Finally. I've run Ten Candles at least four times now, and every time it's been at game conventions where flames are a serious no-no. And don't get me wrong, I love my LED candles, and they've gotten a good amount of use (and will continue to do so), but real fire; I want it.
A few friends came over: Candace, Julian, Paul, and Janell. We talked about a few scenarios and decided to go with something real world-ish, and eventually settled on Majestic Bob's Last Show, a scenario by Neil Grieb. We made a few tweaks... instead of a weirdo in a mansion, we decided to set ourselves in USA Depression Era, Kansas, and with a travelling circus. The beginning has our characters walking down a train track, leaving behind the wreckage in the darkness, and finding themselves near a train station on the edge of a very small town... and strange lights in the distance.
Characters included Lola the street-smart runaway hustler, Cecilia the fashion designer and power player from the city, Hank the contemplative sailor who had fought in the war, and Gus the merc-for-hire.
I've run Ten Candles a number of times, and most scenarios feel a bit like a standard horror movie in scope, but this game ended up going a lot more surreal. The card I got passed from a player said "I've seen Them... teleport short distances", so we ended up having some disappearing act type things occur, and very odd performances, platforms in tents, weird sounds in the abandoned theme park, and finally a mine shaft that exuded strange lights, drawing most everyone in.
Janell had never played an RPG before, but has a writers background, so was definitely cool seeing her grab onto the descriptions and themes, and hopefully this was a good intro into what RPGs can do.
Using real candles was pretty cool, especially when the last one goes out, but I've never dealt with scenes ending before due to candles going out (versus due to dice mechanics)... here we had 2 candles go out which caused scenes to end early. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
I will say though, if you are going to use real candles, you should have some sense of how long they might last. In my case I knew I had some cheapo ones that lasted not long enough (2 hours at the most?), but the middle 5 I knew could go for the long haul. Even those, however, required that I do maintenance... the flames were drowning in their own wax pools, so would've just gone out really early if we hadn't played with that.
A good game, and finally getting to check off that entry in the bucket list!