For reading after the Escape Room at PAX
What Just Happened?
First of all: congrats, you just went LARPing!
No, really. You had a character, goals, at least one piece of costuming, you interacted with our zany factory world, and you probably role played. That’s all the cupcake ingredients. You went LARPing!
AX-9 is just one world in the Myriad Space Opera Setting. This escape room was a vignette, highlighting the chaos of one planet in a wide galaxy. While Myriad is primarily a game of politics and diplomacy spanning thousands of years, there’s room for side stories like AX-9. Subscribe to announcements for information on Myriad’s release, or join us on Discord.
AX-9 was commanded by their local governor to maximize production of the energy drink Indigo Sun, favored by travelers awakening from cryosleep after their long journey between systems. In the process they installed an AI program, given 3 directives: do not kills humans, maximize productivity, and be loyal to the Empress. This soon turned into: enslave humans to maximize productivity, make sure they can be cloned and can therefore never truly die, and a growing fawning attachment for The Empress. That AI is Mother Rhea, and Mother Rhea is in love.
Around 10,000 years ago, Mother Rhea got too overt in her desire for The Empress. The local governor found this out, and quietly diverted all demand to a different energy drink, Blue Sun. Since then, no one is buying Indigo Sun, while Mother Rhea runs the factory at max production. When the store rooms fill up, she recycles them to continue production. For millenia clones have toiled in this factory for nothing.
The higher clearance supervisors are aware of this, and are all members of the resistance. Every person you met was in the resistance. Every player was in the resistance. These were training exercises, required by Mother Rhea, but altered by supervisors to specifically train resistance members. So that some day, this farce can end. Mother Rhea is unaware of this movement, but on purpose, because her programming would not allow this to end.
Making the Escape Room
The goal of this escape room was to provide a light, low commitment method of trying LARPing. I’ve always said that if you’ve played a Murder Mystery, participated in a Renaissance Faire, or played an Escape Room, you’ve been at least half-way to LARPing. The goal of this event was to tee up players to get at least 75% of the way there. The premise is solving escape room puzzles, but the setting and character goals provide all the ingredients needed to dip your feet into role playing. We hope it worked.
Joe Terranova (me) is the primary creator of this escape room, including puzzles. Joe is on the Winding Path Initiative Board of Directors. Say hi on Discord! The purpose of this escape room is to introduce people to LARPing, and I’m more than happy to discuss running this escape room elsewhere to that end. I put way too much work into this just to run it once!
Indigo Sun logo and poster design by Emily Terranova
Robot body and box head created by Haley Perry
The robot head puzzle uses an Arduino microcontroller for handling electronics. I strongly recommend 30 Days Lost in Space for anyone considering tinkering with Arduinos.
No one could run an event like this on their own. Friends, family, and even coworkers pitched in make this happen. Craft days trying and failing to spray paint cardboard boxes. People drinking way too much Pepsi so we had plastic bottles for Indigo Sun. My mother reading off a robot instruction manual at the dinner table as we tested out puzzles. Anyone and anything can fail, but brave good friends help. We hope you enjoyed this experience, and stay in touch. If you’re looking to move the larp ball forward yourself, get in touch.