Archive for the category “Parlor”

Dreamship Icarus – The World

With the success of my xmas parlor larp, I’ve talked with Jesse.   I’m starting the development of something we can run in our home every few months.  This is the first step.


2022 – First mention of “global heat spiral” is made by a U.S. President.   Global warming takes a previously unimagined spike, increasing global mean temperatures by 10 degrees over the next decade.  The UN previously considered a 3 degrees to be catastrophic, and expected that to occur over several decades, if at all.

Many island nations are lost, and coastlines fall into the sea.  Massive deforestation and skyrocket food costs ensue.  

2033 – Dr. Rica Leon of NASA first discovers the first applications of dream-drive dislocation while performing experiments on Skylab 9.  The dream-drives enable biotic-intelligence enhanced individuals to fold space-time within their enhanced subsconscious.  A new space race ensues.

2044 – First manned round-trip expedition to another solar system by the Bhaozhai 15.  [The Bhaozhai 1-14 missions were never heard from again.]  This success makes the WuXing corporation the highest valued company in the world by a factor of ten.

2055 –  Sky elevators are now common throughout Earth.  These elevators drastically lower the cost to break orbit, creating a new opportunity for dream-shuttles to reach other planets.  The WuXing corporation controls most of the mass exodus from the dying earth.  This results in many planetary colonies being nothing but indentured servants.  They work only to mine ore and grow food for sale at enormous markup to more affluent planets.  All of this results in WuXing becoming the defacto galactic government.

2066 – A great revolution of the “slave planets” rises, and then falls in but the span of a year.  The final blow, the Battle of Hasting’s World, crushes the leadership of the rebellion.

2077 – The current year.  Earth is almost entirely abandoned except to scrap crews and a few subsistence indigents.


From the North Pole, with Love (Part 4)


Don’t worry, we’ll be going over all this with examples at the start of the game.


Your hit points are decided at the start of the game based on your costume effort.

Show up in blue jeans, and we lend you an elf hat = 2 hit points
You make an effort = 4 hit points
My costume is balls deep on this elf thing. – 6 hit points

You represent your hit points with candy canes.  When you lose a hit point, you eat a candy cane.  Delicious pain!

If you lose all your hit points, you are unconscious.  If and when you are restored to health, you have no recollection of any of the events that occurred in the room before you went unconscious.


Some elves are skilled at healing with wrapping paper and ribbon.  A healing elf can wrap up an unconscious elf with paper and ribbon, restoring the elf to 1 hit point.  The elf doing the healing should do a thorough job (i.e. the healed elf should be embarrassingly wrapped).   If the healed elf takes damage again, that elf should rip off the paper and fall unconscious… again.


Scattered about the house and backyard are envelopes.  Any elf can see and interact with a white envelope.  Only certain elves can see or interact with orange envelopes.  If you are one of those elves, you should roleplay no knowledge of orange envelopes.

Some envelopes will have instructions on them.  You must follow the instructions on the envelope if you choose to interact with the envelope.


Some envelopes have 3-d puzzles involved.  These are cheap chinese knockoffs, rather than sturdy elf-made puzzles.  Please don’t brute force the puzzles to solve them.  The puzzles and the envelopes related to them cannot be moved more than 5 feet away until you solve the puzzle.


There are 2-D puzzles that are major plot elements or treasure troves.  You must collect and place all the pieces of the puzzle to get the effect stated on the puzzle.  2-d puzzle pieces can be stolen.

From the North Pole, with Love (Part 3)

This is related to the Xmas LARP I’m running this year.


Card Mechanics

Don’t worry, we’ll be going over all this with examples at the start of the game.

Your packet will include 5 playing cards.  These cards will be used to resolve the elf-on-elf conflicts of this game.

You can do the following with a card:  [ATTACK], [DEFEND], [DISTRACT] or [STEAL].  Some elves may also perform the [DETECT LIE] action.

There are four general rules to all the cards:

  1. A card can only be used once in the same room.  It must be claimed and taken into another room to be used again.   Some cards are exceptions to this, such as weapons, and will say so on the card.
  2. The “loser” of any conflict keeps all the cards used.  Some cards will be exceptions to this, such as weapons and elf-jitsu, and will say so on the card.
  3. Most cards cannot be stolen or removed from you, even if you are knocked unconscious.  Some cards are exception to this, such as weapons and armor.
  4. The defender, win or lose, has the “initiative” to initiate the next conflict.

[ATTACK] – Present your card to the elf you are attacking, and describe the awesome way you are attacking that elf.  That elf may DEFEND, but if they do not, the elf you attack loses 1 hit point.  Some weapons may inflict 2 hit points of damage.

[DEFEND] – You use a card to DEFEND when subject to an ATTACK, DETECT LIE, DISTRACT or STEAL.  The card you play must either:

  1. Match the value of the card you were attacked with.  (e.g. You are attacked with a 9 of holly, and you defend with a 9 of christmas trees.)
  2. Beat the value of the card you were attacked with, but match the suit.  (You are attacked with a 9 of holly, and you defend with a Jack of Holly.)

If you do DEFEND, you cancel the effect, and the “attacker” keeps both your card, and their original card.  If you do not DEFEND, you keep their original card.  In both cases, the cards cannot be used again in this room.

[DETECT LIE] –  Present your card to the elf you think is lying.  You must indicate the statement that you think is a lie.  (e.g. the elf states “I’m not a member of K.R.U.S.T.”)  That elf may DEFEND, but if they do not, they must honestly indicate if they were lying with that statement.  Remember, the loser keeps all the cards.

