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Larp: Temptemus Papam

The Papal Election of 1500


Rome, 1500. The election of a new pope. Over the past decades the Vatican sunk deeper and deeper into the clutches of corrupt families and manipulative kings. The throne of St. Peter is now a prize scrabbled over by Europe's pack of political wolves. And YOU can be one of them!

(HISTORICAL NOTE: There was no papal election in 1500, but this one is closely based on the real papal elections of 1492 and 1503, changing some details to combine the most corrupt and schemy elements of both.)


The Cardinals of the electoral college, and are sealed in the not-yet-Michelangelo-ified Sistine Chapel, and not released until one of them receives the majority vote necessary to ascend the papa throne. A vast array of motives move these Princes of the Church. Some want to become pope. Some want to advance their friends or patrons. Some want to crush old rivals. Some want to protect homelands, or retake lost strongholds. Some seek to enrich their families by selling their votes to the highest bidder. A weary few seek to battle corruption and protect the Church and its people from bellicose kings, warmongering clerics, and the Turk who lurks forever ready to invade. Gold, land, offices, titles and even crowns will change hands as the political face of Europe is redrawn by these few men. So put on your finest red scheming hat and take part in the Papal Election of 1500.

This game simulates a papal election in the most corrupt period of the Renaisance. Italian politics circa 1500 involved many infamous historical figures: Cesare Borgia, Henry VIII, the houses of Medici and Della Rovere, the unification of Spain with the birth of Charles V, the seeds of the Reformation, all colorful characters brought to life in this historical simulator. All characters are closely based on real historical figures and relationships, with some fuzziness of dates to allow the most exciting figures of two generations of papal history to be combined in one game.

REMOTE PLAYERS: This LARP can have up to four players play from remote locations, communicating with oh-site players by text message, phone and video chat. These players represent the Crowned Heads of Europe manipulating the election using their spies and cronies.

16 to 35 players