Life Boat - CUREious Holidays
LARP for 10 players

This LARP is inspired by a game created by Prázdninová škola Lipnice
Its characters had been created by participants of Youth Exchanged “Knights 2 – Searching for a Grail” which was funded by Erasmus+.

Erasmus+

Time of game: 1.5 hour players prep + 1.5 hour  game + 0.5 h reflection
Time of preparation: 0.5 hour  
No. of players: 10 + at least 2 organizers

Music recommendations

Party 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L37xXA2R21g
Party 2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMzlN9-Db1A
Crash soundhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdwY6akt9Rw
After a crash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0bRw1faiws

Materials:

  • 3 matches per person
  • nametags
  • in-game alcohol (soft drinks like Fanta)
  • chips and some small snacks for “party”
  • costumes (improvised)
  • printed characters
  • speaker and music (party music + big crash sound)

In-game materials:

(players needs to receive them from organizers)

  • cheque of arbitrary amount of money (for Paul/ine) – write on a piece of paper, put yellow triangle on it
  • diary (for Victor/ia) – ready to be printed in Victor/ia character
  • Photo of Gabriel/le (for Victor/ia) – paper with the text “This is a photo of Gabrielle”. Ön the flipside is written “To John/Joanna”. You can create this after character division to know which gender is going to be played.
  • false cheque (for Simone)  – write on a piece of paper, put blue triangle on it
  • bottle of poison (for Andrea/s) – can of coke with etiquette “poison”
  • empty bottle of poison (for Andrea/s) – empty can of coke with etiquette “poison”
  • Cure (for John) – Pepsi with an etiquette: “Cure for Dragonus Arachnus spider bites.”

!!spoilers!!

EXPLANATION

  • Organizers explains participants they are going to go on a journey on a boat. Each one of them will get a character they are  going to play.
  • Organizers will explain game rules
  • Organizers gives players their characters description.

PREPARATION

  • Players are having 30 min to prepare costumes.

BEGINNING OF LARP

  • Caption (NPC) is welcoming everybody on a boat. 
  • Players are having 0.5-1 hour to act their characters.

TWIST

  • Organizers plays a huge crash. Lights goes down. Captain is coming, explaining boat just crashed into an iceberg, and it is sinking. But there is not enough Life Boats for everybody. Only 3 characters can be saved.
  • Each player have 1 minute for speech on who should be saved and why. 
  • Each players gets 3 matches. They are going around the circle, one by one, and giving matches to the ones who should be saved (including themselves). As much matches as they want to.  They have to look into eyes of each character. 
  • In the end, 3 characters with the most matches can be rescued. (If there is a  draw, voting is repeated but only for those who got into the final.)
  • Every survivor have 1 minute for a “thank you” speech. 
  • End of the game (narrated). 

REFLECTION

  • RED stop = if player screams this, game immediately stops
  • No physical violence allowed
  • Players states before what are their physical boundaries (i.e. no touches, no hugs, etc.)
  • Kiss = air kiss on one cheek
  • Sex =  3 times air kiss on both cheeks 
  • Be an abuser (for John/Joanna)
  • Be abused – (for Gabrie/le) 
  • Duty to perform/dance – (for Steph/anie)

Setting of a game

Welcome on the ship heading for Hawaii! A group of seemingly random people meets here: Paul/Pauline with a caretaker Tony/Tonia, scientists Andrea/s and biology student Gabriel/le, a businessman Jack/Jacquine and a film producer Simon/e. There is also some unimportant burlesque star Steph/anie who is performing in the evening program and a board cleaner Victor/ia. At the last moment, a detective Luke/Luci joined the crew… and strangely, there is a mysterious person named John/Joanna without memory. It seems that all of them are here for some disguised reason, just not for a holiday…

Characters

Read details only if you selected the character

20 years old, explorer 

Generally known: Paul/Pauline is dying. That is the reason why he/she has a caretaker with him/her. Who knows why they are travelling to Hawaii…

Character: You always loved travelling around the world. The money has never been you problem as you inherited a great amount of it from your dead father. As you didn´t need any job anymore, you started to exploring exotic places – you´ve been to Australia, Sahara, Madagascar, Thailand, Tahiti… and then you headed for Amazonia. There your dreamed life ended by a single bite of the most venomous spider Dragonus Arachnus. Since that moment, you are slowly dying. According to the local doctor, you have two month till the death. You joined the crew because you have heard about some cure which should be in someone’s property on the boat.

Even though you are really rich, you don’t want anybody to know it. There are strange people on the boat and you are pretty sure that no one is there only for a holiday in Hawaii. So better keep your wealth in secret, for your own safety, as long as it is good for you.