[DISTRACT] –  Present your card to the elf you are trying to distract, and describe the awesome way you are distracting that elf.  That elf may DEFEND, but if they do not, that elf loses the ability to DEFEND against the next STEAL played on them in this room.  If you are are DISTRACTed, you should role-play it appropriately.  Remember, the loser keeps all the cards.

[STEAL] –  Present your card to the elf you are trying to steal from, and state the item you are trying to steal (e.g. “The puzzle piece”).  You must be positioned behind this elf.  That elf may DEFEND, but if they do not, that elf loses the named item.  If you state a vague item (e.g. “The puzzle piece”.. but the elf has 4 puzzle pieces) the victim gets to choose one of the items that fits your description to be stolen.  That elf does not know they were stolen from until they leave the room, and should role-play this.  If the elf does DEFEND against the theft, they are immediately aware that you tried to steal from them.  Remember, the loser keeps all the cards.

Special Situations:

Leaving a room:   If there is an elf that is trying to ATTACK, DETECT LIE, or DISTRACT you, you may not leave the room until that conflict is resolved.

Tag-teaming:   Elves are HUGE fans of pro-wrestling.  As such, whenever an elf has initiative (see above), they can tag an ally instead to get the initiative instead.

Teaming up:  Elves are HUGE fans of pro-wrestling.  Only one elf can ATTACK another elf at a time.




From the North Pole, with Love (Part 2)

Faction Preview

When you open your packet, you’ll find out what faction you’ve been assigned.

All factions (except for the last one) have a secret sign.  You’ll get that in your packet, and you might start the game knowing the secret sign for another group.

E.L.F. – Elf Liberation Front
These freedom fighters are trying to figure out how to end Santa’s reign of tyranny.
Common Trait*:  Keen Sight – the ability to see and interact with orange envelopes
Enemies: S.L.U.R.P.  and F.E.A.R.

S.L.U.R.P. – Santa’s Lawful Undercover Redaction Police
Santa’s Secret Police
Common Trait*:  Elf-jitsu – a highly effective martial art centered on karate chops for both attack and defense
Enemies: E.L.F. and K.R.U.S.T.

F.E.A.R – Furtive Elven Adolescent Reconnaissance
Santa’s espionage force, used to spy on children throughout the year.
Common Trait*:  Keen Ears – the ability to detect lies from filthy lie-holes.
Enemies: E.L.F. and D.O.L.L.

K.R.U.S.T. – Krampus Revolutionaries Under Santa’s Tyranny
These elves want to ally with Krampus, so they can punish children. They loathe children with a passion equal to a million burning Cabbage Patch Kids™.
Common Trait*:  Rage Choke – frighteningly powerful attacks, but unable to be used in defense
Enemies: S.L.U.R.P. and D.O.L.L.

D.O.L.L. – Dedicated Organization of Loyal Laborers
Loyal Elves that drink the koolaid eggnog. They just like making toys, and want to keep doing it. However, this Frozen™ shit is starting to get old, even for them.
Common Trait*:  Wrapping – able to heal other elves with wrapping paper and ribbon.
Enemies: K.R.U.S.T. and F.E.A.R

The Shattered One
This solitary elf is a faction all to her/his own. This elf only gains pleasure from the murder and torture of other elves.
Common Trait*:  Ganking – a powerful attack from behind
Enemies: everybody

*Members of this faction usually have this trait, but might have the skills of another faction.

From the North Pole, with Love (Part 1)

I’ve had a tradition for over a decade now of running a xmas-themed D&D game.  I’ve decided to morph that tradition (and include a lot more players) into a parlor LARP.  I’ll be posting the intro material here, and after the event, all the other secret stuff.

🎅🎅🎅 INTRO 🎅🎅🎅
Throughout the year, the elves toil away making toys and amazon gift cards in Santa’s workshop. During this time, they experience continuous joy. This joy is part of the magic of the workshop, commissioned by Santa after he got his MBA. This magic is so overwhelming that the personalities and the memories of the elves are suppressed, all in the name of productivity.
However, each year the elves are given a brief respite for but a few hours. The elves remember that they each belong to a secret society, hellbent on a goal. Some of the societies seek to maintain the status quo, and others want to bring it all burning down. Centuries have passed with this cycle seeming to never end. Is tonight the night that you finally succeed?
🎅🎅🎅 OVERVIEW 🎅🎅🎅
You’re invited to come to Scott and Jesse’s place for some gaming, food and drinks. You’ll want an elf costume and a gift for the exchange. Please RSVP by 11/21/2015.
The evening will start with the LARP at ~6pm, and run for ~2 hours. You will receive your character packet when you arrive. I’ll be sending out something later to try and tailor the packet assignments.
You will want to wear an elf costume. The quality/absurdity/extent of your costume will determine your hit points.
Show up in blue jeans, and we lend you an elf hat = 2 hit points
You make an effort = 4 hit points
My costume is balls deep on this elf thing. – 6 hit points
There’s no boffers involved in the LARP, and the mechanics will be dirt simple.
There will be a white elephant gift exchange following the game, with the pick order determined by success in the game.
Please bring a wrapped/bagged gift. You may bring something useless, but humorous. If you like, you may bring something geeky and valuable instead to incite a bloodbath of theft and nerd tears.

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