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Larp: Magpie

Author: Hilary Umbreit
feed the kittens in the kitchen / set food out for the strays / try hard to do your best / the Magpie will have his way Magpie is an American freeform game set in a small, isolated community that is haunted by a monster: the Magpie, who comes every ten years to claim his due tribute. During the intervening decade, it is almost too easy to forget about his price. But now time is up. In approximately two days' time, the Magpie will arrive, and the village will have to send seven of their own to meet him... Mechanics: Magpie is a transparent, play-to-lose style game incorporating techniques like monologues as well as a preliminary character-creation workshop. It is structured in a series of scenes within two distinct "acts," alternating between individual meditation and group role-play. Minor GM direction will keep the game moving forward as a whole. For the purposes of this game, the Magpie is an immutable force. Characters are not meant to fight or outwit him. Nor does it matter why the Magpie comes, or why he demands a sacrifice. Rather, the story focuses on the villagers: their internal lives, their secrets, their outlooks and experiences, and their connections or disconnections with the people around them. In short: The Magpie is coming. You cannot stop him. All you can do is figure out how you want to spend these last few days; grapple with the question of who should be offered; and find a way to live with the repercussions. Themes: Loneliness, individualism/change versus tradition/hierarchy, gossip, secrets/revelations, romance and interpersonal connections, trauma and/or failure, philosophy and life outlook, utopia/dystopia, redemption, character death, sacrifice. A Note on Content: Each character will receive one random "secret" during character creation. Secrets cover difficult, sensitive material and may not be appropriate for individuals under age 18, as they deal with a range of subjects including but not limited to: infidelity, depression and suicidal ideation, chronic illness, criminal behavior, and sexuality. Prior to the character workshop, players will have the chance to anonymously remove any traumas they do not want to encounter in the game. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the GM. Influences: "The Yawhg" by Damian Sommer & Emily Carroll, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, "Twin Peaks" by Mark Frost & David Lynch, "Welcome to Night Vale" by Jeffrey Cranor & Joseph Fink, "In Residency" by Lizzie Stark. and when the cherries ripe with blossoms / be ready and be brave / and remember what we had here / when there was something left to save --all lyrics courtesy of The Mountain Goats, Magpie
impossible to spoil
15 to 30 players