Roleplaying Games

I have been a larper and tabletop roleplayer since 2007, and in that time I’ve written a number of pieces in both forms. Here’s the current list of all my completed gaming projects.

Larps

Alice by Phoebe Roberts

In this gothic fantasy, players take on personas of twisted versions of the characters in Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s novels, in a strange subreality called Wonderland. Each character’s struggles and intrigues swirl around the strange comings and goings of a lost, troubled girl called Alice, as they work to control, escape, and survive the mad trap that is Wonderland. Alice is gothic in tone, semi-realistic with touches of dark surrealism. Though every character is human, each one is inspired by a figure from Lewis Carroll’s novels, and has a secret Wonderland identity hidden behind a seemingly normal human name. Alice is thickly plotted with clean, simple mechanics and character sheets written in a detailed, novelistic style. Players must scheme and strategize to achieve their goals, using their cunning and best judgment to determine what to do and who to trust. It also a killing game, so players must be prepared for the possibility of fatal combat situations, though the ability to kill opponents will not be activated until two hours into the four-hour period. The currency of the game is information, and players must gather the facts they need for their quests through interaction, bargaining, deception, and collaboration. Enter the gothic world of Alice and unravel the mysteries of the dark and twisted world of Wonderland.

Debut: 2007
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Standalone
Genre: Gothic surreal drama
Banner: Breaking Light Games

~~~

Oz by Phoebe Roberts

In this science fiction reinterpretation of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, players take on the roles of the soldiers, diplomats, and scientists from various planets in the Oz system, inspired by the events and figures in the L. Frank Baum novels. Since the Yellow Brick Roads were established as paths for ships to follow through hyperspace, travel and commerce throughout planets in the Oz System has never been easier or more efficient. The passages between hyperspace and real space may have been unstable, but with the construction of the the Emerald Station people believed that things were headed for a new era of advancement and prosperity. The rise of a system-wide war and the complications that resulted, however, means that Oz must sort out its society’s various troubles, from interplanetary vendetta to environmental irregularities to political maneuvering in all manner of disguise. Players must deal with the aftermath of the interplanetary conflict as well as their own personal entanglements against the backdrop of scientific phenomenon they are striving to understand.

Debut: 2009
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Standalone
Genre: Soft science fiction
Banner: Breaking Light Games

~~~

Paranoia: Research and Dismemberment by Bernie Gabin, Joe Gabin, Matthew Kamm, Mac Magruder, and Phoebe Roberts

HELLO CITIZENS

I HOPE YOU ARE HAVING AN EXTRA SPECIALLY GOOD DAY CYCLE! BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT TO GET EVEN BETTER!

YOUR RECENT ACTIONS HAVE NOT GONE UNNOTICED, CITIZEN, AND NOW IT IS TIME TO REWARD YOUR LOYALTY TO ALPHA COMPLEX. YOU HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO RED CLEARANCE LEVEL AND GIVEN THE HONOR OF SERVING ALPHA COMPLEX BY WORKING ON ONE OF FRIEND COMPUTER’S ELITE TROUBLE SHOOTER TEAMS. GOOD FOR YOU!!!! AS A TROUBLE SHOOTER WORKING FOR THE GOOD OF ALPHA COMPLEX, IT WILL BE YOUR SWORN DUTY TO TRACK DOWN TROUBLE AND THEN ….UM ….SHOOT IT. TROUBLE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS, BUT MOST COMMONLY IT TAKES THE GUISE OF COMMIE MUTANT TRAITORS. YOU MUST ALWAYS BE ON YOUR GUARD FOR THESE FIENDISH AGENTS OF DOOM. THEY COULD BE ANYWHERE, THEY COULD BE ANYONE, EVEN MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN TEAM! BUT I AM SURE THAT A TROUBLE SHOOTER OF YOUR OUTSTANDING ABILITIES WILL BE ABLE TO UNCOVER ANY COMMIE MUTANT THREAT AND BRING IT TO JUSTICE. (FAILURE TO DO SO WILL BE CONSIDERED TREASON.)

REPORT TO BRIEFING ROOM [[CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION]] TOMORROW AT [[CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION]] HOURS FOR ASSIGNMENT OF YOUR MANDATORY BONUS DUTY AND TO BE ASSIGNED YOUR FIRST MISSION. REMEMBER: TARDINESS IS TREASON.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED RED CLEARANCE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO WEAR THE NEW JUMPSUITS PROVIDED FOR YOU! SHOW YOUR PATRIOTISM! WEAR YOUR NEW CLEARANCE COLOR! (FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL BE CONSIDERED TREASON.)

