LARPs from December 2021 through May 2022

Welp, the year is half gone and catching up on LARP review posts was on my list of New Year’s LARP resolutions, so no more procrastinating. Here we go.

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In Memoriam

A death has left the local LARPing community reeling.

Posting in my blog feels obscene. Nothing I have to say about anything else could possibly matter in the slightest. But writing about the loss feels awful and selfish. What right do I have to write about it, when so many people knew him so much better, were so much closer? However much it hurts, (and oh, it hurts), there are so many out there hurting so much worse.

But silence feels even more obscene. If this blog was intended to provide a glimpse into the general goings-on of the local LARPing community, how could I consider not posting about it? (But I don’t know what to say — specifics feel like a violation of privacy, vagueness feels superficial. Every possibly option feels deeply wrong, somehow. That’s just how death is.)

Well. Here is what is going on in our community.

A drunk driver stole one of the points of light out of our constellation, never to be replaced.

May Kevin’s memory be a blessing.

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About a month ago, the weekend that was supposed to be Intercon U came and went. Back in January, NEIL made the difficult decision to delay it a second year for pandemic reasons. To stave off some of the no-LARP-con blues, a small group of LARPers ran and played in a smattering of small theater LARPs over that weekend. I think it helped a lot to distract us from thoughts like, “I should be playing all these great LARPs I managed to get into this past fall” and “it’s probably gonna be another solid year before Intercon happens and I get to see the LARPers I used to see once a year…” The gathering was cheekily dubbed “Intracon”.

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On Party Business

Last September, I played in a LARP called The Shiretown Shindig. It’s based on a LARP that ran in Australia, titled The Hobbit’s Hoedown; the head creator of Hoedown collaborated with local staff for Shindig. When a large album of gorgeous photos from Hoedown was shared on Shindig‘s FB group, the aesthetics, tone, and flavor of the LARP came across loud and clear, and I was sold.

Welcome to the Shindig
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For Auld LARP Syne 2021

Last year, I added an extra note to the end of my LARP toast for the New Year. “And 2021 is going to be better. I know it.” When I wrote that, I was feeling pretty optimistic about vaccines becoming available. I might have actually thought we were going to wipe out COVID-19, like smallpox. I was super excited eager to get my vaccine. Wasn’t everyone?

Well, obviously, I was pretty far off the mark in multiple ways. 2021 really wasn’t a stellar LARPing year for me. Not just in terms of the low number and variety of LARPs I participated in (and the number of LARP related resolutions I missed). My joy of LARPing frequently felt somewhat overshadowed by pandemic-related concerns, as well as the fraught social politics of everyone’s different expectations and preferences and limits around safety precautions. Not to mention the guilt that went along with attending in-person events (and the raging FOMO over the ones I missed.) And lots of people were getting burnt out on online LARPing.

It was really hard for me to write about. Over 2021, I only wrote sixteen blog posts (eight shy of my goal). My most common type of blog post is post-LARP reviews and I had fewer opportunities to write those this year, but it wasn’t just that. Even when I was playing LARPs, it felt wrong to write about them while leaving out all COVID-related elements, such as thoughts about the safety precautions that were and weren’t included, how they worked out in practice, and the outcomes of those decisions. But it also felt really bad to include these elements — like it would come across as a harsh criticism and add even more post-event stress to everyone, especially the staff members who were honestly doing their best to navigate an impossible scenario.

Despite all that, there’s still a lot at which to look back fondly (and probably some value in recording thoughts about the rougher stuff), so here we go.

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Halloween LARPs

Over the weekend of Halloween, I played in two LARPs.

The first was Intersections at the End of the World, or, as it was nearly always called, “the Goth LARP”. The idea for it spawned out of a conversation among a few LARPers bemoaning the lack of excuses to fully indulge in goth fashion. (This topic has also spawned two goth picnics in a cemetery, which were lots of fun.)

