Society History

From Cambridge Larp Society

Cambridge University Treasure Trap

Treasure Trap was one of the first LARP games in the UK, it began at Peckforton Castle, Cheshire, in 1981. The success of the game led to the creation of various spin-off societies, including Labyrinthe, Durham Treasure Trap (DUTT), and the (now extinct) Birmingham Treasure Trap.

Photo by Tom Garnett

In 2002 Cambridge Treasure Trap was set up by two graduate students - Jennifer Curtis and Toni Badnall - who had enjoyed LARPing at DUTT during their undergraduate study at Durham and wanted to continue playing when they reached Cambridge.

The game of Cambridge Treasure Trap was in Grantabrugge, a loose analogue of medieval Cambridge. The game was inspired by fantasy media like Dungeons and Dragons, Dragonlance, and the Discworld Novels, but it also developed gradually through player action over its decade-long run. Players could play characters of various Races, such as elves, dwarves, or humans, and could be affiliated with city institutions, the colourful colleges of Magic, or any of the thirteen available religions.

An archive of information about CUTT’s game can be found on their old wiki

Cambridge LARP Society

In 2014, the society decided to wrap up CUTT in favour of limited-run systems written by the active player base. At the same time the society's name was changed to Cambridge Larp Society to reflect that the game was no longer Treasure Trap.

Photo by Kay Chard

No Flag No Country

CLS’s first game post-Treasure Trap was No Flag No Country (NFNC), a 2-year run pulp fantasy exploration and investigation game written by Ivan Slipper and James Blackshaw. NFNC ran between October 2014 and June 2016.

NFNC was set on the newly-discovered island of Mat Sellah. Each of the characters could be one of three races (standard Human, tattooed and pointy-eared Alfar, or scaly Ozgur) and hold a strong allegiance to one of the four churches, one of the three countries of the nearby continent, or one of two other investigative factions. The characters arrived on Mat Sellah to investigate and take advantage of the appearance of a magical Portal which surged with power from the Beyond, the place where both Gods and the demonic entities called Strangers lived. The game ended when the characters, having inadvertently used up most of the Portal’s power for their research, used its final gasp to allow The Explorer, one of the Gods, to manifest in the world.

More information about No Flag No Country can be found on its website.

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Breaking Worlds

CLS’s second game post-Treasure Trap and the society’s current game is Breaking Worlds, a 2-year run apocalyptic fantasy game written by Nye Redman-White and Rosemary Warner. Breaking Worlds (BW) will run between October 2016 and June 2018.

BW is set in the island realm of Arginet, which until a year ago was a stable and peaceful place. However, cracks have started appearing in the fabric of reality in a metaphysical outburst known simply as the Breaking, bringing with them strange people and dangerous creatures. In this tumultuous time, the characters of the game have come together to explore, exploit, and defend against the tumultuous spirit world and the mysterious threat from beyond.

More information about Breaking Worlds can be found on its website.