Title:
Method and apparatus for improvisational interaction in role playing events
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention disclosed herein is directed to a method and apparatus for facilitating personal interaction at an event, and particularly in the context of playing an role playing game (“RPG”), live action role playing game (“LARP”), or other event. The instant invention preferably utilizes portable, compact, information bearing and/or action initiating devices which guide game play and encourage improvisation and socialization by and between participants. In one embodiment of the invention, the information bearing and/or action initiating devices may take the form of standard or customized playing cards, sheets, or other compact devices. When such compact devices are utilized in a LARP, the event is referred to herein as a CardLARP.



Inventors:
Cunliffe, Steven (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Aimette, Alexander (Ardmore, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/821319
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
06/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DILWORTH PAXSON LLP (Princeton, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A structured improvisational interaction within an event, wherein said structure of said interaction is suggested by information provided on one or more information bearing devices, and wherein said information bearing devices also serve to track the progress of said improvisational interaction leading to a conclusion of said event.

2. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said one or more information bearing devices comprises a character card.

3. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said one or more information bearing devices comprises an action card.

4. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said improvisational interaction is a CardLARP.

5. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said improvisational interaction is a political election.

6. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a vampire theme or genre.

7. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a military theme or genre.

8. The structured improvisational interaction of claim 1, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a science fiction theme or genre.

9. A system for inducing improvisational interaction, said system comprising: a first information bearing device characterizing a character; and a second information bearing device for tracking the progress of said improvisational interaction; wherein said first information bearing device and/or second information bearing device contain information which induces said improvisational interaction.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein said first information bearing device comprises a character card.

11. The system of claim 9, wherein said first information bearing device comprises an action card.

12. The system of claim 9, wherein said improvisational interaction is a CardLARP.

13. The system of claim 9, wherein said improvisational interaction is a political election.

14. The system of claim 9, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a vampire theme or genre.

15. The system of claim 9, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a military theme or genre.

16. The system of claim 9, wherein said improvisational interaction comprises a science fiction theme or genre.

17. The system of claim 10, wherein said character card further comprises information related to a character's motivation, abilities or background.

18. The system of claim 11, wherein, said action card further comprises a manner in which a character may acquire said action card.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein, said action card further comprises a point value associated with said action card.

20. A method for inducing improvisational interaction comprising the steps of: distributing a character card to a participant, wherein said character card contains information related to said character; and distributing an action card to a participant having a character card, wherein said action card contains information related to a particular action, and wherein said information on said character card and/or action card induces one or more improvisational interactions.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/816,092, filed Jun. 22, 2006, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention is directed to a method and apparatus used in connection with role playing games and other events in which personal interaction is desired. More specifically, this invention is directed to a method and apparatus for encouraging improvisational interaction in live action role playing games, and particularly live action role playing games which utilize standard or customized playing cards which initiate game play and encourage improvisation and socialization by and between participants.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A typical role-playing game (also referred to herein as an “RPG”) involves lengthy, complicated rules, large (often as large or larger than about 8.5 inches×11 inches) character sheets to track the traits, abilities, possessions, and similar information related to, of the player's character, and dice-resolved or other random event generating systems to adjudicate events within the game. This makes playing such games with a group larger than about 5 to 8 people difficult within any reasonable time frame. With a live action role-playing game (also referred to herein as a “LARP”) the problem becomes worse since it adds staging and choreography to the list of difficulties the organizers of the event must manage, in addition to the cumbersome mechanics of play that an RPG utilizes.

Accordingly, there exists a need for a method and apparatus which permits any number of participants to engage in a RPG, LARP, or other event which requires minimal preparation, management and supervision by the event organizer, while maintaining sufficient structure to the event and encouraging improvisational interaction and socialization by and between the event participants.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention disclosed herein is directed to a method and apparatus for facilitating personal interaction at an event and particularly in the context of playing a RPG, LARP, or other event. The instant invention preferably utilizes portable, compact, information bearing and/or action initiating devices which guide game play and encourage improvisation and socialization by and between participants. In one embodiment of the invention, the information bearing and/or action initiating devices may take the form of standard or customized playing cards, sheets, or other compact devices. When such compact devices are utilized in a LARP, the event is referred to herein as a CardLARP.

The unique CardLARP system of the instant invention eliminates the need for dice, large character sheets, lengthy, complicated rules and rulebooks, large volumes of written information, and all other cumbersome mechanics of play. Instead, cards the size of regular playing cards are used to manage many, if not all, game mechanics and provide an instant visual aid for players and organizers, eliminating the need for a rulebook, charts and sheets of paper, while introducing both staged and random events as well as improvisation and spontaneity to the game. The cards also allow for faster action-oriented game play without close supervision by the game organizers. Although they may take on other roles within the context of any particular game, it is generally a duty of the of the organizers to supervise the players and/or their use of the cards. However, in some situations, no game organizers may be required.

