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Conclave: The Papal Election LARP. You play as a Cardinal of the Church, determining who will be the next Pope. Could it be you?
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235 backers pledged $5,777 to help bring this project to life.
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$5,777

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Conclave is a live-action role playing game of the Papal Conclave of 1268.  This important event took nearly three years to complete; the Cardinals were bitterly divided, and were only able to resolve their differences once they were threatened with starvation and the very roof was torn off of their palace.

As a player in Conclave, you play one of the Cardinals of the Church.  Who will you support?  What alliances will you forge?  What beliefs will you compromise, and which are non-negotiable?  Do you have what it takes to rally your peers behind you, and be proclaimed Pope of the Holy Roman Church?

Conclave uses simple rules that simulate the real-world conditions of the historical election, including rules for wine and provisions.  Elections at various intervals call for the Cardinals to vote, but a two-thirds majority is required to elect a Pope.  Should the allotted time run out, you may find yourself with a Papal Schism, with Christendom divided in half.

I have been working on Conclave for nearly three years now- as long as the original event- and this book features detailed pre-generated characters, historical information about the time period, and profiles of the actual historical personages.  This is the first published English-language book focused exclusively on this event.

I hope you will join me on the final leg of this exciting historical journey, which will allow us to get Conclave into the hands of as many people as possible.

Stretch Goals

$3000: Paper Ballots: Met!

At $3000, we will have paper ballots, inspired by the actual ballots  that were used in papal elections.  They involved signing one's name,  then folding the paper so it was not visible, then writing the name of  their preferred candidate (often using disguised handwriting.)  If  needed to confirm that a Cardinal had not voted for themselves, the  inner seal was opened, to prove who cast the vote.  The ballots add an  extra touch of authenticity to your election.

$4000: Costuming Guide: Met!

Many people have asked me about costuming.  What should the stylish  Cardinal wear?  Or the conspicuously unstylish?  A guide to period  clothing, what colors are associated with the various holy orders, and  what sorts of accessories you might have.

$5000: More Characters

If we get to $5000, I'll release a collection of five more  characters, based on historical women of influence:  Catherine of Siena,  Hildegard of Bingen, Heloise d'Argenteuil, Teresa of Avila, and  Constance of Sicily.

Testimonials

“When I played Conclave for the first time, I was simply blown away by the amount of thought that went into all the different characters, and the way that Willow was able to translate complex religio-political issues into easy-to-grasp primers that the players could draw from as we debated, schmoozed, and schemed with each other. Willow has designed a game about a tumultuous real event that somehow manages to simultaneously be a fun hang out LARP and a serious look at the nature of power and politics. With snacks. Conclave is the kind of LARP you text your friend to tell them about the second you're done.” -Todd Nicholas, designer of The Sword, The Crown, and the Unspeakable Power

“Conclave is a classically twisted political situation, made taut by imposed physical restrictions. The Cardinals are reminded of their mortality, threatened even with starvation, should they not finish their task. An interesting combination of mind, body, and spirit in determining the fate of Europe.  Completely fascinating.” -Mike Holmes, designer of Universalis

Risks and challenges

Conclave is finished- the book is ready to go! The final step is to print the books and ship them out.

Since I will be handling the fulfillment myself, if there is a large number of pledges, that may result in delays for some backers.

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    Laity

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    Mendicant

    You will receive a PDF of Conclave and the play handouts.

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    Cardinal-Deacon

    You will receive a paperback copy of Conclave, plus the PDF of the game and play handouts.

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    Cardinal-Priest

    You will receive a casewrap hardcover copy of Conclave, plus the PDF of the game and play handouts.

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    Cardinal-Bishop

    You will receive a slip-cover hardcover copy of Conclave, plus the PDF of the game and play handouts.

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    Pontifex Maximus

    You will receive a slip-cover hardcover copy of Conclave, plus the PDF of the game and play handouts. In addition, you will receive one of my early proof copies, a unique collector's item.

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Funding period

- (30 days)