Rapid-fire Fiasco-style pseudo-LARP... in a (fictional) car

28 Nov 2012


(or, "Tom's used up his hyphen allowance for the year")

I've got a somewhat mad idea, which I'm thinking about trying out at Dragonmeet this weekend. This started after I read "My so-called larp: learning to love in a world without men", which is about a Nordic LARP that plays with a lot of the LARP stereotypes - no character stats, no win conditions, much more heavy on the narrative than gaming sides. This one in particular also had a distinct lack of blokes as well, but that's not what I'm focusing on here.

This had me wondering: this sounds a lot like Fiasco. I'm thinking in particular about a run of the "White Line Fever" playset (which I can't find online, but I've got a paper copy of), which is based around a small set of players all in and around a car. In the game we played with it, scene 1 was in the car on the run, but then we mostly flashed-back to pad out what the heck was going on. There was some amount of physically playing out certain actions while in the car, but it was mostly narrative.

What if that could be changed up a bit? What if the entire thing is played out within a physical space, standing in for the car? I'm thinking more of a rapid-fire, couple of minutes per scene thing rather than the couple of hours of a typical Fiasco game.

I've got a few other ideas around this, which have mostly coalesced in the following: 1. Fiasco character creation, with either 3 or 4 players for "White Line Fever" 2. Everyone sits down on a set of 4 chairs in "car" formation. This outlines the location of the car, and you can't get out of it without roleplaying what happens. By default, everything occurs in real time. 3. Some ordering of players is chosen, and the scene starts with the first player saying something. It can be anything they like, but it should be short. "why did you have to kill my hamster?" comes to mind. Note that this person isn't the lead character of the scene like in Fiasco, but does get to try and set the scene with that first line. 4. Small number of minutes pass (say 2-3), timer goes off and a new player is now lead. Everything pauses for a few moments while the new lead decides on the opening line - note that everything, including player locations doesn't change between scenes; things only change in scene. Once the first line is uttered, the new scene commences. 5. Repeat until you're repeating players, or everyone gets bored.

Other options: * Camera location: Declare an arbitrary location (ideally with a marker object) to be the camera, with a declared direction. Anything, including non-roleplaying (potentially even things like a player needing the loo) is allowed "out of camera", and actions closer to the camera are more important. How the players interpret these is up to them. * Other locations/characters: Potentially, other locations can be used. They can be as simple as locations physically near to the "car", which can be declared to be arbitrarily far away given a reasonable separation distance, or potentially the entire crew can up and declare the game to be ongoing elsewhere. Works probably better at a con if you can get the right mood going. Other non-player characters (i.e. people not currently playing the game) are allowed to be roped in provided they're interested. People observing the game are particularly fair game, especially if you can discuss the idea "out of camera".

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