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Larp: The Art of War (or, Renaissance and Sensibility)


by Mark Galeotti

Flirt with Lucrezia Borgia, while trying to make sure no poison ends up in your wine. Hear Christopher Columbus tell you about the new world he has discovered and think how to turn this to your advantage. Scheme with Cesare Borgia to rig the election of the new Pope. Help William Shakespeare complete his current play. Persuade Michelangelo to immortalise you in his next mural.

This is Renaissance Italy: a time of artistic ferment, political turmoil, scientific revolution, exploration, burning faith, good food and subtle poisons. This loosely-historical freeform mashes together a range of real dramas and events from the 14th to the 16th centuries and adds a clockpunk spin: Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions are bringing about a technological revolution changing the world. The Catholic Church fears the new scientific creed driven by alchemists, free thinkers and the new-fangled ‘cogent engines’ running on water clocks. Meanwhile the Republic of Florence is rising, alarming the great powers of the age: mighty France, proud Spain, cunning Venice, the Ottoman Empire and Elizabethan England.

A 46 player, 4ish hour game of high politics and low comedy, art and politics, love and war, drama and pizza, in three acts set in Milan, Venice during its masked carnival and Rome for the election of a new Pope. There may be a French invasion, there will be dancing and knives in the night, there should be the unveiling of great art, romance and passion, theological debate and an inflatable phallus. The Borgias meets Assassin’s Creed II, with a touch of the Carry On vibe…

46-player maximum