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Gun Powder, Treason and Plot

  Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is celebrated in Britain on 5th November. Historically it is a time when people are greatful that the plot of 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament failed. It is a time for parties and fun. People often visit a fireworks display, set fire to sparklers and build bonfires. On top of the bonfire a 'Guy' is placed. This is a 'man' made of old clothes stuffed with newspaper or straw and sewn or tied together. There is a rhyme that children sing: "Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason, why gunpowder, treason should ever be forgot!"

Gunpowder Plot Game

Summary: It is November 4th 1605. Guy Fawkes has just been caught under the Houses of Parliament. The rest of the plotters are on the run. They are trying to escape from london, by travelling north, where they hope to plot again. Some of the Brownies are going to play the part of the plotters trying to escape, others are going to be the soliders trying to catch the plotters. No-body knows who anybody is. Each side will gain or lose points depending on how successful they are.

To play the game you will need

1) 4 Adults or Young Leaders/Pack Leaders to play the parts of:
  • The Innkeeper: You sell the plotters gunpowder at 2p a barrel and the soldiers torture implements at 2p each. If a Brownie asks to gamble they must pay 1p. Turn over the top card in a deck of cards. Ask the Brownie if the next card will be higher or lower. If they guess correctly give them 2p. If they are wrong, they get nothing.
  • Guy Fawkes: You do not actually know who the plotters are, but you can keep an eye out for who they might be. You do not want to tell the soldiers who you think the plotters are, but after several torture sessions you might give in. Tell them as little or as much as you wish. You can mislead them if you want (judge on how well you think the soldiers/plotters are doing.) The plotters may want to bride you to keep quiet about their identity. You can accept the bribe or not, keep your word, or not, as you see fit.
  • Father Oswald Tesimond or Anne Vaux: You are a priest/supporter. You must give the plotters (or whoever comes to you and asks) some food. You can also help all those who come to you and prove to you they are good Catholics.
  • Sir Edward Coke: You are the lawyer. The soldiers will come to you if they need help. When the soldiers want to accuse someone they will tell you. You will then arrest and execute that person, and tell them where to sit (one end if the plotters have gained points, the other if the soldiers have gained the points).
  • The Doorman: (This should be the same person as the lawyer.) Let anyone who shows you a crucifix in to see the priest. If they show you a crucifix they have found (as opposed to their plotters card) take it off them before they go in to see the priest. The plotters will go to you when they are ready to escape. Check they have food, a horse, gunpowder and a fellow plotter (or another barrel of gunpowder) and then tell them where to go and sit on the plotters bench.
2) Personality cards (plotter and soldier) downloadable here as a Word document.

3) Horse cards (downloadable here as a Word document) which should be hidden round the room.

4) Crucifix cards (downloadable here as a Word document) which should be hidden round the room.

5) Torture implement cards (downloadable here as a Word document) which should be given to the Innkeeper.

6) Gunpowder barrel cards (downloadable here as a Word document) which should be given to the Innkeeper. 
Begining Play

Make sure all the helpers understand their parts. Set the scene for the Brownies and hand out the personality cards, making sure they know not to tell anyone what is written on the card. Explain the objectives set out below, then begin play.

If you are a plotter:

Your goal is to escape north. To do this you will need:
  • some food (which you can get from the priest)
  • some gunpowder (which you can buy from the Innkeeper for 2p)
  • a horse (which you will have to find)
  • and a fellow plotter to travel north with (you can ask other players who they are - but beware as they may be soldiers!) or an extra barrel of gunpowder if travelling alone. To afford the extra barrel of gunpowder you will need to gamble at the inn - ask the innkeeper what this involves.
You are worried that Guy Fawkes knows who you are. You may want to bride him with money to keep quiet about your identity.

When you are ready to travel north, you must tell the doorman/lawyer, who will then show you a safe route.

If you successfully escape north, your team will recieve the number of points that is written on your plotters card.

If you need any help, go to Father Oswald Tesimond. He will not tell anyone you are a plotter. To gain entry to him, you must show the doorman/lawyer your crucifix (this is on your plotters card). He will then let you see Father Oswald Tesimond.

If you are a soldier or King James:

Your goal is to identify the plotters before they escape North. Guy Fawkes might know who his fellow plotters are, but he isn’t going to tell you willingly. It may be useful to visit the Inn, which has a large selection of torture implements on sale (they cost 2p each.) You may then like to visit Guy Fawkes with your implement. If you need extra money, you can gamble at the Inn (ask the Innkeeper).

Some crucifixes have been hidden by Catholics. If you find one, you can gain entry to the priest by showing it to the doorman/ lawyer. You might then be able to spy on a plotter who may be visiting the priest. BEWARE- it may be a soldier who is pretending to be a catholic and visiting the priest.

Keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously- they may be a plotter.

When you think you have identified a plotter, tell Sir Edward Coke (the lawyer) who will then arrest and execute the accused. If they were a plotter, you will win the number of points for your team that were on the plotters card. If they were a soldier, they will be out for the rest of the game. BE CAREFUL- King James is out looking for plotters too tonight. If you accuse King James, you will have helped the plotters, and they will receive 50 points!

If you need help, go to Sir Edward Coke, the lawyer.

Scoring the Game

On the plotters bench will be all the successful plotters. The plotters team will score 1-3 points for each successful plotter, depending on the value on their card (e.g. Thomas Bates is worth 1 point, whereas Thomas Winter is worth 3). If King James was caught by the soldiers, the plotters will get an extra 50 points!

On the King's bench will be all the caught plotters. They will be worth 1-3 points depending on who they are.

The team with the most points wins!

Printable instructions can be downloaded here as a Word document.

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