The premise of Intersections involves the staff, band, and regular patrons of a goth club (“The Ankh”), having attempted a spell to bring forth the spirits of the dead. The spell went wildly off course, resulting in each participant connecting with a mythological figure from the Courts of Death. And now they are all are gathering to attempt the spell a second time. In essence, each player has two characters — their mortal goth clubber (dubbed “clubsonas” by one of the players) and their Harbinger from the Courts of Death. Before the end of the LARP, all characters must decide which of their two forms they will assume permanently.

Meanwhile, the apocalypse is waiting at some undetermined but not too far off time in the future.

It sounds as though this LARP is unlikely to run again, or at least not without some editing, but just in case, I’m putting the spoilers below the cut. Continue reading

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Time Bubble 2021

I recently played four LARPs at Dice Bubble 2021 — A Peace Summit on Cybertron, Pulse of the Empire, The Borden Legacy, and Venezia.

The safety rules included a requirement to wear masks at all times in con space. I understand the mask rule was somewhat controversial, and resulted in some people declining to attend, but I tried to view it as a costuming opportunity — a way to display some element of your character right on your face! I sewed myself four new masks, (three of which were double sided) to cover the three characters I was cast as, and also cover three broad categories of characters I might sub in as (in case of last minute drops from the Sunday LARP I was aGMing.)

Clockwise from top left, masks for: a transformer, a character named Iron Leopard, a priestess of Dagan, a Renaissance lady, a Renaissance gentleman, and a cardinal.

In practice, I found the masks didn’t interfere with my roleplay. I know some people find them uncomfortable or that they make communication a little more difficult, and I sympathize. They didn’t bother me, though, and I support any LARP event that wants to make them required.

I also made a Pikachu/Ninja Turtles mask to wear outside of LARPs, because… why not. LARP cons are a time to let your geek flag fly!

My Saturday morning LARP was A Peace Summit on Cyberton. It’s a diplomatic LARP set in the world of the Transformers franchise. I’m actually not that familiar with the source material — I’ve seen the first Michael Bay movie, but haven’t seen any of the cartoons or read any of the comics. But I heard good things about the LARP, and I have a soft spot for 80s action cartoons. So I signed up, then watched the first episode of the original cartoon online to get the general feel of it.

I’d never heard of the character I was cast as — Drift. But I found his backstory pretty interesting and appealing as a LARP character — he was once a Decepticon (read: bad guy) who defected and joined the Autobots (read: good guys.)

The LARP is just as it is described on the tin — nine Autobots and Decepticons, along with one neutral bot, sit around a table and squabble over the terms of a peace treaty, try to come up with the basic structure of a new government, and decide what to do with various powerful artifacts. There’s a depth and breadth to the setting lore in this LARP that surprised me, and lots of difficult questions to chew over, both practical and philosophical, and the cast of characters is very colorful. It made for a really fun LARP.

In our run, we argued animatedly in circles for the first hour or so before we realized just much time we were wasting and how little time was left to get through a lot of important decisions. We ended up with a tripartite government, with an elected official, the Prime (as designated by the Matrix of Leadership artifact), and the strongest warrior, as the three heads.

A major factor in our ability to get anything substantial accomplished was the rule that whatever we decided, Grimlock had to understand. Grimlock is primitive sort of Dinobot* (“Me Grimlock! Grimlock king!”) who prefers things uncomplicated and direct. This encouraged us to to keep our proposals short and sweet, and not try to bog them down with lots of provisions and exceptions. And in our run, Grimlock ended up recognized as Prime. I think that will probably be for the best.

We got our casting with less than a week before the game, but I was determined to do some kind of costuming. I would have liked to have based a look on a design from the original cartoon, but near as I can tell, Drift was not a character yet. It seems various iterations of Drift have had very different designs (the Michael Bay version is based on Samurai armor and has a lot of visual appeal) but I really wanted the closest thing to the classic 80s design style. I went with a version of Drift that has a black and white body, with red details, and tried to translate his basic silhouette into a sort of Disneybounding version with athletic gear. With six Autobot logo stickers, blue mirrored sunglasses, and a light gray mask for my face, I think the end result was really not bad, considering how little time I had.

