Salon du Larp House: Charm School playtest

It’s 1925 and some experienced grifters—hustlers, sharps, and general crooks—gather to teach a group of younger, less-experienced con artists the tricks of the trade. Of course everyone brings their own bag full of secrets, and sometimes the best con is the one you don’t even know you are running…

Professors teach their signature cons, honed over years of practice, to promising new comers.

Students can gain experience, insight, and possibly a mentor as they learn various cons.

And as anywhere old and young gather, stories will be shared, grudges aired, and feelings bared.


Charm School is a game about being low-down dirty-rotten crooks who exchange tips, stories, and grudges. Sometimes the best con is the one you don’t even know you are running.

Run Time: 3 hours, including 90 minutes active play time
Players: 6–10
Facilitators: 2, who play as well
Tone: Self-serious characters played in a light-hearted way

You might enjoy this game if you are a fan of such films as: The Sting, The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Now You See Me, Catch Me If You Can, The Brothers Bloom, or the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Written by Jason Morningstar
Organized by Kevin McIntrye and Kelley Vanda
With admin support from Katherine Shane and Jon Cole

This event is a playtest. Charm School isn’t totally finished, though it will be a complete play experience. There might be some missing pieces or rough patches in play. If this game sounds interesting to you even though it is not in its final form, we will be very glad to have you join us!


Saturday March 25th, 2023, from 1 to 5 pm


ECMN Offices, 1101 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis MN 55411

Enter through the side door of ECMN on Emerson Ave.

Metro Transit routes 5, 14, 30, and 32 stop nearby. Small parking lot on site, street parking also available.


Get a ticket by filling out the Charm School registration form. Once you have a ticket you don’t need to do anything else besides show up to play!

On the day of the event we request a pay-what-you-want good will donation ($5-$20 suggested) to support low-cost immersive scenarios in Minnesota. No one will be turned away if they do not make a donation.

A black-and-white photo of a game of three-card monty being played on a cardboard box

Details on the game

Play Style

Characters in this game are criminals who engage in defrauding innocents for a living. They may exhibit bravado, arrogance, suspicion, paranoia, guilt, regret, anger and similar strong emotions over the course of play.

Players will take on roles of either a Professor (experienced grifter) or a student (inexperienced grifter) with their own secrets, flaws, and agendas as guided by character cards with prompts.

Time will be given to develop backstories connecting characters within the game. You will play within a web of relationships, and form new connections over the course of play.

Games Within The Game

Professors have expertise in one con game they teach to interested students by having them perform vignettes. They will critique student performance and offer suggestions for improvement.

Students will practice con games taught by a Professor by taking on the role of Roper, Insider, or the Mark within a vignette-version of the con game during play.

In-between practicing cons, you will act on your character’s secrets and goals to further their agendas.

Content Advisory

Crime and criminality, deliberate manipulation and deception, suggestions of violence, betrayal, competition.

Safety Tools

Check-in, Slow down, and “X”, will be reviewed and practiced prior to play.

Following play, we will debrief to discuss our experiences and shed the roles we assumed for the game. The debrief is encouraged, but not required, should you choose to leave following play.


No costuming needed. If you want to wear something that makes you feel like a 1920s confidence artist, go right ahead.

Other Information

COVID-19 Policy

Attendees need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted to the extent recommended by the CDC for their demographic group. Bring proof of your vaccination status for inspection during check in, which could be your card, a picture of it, or a document on your phone. Our policy means that for most people, you will need the most recent bivalent booster by March 11, 2022 or we will turn you away at the door. Please reach out if you have any questions about this.

N95 respirators or better are required, and we will have a few to share. We will be playing in a large and well ventilated room. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If you are able to, take a rapid test before arrival.


Our venue is in the basement and climate-controlled. The building is ADA compliant. Our playspace has plenty of seating. There are two gendered restrooms in the playspace, and two gender-neutral restrooms available on the ground floor.

Water will be available, and we recommend bringing a water bottle for your ease of access. No food will be provided.


After the event some folks will get food together to continue to hang out at Maya Cuisine. Hanging out afterwards is totally optional, and we think it’s fun to get to know your fellow players as people, not just as their characters. Folks who didn’t attend the event are welcome to attend this part.

A black-and-white photo of people in 1940s clothing gathered around an umbrella covered stall

Image Credits

By Kevin McIntrye, ZioDave, Stefan Bałuk, David Shapinsky


One Reply to “Salon du Larp House: Charm School playtest”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.