Ma Nishtana: Why is this Night Different?
A downloadable Passover Story Game
We are crowdfunding Ma Nishtana: Why is this Night Different? on Kickstarter! Back now to receive a physical or digital copy of the finished Guidebook with beautiful art.
A Passover Storytelling Tabletop Game
Ma Nishtana: Why is this Night Different? is a story game created by Gabrielle Rabinowitz and Ben Bisogno with art by Katrin Dirim, modeled on a Passover Seder—specifically the one we share in our family. The seder is a ritual meal and collaborative re-telling of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. In Ma Nishtana, there are opportunities to eat all of the ritual foods or perform more abstract (and remote play-friendly) rituals.
Together, we breathe new life into the Exodus story by embodying our own versions of key characters and navigating the emotional ties between them. We take turns guiding a series of role-played scenes called “Rituals”, which culminate in the deliverance of the Hebrew people from peril. Our choices will directly shape the trajectory of our story.
At its core, Ma Nishtana is a storytelling circle that invites us to explore a world filled with wonder, terror, and deep care. Through the eyes of our characters we discover what the story of Passover has to teach us: the weight of sacrifice, the strength of community, and the responsibility we have to those who seek a place to call home.
What do I need to play?
3-5 Hours, 3-6 Players (including host)
Materials for rituals
This game is designed for in person or remote play. If you are hosting a session, gather 3-6 players and inform everyone of any materials needed for rituals.
We have detailed two lists of ritual components in the Guidebook: one for in-person play and one for remote play or more abstract ritual interpretations. However, feel free to break out of this binary. You are more than welcome to mix and match or introduce new elements of your own. Whatever is most fun for your table is best.
I'm not Jewish. Is it okay for me to play?
Ma Nishtana encourages us to leave an open chair for all who come bearing an open heart. This is a story for all of us: Jews, non-Jews, and the Jew-“ish” alike. All are welcome around the table, especially those who are playing with family or friends or are far from home.
The trailer Actual Play was hosted by Plus One Exp on April 7, 2022.
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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