The relative ease of use introduced by method and apparatus of the instant invention may be analogized to the difference between staging a play versus playing poker. In a play (as in a typical LARP) all the actors (players) have to practice staging, choreography, and be carefully instructed in every aspect of their work. When playing poker (as in a CardLARP), all the players need is the simple structure of play and to then carefully observe the cards that are used in each hand. As further detailed in the specific embodiments disclosed herein, CardLARP cards perform a very similar service to a CardLARP event, which is analogous to the service playing cards provided in a game of poker.

CardLARP Cards

Typically, CardLARP Cards fall into one of two categories: Character Cards and Action Cards. Other cards, such as Reward Cards which typically reward the participant for some action, may also be employed. CardLARP Cards may contain a player's character information, including but not limited to the character's background, goals, abilities, motivations and, optionally, victory or other success conditions. CardLARP cards may also construct a framework for game play, including, but not limited to:

the role, or character of all participating players;

the type, duration and boundaries of player actions and interactions;

the incremental stages of game play, marking the game's progress; and

the conditions for the game's end, including how to win.

CardLARP cards may also act as a random event generator to make each game different if the cards are shuffled and distributed in a manner similar to that used with playing cards in poker.

Use of CardLARP Cards

Generally, at the commencement of a game, participants assume the identity of a character for the game's duration in accordance with the information contained on a Character Card. In addition, participants either select or are given one or more Action Cards.

Participants then engage in one or more improvisational interactions with other game participants as the participant may choose to engage in. Additionally, alternatively, and/or optionally, the participant may be directed to engage in a task, interaction or other activity by the organizers of the game. During each game, the Action Cards typically may construct a framework for play, including but not limited to the type, duration and boundaries of participant actions and interactions. Character Cards typically may construct a framework for the motivation of the participant's character, and the participant's goals to achieve victory or other success criteria.

During play, each participant works towards an end of the game and/or their own victory or other success criteria. The game ends when a majority of the players have fulfilled their victory conditions or other success criteria, a set time limit is reached, or other stated conditions are met. A grand finale may then be acted out by the participants and the event ends.

The method and apparatus of this invention may be applied to any type of theme or genre including, but not limited to, historical, science fiction, mythical, political, sports, entertainment, war or battle related themes or genres which may be conducive to improvisational interaction between participants. The method and apparatus of this invention may take the form of, or adopt, characteristics of RPG's, LARP's or CardLARP's.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Understanding of the present invention will be facilitated by consideration of the following detailed description of the embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like parts, and wherein:

FIG. 1 depicts a Character Card utilized in one embodiment of the instant invention.

FIG. 2 depicts another Character Card utilized in the embodiment of the invention referred to in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts yet another Character Card utilized in the embodiment of the invention referred to in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 depicts an Action Card utilized in the embodiment of the invention referred to in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 depicts another Action Card utilized in the embodiment of the invention referred to in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 depicts yet another Action Card utilized in the embodiment of the invention referred to in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram which illustrates an example of game play of one embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a venue for the improvisational interaction of the invention.

FIG. 9 is another plan view of a venue for the improvisational interaction of the invention.

FIG. 10 is yet another plan view of a venue for the improvisational interaction of the invention.

FIG. 11 depicts the front and reverse sides of Pure Blood Cards utilized in one embodiment of the instant invention.

FIG. 12 depicts the front and reverse sides of Sex Magic Cards utilized in the embodiment of the instant invention referred to in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 depicts the front and reverse sides of Eros Cards utilized in the embodiment of the instant invention referred to in FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

It is to be understood that the figures and descriptions of the present invention have been simplified to illustrate elements that are relevant for a clear understanding of the present invention, while eliminating, for the purposes of clarity, many other elements which may be found in the present invention. Those of ordinary skill in the pertinent art will recognize that other elements are desirable and/or required in order to implement the present invention. However, because such elements do not facilitate a better understanding of the present invention, a discussion of such elements is not provided herein.

In one embodiment of the invention, a CardLARP is applied to a game related to United States presidential elections.

The Characters involved in this embodiment are as follows:

    • 1. The game organizer entitled the “Chairman.”
    • 2. A participant named the “Candidate.”
    • 3. A participant named the “Scandalmonger.”
    • 4. A participant named the “Intern.”

