My first Consequences


Rune Priest
So last weekend I attended Passionate Consequences, the freeform larp convention (with some boardgames) held every year in a holiday camp near Poole.

Loads of people found it hard to believe that this was my first Consequences. Many of my larp friends attend – and many games played were ones written at Peaky. Consequences started in 2007, but as it’s on the south coast (near Poole), attending it always meant taking five days (including travel). And while I had a day job and a young family, that was more leave than I was comfortable taking.

Now I don’t have a day job, it’s easier to take leave, and so in 2023, I went to my first Consequences.


Consequences is held at Naish holiday village, so the accommodation is mostly holiday chalets. My accommodation (a two-bed apartment, not actually a chalet) was fine – it was clean and (once we’d figured out the heating) warm. As ever in this sort of accommodation, there were never enough towel rails.

Typical accomodation / gaming lodge​

The accommodation is all self-catered, and I ate a mixture of ready meals and bar meals. Unfortunately, the apartment’s oven was a little shonky. I’d bought a non-microwavable shepherd's pie but couldn’t get the oven up to temperature. So tipped the pie out of its foil tray onto a plate and used the microwave, and all was fine.


I set off from Yorkshire at about 9, having walked the dog, and after a long but easy drive, arrived at about 3 pm. I checked in and chatted with old friends.


My first game was the tricky-to-pronounce Horrospital, a horror-comedy game by Tony Mitton for 25 players. Horror in freeforms is never very horrific. It is inevitably played for laughs and involves comedy vampires, werewolves, demons and the like. It’s always over the top and never very scary. Which sums up Horrospital nicely.

I played Orderly Peeler, an undercover cop. I was investigating a series of murders, and I got much of the way through solving it, but couldn’t quite get the final piece. This is partly because I was tired, but mainly because I didn’t sit down and discuss the murders properly with the character who could have filled in some gaps.

(I was tired not because of the long drive, but because the game started at 8 pm and I’m often tucked up in bed at 10 pm. I remember starting to flag at about 9:45 pm and thinking, blimey, we’ve got a way to go yet.)

Anyway, Horrospital was very enjoyable, my favourite bit was explaining to everyone that the reason I was investigating the murders was because I was studying for an NVQ. I’m sure everyone saw through my nonsense.


I woke at 6 am (as usual) after a not-very-long night. Although I returned to the chalet early(ish), I didn’t go straight to bed as I wanted to relax and unwind first. I also needed to review my character for the morning’s game. I was originally signed up to play Sam, but a last-minute dropout meant I changed to Stevie. Who I hadn’t read. So I needed to read, absorb and take notes. Perhaps unwisely, I did that before going to bed and, as a result, got only three or four hours of sleep.

Antarctic Base 13

This was a ten-player tense SF game set at an isolated research station in the Antarctic – with strong The Thing vibes. Written by Rich Perry and Alli Mawhinney, I’ve wanted to play it for a while. I’m glad I did, as it was great.

I played Stevie, the comms operator. Which meant I had access to lots of information – and I didn’t like going outside. My favourite parts were searching the base when everyone else had gone outside and doing something in plain sight in front of other players who were so caught up in their own thing that they didn’t notice me doing it.

It’s not perfect – the character sheets need a bit of work, and a couple of bits feel creaky, but the core concept is great.

After that, I had a short nap to wake up and lost badly at Dune Imperium, which I’d not played before. (I can see why it’s popular, but it’s a bit long for my liking.)

Children of the Stars

This was the first of the two games I was running, and I was looking forward to seeing how it would work. I had 13 players – and it went really well. I had a few pre-flight nerves because the first run (online) didn’t go well for various reasons. But this time, it went off without a hitch.

Discussions about weighty matters...​

The players bought into the ongoing story. A couple had played in earlier episodes, and I had four playing in both this and Sunday’s Messages from Callisto. And I could see the decisions I’d given everyone were causing them to think.

As ever, I made copious notes and have a few changes to make – mostly clarifications rather than anything game-breaking.


I woke with a headache on Saturday and decided to eat in the restaurant rather than battle the kitchen appliances. My headache had cleared by the time it was to play my first game.

