I can understand LARPs. I really do. Most people tend to refer to roleplaying as being in a play, but in reality, it’s more like playing a game, but you and your friends make up an epic story to justify why you have to get through your obstacles. LARPing, however, is the quintessential idea of roleplaying, at least with what people say about it. There’s no literal rules like in most RPGs, and even if there is, there’s usually a reason that makes it fair for everyone, like how you’re required to make weapons soft.
Most people make LARP scenarios. Some of you can recall me mentioning one where you have a final conversation with someone before they finally pass on. Seems grief is a popular topic, as there’s another LARP based around the death of a loved one: A Flower for Mara. The story’s simple: you have a cast of characters having four acts to voice out their grief, concerns, sorrows, and all that other stuff, all while Mara tries to have them cling onto their regrets.
Like Fiasco, the scenario sets up inter-character conflicts and ulterior motives of intrigue, which I like very much. Seeing Thomas wanting to get to reading the will ASAP much to Caleb’s chagrin due to it being too soon (and also because part of the will discusses what becomes of his house), only for Thomas to confess later that he’s more concerned with how Caleb would make use of the house that has been in their family for a long while and would rather have some of the heirlooms they have be put in the museum so that they’d be treasured in an attempt to get his father’s approval is a pretty sweet moment.
Though, A Flower for Mara’s tone is less comedic than Fiasco with the whole grieving storyline. One of the game’s main concept is each character having a grief that motivates them. Here’s the thing: the grief has to be a real thing that happened to the player. The game warns that playing A Flower For Mara will hit close to home for some players.
That said, there is room for comedic moments in the game, as the playtest shows and you don’t have to reveal your Grief if you don’t want to. So what am I going to do with this RPG, per se? Well, in celebration of GM Day (which I missed by so many miles) and the CRGE being released, I’m gonna do a double whammy. Using A Flower For Mara as a Driver, I will also use BOLD, UNE, and CRGE to play through a LARP. Before we begin though, there are a few things I wanna get clear.
The first being griefs. At the risk of shooting down the message A Flower For Mara is trying to convey, namely it being a story where people get to converse and act out feelings of sadness and grief, I’m gonna change up the nature of them. Although, considering that I’m playing only one character and everyone else, Mara included, are gonna be controlled by UNE, it’s probably gonna be a given.
Each character will have a grief that’s unique to them and will serve as a driving motivation for why they act that way during the grieving process. This ties into my second thing I want to settle. Zoe’s age. As stated in the game, Zoe’s age impacts everything because she is Mara’s daughter. I need to determine this before I determine griefs because Zoe’s grief might just be “this is the first loved one I lost”. With that, let’s get to our first CRGE question: