Banbury Tales is a Regency larp inspired by Jane Austen’s books and the hit TV series Bridgerton.
We take on the roles of members of early 19th century British high society, who meet at the last ball of the season to participate in the marriage market either as matchmakers or marriage candidates. Both young men and young women were expected to enter into marriages that would bring wealth or prestige to their family name.
For the privileged members of English society in Jane Austen’s time, however, courtship was a complicated affair. There were certain decorum rules surrounding courtship that complicated the endeavor and that young ladies and gentlemen had to adhere to at all costs if they wanted to be accepted as potential participants in the high society’s marriage market.
- Etiquette and reputation
- Courtship and matchmaking
- Family drama and relationship conflicts
- Secrets and scandals
- Wishes vs expectations
England, August 1815. With the victorious Battle of Waterloo and the surrender of the French emperor, the Napoleonic Wars have come to an end after more than two decades. At the same time, on the British Isles, both the parliamentary session and the season have ended; the members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons are leaving in droves and moving back to their country estates.
To celebrate the return to the country and the victory over Napoleon, Lord Camelford – or more precisely his mother, The Dowager Lady Camelford – has extended invitations to a ball at Boconnoc House. The more prominent families of the area will not miss the opportunity to present their children, whom they could not marry off during the season.
It will be a time for dancing, gambling, conversation and increasingly desperate social climbing as each family struggles to find a suitable match before the weekend is over.
The search for a spouse is serious business, and private balls like this one are an ideal chance for marriable bachelors and bachelorettes of the ton to come together. Under the watchful eye of their elders, young couples must demonstrate their gracefulness, talent for clever conversation, and general suitability. While gloved hands can temporarily touch without scandal during a dance and on the way to and from a set, interested parties have the opportunity during the day to get to know each other better during chaperoned walks in nature, even falling behind the rest of the party if they wish to talk privately.
If a gentleman wishes to emphasize his interest in a lady, he should pay a visit to her the next day in the rooms of her family, where her mother or aunt or another chaperone will be present. But he should be prepared not to be the only suitor. Will he be able to withstand the pressure of competition and scrutiny?
It remains to be seen whether, under these difficult conditions, every pot will still find its lid or whether some will have to wait for the next season…
- Pre-written characters
- Characters have secrets
- Cooperative play style (play to lift)
- Safety mechanics
- Self-preparation and workshop on site
- Pre-game hype and communication on Discord
- Organizers play full characters at the larp
- In-game entertainment (croquet, badminton, billiard, picnic, ball, theatrical, pub)
- Absolute historical correctness
- Point-based system
- Achieving your character’s goals (play to win)
- Transparent game
- Play on racism
- Play on antisemitism
- Servant characters that serve food & drinks and help with getting dressed
- Mock firearms
- Violence (physical and emotional)
- Mention of sexual violence
When filling out the registration form, you can indicate your general preferences for character traits and game content. Based on your information, we will write you a character for the game. We therefore ask you to fill out the registration form as accurately as possible; however, due to the high amount of individual work involved, we cannot guarantee that all of your wishes will be implemented.
We are aware that some people do not identify with the binary gender model and that historically this has always existed – nevertheless, our game does not include characters with non-binary gender identities, as this is not part of the setting and game design (though of course there may be some gender non-conforming characters). All characters in the game are either male or female. Nevertheless, we of course welcome all non-binary, genderqueer, etc. persons at our events and will strive to provide you with a character that you feel comfortable with.
Regardless of what your gender identity is outside of the game, you can play either gender. However, since we strive for visual authenticity, we ask that all players adjust their appearance to represent the gender they are playing as convincingly as possible.
Story and characters: Nick, Vicky
Sign-up and finances: Nick
Production: Theresa, Nick
Props: Theresa, Nick
Kitchen: Monika, Larissa