The Character Cards used in this embodiment contain the following information:

    • 1. The “Green Party Candidate” Character Card
      • a. Motivation—win his party nomination
      • b. Abilities—persuasive speech, eco-knowledge
      • c. Background—‘clean record’
    • 2. The “Scandalmonger” Character Card
      • a. Motivation—blackmail the candidate
      • b. Abilities—blackmailer
      • c. Background—‘from nowhere’
    • 3. The “Intern” Character Card
      • a. Motivation—compromise a candidate
      • b. Abilities—sensuality
      • c. Background—‘from money’

The Action Cards used in this embodiment contain the following information:

    • 1. “Compromising Position” Action Card—This card is earned by a character if the character successfully puts a candidate into a compromising situation. This card is worth 20 Poll Points.
    • 2. “Expert Staff” Action Card—A character earns this card if the character hires another character to a campaign staff. This card is worth 5 Poll Points.
    • 3. “It Takes a Team to Win” Action Card—A character earns this card if the character successfully hires a team of three or more characters to help run a campaign. This card is worth 15 Poll Points.

The following is an example of potential improvisational interactions which may be acted out by participants utilizing the Character and Action Cards described above.

The Chairman hosts the game at his home. A few dozen people arrive at the Chairman's home and each participant assumes the role of a game character by being given or selecting Character Cards. Three of the participants assume the characters described above. The Candidate and Intern characters happen to be boyfriend and girlfriend in real life. Each character is given one or more Action Cards to begin the game.

The Action Cards utilized in this game disclose the manner in which the Action Card may be earned by a participant. In addition, the Action Card contains a numerical card value given in Poll Points. The higher the poll point value of the Action Card, the more valuable the Action Card. The collection of Action Cards, and thus Poll Points, by participants helps the characters to influence a candidate's election and therefore win the game.

As the game starts, the participants begin acting in character. As the game progresses, Action Cards are exchanged between characters based upon interactions between those characters. Possession of an Action Card entitles that character to the Poll Points stated on the Action Card.

In one improvisational interaction, Scandalmonger has the “Compromising Position” Action Card. He takes the Intern aside and offers the “Compromising Position” Action Card to her if she can put the Candidate in a compromising situation. Scandalmonger may then use the compromising situation to blackmail the Candidate. The Intern agrees, and awaits the right opportunity to earn the Action Card. She doesn't have to wait long because the Scandalmonger also possesses the “Expert Staff” Action Card and, posing as a supporter of the Candidate, offers the “Expert Staff” Action Card to the Candidate if the Candidate will hire the Intern. The Candidate agrees, earning the “Expert Staff” Action Card and the five Poll Points associated with the “Expert Staff” Action Card.

In another improvisational interaction of this embodiment, the Candidate has the Action Card “It Takes a Team to Win” and offers it to the Intern if she can raise a staff of three. The Intern agrees and convinces three other characters to join the Candidate's staff, earning for the Intern the Action Card's 15 Poll Points.

In yet another improvisational interaction of this embodiment, the Intern, the Candidate's real-life girlfriend, entices the Candidate to take a little break out on the patio where they have a romantic interlude that is photographed by the Scandalmonger. Scandalmonger checks the picture and it is compromising and damaging to the Candidate. So he slips the “Compromising Position” Action Card to the Intern earning her 20 Poll Points. Added to her “In Takes a Team to Win” Action Card the Intern has accrued a total of 35 Poll Points. In turn, Scandalmonger is awarded for achieving his motivation of blackmailing the Candidate as stated on his Character Card.

Play continues with various characters earning and/or exchanging additional Action Cards, or using their Action Cards to convince other players to do their bidding, and/or accruing the motivations stated on their respective Character Cards. Play is guided and/or overseen by the Chairman who is hosting the event. The Chairman may answer questions, stimulate interaction between Characters, arbitrate disputes, or perform any other duty which assists or enhances game play. At the end of the allotted timeframe for the game, the Chairman gathers everyone into a room and announces that play has ended. All players in the game must ‘vote’ by putting all of their Action Cards into an envelope with their name on it, as well as their vote for one of the candidates. The Chairman gathers the envelopes as the players celebrate the anticipated victory of their candidate. Finally, the Chairman announces the results: The Green Party Candidate has won! The Intern also wins as the player who gathered the single largest number of Poll Points in the game. She is declared “Most Influential”.

Turning now to FIG. 1 through 8 there is depicted Character Cards, Action Cards, a flow diagram, and a schematic representation of the venue of an improvisational interaction of yet another embodiment of the instant invention. This embodiment comprises a CardLARP which is applied to a game regarding United States presidential elections. The game is entitled “Compromised!”

