Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Having just finished the first season of Clockwork Skies, I find myself musing on one of the most satisfyingly frustrating parts of LARP: the Cliffhanger. We've all experienced them-- you, the player, know that there are about fifteen minutes left within a game, and then 3 or more months until the next event. And, just as you're settling into a restful, end of session complacency, an NPC of Some Import struts, limps, swaggers, or sprints into town. Said NPC gives you just enough information-- or just enough of an emotional wallop-- to make you want answers and closure immediately. Just as you open your mouth, struggling to make a connection or offer a modicum of coherence, the game ends. You're left hungry for more, and wishing you could enter stasis mode (so that you wouldn't have to experience the 3 month wait before next session).

The cliffhanger is an art: it gets people to think wistfully on the upcoming session, and it engages people, over a break, in a narrative. With that being said, what have been some of your favorite "cliffhangers," either ending an event itself, or simply a plot arc? Why were they so good? Have they been resolved, or are you still waiting for resolution?