A Garden of Forking Paths (2012, Alleged Entertainment)

"In all fiction when a man is faced with alternatives he chooses one at the expense of the others. In the almost unfathomable Ts'ui Pen, he chooses--simultaneously--all of them. He thus creates various futures, various times which start others that will in their turn branch out and bifurcate in other times."

- Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths

Each year, Barbara has a garden party for her birthday. She brings her family to enjoy a quiet meal in her beautiful and well-tended garden. This game charts the course of her life and the lives of those around her through the decisions made at these parties.

A Garden of Forking Paths is a tale-telling American Freeform larp told in scenes. In each scene, four characters will face certain dilemmas, and make decisions that will affect the course of their lives. At the same time, two other groups of players will be playing the same characters and, possibly, making different decisions. Between scenes, players will be shuffled into different groups. They will generally play the same characters, but those characters may have made different decisions in the prior scene, causing them to start the next scene in a different situation.

Content warnings

Addiction, suicidal ideation, decisions about end-of-life care, unexpected death, infidelity, divorce, dysfunctional families, unhealthy relationships, childhood trauma, having children.

Updated for 2019!

The 2019 edition doesn't have any changes to the game itself, but contains numerous updates to make the game materials easier to print both in the first time you run the game, and in subsequent times (when you will have leftover materials from the previous run that you can reuse).