A larp about interpersonal connections while exploring the real-life metabolism of cities, urban ecology, and creating connections to a place.
The design draws inspiration from urban sustainability studies and fiction such as Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”. It is up to the players to determine what balance of factual and fantastical suits their story best.
The Mission - In your corner of the galaxy, cities are considered living creatures. This is perfectly reasonable to you, by the definition of life - Cities consume, excrete, adapt, grow, and die. There are flows, systems, and cycles that sustain them. When those systems are obstructed or out of balance, the city suffers dis-ease. They have a taxonomic kingdom to themselves, beside Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, under the name “Metropolia”.
You are alien metrobiologists on a long-distance research expedition to the 3rd planet orbiting star 4177H. Your mission is to study a city inhabiting this planet for three years, transmit your findings, and return home.
Dangers of the Work You are a very empathetic species (some more than others, of course). There is always the danger of getting too close to your work. It’s more common than the central agency cares to admit that a researcher, sometimes an entire team, ends up joining the system they were sent to study.
Communication between the expedition site and the homeworld is slow and unreliable. Due to the extreme distance, messages can take many months to reach their destination, and can garbled or blocked by all kinds of interference on the journey.
For (almost) all of you, this is your first time on this kind of long-term research expedition. Repeated missions increase psychic permeability, corruption of data, and danger of Absorption.
Characters each have a profession or specialty. They begin with relationships, office drama, hopes and dreams. In the course of their 3-year mission, they slowly become more and more involved with the place/being they are studying, taking traits from different aspects of it. Little is known about these secretive, deep-space expeditions, but one thing is certain… no one returns from them unchanged.
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