SETTING THE TONE
A larp inspired by history, not re-enacting history.
Wing and a Prayer is inspired by the events of the Battle of Britain, but we’re not aiming to re-enact them. In real history, Stow Maries aerodrome never saw the kinds of activity we’re playing. It was not an active RAF station, still less a replacement and temporary home for 11 Group Control at RAF Uxbridge, which was not destroyed in August 1940 as we imagine (although it was attacked and damaged many times). Historically, the WAAF did not themselves order the disposition of RAF squadrons; they will in our game. Historically, they were not in direct radio contact with pilots, they will be in our game.
Our event is inspired by the darkest time of Britain’s war but it should feel like stepping into a miniseries of the period, not like being there.
A larp with player-led and organiser-plotted elements
There will be 2 sides to the game –the first is the ‘off shift’ time, which will be the majority of the event, and is entirely player led, based on personal stories and relationships. There will be organised activities during this time, but participation in these is optional and only designed to provide a framework for interactions, rather than create story.
The other side is what happens in the Ops room/in the air. This will be more structured, and players will be responding to events created by the organisers, but the outcomes of those events will be almost entirely determined by player actions. This section is designed to create a lot of drama and tension, for example when the WAAF get to choose which pilots (the RAF players) to send into a potentially deadly fight, or which group of enemy bombers to stop. These hard choices and the consequences of their actions are one of the main themes of the game.
A larp about the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
Wing and a Prayer is primarily about the experiences of the WAAF. These characters can expect to be in control of the narrative and at the centre of their stories. The role of women in war has historically been minimised, and we want use those stories as the basis for our event. We’ve been inspired by the iconic image of women in the control room, but we’re going to deviate from history to create the most emotionally impactful experience we can.
While not flying, RAF characters will have the same freedoms to build a personal story with strong emotional moments. Whilst in the air, their stories can end at any time, as briefed by the organisers. We will be working with RAF players to ensure they have good back-up plans in place.
We make no apology for charging so much for RAF tickets; which one might imagine as crew parts in other larps. We’re confident these roles will provide an enjoyable weekend for those taking them, despite their lack of agency at the crucial moment in their character’s lives.
A larp influenced by traditions inside and outside of the UK
As is common in UK larp, there will be a story team behind the scenes adding narrative elements that influence events of the game. In our larp the WAAF characters will make decisions which will directly impact our fictional war. Most crucially, pilots will live or die as a result of these decisions, as moderated by the story team, as they happen during the event. Unlike in other larp traditions, these events will not be pre-ordained or pre-planned. It would be a mistake to think of this as “winning” or “losing”. The objective of the event is to experience moments of drama. This is a collaborative effort, both between players and organisers and between players and other players.
As is common elsewhere, however, much of the character generation will be done in the open, before the event. To get the best value out of your time-in, pre-game character background development is really important. Most obviously – if your character is in a relationship of some sort at the start of the game, you should know with whom. If your character knows others at the start of the game, you should know how and why. You will flesh out your character from an initial framework, working with other players to add details and relationships. The organisers will facilitate this, providing guidance and channels to build your IC networks.
Most of all, however, we’re here to make stories…
You won’t need to know any rules. You simply need to bring your character to life in a key period in the history of our war. Wing and a Prayer is not designed to be “fun”, although moments of it will be. There’ll be light and shade. There’ll be times for a cup of tea, times to simply enjoy your interactions with others, and times when the fate of your loved ones lies in your hands.
You don’t need to know the real history inside-out. You’re co-creating the stories we’ll all be telling for years to come. If that sounds exciting, you’re in the right place. If you have any questions, grab us on the Facebook event page.