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Larp

None but the Brave

Firefighters: very brave. But what if some are braver than others?

None but the Brave is an idea for a Nordic-larp-style game for Consequences, November 20141. As the con title/theme is “Heroic Consequences”, I wanted to come up with something that examines the nature and performance of heroism. The game’s main themes are: bravery vs cowardice; different types of bravery; the effect on people of heroic or non-heroic behaviour (their own and that of others).

(And, yes, this is the WiP that I mentioned a little while ago.)

We set it in a fire station. The characters are all firefighters, from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. The pre-game workshop will include an exercise where the players ranking themselves in a number of ways (using the ‘lining up’ method): most importantly, by bravery. And will also establish the network of trust and reliance between the characters, which depends upon them performing to an expected level of bravery when under stress and in danger.

Structure

Phase 1 of the game is essentially establishment of relationships, banter, interaction while going about routine tasks at the station.

Phase 2 is a crisis in which everyone will be fighting a fire or fires. This will I think be part-narrated, part-played. During this phase, people’s bravery will be examined: they will have the chance to behave heroically or non-heroically. They may also die or be terribly injured. There will be a random element here, so the braver a player has decided they want their character to be, the more chance of a heroic outcome, but also the more chance of death or injury.

Phase 3 is the aftermath during which everyone and everything is re-examined in the light of what happened (and to whom) in phase 2. People have to reconcile (or not) with themselves and with each other.

Setting

I was initially thinking of present-day setting, but maybe a recent historical setting (eg. WWII during a firebombing) might be more resonant. Or even a near-future setting.

What do you think: does it sound interesting? Would you like to play? How might you do it differently, if it was you?

 


I originally wrote this post just after Christmas. Since then things have moved on a bit in my own thinking and also in planning for Consequences, so it may be that this doesn’t get run there. But I figured it would be good to capture it here just in case, anyway.

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