The year is 1640. Louis XIII is still on the Throne, and not the boy-king he was, Cardinal Richelieu remains his First Minister, still surrounded by plotters. France is a leading part of an alliance at war with the Hapsburgs and their allies. There is much for Cadets to do. Porthos, Athos, Aramis and D’Artagnan are retired or languishing now, forgotten by those in power. Their places will be taken by others.
All For One is entirely a piece of entertainment, where we turn playability, sets and props up to eleven. It’s not about competition between players or hardcore pressure. As a player, you’ll experience missions and scenes inspired by the films, and how the story plays out is down to you.
All For One will have heroes and heroines, and they can all swash and buckle. We’re not letting history get in the way of a great experience for everyone.
Time won’t run from In to Out with no gaps. This is larp as collaborative performance, not psychological immersion.
It’s “Let’s Pretend”; it’s the game you played when you were kids, but in glorious Cinedrama.
What is Cinedrama?
Cinedrama is a way of thinking about LARP that we first came up with for the Crooked House event Captain Dick Britton and the Voice of the Seraph back in 2005, in which Heroes have a capital H.
It’s a simple premise: our game isn’t about mirroring a world with sensible physical rules. In a Cinedrama game, the world acts in the same way that it does in the cinema; more specifically, in the cinema-world portrayed by B-movies, pulp action movies and action-adventure movies.
For example, in a Cinedrama game, if a Star says “Look!” and points past a Supporting Actor, then of course that actor will turn round, enabling the Star to make their escape or stun them with an artfully wielded baguette.
If a character has a set of papers giving away their secret identity, then of course those papers won’t be hidden terribly well, because someone needs to discover them so we can play out the Accusation Scene!
If someone is mortally wounded, then of course they won’t immediately expire, but will hang around until at least they can give the ‘Tell Them… I Love Them’ speech or be saved by the Doctor Who Did This Operation Only Once Before And Lost The Patient And Still Gets Flashbacks.
Tropes, clichés, Everyone Knows How This Works – that’s Cinedrama.
On top of that, we layer other cinematic business. Some scenes will require you to suspend your disbelief, because there are things we’ll need to fix In Post. You’ll hear ‘Cut’ and ‘Roll Camera’ instead of Time In and Time Out. You should pay no attention to the scenery shifters in their brown-coats and flat caps. Maybe some sets that you want to visit are still under construction, so you’ll only be able to take part in that scene later on. And maybe the story won’t be played out in strictly linear fashion. Montages, compressed-time journeys, drawing red lines across maps to travel across the world – all are staples of Cinedrama.
The supporting cast – or extras, or ‘monsters’ as some systems call them – will not be using quite the same rules and abilities as the stars. After all, they’re just set dressing, put there to make you – the star – look good. Where would we be if every Evil Henchman was as heroic as you?
The emphasis is on (over-)acting and (over-)role-playing; on suspension of disbelief; on willingly pretending you don’t know things so that others around you have the chance to shine, on having a fantastical adventure rather than on winning a game.
- The Three Musketeers, 1973
- The Four Musketeers, 1974
- The Three Musketeers, 1993
- The Three Musketeers, 2011
- La fille de d’Artagnan / Revenge of the Musketeers, 1994
- Le Bossu / On Guard, 1997
- Cyrano de Bergerac, 1990
- The Man In The Iron Mask, 1998
- The Man In The Iron Mask, 1977
- The Count of Monte Cristo, 1975
- The Count of Monte Cristo, 2002
- The Prisoner Of Zenda, 1952
- The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1934
- Scaramouche, 1952
- The Crimson Pirate, 1952
- Captain Blood, 1935
- The Princess Bride, 1987