GUIDELINES FOR CHOICE
1) CHOOSE YOUR COMMUNITY (BEFORE YOU CAN SEE THE CHARACTERS)
2) READ THE COMMUNITY'S FULL DESCRIPTION AND THE "TEASER" OF EACH CHARACTER
3) CHOOSE YOUR CHARACTER
Liberty Town Personnel
At the peak of American industrial development there were more than 2.500 company towns. Things are different nowadays and it is not so common anymore for a company to actually own and manage an entire town.
Liberty Town is one of such uncommon places. Skilled labourers, technicians, engineers, geologists and expert administrative employees are the inhabitants of this small but thriving settlement located in the midst of a breathtaking landscape. Liberty Town represents an unparalleled opportunity in Wyoming: her proud workers earn significantly higher salaries than the state average, have a virtually complete health coverage and enjoy a homey environment with a sense of community.
“Are you ready to embrace work challenges, to commit yourself to a career which is as solid as the rock we dig through? Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and to be part of one of the trades that made, and still makes, this country a leader in the global market? Your future starts here!"
"Many mining companies claim their workers are their most valuable asset. In Liberty Town this claim is true!"
Players in this community will experience a dramatic and intimate game, of common people facing unexpected events disrupting their life, and coping with them. Their characters will be tested by suffering, oppression, search for answers and glimpses of hope. They’ll also have most of the backstory spread among them, and can try to piece it together while the other communities will have to work to find it out.
Plenty of people in this modern world are ready to ask questions, but only a few can provide real and tangible answers. These people are highly intelligent, passionate, dynamic and willing to solve problems and find solutions. In a world that looks ahead to the future and relies heavily on science, you have the opportunity to be part of a narrow elite. People who know how to take a deeper look into things, how to find answers, how to make a difference.
“Science is not something intangible, and neither it is an entity to fear or idolize. Science is a system made up of knowledge and rigorous methods used by people which are both ordinary and out of the ordinary. Whether they are esteemed scholars or simple observers, these extraordinary people sparked human progress and continue to drive it forward. The need to understand what surrounds us is something associated with the the very history of humankind. And this need is just the deep-rooted, unquenchable and ever-recurring need for answers”.
Players in this community will experience a crisis management game of frenetic pace, routines, strict directives and moral choices. They will also interact the most with “scientific equipment” and computers.
Have you ever considered being a ranger, a marine, a federal agent or a Special Forces operator? Serving one’s country is the best opportunity american society can offer to honest, hard-working and motivated people. It’s demanding, exciting and gratifying, and every single day you will get a chance to serve and protect the United States of America. Terrorism, violations of civil rights, organized crime and espionage are threats for the Country and for the rest of the world. It will be your duty and your privilege to bring order in a chaotic world and to enforce law and authority.
"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies." (William Tyler Page)
Depending on the specific subgroup, players in this community will experience either a more physical, action game or a thick investigation game. Their drama will come from steady pressure from above and moral dilemmas, as well as difficult choices. Finally, they’ll handle most of the radios, blank-firing guns and surveillance equipment.
Truth be told, there’s actually a fourth, special community, unrelated to any of the above. It is a blind choice, we are not offering a public description for it like in the paragraphs above. We can say it’s a very small and close-knit group, 2 women and 2 men. Characters in this group will experience a peculiar introduction into the larp, will know very little about the other communities in the beginning, and their game will be focused on strong interpersonal relations, surprises and some unexpected links to the main plot. We guess most players will prefer more transparent choices, but we trust four of you will be bold enough to try.
Our undercover operatives managed to find this classified file, detailing three sample characters for Black Friday (one for each Community: Scientists, Law Enforcement, Liberty Town Personnel)
Unfortunately, the file had been already redacted and is missing some details. Nevertheless we hope it will satisfy your curiosity for now!
Each character in Black Friday is more than a job and a sum of traits. They are human people and have their own personalities, beliefs, moral stances and ways to see society and other people. We will provide a brief and public textual outline of each character, which will be seen by everyone in the same community. In line with the “movie-like” style of Black Friday, we will call this brief introduction a “teaser”. These teasers will therefore be visible only after a community has been chosen: we believe keeping the characters from other communities secret will add flavor to this kind of game, as Black Friday's story is highly focused on secrecy, mistrust, investigation, cultural and personal struggles and differences.
The teaser will only reveal enough of a character to get a general idea of it, providing food for choice while staying spoiler-free. This public information represents just a fraction of a character's life and there is much more to discover, like (for example) terrible secrets or emotional traumas. Once you select a character, you will be granted access to the full description, that no other player will be able to read.
For a more informed choice, we introduced “personality keywords” for characters who have strong, play-influencing personality traits. Where applicable, you will find them listed in a “Suggestions” field in each teaser (together with technical notes like mandatory costume requirements): see below for a description of these possible personality twists.
This character is haunted by something. It can be alcohol, drugs, crime, an emotive instability, a dangerous or painful past and so on.
Examples: Kate in “Lost”, Morgan Dexter in “Dexter”, Detective McNulty in “The Wire”, John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind”.
An histrionic, proactive and shameless character who usually ends up under the spotlight.
Examples: Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket”, Dr. Cox in “Scrubs”, Johnny Depp’s Captain Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
Problems flock to this character like bees to honey. He or she experiences a lot of unexpected events, crises and problems. It almost looks like the whole universe is plotting against him or her...
Examples: Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars”, Jesse Pinkman in “Breaking Bad”, Marty McFly in “Back To The Future”.
This character prefers to stay away from the limelights. He or she has a discreet, understated or shy style, and his or her personal relations are exclusive and focused on exploring personal problems.