Fred Frederick hosts a Compromised! CardLARP game at his home. In this embodiment of the invention Fred has chosen to play from a sub-theme of the Compromised! CardLARP entitled “National Convention.” “National Convention” addresses the situation concerning candidates struggling to win enough votes to obtain their party's nomination for the upcoming presidential election. Fred owns a large house with many rooms and serves as an excellent setting to act as the stage of a national convention. In this regard, FIG. 8 depicts a plan view of the venue in which this embodiment of the invention is taking place.

As host and organizer of the game, Fred assumes the character role of “Party Chairman” which authorizes him to monitor the game, adjudicate disputes about the game rules, and act to help players get involved in the game, while also participating as a character in the “National Convention” scenario. Altogether, 24 persons participate in this game. “Fred” takes each person aside as they arrive, gives them their Character Card and two Action Cards to get them started, and makes certain they understand their Character's characteristics (e.g. motivation, skills, background, etc.) After this, they are invited to a cocktail party that opens the convention, which is an actual cocktail party taking place in his large living room area. Three of the participants, Tom, Dick and Jane, are given the characters “Scandalmonger,” “Yankee Candidate (NE),” and “Intern,” respectively. In real life, Dick and Jane (the Candidate and Intern characters), happen to be boyfriend and girlfriend.

The following is a summary of the CardLARP Event of this embodiment:

CardLARP Game: Compromised! The game of U.S. Presidential Elections.

Scenario: National Convention

Venue: the large home of Fred Frederick

Characters involved:

1. Fred as Party Chairman, the game organizer/host.

2. Tom as Scandalmonger, looking for influence at the expense of reputations.

3. Dick as Yankee Candidate (NE), the candidate from New England.

4. Jane as Intern, a person looking to become a White House Powerbroker.

5. 21 other characters for the other 21 people playing. Their characters represent candidates from regions of the U.S. and various political archetypes such as, for example union bosses, corporate donors, policy wonks, party hacks, volunteers, and the like.

6. Duration: six hours, or when one of the candidate characters has a clear enough margin to win a straw poll by a 2-1 margin.

FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 depict the three Character Cards that were given to Tom, Dick, and Jane, respectively. The Character Cards may be any size but are typically approximately the size of playing cards. The reverse of each Character Card (not shown in FIG. 1. 2 or 3) has “Compromised! Character Card” written on it.

Each character was given two Action Cards to begin the game. When the Action Cards were distributed, the Party Chairman explained to each Character what each Action Card meant, how to interpret the information contained on each Action Card, suggestions about how each Action Card may be used, as well as other information which may be useful to the Character. Alternatively, no explanation of the cards is necessary as the information on the card may be self explanatory.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 depict three exemplary Action Cards which are utilized in this embodiment. The Action Cards of this embodiment may be any size, but typically are the approximate size of playing cards. The reverse of each Action Card (not shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6) has “Compromised! Action Card” written on it.

Action Cards explain the manner by which the Action Card may be earned by a player. The Action Card may further state a numerical value given to the Action Card in Poll Points. Poll Points are used to elect a candidate to the party nomination. In this regard, the value of Poll Points represent the number of votes that a player's character has accrued. By performing that stated action the player will earn and then possess additional Action Cards as well as the Action Cards the player was given upon arrival by Fred. If a character achieves the motivation stated on their Character Card, the player gets to double the number of Poll Points in the player's possession. In addition to the victory of a single candidate in the nomination, everyone who supports a winning candidate wins by being declared part of the ‘Power Group’ supporting the candidate. Finally, a single character will win the title of ‘Most Influential Powerbroker’ by having the largest number of total Poll Points on the Action Cards in the player's possession at the end of the game.

Summary of Action Cards, Victory Conditions and End of Game:

Players earn Action Cards offered to them by other players or the organizer by doing what the card says. See for example information 410, 510 and 610 contained on Action Cards 400, 500 and 600, respectively.

The Action Cards are numerically valued with Poll Points. See for example Card Values 420, 520 and 620, which equate to Poll Points in this embodiment on Action Cards 400, 500 and 600, respectively.

Poll Points are used at the end of the game by each player to elect one of the Candidate player characters to the party nomination. Each Poll Point counts as one vote.

If a player achieves their character's motivation stated on their Character Card, the player receives double the value of the Poll Points stated on each of their Action Cards at the end of the game. See, for example, Character Motivations 110, 210 and 310 stated on Character Cards 100, 200 and 300, respectively.

If a player accumulates the most Poll Points during the course of a game, the player is declared a winner for being the “Most Influential Powerbroker”.

Players also win by voting for the winning candidate. Such players are declared part of the “Power Group,” it being assumed that their support will translate to favors later should their candidate win the presidency.

