Posted on March 28, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Sometimes rolling the dice or holding the controller just isn’t enough…This week’s Flash Fire Mini-Reviews will be exploring some of the different Live Action Role Playing options folks have for getting in character and having some fun.
Whether you are part of an ongoing global campaign like the Camarilla or just looking for a fun party game for a few friends, LARP is available in a vareity of products.
Passion Play brings the depth and excitement of the Fading Suns to live-action roleplaying. Take on the roles of humanity’s leaders as they try to rebuild the Known Worlds… or leave them devastated once more. Dukes, bishops, mercenaries and more take part in these conspiracies and intriques.
Passion Play provides innovative live-action rules, all while letting players conspire, fight, use psychic powers, call upon holy miracles, and even use forbidden cybernetics. Seduction is as important as swordplay, and honor can become another commodity with which to barter.
I had never actually played in a game of Fading Suns before checking out Passion Play. To date I’ve still never played the table-top version of the game, but have enjoyed several fun convention games of Passion Play.
This is a pretty cool setting and the Live Action rules are easy to pick up. They also allow you to get into character fairly quickly with little fuss or book-keeping. If you like sci-fi and fantasy with politics and intrigue, give this one a try.
Passion Play is available at RPGNow.com.
Long Live the King
Long Live the King is a dynamic game that marries the diabolical treachery and scheming of the best strategic board and card games with the pomp and circumstance of the most elaborate live-action games. In the role of an ailing king, the gamemaster participates in the roleplaying while moderating the rules.
Up to seven other major players, including a young queen, a haughty archbishop and a wily ambassador, vie to place themselves in positions to rule the kingdom when the king finally keels over. Dozens of minor roles allow the game to be as large and elaborate as you desire. Or just keep it small… and cut-throat.
This is a boxed game from White Wolf Publishing. It is great for small groups and conventions because of the ease-of-play and plenty of options to keep players interested. Characters are pre-generated and everything you need to play is included (except for food/drinks and plenty of sneaky imagination).
Long Live the King is available at Amazon.com.
Cthulhu Live: House of Pain
It’s the autumn of 1991, and the world isn’t what it used to be. Saddam Hussein’s army lies in smoldering ruins. The Soviet Union is suffering its death throes. Germany has been reunified. Africa is aflame with small bush wars. Across the world, the balance of power is shifting. Old powers are dying out and the playing field of the future will be a chaos of warlords and rogue states.
In this full-length adventure for Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition, the players are power-brokers who have been invited to a private summit to help form the geopolitical landscape of the next century. But while they plot their moves and hide their secrets, they may find that they themselves are pawns in a much larger, more ancient game.
If you’ve read my review of Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition, then you know I’m a big fan of the updates and improvements made to the system. This adventure really demonstrates some of the cool things you can do with Cthulhu Live. It moves the setting up to the year 1991 and offers a chance for folks to play “high-level” characters with global plots, intrigue and more.
When combined with The Old Man of Damascus (which takes the setting back to 1190) folks wanting to run Cthulhu Live games are offered a lot of great support material, including new characters, ideas for props and costumes and more.
House of Pain is available at RPGNow.com.
A Feast to Die For
The Lesters were hosting another one of their fabulous dinner parties. The invitation list was smaller than usual. The Lesters, and a few of their special family and friends were just about to sit down to enjoy the elaborate dinner Victoria Lester had prepared. The table was breathtaking. As usual Victoria had outdone herself. The diners toasted with a vintage bottle of red wine and sat down to eat. As the food was being passed around the table, Victoria started to choke and cough. Everyone rushed to her side in time to see her fall face first into her food. She was dead…she had been poisoned. Welcome to an evening of murder!
This is a ‘Party Adventure’ designed to create a night of intrigue and excitement for you and your friends. Within the comfort of your living room, you set the stage for solving a murder. You and your guests become the suspects. Each have hidden backgrounds and secret clues. Cast your inhibitions aside, apply your imagination, and determine who the murderer is, how it was done, and why.
While not exactly a “horror” game, A Feast to Die For is plenty dark and a lot of fun. I’ve had the pleasure of playing this a couple of times, each one with different players and different events going on to keep things interesting.
The box comes with plenty of useful information for each character (so even folks not quite as skilled in improv will have something to do or say). There is also some great set-up instructions for the host to keep things rolling along and just enough other advise included that people with little-to-no LARP experience can run this with ease.
A Feast to Die For is available at Amazon.com
Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Requiem
As the sun fades into memory and the world falls into darkness, the haunting notes of the danse macabre echo, calling the undead to play their nightly games. From turf wars in the streets to cutting remarks at society parties, old grudges spill fresh blood as vampires vie for power and prominence. It’s a world without pity, a world of predators. Now that you’re one of them, it’s your world too.
The Requiem provides all the information necessary to bring the mysterious existence of vampires to your Mind’s Eye Theatre™ game. Secret histories of the undead, the clans and covenants that make up the danse macabre, rules for the mystic Disciplines — it’s all here. Discover the nocturnal world as you’ve never seen it before. Requires the Mind’s Eye Theatre rulebook for play.
A new World of Darkness requires a new take on the Mind’s Eye Theatre system. I’ve already done a mini-review of Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Awakening, so I thought I should go back a bit to talk about the vampires…
At first I wasn’t too happy with the new rules, but they’ve grown on me quite a bit, especially considering how easy it is to port elements from the table-top Requiem books to Live Action play. This book covers the basics of the Clans and Covenants with plenty of information on bringing your character to life (or should I say “unlife”). If you ever get the chance to try some of the Camarilla events at GenCon…don’t miss out.
Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Requiem is available at RPGNow.com.
Close the curtains…
That wraps up the LARP version of the Flash Fire Mini-Reviews.
Let us know what your Live Action games are like in the comments, especially if you’ve had the chance to play any of these games.