“Autobots, roll out!”

The stickers that survived being stuck and unstuck from fabric with some stickiness intact have since been added to the windows of my car. (Which is what they were actually designed for.)

But the best costume of our run definitely goes to Starscream, who, despite the very short time between casting and game, showed up with a set of jet-wing armor crafted out of cardboard. He had some trouble going through narrow doorways, but looked great.

“Transform and rise up!”

My second LARP was Pulse of the Empire, originally written for MOLW (a LARP writing initiative that resembles Iron GM in some ways.) The required themes were Cycles of HistoryHeists, and Visions/Hallucinations. The required prop was a metronome. I would have assumed all of the LARPs with this set of themes would have characters trying to plan or execute a heist, but in this LARP, the characters are the guards (and one observing bureaucrat) guarding the object of a heist. I thought that was a particularly clever and intriguing twist.

The artifact in question is a magical harp with the power to sustain dynasties and empower new ones, and the characters all have very complicated feelings about the dynasty they currently serve. Meanwhile, new information occasionally reaches the guards via visions from the Harp (and other sources), and the tempo of the metronome gives the players creates an atmosphere of tension while indicating how close the heist is to reaching its final goal.

I really enjoyed this LARP! I thought the characters began play with complex considerations to chew over and discuss while making life or death or honor decisions, and got plenty of new ones along the way to keep the roleplay going. Playing in a space that precluded easily having private conversations enhanced the game, in my opinion. The conclusion of the LARP felt very much like a tense climax. I would love to run this LARP at an event like Consequences, with the authors’ permission… someday when such a thing is possible again.

For costuming as Iron Leopard, the commander of the unit of guards, I went with my go-to basic knightly look — my red and white tabard over simple blacks and tall suede boots. (And lightning bolt earrings, a tiny nod to the Lightning Dynasty my character served.) I really wished I’d had time to sew matching tabards for all of the guards, assuming my fellow players were on board with the idea. Maybe I’ll make it an option for the players of my hypothetical some day run.

My third LARP was The Borden Legacy, which was originally written by British LARPers to run in the actual Borden House, where the infamous Borden murders took place. In this setting, the elder gods of the Lovecraftian mythos have arrived some 300 years before. The characters are gathered for a memorial service and a will reading following the gruesome demise of Andrew and Abby Borden.

I played Pastor Constance Seaborne, a traveling preacher of the esoteric Order of Dagon. I had some interesting mechanics that I kinda botched — I misunderstood how they functioned and basically used them much too early in the game, but I suppose it could have been worse. I also have some regrets about not including two other characters into my shenanigans… but overall, Borden Legacy was a very cute, classic-feeling secrets-and-powers LARP, and despite some early misgivings, I ended up really liking my character.

“Praise Dagan.”

For Sunday morning, I had submitted a presentation and workshop about the Accelerant rules (a system created for boffer LARPs) — specifically, how the non-melee components could be inspiration for theater mechanics that integrate with roleplaying scenes much more smoothly than our usual index card systems do.

It didn’t run. Only a single person ever signed up or showed up — the only other attendee at Time Bubble who already plays Accelerant LARPs. He brought some boffer swords with him, so we sparred for a bit and chatted about the various local boffer campaigns that are running or starting up soon.

I’m not sure if the time slot had some influence on the lack of attendance — people often like to sleep in Sunday mornings if they don’t have a LARP — but I think it was something more than that. Maybe right now people are yearning for actual in-person LARPs and social time, and have less interest in LARP theory discussions. I was somewhat disheartened to hear one or two attendees refer to this as “your boffer thing,” when it was explicitly about the non-boffer elements. Maybe this community just sees the word “boffer” and gets turned off. I’m not sure.

