They Come At Night

Co-operation, betrayal, fear

Designer: Gordon McDonald (UK)
Number of participants: 6–10
Duration: 4 hours
Genre/style: Nordic-influenced survival horror
The presenter feels that this larp IS NOT suitable for people under the age of 18
unless a responsible adult is present playing with them

PREMIER – this larp’s first appearance at a festival

About the larp

You are a small group of survivors at the end of the world. THEY are still out there and at night they try to get in. You found each other and have made this place as safe as you can, but every night there seems to be more of THEM.

The game is set in your shared safe place after you have finished scavenging and building for the day and before THEY start trying to get in. It is a game about how you deal with being in that stressful situation and the bonds you build. Between each game you can be hurt or killed by THEM. Either because they broke in during the night or because something happened while you were out looking for supplies.

The army is coming to save you, it’s on all the emergency broadcasts. You just need to survive six nights until they can arrange an extraction in your area.

Content Warnings: Building friendships and then potentially losing those friends is key to the design of the game. The main threat is chosen by the players as part of the game.

Costume (optional): No costume, but a small selection of distinctive accessories would be helpful.

Gordon McDonald (UK): I’ve been running LARPs in various forms for over 20 years, with a focus on episodic parlour LARPs. I’ve been taking some time to explore different formats and design techniques by playing a variety of games. I’m currently exploring ideas around how we can use situation and simple systems to generate drama and memorable shared stories.


Communication style Lots of speech
Movement style Sitting
Tone Intense
Characters Players build their characters around a predesigned skeleton or archetype
Narrative control Players have some influence over story, but there is basically a script or structure that they’re within
Transparency Transparent design, but players can create secrets during play and keep them from each other / reveal them when wished
Representation level The fictional space is pretty similar to the play space
Play culture Players are collaborating to achieve joint aims

Sunday afternoon, Studio 10