Relationships:

  • Tony/Tonia: You feel puzzled about your relationship with Tony/Tonia, your caretaker. Sometimes she/he is really nice to you, helping, but also she/he seems to be upset by something. You actually like her/him, so after you will get to Hawaii, you plan to give her some extra money. Also, as if she/he is the only person you have in your life, you are going to leave her/him all your wealth after you pass away.

  • Gabriele: Last time you´ve seen Gabriele at high school. You had a crush on her for some time, but finally you´ve become quite close friends. It is nice to see her after all the time again.

Items:

  • cheque of arbitrary amount of money

Goal

  • Discover who has got the cure and try to get it. You have money, so it shoudn´t be a problem. Your caretaker can help you.

  • Also, you can revive your relationship with Gabriele. S/he can help you as well.

30 years old, caretaker

Generally known : Tony/Tonia is an ex-tour guide in amazonian jungle, but recently became Paul/Pauline’s caretaker and is now travelling with them. 

Character : You recently picked up a job as caretaker for a young poisoned person. There’s really nothing special about them – a young brat who got some money and went on a “world wide’’ travel to “find themselves” – laughable. You never cared for them. You only took the job because you know they are rich and they will pay you well. Secretly however, you wish they would die quicker – since they got nobody else, surely they will inherit you some money. 

You hated your job as a tour guide. It was boring, the 5 hour work days were SOOO long… and some stupid people always asking stupid questions. You were never built for such a life. You have always dreamed of living lavishly. Being on this ship could mean an opportunity for you. You’ve always had a weakness for rich people. They have power, status and money – what’s not to like about them? There are a couple of big spenders on board that could be interesting to keep an eye on.

Upon boarding you found an interesting photo laying by one of the cabins. It’s a picture of Garielle – friend of Paul/Pauline (on the flip-side it says “to John/Joanna”). You know them before and there’s something weirdly off with them. They’re always so kind and nice. Surely they have some hidden plans for Paul/Pauline too. No way you can let them sabotage what is in your interests.

Relationships

  • Paul/ine – your employer, spoiled both for whom you have nothing but spite. But you pretend to care in hope you will inherit some money after their death. 

Goal

  • Stop Paul/Pauline from discovering the cure. Mislead them as they will probably trust you.
  • Keep Gabrielle away from Paul/Pauline, so they don’t sabotage your plans.
  • You want to get rich. Look out for some opportunity from some of the rich guys on board.

40 years old, cleaner

Generally known: Victor/Victoria is an ordinary cleaner, part of the boat crew. He/she does not seem to be very intelligent, but something in his/her gaze is disturbing, he/she´s got eyes everywhere.

Character: You are working on the boat as a cleaner. Your job is to keep passenger´s rooms and common space clean. You hate your job. After a years of dealing with someone´s mess you developed the cleptomania. If you find something interesting during the cleaning, you will take it. You just can’t help yourself. Fortunately, your employer has not discovered it yet. 

Last time you found someone´s diary. You started to read it and… such a disgusting reading! That person is a manipulative monster. Of course you are going to keep the diary. It could be of use later. 

It seems that the owner is the guy who lost his memory – John/Joanna. And there is also a mention about the student – Gabriel/Gabrielle.

Relationships

  • none

Goal: 

  • Your ambition is to gain some money. The businessman looks wealthy and the producer as well. Maybe you should find out what they want and do some paid favour. 
  • Also, you have heard about some valuable cure on the boat. Somebody could pay well for it. 
  • You have the controversial diary, so you can use it for blackmailing. 

Item:

  • Photo of Gabriel/le 
  • diary 

Diary

Only 18, but she already has that burning desire for lust and for blood in her eyes. Passion for life like no other I’ve ever seen. Her every move is filled with grace and such elegance that I could do nothing else but quietly observe her fluency, just like a ballerina performing on a stage. And when she sings the whole world stops spinning for those beautiful notes not to be disturbed by anything dead or anyone living. Hazel brown skin of hers is imprinted in my memory and every touch feels heavenly, like running my fingers down nature herself or  kissing an angel. God, I would never let anyone else touch her. It’s my worst fear and my only nightmare. I couldn’t bear the thought of another man caressing her body with his arms. I don’t think the rules I set for her are bad. She doesn’t need freedom. Why would she want to see someone else if she can talk to me? I always listened to her. And I even gave her advice on how to fix her car’s side mirror. If she ever needs anything I’m there for her. I buy her gifts and take her out to expensive dinners. But I feel like she just doesn’t see it. We’ve grown apart recently, I can feel it in the way she turns her cheek when I try whispering how much I love and need her in her ear. Truly, if only she’d notice how much I care for our relationship, she would understand about the bruises. I don’t hit her because I enjoy it. But she needs to know her place. No woman should mistreat her man, especially when he’s buying her the newest MP3 CD player… fuck, it cost a fortune… and nothing in return. Arrogant spoiled bitch.

