"It's amazing what one can do when one doesn't know what one can do" (Jim Davis)

Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste

Author(s):Jim McDougal
Game EMail:madamruppy AT verizon DOT net
Anonymised User    anonymised AT ishtari DOT co DOT uk
Organization:LARPA game bank
Male Players:Min: 8 / Max: 9
Female Players:Min: 4 / Max: 5
Neutral Players:Min: 1 / Max: 1
Total Players: Min: 13 / Max: 15

It is November 28, 1872. The brigantine Mary Celeste has been at sea for 23 days en route from New York to Genoa with a cargo of 1700 casks of commercial alcohol. It is a cargo the ship's compliment is unfamiliar with, and Captain Briggs is concerned with its volatile nature, particularly with the uncommonly warm weather this voyage.

For the last 3 days the ship has experienced rough seas and gales, though she has weathered it well. This morning the storms broke and the day began with fair sailing. For the last few hours, however, the ship has been becalmed, and there is no reason to expect the winds to freshen this evening.

This is not a matter of much concern. In fact, the still air comes as a welcome relief for the tired crew of the Mary Celeste.

The Mary Celeste is an excellent vessel and in good hands. Captain Briggs is an outstanding master; his mates, Richardson and Gilling, are of unimpeachable character and competence, as are the cook and the crew of four. The Mary Celeste's only passengers, the Captain's wife Sarah and their daughter Lizzie, are quite at home at sea, as is fitting for a Captain's family.

But for the lack of a breeze all is well with the Mary Celeste, though should the need arise there is a lifeboat. The ship carries a 20 foot yawl; more than fit to carry all aboard the Mary Celeste, though hardly a boat to be called on for a long voyage. The Mary Celeste lies approximately 500 miles off the island of Santa Maria in the Azores.

There have been strange happenings aboard the Mary Celeste. A stowaway has been found hiding in the forecastle. The Captain is quite nonplussed to find a woman hidden on his ship. Her story has yet to be sorted out.

The Mary Celeste has also been hailed by a be-furred savage in a canoe made of hides. How she came to be so far out at sea remains a mystery. At her insistence she has been taken aboard.

What is going on? What happened on the Mary Celeste?

User, Anonymised

My game, "The Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste", is vastly more well known than I am; the game having run on 5 (possibly 6) of the 7 continents. So, if you know of me at all you probably have some misconceptions. "The...Mary Celeste" is not the only game I have ever written; since 1989 I have been head writer(or only writer) for 16 games. Despite the popularity of "Mary Celeste" I did not popularize or perfect the 4 hour mini-game format, and I certainly didn't invent it (I stand on the shoulders of giants here). And while the popularity of 4 hour mini's rose with the success of "Mary Celeste" I take no responsibility for the decline of the weekend long game (that's not my fault and you aren't going to hang that on me!). I am, however, as short as you may have heard that I am.

I will probably be hopelessly jet lagged through the convention, and I hope that GMs and players alike will be kind to me.

User, Anonymised

I attended my first LARP Halloween weekend of 1992. It was a mistake. I thought I was going to a murder mystery weekend, I had no idea what I was doing. It was the best mistake of my life. I found a hobby, a large group of friends and my future husband that weekend. Not bad for a mistake eh?

Since then I have helped to write and run many different LARPs at the various Intercons in The USA as well as stand alone games. This is my first ever international LARP experience and I'm really looking forward to it.