Finally, the Party Chairman may declare a player a winner as “Best In Character,” for the quality of their work acting in character.

Other awards, incentives, points or other rewards or penalties may also be declared by the Party Chairman.

The following describes several improvisational interactions which may play out in a game of “Compromised!” using the Character Cards and Action Cards of FIG. 1 through 6. In this improvisational interaction, the game has already begun with various participants or players already interacting in character at the cocktail party that has been going on since the event began and people started to arrive. After all participants arrive, the Party Chairman calls for silence and introduces some or all of the characters to each other officially from a podium and begins the game. Players break up into various groups and pairings scattered around the house and property outside, depicted in FIG. 8, acting in character and trying to devise ways for their characters to win one or all of the victory conditions set for the game.

Most of the action is initiated by the players themselves as each player attempts to earn Action Cards offered to them by other players. In this embodiment of the invention, the Party Chairman works to make certain that players have other opportunities to earn Action Cards by participating in various smaller events in the National Convention scenario, such as, for example ‘Conferences’, ‘TV Interviews’, ‘Pollings’, and the like, all of which the Party Chairman orchestrates, and then rewards excellent and entertaining participation by players with Action Cards.

After various interactions between players, Action Cards are earned, exchanged, traded or otherwise transferred amongst and between players or between players and the Party Chairman. In one improvisational interaction, Scandalmonger has Action Card 400, “Compromising Position”. He takes the Intern aside and offers Action Card 400 to her if she can put the Candidate in compromising situation 410 so that Scandalmonger may then blackmail the Candidate in order to achieve Scandalmonger's Motivation 210. The intern agrees, and awaits the right opportunity to earn Action Card 400. The intern doesn't have to wait long because the Scandalmonger also possesses Action Card 500, “Expert Staff,” and offers Action Card 500 to the Candidate if the Candidate will hire the Intern. The Candidate agrees, hires the Intern, and earns the Action Card. Action Card 500 has a Card Value 520 equivalent to five Poll Points. The Candidate adds Card 500, and the 5 Poll Points to the Action Cards he has previously earned.

In a related improvisational interaction, the Candidate possesses Action Card 600, “It Takes a Team to Win.” The Candidate offers Card 600 to the Intern if she can raise a staff of three. The Intern agrees and convinces three other characters to join the Candidate's staff, thus earning Action Card 600 and Card 600's Card Value 620, which equates to 15 Poll Points.

The advantages of having his girlfriend on his staff are obvious to the Candidate player, and when he and the Intern, his real-life girlfriend, decide to take a little break out on the patio, the Candidate and the Intern have a romantic interlude that is photographed by the Scandalmonger. Scandalmonger checks the picture and it is compromising! So Scandalmonger slips Action Card 400 to the Intern and she earns Card Value 420, which equates to 20 Poll Points. Added to the Intern's Action Card 600, the Intern has accumulated a total of 35 Poll Points, in addition to any other Action Cards she might have earned or otherwise acquired.

Play continues with various players acquiring more Action Cards or giving away Action Cards to convince other players to do their bidding in order to achieve the motivational goal stated on each player's respective Character Cards.

In this embodiment of the invention, the Chairman monitors, assists and sometimes intervenes in the game. At the end of the allotted timeframe for the game, the Chairman gathers everyone into a room and announces that play has ended. All players in the game must then ‘vote’ by putting all their Action Cards into an envelope with their name on it, together with their vote for one of the Character Candidates. Each Poll Point counts as one vote. The Chairman gathers the envelopes as the players celebrate the anticipated victory of their favored candidate. Finally, the Chairman announces the results: the Yankee Candidate has lost to another Candidate! Apparently it seems the Candidate just couldn't beat the scandal with the Intern that dogged his steps all through the nomination process.

The nomination being made, the players are then evaluated by the Chairman for various victory conditions.

The Yankee Candidate hasn't achieved his Motivation 110 to win the nomination because he received less votes than his competitor. In addition, the Yankee Candidate possesses only Action Cards at the end of the game worth 15 Poll Points. The 15 Poll Points include the “Expert Staff” Action Card 500 the Candidate earned from the Scandalmonger, and another Action Card with a Card Value equivalent to 10 Poll Points. Not a great performance but he had a good time. However, the Party Chairman awards the Yankee Candidate the honor of “Best In Character” for his classic parody of the gullible and compromised candidate who runs for office and ends up with nothing.

