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Larp: The Teapot Travesty


by Claire Ryder and Heather Law

The game is loosely based in a fantasy/alternate history Victoriana setting, ninspired by the Parasol Protectorate books. All of the players are either invited to, or have somehow persuaded their way into, an unveiling of an amazing technological development; the Aetheric Sphere, which will allow supernatural beings to enjoy the benefits of the modern dirigible.

It is 1875, Queen Victoria is at the height of her illustrious realm, and vampires, werewolves and ghosts are not only real, but helped make the British Empire the global wonder that it is today. They are not only accepted in society, they are á la mode. The vampires dominate cities through a Hive, and have a great influence on fashion rand the social scene. The Queen is known to consult regularly with a Shadow Council, made up of supernatural representatives. They have the queen’s ear, and as such it is not fashionable to overtly dismiss them. However, the situation in Britain is not reflected throughout the world. Countries such as Italy and the USA are notably anti-supernatural, and still have laws in effect which allow them to be legally hunted.

Fashion and the social scene are very important to the populace of London, and a person lives or dies on their reputation and alliances. It is a time of technological wonder; the scientists of the day have created dirigible technology among other diversions. People can ‘float’ to Scotland, or Europe, or go on pleasure floats over London by day.

Humans can be turned into vampires or werewolves, but it is not a privilege offered to all. Not only must you be a person with excess soul (usually demonstrated through artistic or creative tendencies), but there must be something in it for the Hive/Pack. It is normal therefore to work as a Drone or Claviger (respectively) for up to a decade before you prove yourself worthy. Of course there are other reasons than transcendence to become a Drone or Claviger. Supernatural beings are great patrons for scientific types, and will accept your service and several of your early patents in order to support you and further your career. The turning process is not certain to work, and if it fails, it is invariably fatal.

Ghosts are made generally by accident. If you have excess soul and you die suddenly, you may become a ghost, but few would choose this life, as you are tethered to a small geography, and you will suffer a slow insanity as you begin to dissipate over a few short decades. You can also be accidentally or purposely exorcised.

And then there are preternaturals, the natural hunters of the undead. These are humans born without a soul. If they touch a supernatural, the supernatural completely loses their extraordinary powers and is rendered human and vulnerable whilst in contact. This can have its benefits of course, say if a vampire badly missed the sunrise. Needless to say a preternaturals touch can immediately exorcise a ghost.

‘London hours’ is a fashionable day cycle to keep, especially during the high season. This means being awake when the supernatural are, generally rising at around midday and go to bed in the wee small hours.

Beyond these changes, Victorian England is very much the same. A lady is never seen without her gloves, hat and parasol. A gentleman is never seen without his hat. The military have status, and politeness is absolutely mandatory. As is tea; in copious amounts.

This will mostly be an information gathering and political game. People can switch sides, make and break alliances. There may be elements of light combat, but this would be resolved with rock, paper, scissors. To keep things from getting stale, there could be afternoon tea, poisonings, assassination attempts, or dirigible related piratical activity. I cannot possibly comment about the likelihood of zombies. Cthulu will not be appearing in this game (No, really, I mean it) nor will any of his fellow denizens of the deep.

25-player maximum