A Hero's Welcome LARP: Organizer's Notes

Public Background

         On the run from the King's navy, pirate captain Barnabas planned a quick raid on an out-of-the-way town to gather much-needed supplies. What he didn't expect was to be greeted with joy and cries of praise. What exactly is going on here?

         This is a comedic fantasy larp, in the spirit of The Princess Bride with nods to The Prisoner of Zenda and Hail the Conquering Hero. There is real intrigue and adventure, but also outrageous talents and improbable plot contrivances. The content will be suitable for both adults and teens.

Organizer's Overview

There are a number of plotlines weaving through this. I want as much as possible to play out without requiring GMs, though.


Captain Barnabas and his pirates come to a small town on the edge of the Kingdom of Florin to hide out from the King's navy. By purest coincidence, however, the first mate Smee happens to be an exact double for the missing heir to the county. The heir, Francis, has been missing for twelve years, ever since he went missing after apparently going mad in service of the King's army. Secretly, this madness was the result of his uncle Everett's black magic.

The uncle Everett has since taken over the county. He has raised taxes on the townspeople to fund his experiments in dark sorcery. While he is quite unpopular, almost no one knows his secret except for the shopkeeper Sal who has been selling him ingredients for his experiments.

The true heir Francis is now returning in disguise, posing as the assistant to the Inspector General - who has come to investigate reports of unfair taxes in the town.

Character Overview

There are 13 characters are divided into three factions: (1) the pirates; (2) the townspeople; (3) the Inspector General's team. I had three extra character ideas that I do not recommend since they did not work out well, cf. Deleted Characters.

The full character sheets and talent cards are available as:

The Pirates

  1. Captain Barnabas
    Goal: Get your crew out safely, with whatever plunder you can manage
    Talent: Do As I Say! (shout and make anyone do that for a ten-count)
  2. First Mate Smee
    Goal: replace Barnabas as pirate leader
    Talent: Exacting (force people to obey their promises to him)
  3. Angel Meroe - the pirate-born tough rogue
    Goal: find the pirate-hunter Jayden that killed your mother and make him suffer slowly
    Talent: Born Scrapper (best any man in a fight)
  4. "Baby-eater" O'Brian
    Goal: find a job as a veterinarian
    Talent: Menacing Glare (no one dare attack you or directly use power on you)

Town Leaders

  1. Mayor Hurley - pompous mayor
    Goal: ensure safety of town and overthrow Count Everett
    Talent: "Blather" (force people to stay and talk)
  2. Terry the Rich Herder - wealthy sheep owner and wheeler-dealer
    Goal: repeal the taxes
    Talent: "Wheeler-Dealer" (get anyone to agree to a trade, especially for sheep)
  3. Morgan the Merchant - nosy town gossip
    Goal: find out whatever is going on
    Talent: Sharp Eared (can make anyone to summarize what they just said for him)
  4. Sal the Shopkeeper - plotting shopkeeper
    Goal: see Count Everett overthrown without getting blamed
    Talent: Always Prepared (have any generic item that could reasonably be on his person)
  5. Doc Peyton - ostensibly the town veterinarian, really the new Count in disguise
    Goal: Escape with your fortune
    Talent: Magical Disguise

The Inspector General's Team

  1. Inspector Cameron
    Goal: see justice done
    Talent: Detect Lies
  2. Assistant Avery - actually Francis, heir to the old Count
    Goal: regain the county
    Talent: Heroism (can automatically win a conflict four times in the game)
  3. Jayden - the famous (but in reality cowardly) pirate-fighting hero
    Goal: impress the royal family with your vigilance in keeping pirates away
    Talent: Run Away - always escape any conflict


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Sep 18 22:55:22 2011