The Intern has been forced to use various Action Cards she earned and has only two left by the end of the game. She has retained “It Takes a Team to Win” and “Compromising Position” Action Cards 600 and 400 respectively, worth a total of 35 Poll Points as explained above. She also failed to achieve Motivation 310 of becoming a Powerbroker (as stated on Character Card 300). The Intern did not achieve Motivation 310 because she voted for the Yankee Candidate and he lost. Accordingly, the Intern has accrued only the 35 Poll Points base upon Action Cards 400 and 600. However, if the Intern had worked and voted for the Candidate who won, she would have achieved Motivation 310, and had her Poll Points doubled to 70, a good showing.

The Scandalmonger has several Action Cards in his possession despite having used the two described above to orchestrate the scandal of the Yankee Candidate. In determining the successful and unsuccessful characters at the end of the event, the Chairman will view Scandalmonger as an active participant during the game, earning a significant number of Action Cards as well as having to use or give away some of his valuable Action Cards along the way in an effort to achieve his Motivation 210. At the end of the game, Scandalmonger's Poll Points total 65 points. However, because Scandalmonger achieved Motivation 210 by creating a scandal, his Poll Points are doubled to 130 Poll Points. Despite some strong showings by other characters earning a significant number of Poll Points, Scandalmonger is declared by the Chairman to be the “Most Influential Powerbroker” because he accrued the most Poll Points. Scandalmonger also voted for the winning candidate and thus is declared a part of the “Power Group.”

With these achievements, Poll Points, and other attributes gained during the “National Convention” sub-theme, the characters may move on to another sub-theme of the Compromised! game the next time the some or all of the participants are assembled. For example, other sub-themes could include, but not be limited to, “Campaign Trail,” “Election Night,” “Transition Team” or other such sub-themes. In other embodiments, prior classifications earned in previous games may or may not carry over to the new games or sub-themes.

FIG. 7 illustrates a flow diagram of another embodiment of the improvisational interaction method 700 of the instant invention. In this embodiment, participants assume the identity of a character in step 701. Participants are given or select one or more action cards bearing information which encourages a particular improvisational interaction in step 702. Participants engage in one or more improvisational interactions with one or more characters or other participants in accordance with one or more of the character's characteristics, goals, abilities, motivations, success conditions and/or other information contained on a CardLARP card in a character's possession or offered by another in step 703. Character achievements based upon the outcome of the improvisational interactions are accumulated and/or tracked in step 704. Play continues until a set of conditions signaling the end of the event are achieved in step 705. Other steps may also be optionally included, including but not limited to awarding or penalizing certain characters at the completion of the game or event.

Turning now to FIGS. 9 and 10 there is shown yet another embodiment of the CardLARP of the instant invention as applied to an improvisational interaction event concerning U.S. presidential elections. In this embodiment the name of the CardLARP is “Compromised!”

FIG. 9 depicts a house plan of the CardLARP host, Fred Frederick. Note that a CardLARP is played in a real setting that serves as a stage. The event could also be held in any setting including, but not limited to, a club, office, hotel, or any other suitable venue with multiple rooms.

Participants arrive at the front door and enter the foyer, where Fred greets them in the role of “Party Chairman”. The participants are given a character card and two action cards and any questions they have are addressed.

The participants then enter the living room in character for the cocktail party, an actual cocktail party that marks the opening of their party's National Convention, the scenario being played.

When all participants have arrived, the Party Chairman introduces the participants in the group by their character names, and announces that the convention has begun.

After the official opening of the convention, play begins with the participants splitting up into various groups and using other parts of the house as venues.

As the event continues, the participants attempt to attain their goal(s) described on their respective Character Cards as “Motivation.” The play principally involves the participants acting in character and offering to, exchanging with, and earning Action Cards from other participants.

Meanwhile, the host Fred Frederick, in character as the Party Chair, mingles with the other participants, engaging the participants in character in various locations in the building. The Party Chair interacts with the other characters, answers their questions about the event, suggesting and organizing ways for characters to earn cards, and generally encourages good play in an effort to keep the participants involved and entertained.

Turning now to FIG. 10, there is shown an example of the play of the embodiment of FIG. 9 graphically depicted.

The Scandalmonger character (identified as “SC” in FIG. 10) takes the Intern (identified as “I” in FIG. 10) aside to offer the intern the card “Compromising Position.” Scandalmonger makes this offer to the Intern in the kitchen with few other characters nearby and largely out of sight.

Scandalmonger then offers the “Expert Staff” card to the Candidate (identified as “C” in FIG. 10). Scandalmonger makes this offer to the Candidate back in the living room where the Candidate is trying to raise votes for the nomination amongst the convention attendees. Scandalmonger asks for moment of the Candidate's time and shows him the Expert Staff card. Since there is nothing untoward about Scandalmonger offer, the Candidate engaged Scandalmonger in view of other players. The Candidate then hires the Intern, Having facilitated the hire, Scandalmonger departs to work on other aspects of his agenda.

