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Court of Tutankhamun

It has been nine years since the heretic king Smenkhare was cast out of Egypt by the Priests of Amun-Ra. The heretic’s younger brother Tutankhamun, though only a boy at the time, was made Pharaoh. But now, as a young man, the Pharaoh faces his first great challenge – Smenkhare is gathering an army, with which he intends to reclaim the throne.

The world beyond Egypt churns with rumors. Of greatest concern is the Empire of the Hittites – Egypt’s great rival to the north – how will they react to the impending civil war? Emissaries from all corners of the world arrive in Egypt to bargain and negotiate one last time before Smenkhare marches and, behind the scenes, ancient deities seek to steer the course of history.

Court of Tutankhamun is a twenty-five person live action roleplaying game set in ancient Egypt. The setting is historical, but also mythic. Gods and magic are not mere trappings of worship; they are very real aspects of the universe.

Run:

  • Originaly run in San Luis Obispo, CA in September, 2005

Comments:

This LARP will probably always be my favorite creation. For years I had wanted to run an ancient Egypt LARP but the mature subject matter made it a poor choice for conventions. Court of Tutankhamun was a test-bed not just for unusual LARP subject matter but also several new system components. The language cards allowed people to hide their conversations and seemed to be an interesting way of blocking eavesdropping powers. The military units and trade cards also provided complexity to negotiations as well as making it clear what precisely a character had available to trade. The only significant flaw of LARP was the complexity of the setting. I think a lot of people were overwhelmed by the amount of information they had to digest. Unfortunately, I think that is an unavoidable flaw when a LARP setting is culturally alien to the players. - Kurt Horner, Writer, GM

In this game, we tried several unusual ideas, which worked for the most part. We used multiple in-game locations, a heavy tactical plot, and language and eavesdropping systems. The in-game locations worked well, allowing characters to travel to a few specific places without breaking the game-bottle. The tactical plot worked well for those interested but was a little overwhelming for some of the players. It required some rather intensive GM work at the end to resolve the tactical game, but fortunately Kurt was up to it. The language cards (in which characters knew a variety of 11 different languages, as well as "common") worked very well to give characters an interesting way to shield their conversations. The eavesdropping rules, which allowed players a variety of "obfuscate" powers were effective but overwhelming in that it was sometimes hard to find the person you wanted to talk to because they were invisible. Overall, I was very pleased with the use of different gaming innovations in this LARP. - Amanda Carpenter, Writer, GM

This LARP is a mixture of strategy and role-playing. The strategy comes in mainly through the use of "Resource Cards" that must be obtained to maximize the effectiveness of your armies. While there are more resources present than absolutely needed for each player to accomplish their goals, every resource is useful to all players and getting your hands on the correct ones can be very challenging. This leads to players role-playing extensively with each other for these commodities, and since it is not public knowledge who has what at the beginning of the LARP, successful players will need to interact with all of the players. It should also be noted that the LARP is greatly enhanced by both players and GM's costuming in the style of the Egyptian New Kingdom period. - Matt Staley, Writer, GM

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