General Rules

  1. Have fun. That's why we do this.

  2. This is an experiment. We had some interesting ideas that we wanted to play with. We hope that you enjoy the results.

  3. Stop if the lights go out. If we turn the lights out, freeze. Don't attempt to speak or interact during that time.

  4. Play nice. We're all friends here. If you don't know someone, assume they're a friend. If there's another player you don't particularly like in the LARP, assume they're a friend for the duration and play accordingly. (Characters can dislike each other.)

  5. Know thyself. There's a lot of detail in the character sheets. The game is best if you know what's in there and react accordingly. It's OK to check a fact in the character sheet if you have to.

  6. Stay in character. We'll SMOG later.

  7. Be kind to the GMs/authors. They've put a lot of time, effort, and maybe even money that you didn't see, just to bring you this LARP. Forgive their flaws for now, and help them fix the problems later. Don't forget to tell them about the good things.

  8. It's only a game.

How to Interpret Your Own Weird Science or Strange Magic

You'll have a bluesheet defining a specific Weird Science or Strange Magic known by your character. This example demonstrates how to interpret and use those skills. For this example, we're going to use a unique Weird Science not part of the game. In this case, suppose you know The Calculus of Infinities:

Example: Auras for The Calculus of Infinities
Aura Symbol Meaning
Λ Generally results in a divide by zero in your calculations
Ξ Induces an irrational fear of mathematics
Γ Reminds you of algebra class in the 7th grade
Δ You can simplify this using your favorite Laplace transformation
Π This isn't prime
Σ Will generate an infinite Power series
Ψ Mix liberally with alcohol for an unusual time
Θ An infinity in the numerator, a zero in the denominator, all the result of a naked singularity
Ω This is best described by one equation you'll never forget
Reaches a limit of π as n goes to ∞

Suppose that your goal was to create a device to tell time. Furthermore, suppose that you had access to the following items:

Λ Ξ ∩
A small lump of cesium
Γ ∪ Δ
The Collected Works of Jacqueline Suzanne
∃ Π Σ
A cup of bilge water
∀ Ψ Θ
Drew's Pants
Ω ∈ ∇
A mutant hamster

While this seems an unlikely set of objects to useful for telling time, it has that potential. First, taking one letter from each object, you can spell out CLOCK. The lump of cesium has the C in the first position, the works of Jacqueline Suzanne has the L in the second position, and so on.

You have to use the letters in the positions that they're in, which makes it harder. For example, just because you can find the letters for TICKS doesn't mean it's usable, because the C, K, and S are in the wrong positions. You only get TISCK, which doesn't work.

Furthermore, you can only use one letter from each item. Even though the cup of bilge water has both the I and the E in TIMER, you can only use one of the letters. Fortunately, the mutant hamster has an E in the correct place, so the word works.

So, you have a CLOCK. Now you have to explain how this clock works, using the items you have. Let's see. You could put the lump of cesium underneath the collected works of Jacqueline Suzanne, all inside Drew's Pants. Then, you'd put the mutant hamster inside the pants, tying off the legs and waist, so that the hamster couldn't escape. Inside, stimulated by the odd energies from the lump of cesium, the hamster would start shredding the works of Jacqueline Suzanne. By setting the cup of bilge water on the edge of the pants, this shredding action would set up waves in the cup, which you could count to track time.

This works, but not very well. The way to improve the device is via the aura codes in the top row of the item card. The lump of cesium has a Λ, which means it induces an irrational fear of mathematics. Now we know why the mutant hamster never stops! It's afraid, because of the mathematically based emanations coming from that cesium. This explains the odd energies.

The lump of cesium also has a ∪, which is not on your list of aura symbols. There are things about an item that you may not recognize.

The Collected Works of Jacqueline Suzanne has both a Γ and a Δ. The Γ reminds you of 7th grade, when you think you might have been fascinated with clocks. The Δ says you can simplify this entire process using the Laplace transformation, so you know that it must be useful here.

The cup of bilge water has a Σ, which says that this is part of an infinite Power series. That must mean that your device will stay on and keep going as long as you need it. Sure, it may not make the most sense, but the goal here is to amplify your story to amuse the GMs. The more amused the GMs are, the more likely you are to have the device work the way you want it to, no matter how outlandish the collection of items. Be creative! Tell us a story!

Drew's Pants are clearly dangerous, as the Θ demonstrates. Clearly any messing about with singularities is also dangerous, which fits perfectly. If you had some alcohol, the Ψ might work better, but you don't, so it doesn't help here.

Finally, the mutant hamster has an Ω, which means you can't get this out of your head. Since time is on your mind, this clearly must be an integral part of the process.

It is entirely reasonable to collaborate on this effort, since others may be able to discern different auras. For example, suppose that there is someone else with the Strange Magic Golf Is More Than Just A Game. They might look at Drew's Pants and see the Ψ, which might mean "capable of arranging any desired tee time." That conveys an even stronger sense of time to your collaborator, who wouldn't dare miss an assigned tee off. (Golf is More Than Just a Game to them, after all.)

You can use any aura from an item, but the definition must be something discernable by one of your collaborators. Suppose that someone from the Flagellant Nuns knows that Ψ means "will tell you when it's time for Vespers." If you are not collaborating with a Flagellant Nun, you cannot use this fact in your description, no matter how useful. If you really need it, then get the Flagellant Nun to join your effort.

You can have, at most, five collaborators - one for each item involved in the creative process. The effect of the device need not be limited to the five people involved, although it can be. It can be limited to a single person or object, should that be important to whatever plan you have in mind.

Groups can collaborate by building devices that work together in some greater way.

The device or process works best when you've combined the items and the auras in a Rube Goldberg contraption that amuses the GMs and the other players.