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Larp: Curios


CURIOS is a cast-at-the-door game where players will be taking on the roles of curators competing with one another to create cabinets of curiosity. Players should expect five or fewer sentence character sheets, scads of props, and a bit of public speaking.


It used to be that collecting — creating cabinets of curiosity — was the privilege of the rare few, scions of clans like the Hapsburgs and the Romanovs, the royalty that ran empires. Indeed, the first true cabinet, it is said, belonged to Catherine Hapsburg, sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who would intimidate her brothers’ rivals by inviting them to dine in a wide room full of never-before-seen wonders — wonders of the New World, which at the time, only the Hapsburgs and their Portuguese allies had access to.

But times have changed. Now England owns the world, her fast ships patrol the seas carrying more exotic cargos than ever before and in the city of London — England’s incomparable capitol — even members of the middle class can afford to collect exotic tchotchkes. And collect they do — for while England still attempts to stratify by class, a truly excellent collection, curated well and shown with style can give even a humble professional access to some very privileged circles.

And no man illustrates this paradigm better than the incomparable William Bullock, child of a family of waxworkers, who in 1795, began showing his humble collection as “The Liverpool Museum” in provincial Liverpool. Through masterful acquisitions and utterly genius curation, his cabinet became a sensation and in 1809 he moved to London and, to house his collection, now advertised as “The London Museum & Pantherion,” built the enormous Piccadilly Egyptian Hall in 1812. He soon became one of the richest, most-sought after and most famous men living in the Capitol.

Of course, as many rich, sought-after men do, he made mistakes. In 1825, he sold the Egyptian Hall and moved to America, planning to create a utopian community called Hygeia. Though several high-profile figures, including the novelist Frances Trollope, initially took part, the utopia ultimately failed, and in 1842, Mr. William Bullock returned to London. However, even now, he is not penniless — he still owns most of his collection.

Now it is the year of our Lord 1843, and Mr. Bullock is planning on creating a successor to the Egyptian Hall. But since his erstwhile assistants from the 1825 venture have long moved on with their lives, Mr. Bullock first must hire an entirely new staff — and that’s where you come in.

See, Mr. Bullock is looking for curators. He placed an ad in the English Chronicle & Whitehall Evening Post several days ago, and for some reason, you think you might be right for the job. But getting the job won’t be easy. See, Mr. Bullock was always eccentric — and now he’s decided to pit his potential curators against one another.

Welcome to CURIOS...