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?

1 comment:

  1. I love and hate cliffhangers at the same time. If the cliff hanger is set up correctly and can pull at preferably a group of individuals its awesome. If done wrong or never was able to come to a conclusion then it would severely make me to wish for that conclusion. With the proper use of the cliff hanger it can definetly make people feel more engaged.

    This past weekend I sprung a cliff hanger on some of the players at Clockwork skies, still waiting for feedback but definetly want to get writing on this as I have so many awesome ideas come spring.