So I was struck with inspiration.
A forest far enough from civilization. The players group in to tribes that before the start decide things like:
What will we dress like?
What will be not dress like?
Do we smoke?
Do we drink alcohol?
Are we intimate?
Do we have a heirarchy?
How do we resolve group conflicts?
Do we sleep in tents?
I'm thinking masks, feathers, jackboots, moccasins, nudity, fur, colors.
The tribes roam the forest and encounter spirits that each behave a certain way and want certain things. At night demons with glowing eyes roam and kill tribals they get their hands on. Those slain become ghosts. Some spirits might also kill people in daylight. Some speak. Some can be tamed by dance or bribed with sweets. Some haunt a certain cave and some will follow tribes till they bore.
Tribals never do violence against the spirits or each other. All conflict is resolved by other means, preferibly ritual:
Accuracy of slinged stones or shot arrows or throwing stars
Tug-o-war with a rope or chain
Dream duels where shamans take shrooms and chill out for like half an hour and then agree how to solve the conflict
Who can sacrifice the most
What is important is the main conflicts shouldn't be petty stuff over resources or emotions like vengeance or love but rather about ideas, culture and just overcoming the difficulty of communicating hard stuff. The spirits are both an enviromental hazard and tokens in this game of ideas.
So uh, how do I do this? What are some other good non-violent ritual conflicts? How to find the balance between making it serious enough that it's not just a costume party in the woods but still light hearted enough that people dare to play and take risks? What would be cool spirits and ideas to fight over?