Raise the Red Lantern

So, on the way to Kelly’s Pesach Seder, Josh and Elizabeth and I developed a LARP hack for the Mist-Robed Gate.

It’s easy.

There’re some central facilitator tasks that you’ll need to assign to somebody, and that person probably shouldn’t play a character, but they may be an audience member, which means they participate in the wirework vote and can frame scenes. Whenever you get to the end of a scene, you should come back to see the facilitator, get a recap of what scenes happened while you were away, deliver your own recap, and then see who’s at the top of the ‘scene frame’ list. That person gets to frame a scene immediately with whoever’s present, or you can wait a small amount of time for another scene to end, if you need a character that’s somewhere else and it looks like they’ll be done soon.

You don’t have cards for props and sets. Instead, you should play in a place with several distinct rooms, and you have a supply of physical objects that you’re allowed to use as props. When you need a new set, you assign the set to an unused room, and when you need a new prop, you assign it to a physical object. You own props by carrying them on your person, so you need to think a little about this; if you use a real replica sword without a hanger as a sword prop, you’ll need to keep it in your hand, whereas if you use a pocketknife, you can stick it in your pocket.

You don’t use a real knife for the knife. Instead, each set has a colour-coded lantern; when the knife is covered, there are no lanterns. When the knife is uncovered, the facilitator hangs white lanterns in every set. When the knife is drawn, the lanterns are changed to yellow, and when it is bloodied for the first time, they are changed to red. If you don’t have lanterns, you can use flags or scarves or something. To show that you have the knife, make the ‘sword finger’ gesture: Extend your second and middle fingers together, and curl up the thumb, ring, and pinkie. Point the sword finger at the person you are passing the knife to. To signal acceptance, kneel and touch the sword finger to the ground. To stab a person, touch them against the throat or collarbone with your sword finger.

When wirework begins, ring a gong to summon all the players so they can watch and vote.

You should dress up so we can see your character’s colour in your outfit.

That’s basically it.


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