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Odysseus's Birthday Party - A Rosette LARP Story

We find live-action roleplaying (or LARP) the most fun when the rules work to support interesting characters and dramatic interactions. We designed Rosette Dramatic LARP to allow for this with simple rules that adapt to any sort of storyline or character action. This results in play experiences that showcase the players' creativity and flexible cooperation without disproportionately focusing on combat or any other aspect of storytelling.

To show how this works in practice, here's a summary of a recent plot done via the Rosette LARP rules. Everything in this story was guided by the game's conflict system to keep things flowing dramatically.

A Birthday Party

Our most recent story in our home game of Rosette LARP opened with the characters hanging out in a bar on a space station and being approached by a socially awkward, baroque-aesthetic android named Odysseus. Odysseus heard about their earlier work helping the station's sysops to avert disaster at the Intercultural Festival and wanted to hire them last-minute to throw a birthday party for Odysseus's grandfather; the android had a scheduling conflict and wanted to make sure the party was successful.

The group quickly discovered that Odysseus's preparations betrayed a misunderstanding of human party desires. Odysseus's grandfather was Jason Lo, a software programmer from the era of the first extraterrestrial Visitation who'd just been extracted from a temporal bubble. Odysseus's plans of hard drugs, an alien exotic dancer, and a cage match didn't seem to match Lo's probable interests.

With help from the negotiation skills of Mx. Hood, a mysterious alien player character with the ability to give strange prophesies, the group managed to assuage the vendors' reluctance to adjust their plans. The party ended up as a much more chill affair centering around the traditional Earth cultural art of "professional wrestling."

However, the group was caught off-guard when Jason Lo, who was enjoying the party, asked, "Whose birthday is it?" They realized that the party wasn't celebrating Lo's birthday: it was celebrating Lo's release of a piece of software that would eventually become the Engine known as Funtime, one of the god-AIs that ruled Earth.

A Violent Investigation

The group rushed to track down and confront Odysseus for answers on who the android was and why they were acting on Funtime's orders. The group demanded compensation for their expenses during the party and Odysseus's autonomous answering service directed them to collect from a broker who was waiting to satisfy a debt to Odysseus.

The broker was initially willing to pay the group, but when they pressed him for information on Odysseus he had a memetically-induced trance and began firing at them with a gun. The group dove for cover while the player character Davey Smith, a doctor from Earth, managed to program a counter-memetic pattern that pushed the broker into a full petit mal seizure. When they confronted the autonomous answering service about the attack, they were directed to a berth on the docking ring.

The group arranged for armed support from the station Sysops and boarded the ship docked at the provided location. They suddenly found themselves sealed into the ship with Odysseus, who explained that the android did not really exist. It was just a cover identity for Funtime itself, who just wanted to give its creator a nice party but could not afford to have its useful identity exposed.

The player character Kartesh Fartouch, a nanotechnological cybermage, blew a hole in the airlock in an attempt to escape, but Odysseus blew the docking clamps and sent the ship tumbling away from the station with its air venting dangerously. Odysseus itself split open into a whirling tempest of dangerous machinery and tried to kill the group. They managed to seal the hull breach and destroy Odysseus. When they publicized evidence of Odysseus's connection with Funtime, the Engine abandoned its attempts to silence them and the group was able to escape.

Rosette LARP

Rosette Dramatic LARP is a sourcebook with an approach to live-action roleplaying that focuses on collaborative storytelling and consent-based conflict resolution. It will be released on DriveThruRPG, itch.io, and Amazon. You can add it to your itch.io collection now.

If you're a journalist or a streamer/podcaster of roleplaying books, submit a request to receive a copy when we complete the book.

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