Red Carnations on a Black Grave is an historical RPG that takes place in 1871 Paris. The Paris Commune looked to create a socialist state, despite not everyone agreeing with all their party points. In the game, players take on the role of two characters apiece from this time, participating in scenes as they try and convince others of their ways and perhaps sway others to their way of thought. The game is up on Kickstarter now.
From the campaign:
For just over two months in 1871, the Paris Commune tried to make an egalitarian, socialist state a reality despite disagreement within their walls and attacks from outside it. This is the story of a community caught up in a sudden revolution, their messy personal lives and their attempts to create a utopia in the face of impending death. How far would you go for what you believe in? Would you stand firm even if it meant your death?
Red Carnations on a Black Grave is a freeform roleplaying game for 4-6 players that brings to life the 72 tumultuous days of the Paris Commune. A game is playable in a single session of four hours or less. Each player portrays two characters during the two months of the Commune, one of whom must die during the French Army's all-out assault on Paris in the last week of May, 1871. Special cards guide your play, providing questions about how the characters are related to each other, historical incidents to serve as the basis of scenes in the game, and the ultimate fate of your surviving characters.
This game was made for people who love Paris, history, revolutions, and resistance, or tragic roleplaying games like Montsegur 1244 and Ten Candles. Help us spread the word of the revolution!
Each player selects two characters to play. The available characters include historical figures such as the schoolteacher and revolutionary Louise Michel or Joséphine Marchais, a washerwoman who was accused of arson during the chaotic attack by the Army. The characters are diverse and include Dominique Rousseau, an Afro-Carribean physician from Martinique and Tariq Tannoudji, an Algerian cavalryman who fought with the French army.
Brief passages read by each player and Inspiration cards (many of which were based on actual posters) bring the history of the Commune to life.
A game of Red Carnations consists of three rounds of scenes during which each player frames at least one scene. Each round has its own mood which helps focus play on the more and more desperate situation of the Paris Commune, until the third round--The Bloody Week--results in the death of one of each player's characters.
After the Bloody Week, each player must choose a possible fate for their surviving character--to Attempt Escape by fleeing in the confusion, to Cooperate with the authorities and hope for a lesser sentence, or to Remain Defiant and face their harshest punishment. No matter what is chosen there is no guarantee that fickle fate will give the character what they desire.
The game's making its way to 3x funded with 29 days left to go.