When you register for VILLAGE OF IDIOTS, you will sign up for which role you’d like to play. Most of the available roles are Villagers, but there are also a number of Adventurers.
If you have a funny concept, costume, or are handy with some traditional craft, you can also create your own role. For example, there isn’t currently a candle-stick maker – but if you’d like to try portraying one, and can bring props that will help “sell” that profession, and figure out a funny shtick to do all weekend, go right ahead!
But what, exactly, is an idiot? It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stupid, but that you have idiosyncrasies which hinder you in some funny way. For some tips about creating a fun character, read our page on How To Be An Idiot.
Most roles are part of one or more ensembles. An ensemble is a group of characters that will have a few scenes with each other. During the pre-game workshop, each ensemble will get together and decide how their story will play out over the weekend.
During the workshops, you can also form new ensembles. If you’ve got an idea like a love triangle, a murder mystery, a new business opening, a Weekend-at-Bernies type scenario, whatever — grab a few people and figure out what you need to set up in order for it to happen.
Most villagers have a few ongoing duties and activities. Ideally, every role will have at least one Order-aligned and one Chaos-aligned character sign up for it. These two act as their own mini-ensemble, complementing each other or foiling each other throughout the weekend.
For example, there could be two TAVERN KEEPERS — a straight-faced one who takes their job very seriously, and a goofball who is more likely to run the tavern into the ground or set it on fire. Throughout the weekend, they drive each other nuts.
Here are a few of the ensembles and characters living in the VILLAGE OF IDIOTS:
- The RAT CATCHERS and the DOCTORS – The village has a Disease Meter which shows a number from 0 to 10 and indicates how many rubber rats are currently hidden throughout the village. The Rat Catcher lowers the meter by capturing these rats. As the disease meter gets higher, the Doctor will notice symptoms appearing throughout the village, applying disease makeup to those afflicted. They can then see the doctor to be examined and be proscribed some kind of treatment. But in reality, the doctor’s motivation is to get rich. So when nobody is looking, the Doctor hides more rubber rats throughout the village, raising the Disease meter.
- The THIEVES, GUARDS, LAWYERS, & JUDGES – Without outside assistance, the Thief fails to execute a heist, the Guard bungles apprehending the thief, the Lawyers misrepresent the thieves in court, and the judge misunderstands the situation entirely. Perhaps the thief will end up back on the streets, or perhaps they’ll be turned over to the Jailor to do hard labor.
- The MAYOR is in charge of the village and calls the shots. You can identify the mayor by their regal mayoral sash. Wait, how many mayors are there, exactly?? Everyone who signs up to play the Mayor will play a character who believes they are the only REAL mayor. In this way, all the Mayors are an ensemble. Usually, the mayor with the largest hat tends to be in charge, but the mayors steal each other’s hats continually throughout the event.
- The real Mayor also spends tax money to get things done.
- The MAYOR(s), SCRIBES, and TAX COLLECTORS – The Tax Collector makes a list of everyone in town and extracts money from them. The Scribe keeps the mayor’s notes and a list of the laws and taxable events. The Mayor spends the money in the treasury and eventually sends the tax collector to get more.
- The BLIGHTED and APOTHECARIES – The Blighted character is the victim of a magical accident. Throughout the weekend, they develop terrible and disgusting ailments, then seeks the Apothecary for treatment. The Blighted must then obtain medicinal ingredients (or beg for the money to buy them). The Apothecary will then create medicine from the ingredients.
- The FARMERS, HUNTERS, and COOKS – They prepare to cook a meal for Saturday’s party.
- The BARBERS/DENTISTS must cut people’s hair. For real. Do you want your real hair cut by some idiot from the village of idiots? No? Then the Barber’s job is going to be very difficult. The Barber also extracts “loose” teeth so they can be sold to the tooth fairy.
- The MERCHANTS – The Merchants set up shops in the marketplace to hock their wares. They obtain food from the farmers and hunters, and can obtain other salable goods you may be searching for. The Merchants are bothered by the thieves, but sometimes hire the thieves to “procure things” from other merchants. When the market is open, the merchants compete to build the biggest and most impressive display out of cardboard boxes. To the merchant’s annoyance, adventurers and village folk tend to crash through these displays while chasing thieves or just being careless.
- The MASK MAKERS are a specialized merchant who sells disguises.
- The JAILORS take prisoners (who have been sentenced by the Judge), puts manacles on them, and forces them to do village labor for the mayor.