And this Gabriel/le she’s ‘’friends’’ with… I bet she fucks him/her while I’m away at work. What kind of stupid name is Gabriel/le anyway? I know it’s not my fault, she just needs to trust me more. Maybe this trip to Hawaii can bring back the spark we had that one night in Brooklyn’s bar. Sure she was drunk but I knew she liked me from the very beginning. The way she looked at me, I can tell when a woman falls head over heels for me. Yes, if I just bring out my bravado and prove to her how much I need her, I will surely win her back. I should pack my large belt just in case she misbehaves.

25 years old, criminal

Generally known: Simon/Simone is a film producer travelling to Hawaii because of a business. Probably, he/she plans to make a great movie there in the blood-stirring landscape of the island. He/she is talkative and maybe too social.

Character: Everything generally known about you is a lie. In reality, you are a thief. A good one, as far as your deeds can claim. Your criminal past counts mainly financial frauds and larceny. No second-rate pocket-picking. If you take a job, it shall be something that ends with an enormous amount of money in your bank account. Nevertheless, nothing lasts forever. It was a question of time when you commit a mistake, which resulted into one stupid detective Luke/Luci on you trail. 

Only person who knows about your true identity is the researcher Andrea/Andreas, who took you into his/her hotel room while you were on the run before the law and told you about this boat.

And what´s more, the stupid asshole – Luke/Luci – got stucked on this boat with you. The detective is after you, ready to put you handcuffs before getting out the boat. As far as you know, he/she doesn´t know your identity yet. 

You are pretending to be somebody else. What an excitement! You love the feeling. It is fucking cool. The rational part of your brain knows that it´s not quite safe but you can’t help yourself. You love to talk to people on the boat about your false identity, a lie after a lie, just because it’s fun.

Items: false cheque

Relations:

  • Andrea/Andreas: That guy saved your ass! You don’t know anything about the stuff he/she is working on, but you don´t care. As long as he can be useful to you, you´ll keep him/her close. 
  • Luke/Luci: You´ve seen that guy twice, but everytime from a safe distance. He/she is after you and doesn’t seem to give it up. You are afraid of being caught, not gonna lie. You wish you could get rid of him somehow… 

Goal: 

  • You need to stop the detective from discovering your identity. You can use somebody to your benefit and convince him or her to cover you, if needed. Maybe the annoying dancer – Steph/Stephanie. He/she seems to be attracted to you for some reason. Or the man without memory could be useful, if you will be clever enough.
  • Everybody wants something, so think of some way how to get somebody onto your side. You could try to get close to the detective and mislead his/her investigation, but it could leave a suspicion, if you are not smart enough.

18 years old, student 

Generally known: That young biology student seems to be of a quiet and calm character, but quite anxious about physical contact. He/she is interested mainly in his/her research.

Character: You are an entomologist (the science of insects) student. You proved your diligence to your mentors, so you are already involved in interesting researches. You travelled to Hawaii with your partner John/Joanna. S/he promised a romantic holiday but you knew better.

Firstly, s/he was nice and gallant to you, but then everything turned upside down, and before you could notice, you were in an abusive relationship with no way out. S/he kept beating you and manipulating you. You tried to break up, but then you found him/her stalking you. S/he begged, threatened, blackmailed… and you just got scared of them. You felt desperate when you entered the boat together, but then you met the researcher – Andrea/Andreas – started to be interested in his/her work, and when the good moment arose, you stole a poison from his/her luggage to kill your partner John/Joanna. But you somehow fucked up and s/he survived. It seems like s/he can’t remember anything, not even who you are. Is it good for you, or not? You have a problem – his/her diary and your postcard from holidays disappeared. And what is worse, there is a detective on the boat!

Items: Empty bottle of poison. Hide it! 

Skills: You can recognize animals and chemical substances 

Relations:

  • Paul/Pauline: The former friend of yours. Quite a crazy guy with crazy ideas, but always nice to you. You like him. You know that he/she is quite wealthy and travels a lot. He/She is an old friend of yours but doesn’t know anything about your toxic relationship with John/Joanna. 
  • Andrea/Andreas: You´ve met the researcher on the boat. You admire his/her work and you are eager to learn from him/her. After breaking the trust by stealing from his/her store, you are insecure around him/her. What if he/she knows?
  • John/Joanna: You hate that person. You want to get rid of him/her. After all those years in hell he/she created for you, you absolutely don’t care what happens to him/her. You are prepared to make use of any opportunity that appears.