Old Nick’s Game

Old Nick’s Game is written by Charlie Paull, Alan Paull, Roger Gammans, and Nick Hollingsworth. It’s for ten players and is set in Hell and is based (loosely) on Old Harry’s Game, a Radio 4 comedy which I know of but haven’t listened to.

I will admit to being slightly apprehensive about this game as I wasn’t sure about my character. I was playing Antonia, the mother-in-law of another character. Gender didn’t seem very important in the game, so I wasn’t worried about that, but my character didn’t believe that they were in Hell – instead, this was all a rag week stunt. But the character sheet felt muddled as a result.

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried as the game was great. It played really nicely, and I had a whale of a time pretending we weren’t in Hell. I particularly enjoyed threatening to report Satan to HR if he continued his bullying. My favourite bit was discussing my favourite fiction (which I decided was Mills & Boon romances) with Satan, and he summoned Jane Austen from the pits of Hell – and she turned out to be extremely foul-mouthed. She must have had a very good editor!

Between games

The most important thing I needed to do on Saturday was prepare the character packs for Sunday’s Messages from Callisto. So once I’d had a bite to eat, I popped back to the apartment to sort that out.

Messages from Callisto is set ten years after Children of the Stars, and decisions the players make in Children affects the background to Messages. I’d thought about this in advance and come up with options – so I had extra background and briefing sheets for each character. And now I knew what had happened in Messages, I could prepare Children.

(Would I do this again? It was a lot of work, but it was also very satisfying. So the answer is probably yes.)

Once I’d done that, I went back to the main area and got into a game of Villagers. While I was playing, I was asked if I’d fill a spare place in Better Than Life, as a player had dropped. So that was my evening sorted.

A Better Than Life Sandwich

A BTL Sandwich is a series of three short minigames featuring five characters. The scenes are all unrelated. It was written by Martin Jones for the Across the Universe weekend game, but he’s run these separately many times since.

The three minigames are all wonderful – tense, angsty and funny. The character sheets were all short, so it didn’t take much for me to catch up. It’s a great pick-up game.

The three minigames were:

  • The Judgement of Solomon: The fate of a child hangs in the balance… I played the judge – and I might have played this before. There’s no good decision here – wonderfully angsty.
  • The Gig at the End of the Universe: Inspired by The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – and at about 30 minutes, probably the right length for a Hitchhiker’s game. The light relief to the other two more angsty games. I was Zaphod Beeblebrox, man! Delightful nonsense.
  • Waiting: A dramatic game about waiting for aliens to attack. How long do you have, and what must you say before the end? Fabulously bleak.

Looking back, Better Than Life was one of my favourite games of the weekend. And it finished relatively early, which meant I was in bed by 11 am and got a good night’s sleep.


A good night’s sleep left me refreshed for Sunday. I heard stories of people not getting to bed until 4 or 6 am. I don’t think I can do that.

Devil to Pay

Devil to Pay is a 26-player pirate freeform written by Brian Richburg and Alison Joy Schafer. It was an old-style freeform larp with long character sheets, rules, contingency envelopes, items, abilities and more. I found the long character sheet hard to read at first, but it soon made sense during play.

I played Laurens de Graaf, a Dutch privateer. To my surprise, my character survived. I was expecting to die horribly – but I won a duel and ended up with just enough loot to survive the game. It was great playing with Nickey, who was my wife and rescued our daughters before they could be killed in a pirate raid.

Messages from Callisto

Messages from Callisto follows Children of the Stars. It’s for 13 players, and I had four players who played in both games. Three played the same character. The fourth was a last-minute addition – I would have cast them as the same character had I known.

Thanks to a few typos (and some mistakes when stuffing envelopes), Messages from Callisto had a slightly creakier start than Children. But once it was going, it went well, and everyone seemed fully engaged and having deep discussions.

I have come away with a page of notes and improvements – but players told me later that they had a good time (and want to play other episodes), so that was all wonderful to hear. (I’ll probably reflect on that in a later post.)

Next year?

Next year, Consequences will move to a new venue. I suspect it will still be a long drive from Yorkshire, but I’m planning to go again.

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