AND OF COURSES REMEMBER TO BRING [[ CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION ]] AND A COMPLETED [[ CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION ]]. (FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL BE CONSIDERED TREASON)

HAVE A NICE DAY AND REMEMBER, “HAPPINESS IS MANDATORY!”

YOUR FRIEND, THE COMPUTER

Debut: 2009
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Paranoia
Genre: Dystopian science fiction humor
Banner: Breaking Light Games

~~~

The Stand by Phoebe Roberts

The year is 1848, and things have been growing tougher and tougher for the small town of Reston in northern California. Normally it is a quiet place where most people work for the Arlen Cattle Company, but all of a sudden things aren’t so quiet anymore. Relations have always been difficult with the neighboring Yurok tribe of Indians, and disputes over the local resources are about to strain things ever further. With the news of gold discovered down at Sutter’s Mill, there have been rumblings about whether or not the precious metal might be found as far north as Reston. There’s some new gentlemen in town going on about building a railroad to connect northern California to the south. And to top it all off, notorious bandit Esteban Valdez, current leaded of the ruthless Deadeye Gang, has informed the town’s residents that if the swag stolen off his crew hidden somewhere in Reston isn’t handed over, he and his men are going to ride in and take the place apart until they find it– no matter who gets in their way. How the situation gets handled, and by whom, will determining the fate of Reston in northern California. People haven’t had the great confidence in Sheriff Malcolm Royce lately, but so much rides on him being up to facing these challenges. Sometimes, a man has got to take a stand.

The Stand is a roleplay-heavy, mechanics-light four-hour game set firmly in the western genre. Some nod has been made to historical and geographical accuracy, but poetic license has been taken.

Debut: 2011
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Breaking History
Genre: Historical Drama
Banner: Breaking Light Games

~~~

The Labor Wars by Susan Weiner, Vito D’Agosta, Nat Budin, and Phoebe Roberts

Everyone knows the history of the Civil War. The South seceded from the union but, defeated, was forced to rejoin. But what if things had gone differently?

Welcome to the world of The Labor Wars. The year is 1923. The continent is divided into seven nations. And in the Lone Star Republic, labor and management have been fighting a ground war for over a decade.

Respected politician Timothy Althaus has called a series of emergency meetings at his home. Althaus has invited the most important labor leaders, politicians, business owners, and mercenaries in a last-ditch attempt to end this war. But recent mysterious deaths, changes in leadership, and rumors of outside threats cast a pall over the negotiations.

Can the parties reach an amicable compromise? Or will this labor conflict destroy the Lone Star Republic?

Debut: 2011
Length: Weekend long
Genre: Alternate history
Banner: Alleged Entertainment

~~~

Resonance by Susan Weiner, Vito D’Agosta, Nat Budin, and Phoebe Roberts

Some would call it the end of the world. It was certainly the most drastic change in human history — more devestating than the atomic bomb, and more revolutionary than the information age. The highly psychoactive “Resonance Virus” has swept the globe, leaving no-one uninfected. The bio-engineered disease distorts memory, dissipates ego, and has resulted in…in…you can’t remember.
You know this place — this is the Pentagon, where politicos, military, and scientists have all gathered in the final days of the crisis.

What you can’t remember is who you are, what you’ve done, and how the world came to … this state. You look at the face of the person next to you, finding only a reflection of your own confusion.

Then, the memories flood in.

Resonance is an experimental amnesia/storytelling larp. You will play one of the few people instrumental in the end of the world, and you must determine what will rise from it. You will play out scenes leading up to the apocalypse, and your choices will not only reveal but determine who you were and what role you played.

Content warnings: Resonance contains depictions of biotechnological apocalypse, human experimentation on children, use of extreme military force, abuse of power, and genocide. In parts of the game, players will be asked to actively roleplay all of these things. In addition, we deal with political content around issues of power structures, militarism, and neurodiversity. This game may also be unsuitable for claustrophobic players.

Debut: 2012
Length: 6 hours
Genre: Psychological science fiction
Banner: Alleged Entertainment

~~~

Agent Bobo of the Resistance by Viktoriya Fuzyalova, Nat Budin, Andrew Sheingold, and Phoebe Roberts

“10-year-old Billy Oberlin has had it tough lately. Moving, family troubles, and a new school have all thrown his life into a tailspin. It’s hard being a kid, but Billy has one solace: his toy box. Twelve loyal stuffed friends he can take on adventures through his imagination.