My last LARP was Venezia. Officially, I was an assistant GM, and I spent two days of the week leading up to the event helping stuff this behemoth of a LARP. (I used this an as opportunity to have some fun with acrylic stamps and my rudimentary calligraphy skills, acquired over the periods of strictest quarantine. The character packets got a bit fancied up as a result.)

But LARPs this large have decent odds of last minute drops, so I packed three extra costumes just in case — a Renaissance gown (in fact, the dress I wore when I played Lucrezia Borgia back during Venezia‘s first run in 2012), a Renaissance outfit for men (including the doublet worn by one of the LARP’s writers during that same first run) and a black robe and red sash in case I needed to play one of the cardinals.

The French General

Well, there was indeed a late drop, and I did end up stepping into the role of the French general, so I wore the men’s black and silver Renaissance outfit. I don’t know if I did the role the full justice it deserved — the French general is one of the major players in the war game, and I had not familiarized myself with the mechanics prior to the start of the LARP. I think the general was meant to considerably more self-interested than I played him, but I was erring on the side of being too cooperative rather than uncooperative, for fear I’d end up blocking people’s plots and goals with my rushed attempt to absorb the long character sheet and war game rules.

It felt like a frenetic run to me — Venezia is a very mechanics heavy LARP, with multiple complex interacting systems — besides the war game, there is also a competition for the most influential city, a papal election, a system for commissioning of great works of art and publishing literature, spying, etc. Much of this game is about resource management — political, economic, and religious influence are the three major forms of currency. And besides all of this, Venezia has a three act structure, with every character facing a choice at the end of the first and second act, and receiving a new addition to their character sheet depending on their choices. It was a lot for a single GM to manage (when this LARP would probably be easier to run with at least three GMs), and the run time was shortened to four hours, when it normally runs in five. Despite all of this, the LARP seemed to me to be very well received, and it has since been bid to run at Intercon.

The set dressing of Venezia was worth a mention — the event space was filled with pillars and vases filled with artificial flowers, and there were glittery Venetian masks all over the room.

With Time Bubble 2021  now complete, it’s time to start looking towards the next events on the horizons, including a few private runs of theater LARPs, Winter Boffer Con in December… and the Intercon U schedule should be up on the website in the near future…

*As primitive as a robot that can transform from humanoid to dinosaur shape can be, I suppose.

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GM Fashion

About four months back, a question popped up in one of my online communities — what should GMs wear while running a LARP?

Costuming as a PC (and occasionally, as an NPC) is something I like to think about, plan out, and create, and I’ve written about my thoughts on it and my various projects a lot on this blog. But what I wear as a GM (or aGM) usually comes down to convenience and what strikes my fancy more than anything else… which I think is a valid approach. GMing a LARP is often a labor of love, with a much higher cost of money, effort, time, and emotional energy than PCs usually estimate, (even when they’re estimating high).

But assuming we do want to be thoughtful and deliberate with what we wear as GMs… there are a few different schools of thought on this topic. Some options that came up in the online discussion:

  • Casual street clothes — whatever you might be wearing if you weren’t LARPing
  • Casual street clothes with a nod to LARP premise — e.g. a t-shirt featuring a logo of the franchise the LARP is based on
  • Stagehand blacks — solid, plain black, head to toe
  • Business black — also plain black, but with a more formal silhouette (e.g. a black blazer)
  • An understated branded shirt (e.g. a polo or t-shirt) — maybe a solid dark and/or neutral color with a embroidered logo
  • A loud branded shirt — a bold, attention getting color, and/or with a large logo
  • Low key costuming — something understated that suits the setting in a non-specific way
  • Costuming that reflects a role that GMs might represent in character, e.g. the castle servants, waitstaff, or messengers
  • Full costuming that reflects the aesthetics of the LARP

Some factors to consider:

  • Are you trying to create professional atmosphere? Or a casual, relaxed one?
  • How important will comfort and practicality be while GMing? (Do you expect to be on your feet for many hours in a row?)
  • Do you feel it’s important to contribute to the “magic circle” of the LARP? (As a GM, do you want your outfit to project, “this is a designated space where imaginative play is welcome and encouraged”?)
  • Do you expect non-LARPers to wander by, and if so, do you want them to instinctively come to you with questions rather than approaching the nearest player? (Strangers may be more likely to approach you if you’re something like a uniform, rather than in street clothes and looking like a fellow passer-by, or blending with the players in costume.)
  • Do you want players to feel welcome and not out of place if they choose not to costume or do low key costuming? (E.g. do you hope or expect some newbies, who might find really elaborate, high level costuming intimidating, to sign up?)
  • Are you concerned about being perceived as upstaging players?
  • Does your PC cast list include strangers who wouldn’t be able to pick the GM(s) of your LARP out of a crowd? Or are you only running for people who already know you? If you expect players to range from no costuming to full costuming, you may not be easy to spot as a GM in street clothes or costuming, but stage blacks will likely make a GM team easier to spot in a busy event. A GM team in matching brightly colored t-shirts will be even easier to find.
  • Is it important the GMs to be easy to spot from across a large venue?
  • Would you like to visually blend in, and avoid detracting from the atmosphere or immersion?
  • Do you anticipate many player questions for GMs will be able to be handled IC? (E.g. will many questions be things PC guests might ask the butler?) Would you rather players try to maintain immersion as much as possible? Or would you rather players feel encouraged to drop out of character freely?
  • Will your roll as GM involve more out of character interaction off to the side of game space, or maybe scuttling around through game space (while trying to draw minimal attention to yourself?)
  • Do you anticipate the possibility of playing multiple quick, minor NPC roles throughout the game? Is it important that they be visually identifiable, fully immersive, or easy as possible to swap in and out of?
  • If a player has to leave during the LARP, would you as a GM step in to fill that role?
  • Is opportunity to costume part of what brings you joy when LARPing, even as a GM?
  • Is visual spectacle an important part of the experience being offered to players?

In the local live combat community, a lot of these questions often have default answers based on the structure of the LARP, and GMs typically default to stagehand blacks along with the rest of the NPCs, because they play multiple costumed NPC roles throughout the weekend. (Although I have heard newbies express mild frustration with being unable to easily identify staff and distinguish them from fellow players when hanging out in the local tavern, and feeling pressure not to drop character to pursue answers to questions that popped up over the weekend.)

I find there’s a lot more variety in what GMs wear in the local theater communities, reflecting a large variety in structure of games. I personally tend to lean towards mostly black but with a nod to the setting via an on-topic t-shirt, or some very basic costuming if some of my GMing duties can be done via a minor NPC role. (E.g. playing a messenger if there is lots of new information being delivered to players mid-game.) But I think all of the listed options above are potentially valid.

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Citation Needed and Culture Crash

Two current topics popping up around LARP spaces on social media: the impact of the Delta variant on LARP events and Disney’s launch of an immersive Star Wars experience.

The former is an understandable source of concern, but it’s impossible predict what safety precautions will be necessary even for the near future, and that makes it difficult to have productive conversations. It feels as though everything is in flux. Events seem to be choosing “everyone must provide proof of vaccination, no exceptions” as a baseline. Debates over other safety precautions (including size of events, recent negative test requirements, indoors vs. outdoors, and especially masking) continue.

The latter topic turned out to be more divisive than I would have guessed — some people seem to think Disney will bring positive attention to the hobby, and possibly make charging enough money to pay LARP creators a fair wage more feasible; others are furious over the price tag, and worried it will make LARPs without megacorporation support less appealing by comparison, or make expensive LARPs more common/popular, and the hobby less financially accessible overall. (Irritation with Disney possibly impacting the economics of LARPing is buoyed by Disney’s history of doing things like lobbying against a higher minimum wage.) 

