Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spotlight on Mirror, Mirror: Goat Stew

Contributor: Zoe
Submission: Recipe
Character Name: Tev

Part of the Spotlight to Mirror, Mirror series.

Awhile ago, I posted an entry about the joys of cooking-- LARP cooking, specifically. One of the best parts of LARP cooking is the chance to theme your food. It adds to the IG atmosphere, and can serve as a subtle way to enhance your character (see what I did there?) A lot of standard fantasy LARPs offer us little in the way of authentic culinary adventures-- stew, bread, stew, bread, stew, cheese. And, if we want to be really accurate, little in the way of spice and other tasty additives. Mirror, Mirror, however, is great in that it allows you to be a character from any universe. This, of course, expands our options. Because Chris and I play characters from the "Dark Sun" universe, we're going with a middle-eastern/fantasy Persian stew. Yes, I said stew, but this is a far cry from the mucky, humdrum messes of yore.

Spotlight on Mirror, Mirror!

As a countdown to the Mirror, Mirror Revel starting this Friday, and going until this Sunday, I invite players, staff, and NPCs to share their favorite parts about Mirror, Mirror. What are you planning for this event? Do you have any new costumes, props, or recipes? What have been your favorite modules? Most unexpected moments? I posted something about winter LARPing yesterday-- please contribute and share one of Accelerant's newest and most action-packed games!

Mirror, Mirror Revel
March 2nd-4th
Camp Woodstock

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Winter Revel: Forward to the Cold

Contributor: Zoe
Submission: non-fiction thoughts on Winter LARPing
LARP System: Accelerant
Characters: Tev/Esme
Location: Cambridge, MA

Some thoughts on how to stay safe and have fun during the chill of winter's cold. Check out LARPcast for a Winter Larping episode from Mickey and Bill.

With the Mirror, Mirror Winter Revel swiftly approaching, it's time to think about bundling ourselves out to weather the winds and chills. Admittedly, it has been a mild winter-- troublingly so-- and, with our fireplaces and woodstoves quietly unused, we look forward to fair weather and brisk battles on spring grass.

However, as longtime New Englanders are well aware, the shift from winter-to-spring is a fickle thing. We still face frigid evenings and wind chills that pierce deep into our bones. With that in mind, use this Winter LARPing key as a guide to help you through the frost...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

From Xephyr with an "X": The Ultimate LARP Calendar

Many of us have had the pleasure to work with Dave or Xeph Inkpen. They bring a special something to LARPs that ranges from good sportsmanship to finely made costumes to wonderful IG characters. Xepher and Dave know how to LARP, and this tool, a collaborative LARP calendar, is a really good tool to organize and market your LARP experience.

If you don't have a google account, it would be a good idea to get one. Xephyr is using Google Docs--> Google Calendars to create and share this calendar. Google Docs, which we've been using for Mickey's Invictus, is a great tool, and I highly recommend it. It's an easy way to share with individual communities, and allow everyone to contribute and edit at once. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you have the most flexibility if you have a gmail account. So! Go get one, even if it's character/LARP specific. As it gets more widely publicized, and more people get google accounts, it will be easier to join.

Here is the current link for the calendar: Ultimate LARP Calendar

Xephyr will soon be finishing the calendar, and adding a "how-to" on her site Besides offering the calendar, Xephyr's site also offers a range of LARPing goods and artistic works. Check it out to get some swag for your new adventurer. Or use it as inspiration to see what you can do with LARPing, creativity, and drive.

Edited to add: Xeph has got the site up and running, and the link has been updated. Contact her if your LARP is not represented!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The LARP Community: Who Are We?

Contributor: Zoe
Submission: The LARP Community: Who Are We? Non-fiction on a current controversy
LARP (system): Accelerant
Location: Cambridge, MA
Character name: Esme Kingslocke, Tev
Years LARPing: 2

So, as most of you have probably read, there currently brews a controversy about NERO forums, goblin policies, the LARPcast guys (Bill and Mickey), and competition for players.

I really know absolutely nothing about NERO, the goblin policy, and/or NERO rules in general. I have close friends, who have posted to this blog, who really enjoy playing NERO, and I’m happy for them. I really don’t have much of an interest in NERO, though I’d try anything once. However, I wanted to add my online support for Mickey and Bill. I don’t have anywhere near the readership that Mickey and Bill have, but I appreciate my readers’ commentary, my contributors, and the discussion generated by this blog. So, I wanted to give the readers the opportunity to (respectfully) commentate on this issue.

Mickey and Bill, to my understanding, were accused of “driving off players” or “ruining forums” due to posting links to LARPcast and LARPOhio on the NERO forums. In fairness, Mickey and Bill have both posted criticism of the NERO system and rules on their blogs/podcasts. I’m not getting into the nuances of this controversy, please check out the LARPcast podcast for Mickey and Bill’s perspective on the situation. (And, please, check out Joe Valenti’s posts/rebuttals as well.)

There’s a big problem, here, however. And that’s the LARP community and the seeming disregard for the importance of this community. I have been fortunate enough to play in the Accelerant community, where, system-wide, we share XP/CP systems (a leveling-up system, for non-LARPers), costumes, make-up, and, perhaps most importantly, criticism. The owner of Accelerant, Rob Ciccolini, openly encourages players, other GMs, and staff members to comment on the game system to make the game better. Rob, his staff(s), NPCs, and players have worked hard to make a PvE environment that, most importantly, creates a positive, inclusive gameworld.

