Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Intercon Reflections

This was my second year at Intercon, and I like to think it went very, very well. (I had some initial hesitation, as Madrigal ran the weekend before, and that's a fairly work intensive game for me.) I'm happy to say that both of the games I ran, Rabbit Run (which I co-GMd with the fabulous Albert Lin) and Dragon Palace, seemed to go very well. There are plenty of spots for improvement in both games, but, overall, we delivered stories and emotional experiences that will certainly stick with us, and will hopefully stick with the players. Moreover, in both games, we were very fortunate to have outstanding players.

I usually write about boffer larps, and the Accelerant community. Accordingly, I wanted to open up an entry to Intercon N, and people's experiences there. So, without further ado:

What were the highlights of your event? What new things did you try, and what sort of things did you learn?

Speaking for myself...

- The highlights of my event were certainly the endings of both of my games. Interacting with the players as two (entirely different) NPCs was a rewarding way to see, firsthand, how players interpreted their characters, and allowed me to explore the world with them. This is generally my highlight in full weekend events, and I was happy to see it translated over into the abbreviated time mod setting.

- The other highlight was the players-- NPCs and PCs alike. My Rabbit Run PCs are now writing (incredibly moving and evocative) post-game fiction-- fiction based on an event is one of the biggest tributes, I think, a player can offer a game runner. (I'm really spoiled in Clockwork Skies by similarly minded PCs.) And my Dragon Palace PCs completely ran with the crazy Heian-celestial cosmos I created (and one of them, the player of the Goat, gave me an awesome red dragon mask). Good PCs make a game what it is.

- In terms of places for improvement, I definitely want to run slightly longer games (standard four hours) and open up the extra hour to more time for RP. I sometimes forget, with boffer larps, the conventions of RP, and how, with the full weekend event, you have plenty of downtime to build characters.

I've had requests from players to run both games again next year. I'm pretty amenable to this idea, though Dragon Palace may be some sort of sequel or continuation, versus the same game (though you never know).


  1. You have inspired me to consider running a boffer game at Intercon now that I have seen how well it works. Thank you for running this and telling a compelling story.

    1. Running in Merrimack was *awesome*-- I cannot recommend it enough. I wish all mod spaces were that nice.

      And hurray for more boffer larps! I look forward to playing it, hopefully.

  2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on running a boffer game at Intercon - what worked well for you, what you felt you needed to modify, etc.

    1. What worked:
      - The space
      - A small, dedicated team who was really familiar with boffer mechanics
      - Text props and puzzles to complicate the mod
      - Extra attention to character histories so that people had something to really onto before coming into game

      Needs Some Work:
      - Skills could still be translated to new accelerant types with more finesse-- I'm open to ideas
      - Some sort of tutorial mod (ideally something that doesn't detract from game time, but also shows people the very basics)
      - More time for RP-- next run I do, I will absolutely do a full 4 hour time slot versus 3 and 3. The abbreviated time just didn't leave enough room for RP. (There was a substantial amount, but not as much as I would have liked.
      - Give people more suggestions to scene set prior to the actual run of the game-- I kind of forgot that, you know, it's a weekend larp convention, and people probably wouldn't be opposed to doing their own scene setting.

  3. The idea of combining theater and boffer LARPs is something I think has been surprisingly unexplored. It's something I've been thinking about for years (and have two ideas for events that will probably never see the light of day, but are a lot of fun to think about.) Specifically, I like to think about the strengths and weaknesses of the two styles and their common attributes (build your character, campaign, primarily PvE boffer vs. casting, one-shot, primarily PvP theaters) and how they might combine. I think Rabbit Run and Dragon Palace were really successful and will hopefully convince people that this is a viable format that LARPers should explore. A lot.

    If you end up rerunning Rabbit Run and/or Dragon Palace, you can be sure I'll be jumping to sign up either as an NPC or PC. (...Especially if I can reprise the role of Rabbit. I have this costume I'd love to wear again...)

    1. Thank you! I absolutely want more cross-over-- they both have so much to bring to one another. I think boffer larps, for instance, really necessitate some amount of cooperation; that makes for a cool dynamic when there are PvP elements at work.

      That costume was a work of art. I know not a lot of pictures were taken, but you should dress up again to get a shot. It was beautiful.