But Not Tonight is an American freeform larp about a group of students in the 1980s who become trapped in their high school’s fallout shelter after the air raid siren goes off. The game is inspired both by teen comedies of the 1980s, such as The Breakfast Club, and the surge of nuclear panic movies that came out in that decade, such as Testament and Miracle Mile. There are five acts and an epilogue, and a typical session will have five to eight players as well as a facilitator, and last four to six hours.
Each character in But Not Tonight has a clique that determines their place in their school’s social hierarchy and the way they relate to other characters. The clique types are popular, athletic, artsy, rebellious, stoner, nerdy, and then there’s the loner. On top of there being a facilitator who runs the game, one player takes on the role of the school’s guidance counselor who wants nothing more than for the students to work on their problematic inter-clique dynamics.
Characters also have Wounds and Gifts, and the central mechanic of the game revolves around the healing of wounds. Wounds are some type of weakness, traumatic experience, or psychological injury that happened or was acquired before the start of the game, whereas Gifts are a positive personality trait or social skill that can been used to connect with and help other characters. Your ultimate goal in the game is to use your Gift to help heal other people’s Wounds as well as your own.
Clio Davis - Designer
Avery Puck Lasken - Illustrator