Scandal and Society - Austen-inspired Regency larp


During the past few months I’ve been reading a lot of regency romance, and also listening to Jennifer Ehle’s wonderful reading of Pride and Prejudice on Youtube and something terrible happened in my brain, by which I mean, I had an idea for an Austen-inspired social Regency larp that I can’t get rid of, oh no.

(This would NOT be Pride and Prejudice and Vampires - aka, season three of St Wolfgang - that project is still slated for 2025.)

The concept is somewhere between a theatreform and a wysiwyg campaign. Wellington larpers, read to the end, because there’s a bit at the bottom for you. The format would be two day games, three months apart. Each day game would itself be split into two. A ‘less formal’ afternoon event for several hours, followed by a break for OOC dinner (takeaways), then recommencing for a ‘formal’ ball or assembly event for the evening. There might even be organised dancing!

In the three real-life months before the next game, there would be published ‘gossip’ from the event, and every character would have an ‘event’ befall them to provide challenges to overcome and a catalyst for roleplaying at the next event. For example, ‘your sister elopes with an officer!’, ‘your father dies and his estate is entailed to your cousin’, ‘your fiancé died while serving overseas in France’. In all instances the active party - your sister, father, fiancé etc, would be NPCs so you’d be dealing with fallout/damage control.

There would be one off NPCs, who would play characters from the players’ wider social world for a whole event, as well as a few persisting, directed NPCs who fill certain roles in the game.

If the games go well, and people want to continue, and I find I can balance it nicely with my novel writing, I may run more after the first two.

Character creation would be similar to a one-off larp: you would fill in a casting questionnaire about the tropes/stories you are interested in playing, and I would cast you in a pre-designed social network, best matching what you wanted to situation in the game. The character’s personality, outlook, feelings etc would be completely up to you. You would be able to specify to some extent which role-players you would like to be connected to, especially in romance.

The game would have no combat, and no threat of death. Your character only dies if you choose for them to die for dramatic reasons. The primary stake for characters are:

  • avoiding repetitional ruin - if you become too scandalous, no one will associate with you, and you will have to leave town.
  • avoiding financial ruin - if your character utterly exhausts all ways of maintaining themselves financially, they may be taken away to debtors’ prison. (such escapism, I know!)

The setting would largely emulate Austen’s Regency England, except in one important respect: homosexuality is treated in the same manner as heterosexuality, and marrying someone of the same gender is is held in no less regard than marrying someone of a different gender. The status of the person you’re marrying - their fortune, their connection, their station in life - is the key consideration, not their gender.

The primary driving force of the game would be solving social problems and having fun with social dynamics (yes, including romance!) Conflict will be introduced via inconvenient secrets, embarrassing relations, dramatic revelations, incendiary letters, various Wickhams, Lady Catherine with the serial numbers filed off, boundaries of class, boring cousins, awkward entails, etc etc. You’ll need your wits, because there won’t be any guns.

Given we have no idea when we’ll be allowed to properly larp again, and how the calendar will shake out when it does, at this point I’m just testing the water if people would be interesting. If you are, click below, there’s a no-commitment “yes madame I am interested in your product and or service” form, so I can contact you if/when this is launched. My primary aim is to run it in Auckland, BUT if people in Wellington are keen, I encourage them to fill in the form as well because if there’s interest and room in the calendar, I could pop down and run a parallel game there too (same set of characters, so no crossing over between Auckland/Wellington).

Inquire below for romance, scandal, pining, awkward conversations, fainting dramatically after reading a letter:

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This is exactly the sort of larp I’m interested in, so if you do Wellington stuff, I’ll be there with flap-front trousers and riding boots on.

I’m pretty keen to bring it to Wellington! I would need to find someone in the city who can be my on the ground logisitics person, who knows venues etc.

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What’s Regency for “I volunteer as tribute”?

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“Madame, is there any service which I may render to assist with the completion of these affairs? Truly, it would be of no concern at all to undertake these few small tasks.”

If you’re Mr Collins, you then go into a 15 minute soliloquy on why you’re most suited it, referencing Lady Catherine every sentence.

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Hey I/S, I’m starting organising. Do you think you’re still keen to help with the Wellington end, or have your circumstances changed?

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I can help. What sort of venue and price range were you looking for?

Greetings, gentle larpers!

I’ve launched the Facebook group for this larp, which you can join here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/728802724554539/

For those not on FB, here is the round up of important links:
GM email: scandal.and.society.larp@gmail.com
Overview and Setting: bit.ly/2N0QADf
Game Expectations: bit.ly/2C7WNv8

Please ensure you read both documents before buying a ticket and submitting your character creation form!

Auckland event is on 29th August: https://www.facebook.com/events/686052288625548/
Wellington event is on 12th September: https://www.facebook.com/events/3139532272756516/

Tickets are available via Lil Reggie (supporting local!)
Auckland (max 40 attendees): https://scandal-and-society-auckland.lilregie.com
Wellington (max 28 attendees): https://scandal-and-society-wellington.lilregie.com/

There are no PCs and NPCs for this game, there are ‘self directed’ and ‘GM-directed’ characters. There is no difference in ticket price and all participants must provide their own costume.

Character Creation: bit.ly/2C8fkYd
The first intake will close on July 1st for casting. It will reopen after that if there are still spaces in the game. Players will not be cast until I have confirmed they have bought a ticket via Lil Reggie.

I hope to see you there!

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Ticket purchased! Now to work out what to play. Do I seek inspiration from Colonel Brandon, Captain Benwick, or Mr Weston?

After slacking around, I have finally remembered to fill out the character form for this.