I don’t think I actually wrote about this back at the time. OK, then, so to start with: for the past five years I’ve been attending the annual Peaky larp-writing workshop, which takes place the last weekend in April, at a group of farm cottages in Leicestershire. Each year I’ve been part of a team of five or so assorted people, thinking of a larp on the Friday evening, writing it on the Saturday, and playtesting it on the Sunday. The most recent Peaky was last weekend, but this post is not about that. This post is about the one from two years ago, 2012: at which, together with Tracy Bose, Rob Harris, Tony Mitton, Mike Snowden and Cat Tobin, I was involved in writing a larp called Small Town Folks.
It’s a UK-freeform style of game, like most of the things that have come out of Peaky (although that has been changing in recent years. Last year, for example, the group I was in wrote Picking up the Pieces, which is a very different sort of beast). For 12 players, set in a small US town in 1962. It’s about the tensions that can grow between people who’ve known each other all their lives, and what happens when you put those people under intense pressure (like being locked in a storm cellar while a hurricane rages overhead).
We playtested the game at Peaky when we wrote it, and then Rob and Mike ran it again at Consequences 2012, where it went pretty well. I don’t think it’s been run since… but now it’s been published, courtesy of Peaky Games. This is a business that exists to publish stuff that’s been written at Peaky, but in practice hardly any of the games written actually do get published. I think only five larps have so far, out of several dozen written. Mostly because not many people want to take on the fairly tedious and laborious work of converting a larp from ‘it basically worked OK when we the designers ran it’ to ‘anyone in the world can pick up this document and it tells them everything they need to run the game successfully’.
But anyway, that has now happened with Small Town Folks, and you can avail yourself of it for just five of your British pounds (about eight of your US dollars). From here!
I think Small Town Folks forms a pretty good example of its type of game, so, although that’s a type that I’m not so very interested in myself these days, I would recommend it if you’re looking for something cheap, fun and well-crafted to run. If you do give it a go, let me know what you think!