- The QUARTERMASTER might be one of the village’s only competent roles (since it’s kind of important). The Quartermaster oversees the village warehouse where all the larp props are stored. If your role requires some kind of prop, you approach the quartermaster, sign it out, play with it, and eventually sign it back in. The Quartermaster also has a list of odd jobs that need to be done, and makes sure the Mayor knows about this.
- The HUNTER and POACHERS – these characters are basically the same role. They hide rubber food props in the woods for each other to find. But the village only has one hunting permit, so at any given time, only one person is the hunter and the others are hunting illegally. Thoughout the weekend, these characters will steal the permit from each other.
- The NOBLES and their SERVANTS – they are a household that is currently focused on peparing for Saturday’s party. What’s their deal? Are they vampires? Perverts? Nobody really knows. Everything they do is a point of gossip. If there are enough nobles, they will form rival houses.
- The MASTER POTTER is the master of ceremonies for this weekend’s big event: the Pottery Festival! On Friday night, the Master Potter will direct people to make paper mache pottery. By tradition, each pot will have a coin hidden inside it. On Saturday, the adventurers will likely smash these pots to smithereens in order to grab every piece of loot possible.
- The STREET SWEEPERS are in charge of cleaning up garbage, including the fragments of broken pots which will likely be everywhere. As it gets dark, the Street Sweeper also lights the torches along the village’s roads. The Street Sweeper also has a small budget to hire others to do odd sanitation jobs.
- The TAVERN STAFF pour drinks, serve snacks, and lead the living sitcom which is the village tavern. The tavern staff comes up with quick 30-minute sitcom scenarios and then plays through them throughout the event.
- The PRIEST is a big hypocrite. They are always trying to save the GAMBLER’s soul, but end up drinking and gambling anyway. The Priest writes sermons and delivers them in the marketplace, in part to foreshadow the sinning they’ll be doing later on.
- The BANKERS loan money to people, and then eventually demand it back — with interest! Eventually, they might need to hire some goons to rough up those lazy debtors.
There are two parties of adventurers:
WARDENS OF THE IVORY TOWER, which is mostly composed of Order-Aligned characteres, acts like they are in Lord of the Rings. They take themselves extremely seriously and play every situation straight. They have numerous heroic accomplishments and have been recognized by both Kings and Gods.
STABRACADABRA, which is mostly composed of Chaos-Aligned characters, is more like murder-hobos in a D&D game where everybody is on their phone the whole time. They are like video game characters that don’t read any flavor text. They are not invested in the fiction, do not retain any history or world lore, struggle with puzzles or emotional complexity, and are mainly focused on racking up a big kill count and a huge pile of treasure.
Each adventurer can come up with their own epic class name. For example, Galdric the Great is a Level 6 Paladin of Light. Cramulus is a level 23 DEMONBANE DEATH JUGGLER. Levels don’t matter, pick any number between 1 and 30 to indicate how powerful you are. All classes fall into three broad categories:
- FIGHTERS can deal insane damage using weapons. This is a bit superflous because Fighters are the only characters in the game with more than 2 hit points. Fighters can call out the multi-part name of the move they’re doing while performing epic poses. An attack deals 5 damage for each name+pose combination it has. For example, the HURRICANE LIGHTNING PLUNGER SMACK deals 20 damage. While saying each word, the fighter must do a different epic pose.
- Again, this is totally superfluous because 2 damage destroys basically everybody in the game.
- Fighters, however, have.. let’s go with 50 hit points.
- MAGES can cast any magic spell as long as they can represent it using What You See Is What You Get methods. For example, hold up a magical looking prop like a wand or a glowing crystal, and saying “By the power of greyskull, I trap you in an invisible prison!” will cause the target to act out a “trapped in the box” mime scene. Mis-casting a magic spell also has some kind of backlash (decided by the caster) which could involve things like temporary confusion, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, or demonic possession.
- ROGUES can become invisible, knock people out, and pick pockets (by attaching a clothespin to the person’s garb).
- When a rogue becomes invisible, others should immediately act out a response like surprise or shock that the rogue simply vanished before their eyes. Or perhaps they’ll shrug and return to their earlier task without fanfare, whatever is funnier in the moment. When you ‘see’ a rogue sneaking around ‘invisible’ you should play up the moment; talk about how loud the wind is today, or perhaps that you sure are glad there aren’t any thieves around these days, or something similarly obtuse.
- What about the Healer? Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a dedicated healer for an adventuring party full of psycopaths? Have you tried to organize a tabletop game lately? Consider yourself lucky the rogue and fighter showed up, because they almost passed this up to watch anime. As such, there are no cleric or healer type adventurers — if an adventurer gets injured and need treatment, they’ll need to seek out a doctor, apothecary, or priest within the village.