These are my notes for a LARP (live-action role-playing) scenario set in the universe of the Firefly television series and Serenity film. It was first run at Pacificon 2011. The basic pitch was as follows:
Months after the revelation of the horrendous disaster on the planet Miranda, an research facility open to the public has been set up to peacefully study psychic phenomena that contributed to the disaster. Security expects someone to attempt payback for the misdeeds here. However, the form of that payback comes in a way no one expects.
This is a LARP set in the Firefly/Serenity universe. Old West or Chinese themed clothing suggested but not required. Children are welcome, but they should be prepared for a mostly serious game of intrigue.
The game is set about a year after the events of the film Serenity, on an institute set up on the planet Miranda - where the Reavers originated from a government-funded experiment. There was naturally a huge public outcry over the incident. An investigation was launched into those responsible, and the government funded a public institute to address the issues that had come up. The following is from their flyer:
The Miranda Human Studies Institute
The Miranda Human Studies Institute was founded as a cutting-edge neuroscience research facility open to the public. Its primary funding comes from an Alliance government grant, but it has dozens of independent backers.
Our mission here is to both discover and share valuable insights into brain functioning to make our lives both richer and safer. The first focus of the lab's research will naturally be on preventing disasters like the unnatural violence of the Miranda survivors. The abuses that caused that are deep and shocking, and spurred immediate and generous funding from a variety of sources public and private. However, we are also seeking out positive contributions to improve general mental health and treat neurologically-based disabilities. The brain can be a deadly weapon, yet it is also a part of everyone's lives.
The founding principle of the laboratory is to share its results with all communities both within and beyond the Alliance. Secrets make for bad science and bad policy. This means not only making our results available upon request, but actively pursuing efforts at outreach to spread information on a variety of neurological health issues. All parts of the lab are open at any time to the public - no appointment necessary. The facility is owned by the privately-held institute that has no affiliation to any political organization. Security is present only to protect those who work and visit here, and is privately contracted from Blackwell Securities - a private company based on the Outer Rim moon Toraud.
There are twelve pregenerated characters in the game. I have listed them below according to three groups that they are in, and also list three categories for each. "Goal" or "Emo" refers to Goal-oriented or Emotion-oriented. Goal-oriented characters have a concrete, practical goal in the scenario. Emotion-oriented characters also have goals, but their goals might be more open-ended and/or impossible to achieve during the scenario. "Light" or "Dark" refers to the characters outlook. Dark characters can be quite moral, but they have had to deal with tragic events. "Simple" or "Complex" refers to intricacies in play. Characters marked with an asterisk (*) are required for the scenario.
Standard larp rules for the local tradition should apply, possibly including willingness the conventions for "cut" and "break" to adjust play, and/or the American "no touching" convention.
There are no formal mechanics for this scenario except for the supernatural abilities included in the character descriptions. If there is any trouble deciding the result of conflict between character, a simple coin flip can decide. All of the characters are at this point fairly average folk with the exception of their supernatural qualities, so it is a fair estimation that they have even chances in most contests.