In Which I Contemplate a Gentleman Bastards Pirate LARP

So, Intercon P’s theme is Pirates.

I do like me some pirates, and have at times considered writing a pirate-themed media (or historical) mashup game. I think playing Devil to Pay sated my urge for this, but I was thinking… I could use pirates in a fantasy setting.

And then, since I apparently only write fan larps, it dawned on me: there are pirates in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards sequence. They play quite a significant role in the plot of Red Seas Under Red Skies, in fact, rescuing our heroes when they get in over their heads. There’s a pirate brotherhood (the Council of Pirate Captains), made up of the members of five different pirate crews, which meets in Port Prodigal, which is basically the wretched hive of scum and villainy for pirates on the Sea of Brass. And Port Prodigal is itself pretty dang spooky…

Of course, as soon as I start thinking of this idea, in the car on the way to work (boo going back to work), the song I think of as being a Locke and Sabetha song (Imagine Dragons’ “I Bet My Life”) came on the radio.


Some additional thoughts:

  • Despite the portentous song, I don’t think any of the main characters would be in the game.
  • The crew of the Poison Orchid, who are supporting characters in RSURS, probably would be, however.
  • I imagine the basic setup being something like “meeting of the Council of Pirate Captains in Port Prodigal to discuss Things,” but I don’t have much more than that at this point.
  • Yes, I realize this runs the risk of casting apps which call for this to be The Other Other All Zamira Drakasha game. I’m willing to take that chance.
  • I suspect this would take place pre-RSURS, maybe during the time of Lies. It has to be late enough that most of the Ghostwind Isles pirates have been wiped out, but given characters I want to include, not post-RSURS.
  • I really loved the adventure mechanic in Ex Ignorantia (which is basically a choose-your-own-adventure story, sometimes with abilities), and I think it would be neat to do something with that, maybe as “away missions” from the main meeting. Would it be too much to start the game with “you need to get to Port Prodigal — do you choose the Trade Door or the Parlor?”
  • The Camorr Wiki is not nearly so complete as other fan wikis, so much re-reading would have to happen. (This is both a plus and a minus — the books are great, but I have so little reading time…) For example, I can’t even get a list of the crew members of the Poison Orchid.
  • For as much as Zamira’s characterization is based on her being a mother, I doubt anybody wants to play the mini-game of “babysit Paolo and Cossetta.”
  • Naturally, there would be plots involving a Serious Lack of Cats.

Will I actually write this game? Dunno. I suspect a lot will depend on how soon I finish the first draft of Lioness

Author: Lise

Hi, I'm Lise Fracalossi, a web developer, writer, and time-lost noblethem. I live in Central Massachusetts with my husband, too many cats, and a collection of ridiculous hats that I rarely wear.

4 thoughts on “In Which I Contemplate a Gentleman Bastards Pirate LARP”

  1. Could be set on that island off Japan I just read about that is entirely overrun with feral cats. They outnumber the people six to one’!!

    1. Well, I can’t set it ON that island, seeing as this is in a pre-existing fantasy world. But there might be something to that idea I can work with…

  2. One drawback of the adventure mechanic of Ex Ig: it’s GM-intensive. It’s not a problem at HRSFA games because there’s an ample bank of previous players who’re willing to help run it; as an example, whereas at your run of The Dance and the Dawn the shadow servants consisted of me and J. G., at my run there were 2 GMs plus 5 shadow servants. In Crown of Hearts, if I’m not mistaken Tory and Lily always use a bank of ~2 people to run the adventures, and on top of that, it’s so much reading material that someone who didn’t read everything beforehand, say because he was writing Planetfall bluesheets right until getting on the plane to Intercon, will be totally useless as a GM.

    That said, it occurs to me that of my top games, except the more subdued A Single Silver Coin, all are GM-intensive: Ex Ig, Crown of Hearts, Cracks in the Orb.

    1. *nod* That is a very good point to consider. Especially since I’d be writing and running this alone, probably, or with a very small GM pool at first.

      To a certain extent adventures can be self-directed, like the Bough of Madness vision quests in Ex Ig… but if you have any adventures that involve secret information, then they kind of have to be GM run.

      Also, regarding Crown of Hearts: I hear that. That is why I wimped out on GMing that game the Friday night of the SLAW where I first ran Cracks… (that, and I needed more time to write…)

      Anyway, something to think about…

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