Moreover, while there is some negative sentiment among small cliques of Accelerant players, Rob and the majority of his staff work hard to encourage a panLARP community that embraces the advantages and disadvantages of all LARPs. If Rob or his staff knew that a player were being stigmatized due to involvement in NERO, I’m pretty sure the bullies would be kicked out of the game, or at least warned that such behavior would not be tolerated.

Before I move on, Accelerant, and the predominant players in Accelerant, have worked hard to engender an open, inclusive, and positive LARPing experience. It’s really too bad that Joe Valenti has responded so negatively to this situation. I know it doesn’t reflect on the entire NERO situation, nor, most importantly, NERO players or staff.

So, Mickey and Bill, perhaps borrowing from somebody else, have talked about the “Zero NPC moment.” That moment in your game when your players are playing. Without you. How does this happen? You’ve created a game so good and so engaging that your players can entertain themselves. They are so involved in the game that they don’t need an NPC to entertain them. I thought this, the zero NPC moment, was what LARPing was all about. And how does this moment happen? You make your game better and better over time, taking criticism, ideas from other games and other game systems, and, most importantly, you use every type of media possible to get your game out there.

It’s not about the money for the people who run the games I love. Melissa, at 7V, has written that it’s about the game, not the profit. I know others, like Mac of Endgame, Rob, Jake of Lost Eidolons, and Scott and Jeff of the calling, feel similarly. Let’s not forget the staff people who have written for this blog. LARPing is about a passion for creativity, expression, and telling a story. We do it together. We build community together. So, let’s work on building an inclusive, cross-LARP community that welcomes people from all systems and rules.

For some awesome forums, please check out Lost Eidolons or Endgame. Post links to others you frequent. Also, check out Bill's blog, LARPOhio.

As always, please share, contribute, and comment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Of Food and Feasting: Eating (Well) at a LARP

Contributor: Zoe
Submission: "Of Food and Feasting: Eating (Well) at a LARP
LARP (system): Accelerant
Location: Cambridge, MA
Character name: Esme Kingslocke, Tev
Years LARPing: 2, Nutritional Anthropologist

This was inspired by some discussions on livejournal and on forums-- please share, and add your own thoughts!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Larpcast post

Go Give Bill and Mickey a listen!

Enjoy the (hopefully) long weekend! I'm up in Maine, visiting farms and stuff, and will post when I return!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Contributor: Paul
Submission: "Flight"
LARP (system): Endgame (Accelerant)
Location: Worcester
Character name: Jordan Carter
Years LARPing: 7

When the wards protecting the Earth fell in June of 2006, Jordan was camping with two of his college friends in upstate New York.  Their notification that the world had changed was a Divinim raid on their cabin, killing one of his friends and capturing Jordan and his other friend.  He spent the first month of the invasion a captive of the Divinim, then was rescued a month later from a hospital in central Pennsylvania.  This short story covers his discovery in that hospital, and was submitted to staff along with his other background information (a few years after game start ^_^;; ).  Please note that no other members of Temple or other PCs or NPCs appear in the story; any such similarity is coincidental.

Editor's note: We have a couple submissions that are audio-- I'm looking for a (hopefully free) plug-in for audio. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Character History to End All Character Histories: Skye

Contributor: Beth Fallon
Submission: In-Game writing from Skye's character history
LARP system: Endgame / Accelerant
Location: Ayer, USA
Character name: Skye
Years LARPing: Many (Alright, something like 21 years)
Email: efallon AT earthlink DOT net

Endgame is a present-day post-apocalyptic game, which starts with the real world as it is in May 2006, then alternates off from there. This the character history for my player-character "Skye", written from her point of view (and thus contains information which is wildly incorrect, but was real to her at the time).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bonesong Part Two: Creation Sings, and I am... in Counterpoint

Contributor: Erin the Red
Submission: In-Game writing from Rowan MacMaith and Chance, two musical players from the same game
LARP system: Accelerant
Your Location: Connecticut, USA
Character name: Rowan MacMaith
Years LARPing: 7
Chance and Rowan are two longtime players-- they are both of the Bayastri race, a cat-like animal race. Cat-races are popular in many LARPs, among many players. Many players use extravagant make-up and costuming. How players play their cat-people depends on the game. Erin writes that Rowan and Chance are "Cat sisters" and "longtime friends." The following is a dialogue between the two female-identifying characters. (Both players are talented and creative musicians.)
Read Part One!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Building a Staff Make-Up Kit

Contributor: Beth Fallon
Submission: Building a Staff Makeup Kit
LARP system: Madrigal / Accelerant []
Location: Ayer, MA
Years LARPing: 21
Email: efallon AT earthlink DOT net

A DIY make-up guide from one of the most well-made up ladies of LARP!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Contributor: Jyn
Submission: Treasure
LARP system: Accelerant/Madrigal
Character name: Tashka

A short work of fiction from longtime-LARPer, Jyn.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Concept Art: Ophelia Azureveil costume concept art

Contributor: Seraphina Brennan
Submission: Concept Art: Ophelia Azureveil costume concept art
LARP system: Madrigal / Accelerant
Your Location: Brighton, MA
Character name:Ophelia Azureveil
Years LARPing: 0 years, 4 months 

So, I've finally been sucked into this LARP thing by a certain Istamira.  My first event was as an NPC, but I'm crossing the line and joining the PC side for the next event.  But, before I can do that, I need a costume for my character! I'm a very visual person, so having my costume drawn before it was made has been a big help in assembling it. Many thanks to my artist friend, MehndiX, for taking on this small commission. :D