Examples: Simon in “Misfits”, Richard Harrow in “Boardwalk Empire”, Ruth in “Fried Green Tomatoes”, Ryan Gosling in “Drive”.
This character zealously follows an ideal or is hellbent on pursuing one or more goals. He or She can be combative, careerist, idealist but also desperate, blackmailed, driven by a sense of duty or thirst for revenge.
Examples: Walter White in “Breaking Bad”, The Bride in “Kill Bill”, Fox Mulder in “X-Files”, John Hammond in “Jurassic Park”.
Several characters in Black Friday have a whole undercover role, such as a corporate spy or a criminal hiding from the law. Clearly, we can’t state something like that in the teaser. If you're intrigued by the idea of playing one of such roles, irrespective of the actual character and community, you can write to email@example.com stating the one(s) you prefer. We might not be able to accept your application (for... secret reasons), if it's a green light we'll privately point you to the community and character you need to choose to play that role. Possible "mystery characters" are: an industrial spy, a drug dealer, an undercover journalist, a psychic, a dirty cop, an eco-terrorist, a fugitive going by a false name, the betrayer, a mole, the chosen one, a serial killer, a miraculous survivor, a saboteur, a thief. Mind you: if you choose a mystery character, once we disclose its identity to you, you can’t change your mind.
Once you get your full character sheet, you will find “political and social orientation tags” in there, together with the whole background. Since Black Friday is a larp set in the modern days, designed to offer a credible contemporary setting, we chose to include some “hot topics” of our modern society to make our characters deeper, more interesting and more realistic.
To better represent the complex world we are living in, all characters were designed as individuals, each one with their own ideas, beliefs, inspirations and political ideals. They have a job, and no doubt this will be the first thing you will notice about them, but choosing a specific career does not necessarily mean following the same ideals and the same patterns your colleagues or superiors follow. Sometimes the opposite is also true.
The world we are living in is a pluralistic system full of diversity and contradictions, where everyone reacts in their own personal way to minor or major crises, whether they are individual or global. During the game, we would like you to focus on social and political themes, ideals, behaviours, or ways to see society.
Each character has their own way of seeing things, despite what their colleagues, loved ones or friends may think. This is quickly nailed down with said “social and political tags”: they are hereby presented as simple dichotomies.
Collectivism is a moral stance, a political or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of all human beings within a group. It stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and concepts like cooperation and community. Being part of a just society means taking decisions that will influence everybody, and need to be followed by everybody.
Individualism is a moral stance, a political or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of an individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and so value independence and self-reliance, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions.
Most people in the United States believe in God and profess a religion, and this is considered the social norm. Some people also report that religion plays a very important role in their lives, and they believe nothing happens by chance and every event is a piece of a bigger picture. Some circumstances can be painful or seem senseless and these people draw strength from their faith when faced with such challenges. Putting their fate in the hands of a higher being, and trying to act according to their will, are not just moral imperatives for them, but also general rules for everyday life.
Atheism is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Atheists think everyone is responsible for their own fortunes or misfortunes. Even if Gods or higher beings exist, they play no part in human matters, and so pleading for their help is just a waste of time. This stance is rarely openly expressed in public, and sometimes it is even considered an emotive topic within families or groups, as most people in the United States believe in God and profess a religion.
Committed to the company:
Some people feel a deep sense of gratitude towards the company or the institution they work in. They even feel a moral bond, a mutual and two-way commitment to the future and the best interests of both parts. This goes far beyond legal obligations and is a matter of respect, group identity and worker’s pride.
Indifferent to the company:
Some people believe there are no moral ties or obligations between them and the company or institution they work in, but for the legal or contractual obligations they signed. The company they work in is considered just a mean to earn money or to accomplish something, with no associated feeling of group identity or sincere respect.
Pacifists believe that personal, national and international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved. A pacifist will always look for a diplomatic solution and reject all forms of violence and war.
For violent people the intentional use of physical force or power, both threatened and actual, is considered acceptable, whether the ultimate goal is abuse or defense. An aggressive stance is the key to solve many problems, and physical or verbal violence is always to be preferred over a worthless and time-consuming diplomatic discussion.
In this current era of information, many build their knowledge and shape their view of the world by relying on standard media. Mainstream people trust well-known media, institutions and the scientific community. Generally speaking, they think reality is interpreted and described through the “boundaries of common sense” and they have an unconcerned and trustful view on this complex modern world.
Conspiracy theorists distrust conventional media, and they believe in this current era it is easier for political, media and financial powers to deceive, spy upon, exploit and manipulate common citizens. This modern world makes them feel oppressed and they face it with fear, skepticism and anger. Anything out of the ordinary could be the first signal or the effect of some conspiracy to harm people, or simply a lie someone created for profit.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party to its right. A character who identifies with democratic ideals is progressive, advocates for social and economic equality along with a fair and effective welfare state. He or she is also liberal and typically supportive of civil rights (LGBT rights, liberalization of drug use, religion, and so on). Democrats support a stronger central government, with a progressive tax system, higher minimum wages, social security, universal health care, public education, and public housing. Many democrats have also advocated stricter gun control laws.
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party. A republican character is usually conservative and advocates traditional values, underlining the importance of social groups like family, (Christian) church and local communities. Republicans are usually highly patriotic and believe in the superiority of the western world. The most extreme among them oppose gay marriage, right to abortion, liberalization of drug use and other such “divergences from tradition”.
The Republican conservatism involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, business, a strong national defense, deregulation, restrictions to labor unions, socially conservative policies and a less strong central government, which implies lower taxes and less public welfare.