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From 1994 to 2001, groups of friends gathered in historic buildings and other venues across the UK, and on one occasion, in Italy, to share holiday space and play interactive theatre / freeform LARP games. These were the “Friends of the Masque”.
Malcolm Campbell was the main writer of freeform games for Friends of the Masque, running over 20 unique games during that period – ranging from murder mysteries set on an ocean liner, to replicant politics in the world of Bladerunner, to mysterious Sapphire and Steel like ghost stories.
Since 2001, Malcolm has run occasional games, helped others run games, and played in quite a few as well. But it’s time to rekindle the ideals of the old Friends of the Masque group, in a different time, with different people.
So Friends of the Masque is reborn as… Second Masque.
Nighthawks:33– The Castor is one of the last remaining battleships, escorting a rag-tag fleet of civilian ships. It shouldnt be possible to track ships when they jump through hyperspace, but the Enemy is doing it. 33 minutes after the fleet arrives at a new location, the Enemy appear and attack again. It barely allows time to compute and execute another jump. And everyone is getting tired, and slower.
The Castor is defended by batteries of guns, by Arrowhead fighters, and Nighthawk jump-shuttles. This story focuses on the pilots of the Arrowheads and Nighthawks. Game 3 in the Nighthawks trilogy, designed for online play. (more)
Considering further runs based on interest : see Facebook Nighthawks Interest Group
Nighthawks: Scylla – The freighter Scylla fled with as many survivors as it could carry, heading to rendevous with the battleship Pollox. But Pollox didnt give them the welcome they expected. Marines from Pollox held them at gunpoint, removed any skilled crew, removed their jump drive, and most of their supplies – leaving them all to die.
Now those of you that remain on Scylla have only a few days before the cold and dark of space claims them. How will you choose to use that time?
Loosely based on the brief scene in the Battlestar Galactica TV movie Razor, in which the Battlestar Pegasus strips the freighter Scylla of all her resources and leave the crew to die. Game 2 in the Nighthawks trilogy. (more)
Was planned for The Smoke 2021, (currently postponed until I can run in-person playtests)
Eye in the Sky – A British-led intelligence operation close to the border of Pakistan is using an American drone for overwatch. Players are military, legal and political decision makers for either the British or American team. The optional 7th player is an unexpected observer from the Pakistan embassy. How will they all cope when the mission changes and their rules of engagement are no longer clear?
Nighthawks: The Run for Ragnar – a ragtag collection of military dropouts and civilian pilots try to gather the survivors of an attack on the Twelve Colonies, and guide them to Ragnar Anchorage. The first game in the Nighthawks trilogy (more)
Playtest in Edinburgh, October 2018
Played at Lucky Consequences, November 2018
21st Century Fake News – Much to the surprise of The Party and The Opposition, a new President with no political experience has been elected. They’re a celebrity who campaigned on populist ideas – nominally as a member of The Party, although The President’s policies aren’t always well aligned, or even consistent. But through The President, The Party is in power, and they’d like to stay that way.
The characters are The President’s spin team, working hard to make the government acceptable to the people by putting a favourable take on a succession of news stories.
Its a long time (2001!) since I had a web presence for my freeform games, but with running Nighthawks at Consequences, I wanted to have somewhere to share information on the game – and plan future games as well. Back in the 90’s, I ran a whole series of games for a friends-group/club called Friends …
For now, if you’re invited to one of my games, you should already have my contact info.