The Italian Chamber Orchestra is proud to present our first record: Crescendo Giocoso, a collection of twelve live action role-playing games, written by Italian authors and meant for everyone out there. This edition is in English.
Thanks to our backers on Kickstarter, we can offer you a crescendo of chamber larp scenarios, each for a different number of players, from 2 to 12, and up to 30 with the final game. No matter how many of you there are, or whether you have an hour of free time or four, our role-playlist has a track made just for you. No need for game masters or facilitators: just players.
All the hand-outs are downloadable from the Italian Chamber Orchestra website Laiv.it
400 Seiten, Hardcover
- The last sunset by Francesco Rugerfred Sedda for 2 players
In a room like countless others, a couple is called to face a buried past and its far-reaching shadow, following them to the last, crucial sunset. A man, a woman, a pointed gun and distant memories fill the last rays of light as the day comes to its end.
Regret, success, failure, desire: it’s all about choice. Those made by the players will define the present situation, as well as the relationship developed by the characters over the years: envelope after envelope, choice after choice, they will decide which of the eight letters will dictate the couple’s fate. What could its contents reveal?
- First they came by Andrea & Alessandro Giovannucci for 3 players
Berlin, 1939. As suspicion and whistle-blowing become chillingly common and the Third Reich reaches the height of its power in a delirium of blood and steel, the SS comb the streets of working-class neighbourhoods, looking for the last remnants of those deemed undesirable by the regime, those who managed to survive wave after wave of deportations and summary executions. During the coldest winter in human history, three people cower at the barking of bloodhounds and the shrill sound of whistles spurring them on, as they huddle together in a building in the squalid outskirts of the city. They know they must hide lest this be their end. Will they manage to survive? Will they redeem their sins? At what cost?
In First they came, the players will step into the shoes of three opponents of the Third Reich to discover the pain and paranoia carved in the hearts of the German people by the persecutions of the regime. By reliving the characters’ trials, they will have a chance to understand how they came to their predicament. What mistakes and atrocities did they condone to save their own lives? Were they part of the problem, as well?
- Tell-Tale Hearts by Oscar Biffi for 4 players
This night feels endless, paced as it is by the hammering beat of restless hearts. The old patient of a psychiatric clinic has been killed and the head physician privately turns to a detective to find out whether the murderer is to be found within its walls. But the investigation is in danger of opening an unexpected window to darker depths – what lies there may well be more painful than the blood trail itself.
In Tell-Tale Hearts, the mystery of the Old Man’s death is nothing but a means to explore the twisted inner world of the characters. What will happen when others strike at us with harrowing revelations about ourselves? Will we end up believing ourselves murderers, or will we still point our finger to someone else? The game mechanics aim to trigger a spiral of crushing paranoia, as an homage to Edgar Allan Poe.
- Castaways by Oscar Biffi for 5 players
And so it was that War came to the Island they called home. It made them castaways, threw them to the mercy of the winds and the biplanes from the Mainland, as the soaring terrors tear through every spell known to the Archipelago. Before them lies the infinite expanse of the Sea, with neither goals nor hopes in sight. But the waves carry messages in bottles, precious fragments of a past that may yet return meaning to the future.
With five bottles to build an imaginary boat, the players of Castaways are called to weave the prompts given by their character sheets with their own free interpretation into improvised scenes to gift each other. Each participant will see their role grow, change, even turn on its head thanks to the creativity of the group: this absolute narrative freedom will bring to light the true wishes of the characters, and the destination they will ultimately set sail for.
- Under the Mountain by Oscar Biffi for 6 players
The King is dead and five knights pay homage to His pyre. Around them whisper the voices of the People under the Mountain – an ancient enemy, shrouded in darkness, the hand behind the downfall of the Kingdom. Yet the King’s body bears no marks made by fang or claw: it was a blade that struck him down. Did one of the knights truly commit the ultimate betrayal? Or will their loyalty shine bright, a beacon of hope in the darkness under the Mountain?
Under the Mountain strives to recreate an epic, chivalric feeling without the use of spells, monsters or great battles. A chamber heroic fantasy, where grief twists the tales of a glorious past to give form to the King’s memory: even though no single player will portray Him alone, His character is far from absent. The whispers of the People under the Mountain, eager to set the Knights against each other, present an entirely different threat to their devotion to the code of chivalry.
- Winds of change by Oscar Biffi for 7 players
It’s common knowledge that there have been as many wars as there are fairytales, and it’s easy to think there is nothing left to learn about them. Wars between peoples, between friends, between brothers – tales that have been told time and time again. But if one bears a bookmark in the great tome of human folly, it should be the one between Polabians and Vendevians. A nation split apart, like black and white, from one day to the next. Its witnesses are seven youths, seven friends, seven partners in misfortune. What does it mean to grow up together, when the winds of change blow everything apart?
Winds of change is not set in a real country, nor does it focus on the horrors of historical wars. What it does is try and tell the tale of seven lives, made surreal by a world that seems to have lost its mind. The characters are outlined by letters and journal pages, mute testimonies, fragments of existence waiting to be put back together. Four scenes, each set seven years apart from its neighbours, will beat out the merciless flow of time.
