two chicks write some LARPs

this one's kinda scary

stuff we've written - stuff we're running - stuff we're planning - stuff about us

Lifeline, by Lily Benderskaya and Tory Root

So here's how it went down. Sluggy and Zonk've made sure that you had a lifeline. That's a pretty standard, if damn dangerous, piece of spacer rescue equipment. Heavy cable tethered to a probe, shoots out into space like a great big rope to safety. The seeker probe homes in on the nearest ship and slowly cranks the cable in, slowly enough that you don't all get thrown off it when you hit the rescue ship. You're stuck back on the cable at the end, so you've just got to hang on and wait, dangling in space, until the probe's settled and the cable's cranked in. If Zonk's telling the truth, there's a ship there for the probe to find, and you won't just sail off into space until you run out of air or go mad. Because the chances of hitting a random ship, this far out from the colonies, before you all die? Pretty much nothing. And you do know you're not alone out here, right?

Lifeline, our (edited) Iron GM contest submission, is a black comedy about shattered identities and religion gone wrong, played out by a cut-throat band of half-amnesiac escaped prisoners floating through empty space. With geese.

"That was the best game I've played all con."
- a drunk guy

The goal of this game: maximum immersion, maximum screwiness, and occasionally scaring the bejeezus out of our players. We run it in the dark. With little LED flashlights. And a rope for the players to cling to.

We wrote this game in twenty-four hours flat according to the rules of the Iron GM contest. In fact, less than twenty-four hours, as we each got three hours of sleep, and Tory had to clock an hour at work. It did not win, but it failed to win by less than three points, so we're not too torn up about it. And despite its failure to win, Tory was informed by a room full of drunk people that it was awesome, and then commanded to run it at FestEvil, where it was also proclaimed awesome by at least one sober person.

Unfortunately, due to the whole running in the dark thing, Lifeline is nearly impossible to photograph, so despite her growing tendency to go snap-happy while running games, Tory has no photos of any runs.

The current version of Lifeline, version 2.2, is a game for sixteen players (three male, three female, ten neutral) which runs for about three hours, in one room, under the direction of at least two GMs. We're planning on a final, though perhaps major, revision pass and then probably boxing it and/or game-banking it. We still want a planetarium globe though.

Previous Runs

Version 1.0: March 7th, 2009, at Intercon I in Chelmsford, MA. Raw draft written in twenty-four hours and cast on the spot with a room full of strangers, par for the course for an Iron GM game. Given that, we'd say it went pretty darn well.

Version 1.1: April 4th, 2009, at the Brandeis Festival of the LARPs in Waltham, MA. A lightly edited version that was also well-received, although the players rather overwhelmingly declared that it needed a longer runtime.

Version 2.0: March 13th, 2010, at Intercon J in Chelmsford, MA. Four characters added, runtime exapnded, and some relatively major changes in information handling and some sub-plots. Tory let the game out an hour early by accident, due to a brain fart about the schedule, but it actually worked rather well with a three hour runtime. And this run went pretty well too.

Version 2.1: April 17th, 2010, at the Brandeis Festival of the LARPs in Waltham, MA. Tory, who updates the website, was not there for that run, as the GMs were Lily and one of the assorted Joshes. It ran with a very minimal cast, with only nine out of the sixteen characters in game, but it apparently worked nicely regardless. We intended Lifeline to have a very flexible cast, so this is encouraging.

Version 2.2: November 20th, 2010, at SLAW at WPI in Worcester, MA. This is the first time the game has run with neither of us present. We just fixed typos, printed and propped, and handed the game over to Matt and Lise, of League of Extraordinary Hogwarts Students fame. So all Tory can do is list the run here. Apparently a lot of people died. Whee!

Future Runs

No future runs are scheduled. There's a decent chance that the next run will be GMed by somebody else, but if so, we'll still list it here.