The Rose and the Dragon

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The Rose and the Dragon

Auckland, New Zealand
Medieval historical
Conflict resolution system
Live-combat / Combat number
3 hours
Date run
31 August 2013
Number of participants
Dave Agnew, Martin Clyde, Mike Curtis, Claire Ahuriri, Malcolm Harbrow, Donna Giltrap, Matt Swain, Helen Jones-Rippey and Ryan Paddy

The Rose and the Dragon was a theatre-style larp run at Chimera 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand. It is notable as the largest theatre-style game run in New Zealand, with 150 players (out of 160 possible characters).

The game was a medieval historical, which while not entirely strict, drew heavily on the themes and events of its period, including the Baron's War, medieval christianity, medieval English law, and feudalism.

Because of its size, the game was split into four parts for writing, with seperate teams writing the village, the great hall, the war camp and the greenwood. In play, characters were free to roam between the seperate locations, with crossover plots and some mechanics encouraging travel. For example, in-game crime could be appealed to the King's Justice in the great hall, and could be resolved by trial-by-combat.

The game used live-combat to resolve physical conflicts, with an optional combat number system for those who opted out. Players could switch which mechanic they used at any time by changing their badge.


In the Barony of Thamesly a curious custom has arisen to mark the festival of May Day. Paying homage to a local myth, the villagers costume themselves as forest creatures and parade up the road to the Great Hall. Among them is a ferocious dragon, which only a rose from the lady of the manor may tame.

This year on May Day the barony is host not only to the usual wild festivities of the village folk and those who live in the greenwood, but also several courts of nobles who are travelling to Westminster to petition the king, and the camps of their soldiers who are preparing for war.

It is the Year of Our Lord 1221, and the fourteen-year-old boy Henry III is King of England. His reign is marked by struggle against the Magna Carta, which his father King John was forced to sign by the barons. Civil war beckons between his noble supporters and those who seek to constrain the royal powers and call a parliament.

It is an age of vast contrast between the educated nobles and illiterate peasants, the god-fearing clergy and violent knights. Kings rise and fall, realms are gained and lost, and the intrigues of village life may touch even the mighty.

The village children sleep restlessly, for tomorrow will be the best day of the year. The dancing! So many strangers! And the parade!

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