In the world of Billy’s creation, a secret Resistance movement fights against evil invading dinosaurs, ninjas and aliens. Now on its riskiest mission yet, the Resistance must travel back in time, to when things were better, to prevent history from going so awry.

Can AGENT Bobo and his toybox friends help Billy find a better future for himself and for the planet?

AGENT Bobo of the Resistance is an experimental short larp, which won third place at the Intercon M Iron GM Competition. It combines traditional theatre-style larp structure with player-driven narrative construction. In addition, players will be playing the role of Beanie Babies.”

Debut: 2013
Length: 2 hours
Genre: Experimental character study
Banner: Alleged Entertainment

~~~

Her Eternal Majesty’s Privy Council by Susan Weiner, Vito D’Agosta, Nat Budin, and Phoebe Roberts

The thirty-seven suns never set upon the planets of Her Eternal Majesty, Queen Victoria’s Galactic Empire. On the planet of Bletchley, it is January 15th: the day of the annual meeting of the Privy Council.

The Privy Council is responsible for providing fiduciary patronage for projects of interest to the Empire. Planetary Govern0r Ethan Gibson Huxley IV has generously lent the use of a suite in his executive palace for the occasion. From across Bletchley, scientists, inventors, lunatics, and other notable and learned folk have gathered in the capitol to petition for allotments from the Privy Council.

There is surely no truth to the rumours that the Planetary Govern0r’s clones have taken to warring amongst themselves, nor could they be plotting an insurrection against Her Eternal Majesty’s lawful government. The gorilla sighted running across New Trafalgar Square last Thursday was surely an aberration. All is well and peaceful in Her Eternal Majesty’s Galactic Empire.

Mad Science Funding Council is a horde LARP in the vein of Time Travel Review Board and City Council of Hound’s Teeth. A small number of players will play a set of privy council members, and the rest will play a rotating cast of misfits, scientists, vagabonds and con artists who will come through requesting funding. The council’s decisions may well determine the fate of the Galactic Empire. This game is set in the year 2500 in a far-future steampunk setting, where the Galactic Empire is ruled by the preserved brain of Her Imperial Majesty Queen Victoria.

Debut: 2014
Length: 4 hours
Genre: Steampunk humor
Banner: Alleged Entertainment

~~~

Brockhurst by Phoebe Roberts and Bernie Gabin

For centuries the British aristocracy set the standard for civilized living in the western world. By 1915, the house of Edward Bellamy, Earl of Brockhurst, finds itself extinct in the male line and the inheritance has fallen to earl’s eldest daughter Claudia. This year’s Servant’s Ball held at Brock Hall has become the social event of the season, drawing all manner of parties interested in the future of the earldom.
But as they struggle to uphold the foundations of their traditions, the world around them is changing. The rising middle class is challenging the supremacy of the old order, and the outbreak of the Great War threatens to shake the lives of everyone, from the most exalted nobles to the humblest of their servants. Theirs may be a culture of elaborate manners and ceremony, but times of strife will tear through the polite facade to the complicated workings within.

Brockhurst is a highly social, low-mechanics larp based mostly around narrative roleplay involving family secrets, social upheaval, historical politics, and interpersonal maneuvering. There will be opportunities for dancing as well as some characters to be involved in war-themed strategic challenges. Inspired by the PBS television series Downton Abbey, Brockhurst is the game of high society manners and intrigue set against the picturesque background of a British earldom in the time of the First World War. 18+ or prior permission of GM.

Debut: 2014
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Breaking History
Genre: Historical Drama
Banner: Breaking Light Games

~~~

Tabletop Games

The Bloom of May by Phoebe Roberts

The year is 1937, and as Fairfield, CT comes out of the Great Depression the divide between the worlds of the rich and the poor has never been greater. Still, there is more going on in this quiet red brick town than meets the eye, and everyone, from the grandest society families to the humblest of their servants, has their secrets. In this roleplaying-heavy story-oriented one-shot, play as characters from all walks of life as these worlds collide as the desire to solve a decades-old mystery entangles them all.

“The Bloom of May” is a five-hour story-oriented tabletop game with pre-generated characters. The genre is dramatic mystery and it takes place in the real world. It is entirely mechanics-free, heavy on plot, and intended to be focused on interpersonal roleplaying and a collaborative telling and unraveling of the plot. Contested actions are decided by GM fiat. Characters come in the form of larp-style prose character sheets.

This piece follows the events of Mrs. Loring and The Tailor at Loring’s End and contains spoilers for both.

Debut: 2014
System: Homebrew
Length: 4 hours
Universe: Breaking History
Genre: Historical Drama
Banner: Breaking Light Games


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