The Freemasons


players.png ~6-12
time.png 20 min

"Of the various clandestine rites of Freemasonry this musical ritual, which dates back to the very earliest lodges, has been guarded with perhaps the greatest secrecy - until now! Although game-like in structure, there are no winners, only the emanation of an exotic music which has been said to be reminiscent of that heard in the ancient temple of Solomon itself."


Mark the court out on the floor in a space of about 5m x 10m using masking tape, string, or paint (see diagram below). Also mark the names of the different court zones on the floor to reduce confusion. Spread the rattles/other instruments out in the Freemen part of the court. One person needs to act as the Grand High Wizard playing regular gong-downbeats during the game as well as giving guidance to anyone who is unsure as to which part of the court they should be in. A number of commonly recognised conducting gestures should be decided upon and taught to the players before game play as this will improve the musical results.


Gameplay instructions

The game is played out on a court with players holding one of the three roles of masters, serfs, and freemen. On each of the Grand High Wizard’s regularly occurring gong-downbeats, players change roles in concurrence with the Masonic Code and move between sections of the court accordingly. The Grand High Wizard will decide upon a certain number of masters and serfs to begin the game by using the Ancient Table of Players and will signal the start using special gong-downbeat which also signals the end of game play.


Masters Don’t make any sounds. Conduct the serfs. Keep conducting even if no serfs are following you!
Serfs Obey a master using a kazoo. If there are no masters then remain silent. You must keep the same master until the next gong-downbeat but can change masters then if you wish.
Freemen Play freely on the selection of fine instruments.

The Ancient Table of Players

For the use of the Grand High Wizard only
6 players - start with 2 masters, 4 serfs
7 players - start with 3 masters, 4 serfs
8 players - start with 4 masters, 4 serfs
9 players - start with 4 masters, 5 serfs
10 players - start with 5 masters, 5 serfs
11 players - start with 5 masters, 6 serfs
12 players - start with 6 masters, 6 serfs

The Masonic Code

If you’re a master … (conductor)
— if you have 0 serfs then you will become a serf after the next gong-downbeat
— if you have 3 or more serfs then release surplus serfs to leave two remaining (release them using the two finger signal)
— otherwise remain a master

If you’re a serf … (kazoo player)
— if you are the only serf following your master then you will become a freeman after the gong-downbeat. (release yourself using the two finger signal)
— if you are freed by a master then you will become a freeman after the gong.
— otherwise remain a serf

If you’re a freeman … (rattles + other instruments)
— if there are less than 2 masters then you will become a master after the next gong-downbeat.
— otherwise remain a free man.

Printable Hand-out

Game end

Ends with a time or at the discretion of The Grand High Wizard

Editor's notes

Published before at a wiki for pervasive games. Here with minor edits, thanks to Creative Commons and author's license choice.

The license for the game is CC BY-NC 3.0, Simon Katan.


Simon Katan

alias: The Freemasons

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