L'esprit d'escalier is a free-form dialog-driven role playing game. There is no game master, and the game introduces a new role in game mechanics: the scene owner. The role of scene owner is passed around the table clockwise or anti-clockwise.
The scene owner sets a scene between themselves and the next player in line to be scene owner, in which a conflict is covered. After the scene the second player acts out a monologue, detailing what he or she should have said and done.