The Candidate then offers the Intern the Action Card “It Takes a Team to Win” while still in the living room.

When the Intern makes her move to compromise the Candidate, she does so on the patio while the Scandalmonger photographs them from the bushes outside in the yard.

The Scandalmonger then gives the Intern the Action Card “Compromising Position” in the kitchen.

It should be noted that the entire house and grounds are serving as an improvised stage for the improvisation of the players as they act in character. In this sense, the CardLARP is different from most games in that the settings are real live places.

Midnight Seduction

Turning now to yet another embodiment of the invention, Exhibit A, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, is a booklet entitled “Midnight Seduction” in which yet another embodiment of the instant invention is disclosed. This embodiment discloses a CardLARP which generally employs a Vampire theme and/or genre. Exhibit A comprises a booklet which fully discloses the apparatus and method of this embodiment of the invention, including but not limited to Character Cards or sheets, Action Cards, reward cards and other information relative to, and useful in, conducting an improvisational interactional event. Exemplary cards of this embodiment are described below and depicted in FIGS. 11 A-F, 12 A-F, and 13 A-F. The Midnight Seduction booklet and other Midnight Seduction related information and materials, all of which are incorporated herein by reference, are available from Icebreaker LLC, P.O. Box 741, Ardmore, Pa. 19003 and through www.midnightseduction,com.

The Cards of Midnight Seduction

The key component of the CardLARP of this invention is the various cards used to initiate contact between characters. The primary cards of Midnight Seduction are two-sided Eros Cards 1310, 1320 and 1330 depicted in FIGS. 13 A-F, and Sex Magic Cards 1210, 1220 and 1230 depicted in FIGS. 12 A-F. Two-sided Pure Blood Cards 1110, 1120 and 1130, depicted in FIGS. 11 A-F, are secondary and given by the event organizer, judge and/or referee called the “Seraph” or “Oracle.”

At the beginning of the event, the Seraph or Oracle designates one or more initial Vampyres. Other general classifications of characters include Temple Priestesses, which may or may not assist a Vampyres, and Human and Primal Sangruels, which comprise most of the characters in the event. Each participant develops the specific characteristics of his or her character as each event progresses. Each character interacts with other characters to develop his or her character and to attain the character's goals and objectives. An event, such as a Saturnalia Game, may involve between about 8 to 25 characters or more. Events with fewer characters may also be conducted. Moreover, characters with their previously achieved characteristics may carry over to subsequent events. An initial set of cards may be included in the Midnight Seduction booklet along with Character, Action and Reward Cards, as well as rules, suggested scenes, character profiles and other suggestions for conducting an improvisational interactive event. Additional event materials my also be made available though additional booklets, through a website, such as www.midnightseduction.com incorporated herein by reference, or though other means.

The participants in Midnight Seduction will have a fictitious character they assume for the duration of the event. The Oracle directs the event. In one embodiment of the invention, it is the Oracle's responsibility Temple Priestesses. The Oracle may also decide which participants will begin the event as Vampyre “Pure Bloods.” The remaining participants are generally Human or Primal Sangraels.

Upon arrival at the event, each participant receives a Character Sheet or other device for recording the participant's Character's personal information. Character Sheets may be worn as badges during the event.

The Character Sheets for Human or Primal Sangraels may be two-sided. One side of the Sangrael Character Sheet, and which may be seen by other participants, may include the Sangrael's character's name, character profile and other information about the Sangrael. The reverse or “Vampyere” side of the Sangrael Character Sheet, which remains concealed from the other participants unless revealed by the wearer, may contain one or more, but typically five, “Blood Drops.” The first blood Drop is initialed by a Seraph when the Sangrael is bitten or otherwise turned into a Vampyre through a role playing event with a Vampyre. If the Sangrael has a particular status (such as, for example, a “Consort”) at the time of being turned into a Vampyre, the Sangrael (now Vampyre) may be assigned to a Vampyre House or Master. The Vampyre House or Master may then be recorded on the reverse side of the now Vampyre's Character Sheet. The Seraph also increases the power of the Master of the House in which the new Vampyre has entered by initialing the next Blood Drop on the Vampyre side of the Master's Character Sheet.

Additional Blood Drops may be initialed on the Vampyre's Character Sheet each time the Vampyre completes a Vampyre Seduction of another participant. In addition, each time the Vampyre completes a Vampyre Seduction of another participant, the Vampyre gains additional status and power. When all of the Blood Drops have been initialed on the Vampyre's Character Sheet, the Vampyre is at full strength.

