What will players do?
Players will have a number of tasks before them. The primary “goals” of the gathering are to create an alliance, to share information on the threats they face, and to formulate a plan for dealing with those threats.
Along the way there will be:
- Debates – who should run the alliance? What are the rules? Are certain types of magic, long seen as taboo, to be allowed now? What about the former hunters? Will they be given a seat at the table?
- Mysteries to solve – what lore are each of these factions hiding? Are any of them responsible for these beings? Why are these creatures attacking now? How do we get rid of them? (There will be an escape room with multiple answers to help solve some of these issues)
- Personal stories – many of these groups have been at each other’s throats for years, but individuals within those groups have deeper stories and connections – some hidden and some not – to explore. Lies, secrets, hidden agendas, forbidden relationships, and long held grudges are all at play during the course of the weekend
- Politics – Every faction has differing goals and requirements for an alliance. Will you be able to ensure that your faction’s goals (or maybe your personal or secret ones) are taken into account in any alliance that is formed?
- Victorian drama – There will be banqueting and dancing and the normal politicking that goes along with such things. Much of the drama that unfolds in this type of historical setting take place on the dance floor or over a cup of tea.
What is most important to us in running this game is that you have a strong, immersive experience. While there will be plenty of things to do, there will also be time to explore your character and to live in their shoes for a bit. Because everything is on site, there is more opportunity for bonding experiences, as well as intense emotional moments. We will provide safe, out-of-character spaces, as well as trained counselors in case they are needed, and have a large staff whose goal is to make this event as comfortable as possible for you to relax into. As well, our workshop will address issues of consent, safety, trust, comfort, and gameplay.
Our games are mediation based. If players come into conflict, they are empowered to resolve the conflict for themselves. We will be holding a workshop at the beginning of the game to ensure that people understand the basics of mediation — what is mediated conflict and how it works. If players are unable to reach a mediation, there will be GMs for every faction who will help ensure one.
Consent and Safety Mechanics
We wish to ensure peoples’ comfort and security levels, so we will have safety and consent mechanics in play. They will be chosen based, in part, on responses to the player surveys that we conduct, and thus will not be solidified until later in the year. We have used mechanics like “Check-Ok,” safe words, and green/red/yellow cues in the past, and those used for this game will be along those same lines.
History and Costuming
The Armistice Arcane is set in a slightly alternate version of American history. While all of the events of the eighteenth century have occurred as in history, our America has grown more progressive in a much shorter period of time. It would not be completely unusual to see people of color in positions of power, women in public wearing drag, men dancing with men, or even people daring to show a little more décolletage at fancy parties. However, we are aiming to keep the costuming roughly late Victorian in feel and look. Don’t worry about being specifically dressed for 1897, however. Not everyone could afford to be a contemporary fashion plate, and some people simply loved the older fashions. Those who worked with the circus, the theater, or the scientific organizations may have even had slightly more fantastical outfits – so you might see fashions from as early as the 1870s and as late as the early 1910s, or fashions that have slight elements of steampunk. If your look stays roughly in the Belle Epoque era, though, you should be doing just fine!
For inspiration, see our pinterest board!
We are happy to have players from anywhere who speak any language. We will even attempt to incorporate those languages into your character if you so desire. But the game itself requires at least a basic understanding of English and the ability to speak English at a rudimentary level at least.
Those of us at Peculiar Crossroads Productions LLC believe strongly in collaborative storytelling. We design our games to be immersive and theatrical, and we work hard to give our players a moving experience that will stay with them even once they are back in the real world. The ideas here provide a framework for the stories that we create and the characters that we write. We hope that you will take these precepts to heart to help us create a powerful and entertaining experience for you.
Every character we write is built along one fundamental principle – it must be a character that we would want to play ourselves. We carefully construct intricate, detailed backgrounds with a web of connections to other characters, in order to provide a fully fleshed out game experience. All of our characters have rich histories, clear motivations, and a list of allies and rivals that we hope our players will use as tools to fuel their roleplay.
Play to Lose
The Armistice Arcane is not a game that can be won; it is an event to be experienced. Character histories are filled with angst, drama, secrets and emotions, and these should drive your in-character decisions. To better achieve this, we encourage our players to adopt the philosophy developed by several Nordic LARP communities – Play to Lose. The goal of this play-style is not to strive towards successfully achieving particular goals, but to collaboratively build dramatic moments. An excellent example is in the way we want our players to handle a character’s secrets: the “winners” of our game aren’t the ones who managed to stay safe and maintain their secrets, but the ones who allowed their secrets to emerge in the most entertaining way for everyone in the game.
Try not to interpret your characters in a way that prevents them from engaging with other characters, the plot, or the drama. Instead, find reasons for your characters to risk themselves, or speak with rivals and those you may have in-character reasons to fear. Information discovered should be shared, not hoarded and protected, unless there is a more exciting and interesting moment for that information to come out.
We hope that you will embrace these ideas as we have and will join us, and the other players in our games, to create immersive, dramatic experiences that you’ll tell stories about for years to come. We want this game, and all of our games, to be the best thing you do this year. Please help us achieve that goal!