Monday, April 30, 2012

Remi's Dream

by Christopher Wilkins
LARP System: Madrigal, Accelerant
PC name: Remi Girard
Years Larping: 2

Recently, Chris has been looking for a reason to respec his PC, Remi Girard. Currently, Remi is driven by a maniacal pursuit of the Ancient Enemy of the East: the creature responsible for the demise of his crew. However, after a recent interaction with the mad spirits of an ancient grove, Remi is slowly realizing that revenge, as his sole motivation, is corrupting. After considering the dangers of his current path, Remi had this dream. (A note: The Fountain of Ice is an in-game mechanic that, for a price, allows characters to recreate themselves.)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food for LARPs

Awhile back, I wrote a lengthy treatise on food at LARPs. This is a bit more practical, and I'm providing our go-to LARP food: pho. It's easy, convenient, tasty, and light. The recipe is after the jump; however, if you or loved ones have favorite recipes, please submit them! Either in comments or to I'd love to have a rotating recipe post feature.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making LARPing Easier

by Zoe

After this past weekend, I realized, in the two years that the husband and I have been LARPing, it's just become astronomically easier. When we first started, we had loads of unorganized stuff, piles of costume changes, and food that didn't pack well. Now? It's a few totes, a bag, a backpack, and a cooler of food. In short, it's simple and easily transportable. I think this comes with experience: you slowly learn what does and doesn't work in terms of convenience and expediency. With that being said, I wanted to share a few of my organizational tips, and invite others to do the same. Most of these tips are targeted at PCs and NPCs. However, if you staff a game, you could take this organizational system, and expand it to a much larger frame. Oddly enough, they're also some the same organizational tips for seasonal fieldwork...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Madrigal Highlights

So this past weekend was the Madrigal season opener. I invite everyone to share their highlights, comments in general, and that sort of thing. A huge thank you to the staff and NPCs that made it all possible.

To get things rolling...

I really enjoyed the Fenric/blood spirits/grove plot arc. Up until this event, it had been an engaging, if somewhat straightforward, narrative. However, this event, identities and plot twists were revealed that, I believe, shook players engaged with the plotline. It was simply an example of fine writing, good acting, and, maybe most importantly, a well-paced plotline (in other words, the staff member didn't immediately reveal the most surprising plot points too soon).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goals for LARPing

by Zoe

So a few friends of mine recently wrote a list of LARP goals. I think this is a really good idea, as it generates ways to make a hobby more successful. After a season of rest, a revel or two, and scheming for the spring, many of us may find ourselves reflecting on how to better our games, so to speak. Those who don't LARP may wonder why people would post about ways to improve the LARP experience; however, I think it's a really helpful tool. LARP is a type of performance art, as I've argued before: it requires skill, improvement, and practice-- during your first year or two, you may feel comfortable being the always awkward with big NPCs fellow, or the dame with the less-than-stellar costume. After you have some experience under your adventuring belt, however, you may want to shift things around. Writing a list of LARP goals is an excellent way to this. Here are some topics to start you off-- remember, your goals can be IG, OoG, large, small, personal, or community-oriented.

1. What IG goals do you have? Are they worthwhile? Are they fun? Have you made progress on them? Do you feel like pursuing them for another season?

2. OoG, are you having a good time? Do you feel like your money is well-spent? If you're not enjoying yourself, what could you do to improve the game experience?

3. Have you developed a team/allies? Do you know these people OoG? What sort of things could you do to make your IG allies your OoG community?

4. How is your costume? How could you make it better, more interesting, and/or more authentic?

5. Have you experienced any weather/climate problems for which you weren't prepared? (Snow, cold, humidity, wind etc.) How could you better prepare for the next event?

6. How's your organization prior to an event? What systems could you employ to make it better?

7. How do you write PELs? What could be better/worse? If you've changed your PEL writing style recently, has it affected your experience from game-to-game?

8. What is your IG experience like? Are you enjoying yourself the entire time, or do you need breaks? What works the best for you from game-to-game?

9. How is your combat? How could it be improved?

10. What are some things you could do to make a better LARP community? This could include welcoming new players, expanding your team base, recruiting new NPCs, apprenticing new staff people, and/or hosting OoG get-togethers.

11. Even if you've bee playing for awhile, have you tried something new?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mood Music: Soundtracks in a LARP

by Zoe

If used well, soundtracks can add atmosphere and mood to a LARP experience. However, when inserted clumsily, music can break immersion, and make players feel awkwardly out of game. Perhaps for that reason, I don't see many LARPs actively using "soundtrack music" in modules or in-game spaces. Accordingly, below, I present some ideas for how to better incorporate music into your LARP.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cost-Effective Wardrobe

Contributor: Zoe
Submission: A low-cost guide to fantastic LARP wear.

I have recently spent a lot of time showcasing and discussing extravagant and authentic LARP costumes. Unfortunately, although we'd all love leather armor, chain mail, and/or bone corsets, cost is an issue. Especially for new players, who aren't necessarily invested in LARP, purchasing boots, cloaks, and accessories, which can wheedle a hole in the wallet quickly, seems daunting. For players, such as myself, who simply don't have the money to spend on costumes, it can be a deterrent to playing the game (or, at least, playing it visually well).

So, I'm writing a few tips on how to build a low-cost LARP wardrobe. I'm fairly experienced at this, but I'd appreciate everyone's input. I think most people tend to spend as little as possible on LARP-- although I'm sure there are many who spend more on LARP clothing than civilian garb.

Gamesthetic: Rob C. of Accelerant's Blog

I'm happy to feature Rob Ciccolini's blog, Gamesthetic, and I urge everyone to go check it out. In the blog, Rob writes about LARP, but also about tabletop games and game design in general. Rob is the creator of the Accelerant System, and, in my opinion, one of the most important voices in LARPing. Also, Rob is a really active part of the games he runs (and I mean that figuratively and literally-- if you hear vague whispers of, "was it a tall and lanky beast sporting two longclaws?" then you may be in trouble); even if you're a new player, after game, Rob will make sure to spend a few minutes chatting with you about your experiences. So, clearly, I'm very excited that Rob has a blog up-and-running: it will be great to read more of his posts in the future!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So You Want to Staff a LARP?

Contributor: Beth Fallon
Submission: the ins and outs of making the leap into staffing
System: Accelerant (but all take heed)
Years LARPing: 21

I've recently included a lot of pieces for newer players and PCs in general. The wonderful Ms. Fallon offers some sage advice for those pondering the "other side of the fence": staffing a LARP. Read on, all ye who bravely take up the sword that is the plot-staff pen.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Xeph-Ink: Up and Ready to Go!

Xephyr Inkpen, in collaboration with Dave Inkpen, has finished and officially launched her website: This website is really cool for experienced LARPers, people who are newer to the game, and even those who have no experience with LARP, and are just interested in beautifully made and designed products. Those who have LARPed or RenFaired with Xeph and Dave have probably noticed the exquisite capes, tapestries, and blankets that decorate game spaces. Blankets, cloaks, and tapestries are available for purchase. If you've never seen these in person, the colors are unbelievably vivid. What I hadn't seen before are the metal leaves: If you like naturalistic jewelry, please check it out.

Finally, is not just an online store-- it's also a blog. Blog subjects include material-specific costume design, as well as LARP reviews.