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Larp: Platform 6
by Alon Levy
In a spacefaring civilization, some people eke out their living in less than legal ways. Illegal outpost Platform 6 is one of their havens, as security gets tighter and raiding opportunities scarcer. Some characters have political goals and want to embarrass Internal Security or even assassinate a politician. Some are new to the underworld and want to make money. Others are old hands who already have money and want to retire back to the overworld, but have filial duty to others, or need to erase evidence of their past crimes to avoid execution.
Platform 6 is an experimental space piracy game, inspired by Firefly, Reservoir Dogs, the video game FTL, and the LARPs Devil to Pay, Spring River, Ex Ignorantia, A Crown of Hearts, A Second Chance for Wings, and Bad Apples. The purpose of the game is to produce emotionally intense moments and difficult choices with limited immersion. The four hours of out-of-game time do not correspond to four hours of in-game time, but to days or weeks.
The game consists of several episodes: each episode features an opportunity to go on a mission, such as raiding a loosely guarded cargo ship, robbing a first-class passenger ship and maybe taking hostages, and attacking an Internal Security installation. Not all characters can go on all missions; characters have to distribute themselves to crews, while those who stay during a mission will instead deal with events on Platform 6, such as gang politics. Each episode is somewhat self-contained, but still affects future developments of both plot and characters.
A crucial element of the game is trust. Teamwork is essential, but can you trust your crewmates? The law states that piracy carries capital punishment, but people can avoid punishment if they give information leading to the capture of two other pirates or one higher-ranked pirate. If you're a captain looking to return to the overworld after this one last mission, who do you pick to be your crew, knowing that if any of them gets captured, they have a ticket to freedom if they give you up? If you're a rookie, how do you convince your fellow criminals of your loyalty? If you're a hacker, do you stick together with your hacker friends, or make sure you're on separate crews so that you can complement your skills with those of other people? What do you do if the people who you feel most at ease with under pressure, who you have the most professional chemistry with, are the ones you most suspect of being Internal Security agents?
Character death may happen mid-game. In that event, there will be replacement characters ready, and as far as possible they will be compatible with your casting requests and with your original character's story arc.
The game does not have any triggers relating to gender, race, or sexual orientation. However, you will be playing criminals and terrorists. Do not expect to be able to play a lovable rogue in the mold of Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds; such characters may well exist, but are outnumbered by characters who are more like Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, Adelai Niska, or Badger. Most of the characters are not evil, but they are not morally pure enough for your typical heist flick.
- 18 to 24 players