Goal: 

  • Don´t let your partner remember. You should find the diary and the postcard. Surely some of the passengers have it. Or at least, it can’t come into your partner´s and detective´s hands. 
  • There is also another, more risky, option – finish, what you have started and this time properly. For that, you would have to convince the researcher to give you another poison. But do you really want to risk it?

30 years old, businessmen

Generally known: Jack/Jacqueline of All Trades. That’s what friends call you. A charming person in his/her 30’s, Jack/Jacqueline has worked in many businesses and while travelling to his/her holiday destination, s/he might be looking for a new business opportunity. 

Character: Jack of All Trades. That’s what friends used to call you. That was up until that one decisive day, where you put all your life savings into a business that will surely not fail. But it did. You lost it all. What’s more painful, it was some corporate idiocrat who declared “bankruptcy’’ on his affiliate scheme. You hate triangles. But you love money. Now, you have lost your ethics and you are willing to do anything for fortune – even indulge in criminal activities. With good financial knowledge, you want to try to convince someone to support your next business idea – replace all triangular shapes with other shapes.

In summary, you are

  • Bankrupt Businessman, looking for a business partner. Lost all your money in a pyramid scheme and is looking for any kind of opportunity. 
  • You are anxious about triangles. 
  • Your next big business idea involves replacing all triangular shapes with other shapes.

Skills

  • You can recognize false money and value papers (yellow triangle means valid, blue triangle means false)

Relationships:

  • Steph/Stephanie – even though s/he is a dancer, s/he used to be a prostitute. You must know. You had paid for a night with him/her.

Goal

  • Gain investors for your next business

24 years old, performer

Generally known: Steph/Stephanie is a burlesque dancer. Rumour has it she/he was formerly famous, but now she/he is broke and took the job on this boat as a part of evening programme.

Character: Your dream was to be famous, rich, wanted… the best! But know, you are broke, with no vaults and no contacts. But still, this is something you longed for very much. In the past you had some successful shows, but apparently not enough. You tried some more times, but nobody wanted to support your carrier. There were plenty of artists of your kind and you just were not the best as you would have wished. You accepted the job on this boat as a part of the evening entertainment. Today you should perform and maybe some rich sponsor could take notice of you.

And there is also your undignified past that follows you – you are a former prostitute. However much you tried to bury your past deep to the ground, there are some of your former clients on this boat: Jack/Jacqueline and Andrea/Andreas. 

You don’t feel uncomfortable flirting with men or women. It is something you were made for. With your unfamous past… some habits are never forgotten, right?  

Relations:

  • Andrea/Andreas: Your former client. He/she was pretty twisted in his sexual needs.
  • Jack/Jacqueline: The wealthy businessman. This former client of yours could be useful. He/she was always attractive, so gaining her/his interest would be two birds with one stone. 
  • Luci/Luke: The detective you´ve met on the boat. You haven’t spoken much to each other, but he seems to be obsessed with you. 

Goal: 

  • The job on the boat could be a nice opportunity to meet wealthy people. The businessman – your former client was a wealthy man. Could you seduce him/her once again? And what about the film producer? It could be great to play in a movie in Hawaii! 
  • You also heard some rumours about a valuable substance – a cure – on the boat. And everything valuable can be sold… 
  • Find a way to get money, sponsorship or at least a wealthy partner.

During the night, you should have at least 1 dance performance. Choose a song and give it to organisers to put it on for you. 

40 years old, researcher 

Generally known : Andrea/Andreas’s name is well recognized in his home country Sweden. A 40 year old researcher, he has dedicated his whole life to science and has travelled far away from his home in hopes of making a new discovery.

Character : You’ve heard about a potential super-substance that can treat many illnesses and potentially be a massive step forwards for science. This super-substance is only manifested as a cure for Draganus Arachnus spider bites. You heard rumours about one example of this cure being brought onto a ship by some man who bought it in an auction. Who the hell sells such powerful thing in auction??? Maybe this is all fake, but you cannot let such an opportunity for discovery to slip you by.

