A Royal Celebration LARP: Organizer's Notes

Public Background

The crown prince of Florin is due to be married to the daughter of their greatest enemy. The kingdom prepares to rejoice in a celebration of impending peace. Behind the scenes, though, the castle is buzzing with rumors that disguised pirates are among the guests.

This is a comedic fantasy larp, in the spirit of The Princess Bride with nods to A Midsummer Night's Dream along with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 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.


There is an arranged marriage to make peace and seal treaty obligations between the Kingdom of Florin and the Free City-State of Gilder. If the two players both want it, then they have True Love and will be together in the end. Otherwise, it is a comedy of errors and everyone will learn their lesson.

King Herberunt's predecessor was his brother Humphrey. Sadly, he had gone on an extended honeymoon to the tropical Islands of Splendor nineteen years ago, and was lost at sea on the return voyage. His older brother Herberunt unhappily left his job as royal librarian to take the throne, and had an arranged marriage to

Two months ago, the Dark Pirate Stevens was chasing Jayden's ship when he ran aground on rocks off the Florin coast. Due to an incoming storm, they were forced to flee the wreck with only a fraction of their treasure.

There are a group of pirates who have gotten access to the palace disguised as a theater troupe. They are over-the-top and completely obvious as pirates, but they use the excuse that they are performing a pirate play. They are more comical than dangerous, though, and mainly want back a treasure map. The captain of the guard is a pompous windbag and amateur playwright who wants them to perform his own autobiographical play.

The guardian of the Gilderan bride-to-be wants the wedding to go off, and for her to follow her assassin training and take over the government once she has a chance.

In-Character Documents

The following are in-character documents to be distributed at various points in the game. They should be clearly labelled with distinct numbers and separate copies made because of Princess Trudy's Speed Reading talent.

  1. Letter from King Humphrey - lost for years (MSWord download 1)
  2. Log from the captain of the ship where Riley was found, held by Smee (MSWord download 2)
  3. Report from the code-named spy in Florin to "GG." (MSWord download 3) and (MSWord download 3a)
  4. A letter to the King commending Jayden, though revealing his cowardice (MSWord download 4)
  5. The bank books of Florin, showing treasure and debts (MSWord download 5)
  6. Letter from the Dread Pirate Stevens to Barnabas (MSWord download 6)

In addition, there are the potions distributed by the Amazing Avery. These should ideally be given in small containers, where the name can be read on the outside, but the instructions can only be read when the container is opened - representing drinking the potion.

  1. Potions and their abilities (MSWord download 7)

Character Overview

The characters are divided into four factions: (1) Florin Royals; (2) Palace Staff; (3) Gilderan Guests - including the bride-to-be; (4) The Pirates, disguised as actors in a play.

If you are running with fewer than 20 players, then these characters are roughly in order of priority for which parts are required. So the #1 character is absolutely required, and the last characters of each faction should be the first dropped (as a rule of thumb).

Florin Royals

  1. Prince Harmon: the geeky groom-to-be
    Goal: choice with Naeva's player to either ensure or prevent the wedding
    Talent: Raw Instinct (take back a single action or distinct bit of conversation, up to one minute back)
  2. King Herberunt - crazy old coot who succeeded his brother who was lost at sea
    Goal: find or make a good replacement king, like Harmon or his lost brother
    Talent: Smell Trouble - ask a yes/no question about plans against him
  3. Queen Bernadot - a sly old schemer
    Goal: ensure the wedding goes through and Gilder obeys its treaty obligations
    Talent: Detect Lies
  4. Princess Trudy - the bossy older sister who covets the throne
    Goal: prevent Harmon's wedding, and ideally discredit him as crown prince
    Talent: Speed Reading (GMs will give a copy of an out-of-character copy of any in-game document he can describe); also has a detailed sheet of background info
  5. Prince Baldwin - a bratty and violent young princeling
    Goal: disrupt the wedding
    Talent: Sneak (move about unnoticed)

Florin Staff

  1. Sir Ferdinand - the pompous captain of the guard and amateur playwright
    Goal: get the theater troupe to perform his play and make it a success
    Talent: Dumb Luck (can't be harmed or affected by powers)
  2. Steward Alaric - the harried host of the event
    Goal: make sure the wedding goes smoothly
    Talent: Delegate (once for each character, give an official task)
  3. Jayden - the famous (but in reality cowardly) pirate-fighting hero in disguise as a palace servant
    Goal: impress the royal family with your vigilance in keeping pirates away
    Talent: Run Away - always escape any conflict
  4. Terry - palace servant and spy for the Gilderans
    Goal: discover the Florin royals' secrets
    Talent: Sharp Eared (can make anyone to summarize what they just said for him)
  5. Rosencrantz - incompetant functionary working for the senile king
    Goal: obey the king, spread confusion
    Note: the players of R&G each get two nametags and are encouraged to switch off
    Talent: Where'd They Go? (disappear to go to an OOC area if not in conflict or conversation)
  6. Guildenstern - incompetant functionary working for the senile king
    Goal: obey the king, spread confusion
    Note: the players of R&G each get two nametags and are encouraged to switch off
    Talent: Where'd They Go? (disappear to go to an OOC area if not in conflict or conversation)

Gilder Guests

  1. Lady Naeva - the bride-to-be, master of drugs and poisons
    Goal: choice with Harmon's player to either ensure or prevent the wedding
    Talent: knock anyone unconscious through food or powder in the face
  2. General Granville - the young lady's guardian, who raised her as an assassin
    Goal: make sure Florin has the gold they're rumored to, and if so make sure the wedding goes off
    Talent: Always Prepared (have any generic item that could reasonably be on his person)
  3. Councilor Camille - Gilder's ambassador to Florin and representative
    Goal: find out what the old king is up to, and investigate suspicious characters
    Talent: Sleight of Hand (open any lock, make any item you're holding disappear)
  4. The Amazing Avery - magician and advisor to the general
    Goal: prove the worth and usefulness of your magic to everyone
    Talent: create amazing but unreliable potions

Pirates / "Theatre Troupe"

  1. Captain Barnabas
    Goal: Find the king's confiscated pirate treasure
    Talent: Do As I Say! (shout and make anyone do that for a ten-count)
  2. Angel Meroe - the pirate-born tough rogue
    Goal: find the pirate-hunter Jayden that killed her mother and make him suffer slowly
    Talent: Born Scrapper (best any man in a fight)
  3. First Mate Smee
    Goal: Replace Captain Barnabas as pirate leader
    Talent: Exacting (force people to obey their promises to him)
  4. Red Riley - the fierce young foundling raised by Barnabas and Smee
    Goal: find the truth of his birth
    Talent: Sincerity (command any player to believe any truth you say)
  5. * Black Errol - the pirate who always wanted to be an actor
    Goal: get a noble patron to sponsor you as a real actor
    Talent: Acting! (disguise self as any non-named character)


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Sep 18 23:10:22 2011