I spent the night feverish and drugged, and dreamt all night about a Fast and Furious larp (LARP?) inspired by Brand Robins’s preemptive declaration that Mo Jave would outright reject The Sprawl on, one assumes, F&F bromance hate grounds. I don’t know why I make that assumption! That’s dream logic for you.
Okay so you have a pretty big cast of characters, evenly distributed between men and women characters. You designate your identity – it’s important and non-negotiable! – by wearing a muscle shirt or sunglasses if you’re playing a man, or a long-haired wig if you’re playing a woman.
Some of the characters are Drivers. Drivers receive a prop steering wheel. When the wheel is not in their possession, their car is out of the scene and not important. When they hold the wheel with one hand, the car is on prominent display nearby. When the wheel is in both hands, the Driver is driving.
Other characters can stand next to a Driver while they drive. This indicates they’re in the passenger seat or behind or wherever. Really everyone should stand where they’d be sitting in/on the vehicle. That’s one way to frame up a scene. You can also just say “Dom and I are at the garage and boy do I want to punch his lights out” and that’s a scene too.
The Drivers are doing all kinds of crazy shit, that’s a given, but the heart of the game is in resolving various intersecting interpersonal issues. Anyone not currently playing a scene may be part of the Audience at this point, but it’s not required. The short version is that, for any given scene, the Audience decides if the participants ended bonded, alienated, or enraged. The Audience then decides amongst itself and hands the Driver in the scene (there always has to be a Driver, so go find one when you have a scene to resolve) a card with a symbol that matches that outcome: fist-bump symbol for bonded, for example.
Later, when it’s time to resolve some crazy car-driving shit, the Driver must spend a card to do the thing. Bonded cards mean they accomplished whatever driving wizardry they wish; alienated cards mean they’ve ended up wrecked; enraged cards mean they’ve forced someone else to wreck.
Wrecked scenes are their own opportunities to play out some kind of Key Issue that each character has. Like they literally can’t even touch their Key Issue until they’ve been involved in a wreck, although surely it’s guiding their play. All non-participants are obligated to be an Audience at a wreck scene, and they vote together on how the Key Issue conflict got played out. Wreck scenes hand out scene cards to each participant (Driver or not): love, war, or death. Anyone in possession of one of these card types can play them into any scene they’re in at any time: driving, sitting around, whatever. Non-Drivers get first dibs if more than one person wants that scene, then Drivers whose cars are on prominent display, then finally Drivers. The matching scene gets played out how the card-holder wishes.
Playing out scenes where there needs to be some kind of conflict resolution is just played out in all cases except in the case of physical conflict (including any love/war/death scene invoked), in which the instigator uses that hand-sex larp thing (ars amandi! I looked it up!). Yes, fistfights and death scenes use ars amandi. Resolution is still determined by the Audience.
Game play is over when at least half the characters have resolved their Key Issue to their satisfaction and everyone is okay with being done.
I’m thinking the whole game is framed around The Job, a series of preprogrammed scenes that prompt folks to dig into their character-card stuff using The Job as a pretense. Every scene ends with crazy car shit, therefore non-driving scenes have to happen before anyone can attempt it, because you need a card to play that tells you how the driving scene resolved.
Obviously it’s missing a ton of stuff: the Job script, character writeups, pacing stuff, leveraging the gender stuff better. I’ve heard there’s something about debriefing after a larp; I’d probably restrict that to players whose characters ended up in a bonded scene together.
And this is why I’m never bringing a larp to Fastaval.