Character Sheets for Oracle, Seraph and Priestess characters, do not contain a reverse Vampyre side inasmuch as those characters are immune to Vampyre Seductions. Instead, the reverse side of such Character Sheets may contain additional information regarding the character such as for example the powers and responsibilities of the character.

The following is a more detailed explanation of the principal cards utilized in Midnight Seduction:

Eros Cards

Each Eros Card 1310, 1320 and 1330 has two sides as shown in FIGS. 13 A and B, 13 C and D, and 13 E and F, respectively. The front side of each Eros Card 1310, 1320 and 1330 (depicted in FIGS. 13 A, C and E, respectively) reads “Seduction” and is used for initiation Seduction Scenes. The back side of each Eros Card 1310, 1320 and 1330 (depicted in FIGS. 13 B, D and F, respectively) reads “Ritual Scene” and is used only during Rituals. Eros Cards 1310, 1320 and 1330 symbolize the sexual magic which is channeled by the Sangrael and is the foundation of all the Sangrael's power. Unused Eros Cards 1310, 1320 and 1330 are held by the Seraph and are given to characters who take part in rituals. Eros Cards 1310, 1320 and 1330 are also used as rewards for characters who allow themselves to be enchanted by Sex Magics, set forth in Sex Magic Cards 1210, 1220 and 1230 described in further detail below, and carry out the effects of a spell.

Sex Magic Cards

Sex Magic Cards 1210, 1220 and 1230 are two-sided as shown in FIGS. 12 A and B, 12 C and D, and 12 E and F, respectively. The front side of each Sex Magic Card 1210, 1220 and 1230 (depicted in FIGS. 12 A, C and E, respectively) gives a basic overview of how the Sex Magic Cards 1210, 1220 and 1230 are used. The back side of each Sex Magic Cards 1210, 1220 and 1230 (depicted in FIGS. 12 B, D and F, respectively) lists the specific spell which may be cast by a character using the card, and describes what happens to the character who is enchanted by the spell. In one embodiment of the invention, there are three different types of Sex Magic Spells: Mania, Captivation and Manipulation.

A character enchanted by Mania Spells will act in an outrageous manner and do so in very public way. Captivation Spells force the enchanted character to spend time with the character casting the magic. Manipulation Spells, on the other hand, alter the reality of the game and require the enchanted character to act in a new and interesting way.

Pure Blood Cards

At the beginning of a Saturnailia or other selected event, the Oracle may secretly hand out vials of Pure Vampyre Blood. Pure Blood Cards 1110, 1120 and 1130 may turn any one character into an Ancient. Pure Blood Cards 1110, 1120 and 1130 are two-sided as shown in FIGS. 11 A and B, 11 C and D, and 11 E and F, respectively. The front side of each Pure Blood Cards 1110, 1120 and 1130 (depicted in FIGS. 11 A, C and E, respectively) contains the words “Pure Blood” or other suitable descriptive matter. The back side of each Pure Blood Cards 1110, 1120 and 1130 (depicted in FIGS. 11 B, D and F, respectively) indicates to which Vampyre House the Ancient/Pure Blood belongs as well as certain characteristics, goals, motivations, objectives and desires of the character.

In one embodiment of the invention, a Pure Blood cannot join another Vampyre House and will remain as a member of that House for the entire event. Anyone who accepts the card becomes a Pure Blood Vampyre and has all of the Blood Drops on their Character Sheet initialed by the Seraph. Additionally, the Pure Blood Vampyre may be given a bonus of one or more Eros Cards 1310, 1320 and 1330.

It is to be understood that other cards containing different and/or additional information may be incorporated into Midnight Seduction as may be necessary or desired.

Ending the Event

Most characters enter the event as Sangraels and have a Desire which their character seeks to fulfill by the end of the event. In one embodiment of the invention, once a character attains their Desire they win. When most of the Sangrael have become Vampyre, the Oracle declares that a closing ceremony, such as a feast, is to commence.

At the closing ceremony, certain competitions may take place to vie for positions of power among the participants. Each Vampyre character may vote for those characters which they wish to see rise to such positions of power based upon the number of Blood Drops they have acquired during the event. In one embodiment of the invention, a character may cast one vote for each Blood Drop that character has acquired during the event. The characters who receive the most votes rise to the positions of power. All or some of the characters may carry the status and power which that character has attained during the event to a subsequent event.

It should be further noted that Exhibit A, which is incorporated herein by reference, contains other features and embodiments of the invention. Thus, the disclosure herein is directed to certain features of the elements and methods of the invention disclosed as well as others that will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the disclosure herein. Accordingly, it is intended that the present invention covers all such modifications and variations of this invention and the equivalents thereof.