The day before boarding the ship, you heard some loud bangs on your hotel door. Upon opening the door, you saw a small frame person, covered in sweat and completely out of breath. They started begging for you to let them inside. For whatever reason, at that moment you decided to let them in. After some time, the person explained that they are on the run and is closely followed by a detective. This means that you’ve gotten yourself in trouble now – sheltering a criminal is a criminal offence in itself. This now adds more stress, but you decided to take this person with you on the ship. Maybe they can get some information about this cure and where to find it or even better – acquire it for you so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

What was a big surprise for you was the dancer for the evening show. It’s the same person who you slept with many years ago. They were selling their body at the time and you were lonely. You were at the point in life where you wanted to try something spicy in the bedroom, but it turned out rather awkward and uncomfortable. You hope they don’t remember… but if they do, they better keep their mouth shut.

You have a phobia – you’re very afraid of sinking. Your worst nightmare is having to go down with a malfunctioning ship. You pushed yourself way out of your comfort zone for this trip, but the potential results are worth it. But you would absolutely flip out if something went sideways. 

The first person you met on the ship was a nice young person – Gabrielle. They were very supportive and calmed you down. They are a botanics student and they seem very smart and actually interested in your work, which you find admirable. They remind you of your younger self. It would be nice if you could help them.

Relationships:

  • Simone: sheltering Simone can get you in trouble if law finds out. But s/he owes you his/her life now and should be grateful. 
  • Steph/Stephanie: you slept with them a long time ago. Hopefully they don’t remember much.
  • Gabriel/le: they were the first person you met on the ship. S/he seems really nice and innocent. 

Skills: you can recognize chemical substances and medications.

Item: poison (bottle of coke)

Goal

  • Acquire the cure. At the end of the day this is what you travelled half the world for. Ask Simone to help you. 
  • If possible, find a way to help Gabrielle.

26 years old, unknown

Generally known : A person gathers everyone on board and proclaims they don’t remember anything about their past. 

Character : You woke up on a ship and you have no memory! Who are you? What’s your name? Why are you on a ship? Most importantly, what is your past? What happened to you?

In your pocket you found a small little bottle. It had “cure” written on it. Without much thinking you grabbed and emptied it. But it had no effect on you. Weirdly enough it just tasted like cola. What a weird coincidence. Anyhow, after walking out on the deck, you overheard some conversation about a cure, and apparently people are really looking for it. You took a second glance at it and finally read the instructions. Turns out that was a very rare cure for Dragonus Arachnus spider bites. Memory loss not mentioned anywhere. So it was useless to you. But people on board seem to be going crazy about it… Could it be helpful in putting together the puzzle of your memory loss? You refilled the cure bottle with pepsi to make it seem realistic.

The ship is nice and the weather is warm. Where is this ship heading, you wonder. You decide that someone surely has some information about you or why you’re on a ship. Calm and composed, you ask everyone on board to come together and you proclaim that you’ve lost your memory.

Relationships:

  • none

Items

  • Cure – Pepsi with an etiquette: “Cure for Dragonus Arachnus spider bites.”

Goal

    • There’s information to be gathered. Talk to people and see what they know about you. It seems like everyone on this ship wants what’s in your pocket. Use the fake cure you have to trade for information.

32 years old

Generally known: Luke/Luci is a detective who is after a criminal. That is the reason why he/she is on the boat.

Character: You work as a detective for more than ten years. You love your job and you develop a strong moral compass which not let you to leave any duty unfinished. You took the case of a sneaky financial cheater some time ago, you chased him to Amazonia, but he still seems to be escaping you. Clever guy! But now, you´ve got a tip that he will be on the boat, so you’ve joined the voyage.

You are a patient person, determined to keep investigating on the boat and reveal, who from the crew is your criminal. Your only flaw is your attraction to beautiful dancers. You love the way they are moving the body and you just can´t take your eyes off them. The same is happening now on the boat, when you see Steph/Stephanie. You also feel like you can trust her/him. The problem is that according to the security cameras, the criminal could be John/Joanna, Simone, Victor/ia, or your beautiful beautiful Steph/Stephanie.

Relationships:

  • John/Joanna – suspicious person who lost his/her memory, potential suspect. 
  • Simone – talkative producer who annoys you greatly, potential suspect. 
  • Victor/Victoria – cleaner, always looking weirdly at everybody, potential suspect.
  •  Steph/Stephanie – you definitely have a crush on him/her. Potential suspect.

Skills

  • If you discover a criminal, you can ask the organiser (who also represents the security service on a board) to arrest them. 

Goal: 

  • Investigate on the ship, mainly those four people catched by cameras, and find your criminal. You should start somewhere… and probably, your criminal could be the one with less relations on the boat.

Reflection

  1. “How do you feel?” (give space to express emotions)
  2. “How was it for you to play LARP?” (personal experiences, focus on “I” sentences)
  3. “How did you feel when you were/weren’t selected for a boat?” 
  4. Takeaways – what can you take from this experience for your life?