There are ideas floating through my head that I have to get out. It's turning into the Bodhisattva's smirk.
New structure of the game splits each pilgrims journey into three steps. The first step assigns the pilgrim a bodhisattva. One play takes on the role for the pilgrim, another takes on the role of their spiritual advisor, and the other players take on the role of the pilgrim's troubles. This make the bidding a bit more competitive.
The second step is a question and answer session, in which the bodhisattva tries to offer advice as they delve to the heart of the pilgrim's trouble (while other players act as a distraction).
The third step determines how successful the pilgrim has been in their quest for Nirvana.
To pull in the mandala, I think we need different types of problems. 4 or 6 types, named not numbered. These are general ways for the pilgrim to ground in the world, and give ideas for the types of problems the pilgrim might seem to possess. Perhaps two layers to the problems...the issues that the pilgrim thinks they have and the issues that are actually holding them back.
There's potential in that. A bit like the old White Wolf Nature and Demeanor system. There is the deep issue at work and the surface presented to the outside world.
Maybe the surface problems are endemic to specific types of pilgrims, warriors are linked to fighting, courtiers to lust, bureaucrats to greed...while the players can write the deeper problems, and these are randomly assigned to pilgrims. This adds more complexity to the pilgrims, which is a good thing.
The pilgrims should be more complex than the bodhisattvas, because they have more ties and obligations to the outside world. The bodhisattvas have only a tenuous link to our reality, and they only maintain that link as a chance to serve as spiritual guides to those who seek them.
Hopefully, now that these ideas are out...I'll be able to sleep.