- Wanderers above the Sea of Fog by Oscar Biffi for 7/8 players
Three con artists. A fake painting. An almost perfect plan. The Three Signatures are more than a criminal gang – they’re a true family. But what should have been their last great masterpiece is about to become their swansong. What will they choose when they find themselves cornered? Money and the chance to finally start a new life, or a friendship that might quickly turn into a prison?
In Wanderers above the Sea of Fog, each character is portrayed by two people who will alternate during the scene. One player for their real identity, one for their part in the fraud; one for their bonds and feelings, one for their need of money; one for their Brains and one for their Brawn. Even the Gull has a hidden side, however, and ripping him off will prove to be a difficult task.
- The Age of Men by Lorenzo Martinelli for 9 players
Since time immemorial, the people of the Valley have fought a desperate battle against Dragons. A cruel, bloody conflict that would have already been lost for centuries, were it not for the Regents. Thanks to their extraordinary gifts, in the last few months a spark of hope has finally ignited in the hearts of men: the shadows of Dragons no longer darken the skies. But there was no time for celebration, for not long after the victory, the Regent of Zamar and the Oracle of the Monastery were found dead, perhaps assassinated. Amidst the turmoil, a summons comes…
The Age of Men puts forward a mystery to unravel, not to come to the ‘right’ conclusion, but to guide the characters through hard decision after hard decision. The protagonists will first of all need to uncover the truth about themselves, by looking at their own reflection in the eyes of others. Will they be able to trust each other? What will they sacrifice in the name of the greater good? Will they be the heroes humanity desperately needs? The answer is in their choices, set to a pressing, epic rhythm, like in the best fantasy novels.
- Something about us by Barbara Fini & Rafu for 10 players
Florence, 2016. The apartment building in Via dell’Olmo 27 is, like any respectable apartment building, a land of relationships, of quarrels and disputes. Behind every door lies a world the other tenants know nothing about, and even within each set of walls several prisoners coexist, victims of their own incommunicability: couples that grow ever more distant, men and women that may never find solace. From the outside, a young administrator observes the ups and downs of this particular corner of humanity, and wonders: is there any way to come to understand each other, or are we all inevitably doomed to solitude?
The players will step into the shoes of the tenants of Via dell’Olmo 27 and attend two meetings of the residents’ council, bearing the weight of secrets, frustrations, and things they never got to say – maybe to someone important. Between the two meetings, through either luck or cleverness, they may manage to set aside some time to talk eye to eye, though only for a brief moment. There’s no telling what may come to the surface and what will remain unsaid.
- Sturm und Drang by Andrea Rinaldi for 9 or 11 players
«Christ, what the hell is going on? Have you ever seen this kind of shit? Rain, thunder, ice, flames… Fuck, all that’s missing is frogs! All at once, it’s like the sky is falling. Being outside is suicide, what with this damn wall of water that crumples you up and pushes you around. It’s even worse in a car: the hail is just gonna wreck everything and leave you caged in to starve to death. I need a place to save my hide. 66 Stop Groceries? Okay, the third 6 some lunatic sprayed on the sign doesn’t help, but I have no choice. This damn night came straight out of the Devil’s asshole».
In Sturm und Drang the players are called to flesh out and weave together the murky stories of characters at a crossroads in their lives. In the heart of the storm of the century, they’ll bring to light pieces of their past that may push them towards a new beginning, a turning point, or simply to their end, in a postmodern tragedy meant for those looking for thrills and ready to get their hands dirty.
- The Theatre of Major Arcana by Yuka Sato & Valerio Amadei for 9 to 12 players
On a stage that seems to have shut the world out, under the guidance of an absent yet obnoxious Director, a motley acting troupe is ready to audition. Mask over mask, scene after scene, by playing someone different they may come to know themselves, maybe even find a purpose.
In The Theatre of Major Arcana acting is a means to experience emotion, and emotion is a vessel for self-discovery. The players will wear one mask on top of the other, letting the timeless symbology of a tarot deck guide them as they impersonate an actor, only free to be themselves in the scraps of time between a role and the next. When the character is on stage, what is left of the actor?
- Till the end of the line by Oscar Biffi for 2 to 30 players
Lu and Dom see each other every single morning. On the first ride of the day, at the first stop of the line, in the first car of the train. After a five-minute journey, Dom gets off the subway. See you tomorrow. You could set your clock to their meetings, or bet your head on them. The world could end before they changed their routine. It is more than habit, more than tradition. It’s a constant of every possible reality, a pillar of the universe as we know it. What in the world would happen if they ever lost sight of each other?
Till the end of the line is a scenario specifically tailored to accommodate a variable number of players. Let’s say, 2 to 30? The challenge is to all play with a single idea and only two characters, as we multiply the number of parallel dimensions in which the action unfolds. It’s the simplest, most practical solution, and it’s also eerily similar to the gaming equivalent of a speed date.