The characters and the groups
The character short descriptions give some idea of what kind of characters and play there will be. Please note that there are special requirements for playing some of the characters. Mostly these are performances in game, but there are also other tasks. These are included in the short descriptions.
The full character briefings can be found here.
Your character belongs to one of the core groups, which will give your play deep relationships and dramatic structure. We hope this will lead to interesting interactions in the larp. The core group consists of a couple of your closest contacts. You will also be given connections outside your core group. The core groups are named – for example The Writers, Studio 54 Crew, Mr.T’s Inner circle, and so on. This is how you can find them on your character sheet.
Two 4th of July Parties
Every character is invited to either Mr. T’s party or The Saratoga Friendship Pact Reunion.
Everyone has a social circle or a subculture that they hang out with back in New York City. These groups are:
“Pink Dollars” isn’t a formally organized group or club, just a network of some of the gay people in New York with money and influence. They invite each other to parties and social happenings, and helps each other with connections and favours. It’s all very discreet of course… except for the opulent spending habits and the amount of champagne consumed .
Characters: Mr. T, Sinclair Everett, Bruce, Katherine, Artie, Ruben, and Ike
Cruisers Club is a gay leather and fetish club. It’s more run like a voluntary organization or MC (Motorcycle Club) than a commercial bar or disco. Only members and guests who arrive with members are admitted. Also only men are admitted into the club. The members are a mixture of gay men who are into leather, bondage, S&M or “traditionally masculine” aesthetics in general (like lumberjacks). There are dedicated rooms in the club for sex, but a lot of the members spend probably more time hanging out in the bar socializing with old friends.
Characters: Steven, Andrew, Jimmy, Walter, Chain, and Simon
Club Diamond is a drag show club owned and managed by Nate. It’s primarily a gay venue: for those who like to dress up in drag themselves, and for those who fancy those who do. But straight people who enjoy drag shows come here too; in particular, women on a “girl’s night out”. In addition to its professional performers, Club Diamond holds regular amateur nights. At the larp itself, Nate will host an open stage, so think about if your character would like to participate. (Remember you don’t have to sing: drag queens generally mime to popular “Diva songs”. We aim for 80s style, not for modern drag as seen in for example RuPaul’s Drag Race even though these have a lot of similarities depending on a queen.)
Characters: Nate “The Queen of Manhattan”, Daniel “Lady Verona”, Fernando, Marcus, Reginald, Trevor, Diane, and Francis
The Cubby Hole
Even in a large city like New York there aren’t many lesbian bars or clubs. This intimate bar in the Village is one of the staples of lesbian life in New York. It is a friendly place with a neighborhood pub feel where the owners are well updated on the intricacies of of the love entanglements of their regular guests. Male friends are also allowed entrance here as long as they behave and don’t hit on the women. Some up and coming celebrities such as Madonna have also recently begun to stop by on occasion, probably to catch a bit of that lesbian chic the Village Voice is claiming to be the recent trend.
Characters: Pen, Charlotte, Kimberly, Morgan, Dawn, Dutch, Barbara, and Sam
The Literary Salon
The Literary Salon is a series of private regular gatherings in the home of the famous poet Abner and his boyfriend Eli. The discussions can get loud, and it’s not ideal to soften your arguments among this crowd. Attendance at these gatherings is by invitation only.
Characters: Abner Finkel, Eli, Jerrod, Santiago, Nick, and Rain
Studio 54 was probably the most prestigious discotheque in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is the favourite hangout place for many of New York’s celebrities, and is known for its strict and erratic doormen. The club is frequented by straights, gays, and drag queens alike, and it is notorious for its hedonism: the balconies are known for sexual encounters, and the sale and use of drugs take place quite openly.
Characters: Sorrento, Enrique, Leon, Diego, Skye, Kim, Chantelle, Sterling, and Tony
Alternative spiritualities have existed for a long time in USA, but the late 60s and 70s was when it truly started to spread in popular culture and among young people with the hippy movements. It’s often characterized by syncretism, mixing concepts and practices from different traditions and adapting them in a way that gives resonance in a modern and individualistic American setting. The 80s are characterized by increasing opportunities for making money, and thus an increasing commercialization of various forms of alternative practice. This is also an age where self-help books gain popularity, sometimes mixed with or inspired with ideas from new age and alternative spiritualities. The characters in this group are all involved in finding their own spiritual path, whether as teacher or guru, or as someone joining one or more types of alternative workshops.
Spirituality is an important part of the Spirituals’ play: if you are not comfortable including it in your larp, you should not play in this group.
Characters: Joani, Kohana, Holly, Katie, Wallace, Tomasz, and Rosemary
The L Club (Lifestylers)
“Living the lifestyle” is a common expression among swingers, people who are part of the subculture of swingers' clubs and partner swapping. Quite a few of the Saratoga friends have interpreted their vow to celebrate life through living out their sexual fantasies. Lawrence owns and manages a swingers' club in Brooklyn which has different themed nights, and many of his friends are current or past guests at some of these nights. The level of sexual activity with people than your partner can vary a lot. Some people come to the club to swap partners or to find a third person for the night, while others prefer to just have sex with their regular partner in a semi-public setting.
Characters: Lawrence, Beatrice, Harvey, Evelyn, Max, Lester, Gwen, and Mickey
The Brooklyn Book Café
The Brooklyn Book Café is a gathering place for people active in the peace movement. It often hosts political debates, and intimate concerts where Mary Lou is among the regular performers. The American peace movement grew strong during the Vietnam War as more and more people started questioning the reasons and costs of waging war there for more than a decade. In the early 80s the main focus of the peace movement is the threat of nuclear war and the American government’s support to military dictatorships in Latin-America. Peace organizations stage marches, vigils and debates on a regular basis. Conservative Americans often criticize them for being “unpatriotic.”
Characters: Mary Lou, Lizzie, Claire, Beverly, Allison, and Dennis
The new kid in town
Bret isn’t part of a scene yet. A New Boy in town who has just come to New York. Eager to experience life, today – right now!
A 24 hour diner/kiosk located among the gay clubs and bars in Greenwich Village. For Mr. T’s 4th of July party they have been invited to have a pop-up kiosk at the party venue. Most of the staff are gay, and many of the other characters have been here: several are regular visitors to this diner well known for the warm personality of its owner and the eccentricity of its serving staff. Mr. T has paid the owner to bring some of their staff to the party to organize the barbeque.
N.B. Players will not have to prepare any food, but will host and serve at each of the barbecues.
Characters: Peggy, Howard, Harriet, and Priest