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dadeennbsv

Garden of Pathos

RPG system: LARP

Organized by

Alchemical Gaming

By

✏️Chance J. Feldstein

Intercon U (2023), Crowne Plaza, Warwick, Rhode Island, United States

OrganizerChance J. Feldstein

Description

www.alchemicalgaming.com/games

Styles of Play: Freeform larp;Larp;Performance (ie song, lipsynch, dance etc.);Arts & Crafts

In this game, most of the players portray poisonous or carnivorous plants in Baba Yaga's greenhouse. These giant, magical plants once were human, but were transformed into plants by the witch long ago. The plant players communicate by drawing what matters to them on paper leaves attached to their clothing, and by moving their bodies in whatever ways seem logical for the plant they've chosen. When a new human intruder appears, will the plants help, trap, or eat them?

Tags: spooky, quiet, mythic, embodied

Deep in the forests of Russia lies a place that is not a place, the hut of “the little grandmother,” Baba Yaga, witch of all witches. As much a dark goddess as a force of nature, Baba Yaga (emphasis on the “ga”) might initiate a person into adulthood… or she might eat them. If a human is wise or foolish, lucky or unlucky, they might happen upon her wooden hut, perched atop massive chicken legs in a clearing. “I smell a Russian smell,” the witch will say, if she is home and if they are Russian.

But right now, she is not home, leaving her strange and wondrous house seemingly unguarded from the outside. In truth, the witch’s animals are on guard against intruders when she is away. The hut is an extra-dimensional space, larger on the inside than it appears, so it has plenty of room for the livestock to have their own barn. A dog and several cats have the run of all the rooms, but even they prefer to avoid the greenhouse. Those plants are vicious, bitter, gigantic, and they don’t like to stay in their pots. That’s a bit much, even for talking dogs and cats.

Today, the door from the greenhouse to the outside has been left unlocked. A clever human could find a way to climb up, unaware that the door doesn’t unlock from the inside…

Garden of Pathos is a mostly nonverbal, arts-and-crafts and movement based freeform larp for 5 to 10 people. It was originally written for the 2019 Golden Cobra Challenge, in which it received an honorable mention. I'm excited to run it for the first time.

This game is designed to be inclusive of non-speaking players.

Played at

Golden Cobra Challenge (2019)
Intercon U (2023)

Awards

Golden Cobra Challenge (2019)

Nominated, Judges' Choice Honorable Mentions
Garden of Pathos is such an excellent, creepy game about being the plants of Baba Yaga’s greenhouse. While you were all once human, you are now trapped in plant-form, when a human intruder breaks into the greenhouse and you have to decide what to do with them. Each plant has “leaves” (post-its) attached to them, representing their memories that the human player may steal or be gifted. The game is beautifully written, requiring players to use their entire bodies as plants. We’re looking forward to being cursed plants!

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