenes are handled.
Dark, grainy and foreboding, like a nineties video nasty!

The campaign ends shortly on 3 March. Back it now before it's too late!