Larp: Blackwell


Based on 'The Red Garden' by Alice Hoffman, Blackwell follows the relationships and decisions of the inhabitants of a small idyllic (almost magical) town in the Berkshires as they prepare for the annual Founder’s Day celebrations in the face of strangers, distant war, and a recent murder.


by Matthew Kamm and Charlotte Brewer

"In Character: Blackwell is a small town in Western Massachusetts in the shadow of Hightop Mountain. The town has been a bastion of peace and plenty for many years since its founding, and it is said by old-timers that a bit of magic dwells in the water and soil of Blackwell, from the great Tree of Life in the meadow to the mysterious Apparition that is said to manifest to those in need. These days, the people of Blackwell are doing their best to keep on in the face of strange outsiders, a distant war that has taken their loved ones, and a pair of recent murders. As August crawls on, residents must make difficult choices in search of purpose, belonging, and identity as they prepare for a town meeting and the annual Founder’s Day festivities on the green. Friendships will be forged and tested, family ties created and broken, and a course set for the future of Blackwell.

Out Of Character: This 4-hour LARP for 19 players is set in a remote hill town at an intentionally unspecific time somewhere in the mid-19th century. The setting includes some magical elements, but these are subtle and not known or understood by most of the characters. The characters and setting of this game are drawn from Alice Hoffman’s book The Red Garden. Having read the book is not at all necessary to play and enjoy the game, and may in fact mislead you as many elements have been changed.

Some characters in this game are disabled, including permanent injuries and blindness/low-vision. The authors of this game are not disabled, and while we have done our best to ensure that treatment of the subject of disability in the game is not dismissive, exceptionalist, or otherwise alienating, prospective players should be prepared to interact with disability as part of the narrative of the game.

Content Warnings: Puritanical attitudes, sexual violence, suicidal ideation, murder, and stillbirth. Most of these themes occur only in character backstories, but these may become public knowledge. Preferred age for players is 16+."

17-player maximum