My guess is that it will have no discernable impact on the hobby. (And the price tag is not surprising to me for a Disney World attraction, given that it includes room and board and booze.) Also worth noting — a LARP creator who was a paid consultant for this project has stated in social media posts that this attraction is not a LARP. (And Disney isn’t trying to claim otherwise — thus far has avoided using the term LARP, instead using phrasing such as “immersive adventure”.) But maybe some LARPers will attend and get some inspiration for improving immersion in their own events?

Moving on to the two remaining items in my backlog of LARPs I’ve been meaning to blog about: [CITATON NEEDED] and Culture Crash. Both were written at Peaky weekends  — collaborative LARP writing weekends — with [CITATION NEEDED] written at Peaky Midwest and Culture Crash at Peaky Games (the original Peaky, based in the UK.)

The premise of [CITATION NEEDED] is a group of researchers in the far future using wikipedia articles to analyze the historical era that generated them (i.e. the modern era.) It involves a workshop to first generate characters (and inter-character relationships) and then generate a list of wikipedia articles to use during game play. I chose the sports-obsessed institution for my character’s background, quickly donned a baseball jersey for a costume, then liberally sprinkled sports metaphors into our conversations. I think we generated some really funny analysis of our wikipedia articles, with special emphasis on a page about a failed metal music festival. We had a lot of kooky theories about why the festival was such a disaster. (In a word? Sabotage!) I do wish I could have had more time before the LARP to peruse our wikipedia articles, so it would have been easier to build bizarre theories about connections between them, but I think this LARP will appeal in particular to players who want to poke fun at the vagaries of life in academia, or the culture surrounding the creation and editing of wikipedia articles.

Culture Crash is about two very different alien civilizations (both non-human!) coming into contact for the first time — the civilization that has a launched a Star Trek-like exploratory space craft, and the others being the natives of a strange planet. I don’t want to go too far into details here, because I think part of the appeal of playing a game with this premise is actually being surprised by the nature of the other species/civilization. (I went in a little spoiled because I helped a LARPer from the other civilization with his costume, but the details of their society were still fun to unfold through roleplay!)

I will say that I think the LARP will appeal to fans of classic sci-fi, and the short pre-game workshops in which we built on some of the norms of our various civilizations was a lot of fun, and added a lot to the feeling of two cultures… well… crashing together, with concepts that do not translate easily from one to the other. (It reminded me a little of the mechanics of Strangers, an abstract, no-speaking LARP about immigration.)

Also worth mentioning, while this LARP can and does run online, I was fortunate to get to play in person, and the set dressing, props, and buffet were a lot of fun, and our GMs deserve a lot of credit for them.

If you can easily avoid seeing the costumes of players from the other civilization of your own run prior to game start, I would recommend that. That said, I am very proud of my own costume for this LARP, so I am sharing photos and a few comments on construction below the cut. 

Spoilers for Culture Crash ahead!!

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All Men Must Dine

A little over a month ago, I played in my second post-vaccination in-person LARP. It was Game of Scones, a parody LARP of A Song of Ice an Fire/Game of Thrones, set at a meeting of the Small Council held over breakfast. The characters are eight high lords of Westeros and two stewards, squabbling over various petty nonsense and hiding sinister intent. The Small Council discusses various items on a pre-set agenda (from a proposed tournament to the height of the candlesticks), arrange and rearrange the seating chart for an upcoming banquet, and conclude with a collective toast. Post game, the GM announces which cups at the toast have been poisoned.

“To the King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm!”

I thought it was quite adorable and funny! We argued, we insulted one another, we bribed and cajoled and blackmailed and threatened one another. Sometimes we threw fake pastries at one another (in between eating real pastries).

“Valor Bagullis”

A couple of characters had some Bigger Plots afoot, but I thought the petty nonsense was the best part. I was cast as S. Tyrell, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, twin to the Master of Whispers, and we never let our sense of professionalism, etiquette, or common sense get in the way of our outbursts of sibling rivalry.

For a short parody game, Game of Scones has remarkably high production values. Because the GM is also one of the writers/GMs of Dance of the Dragons (a five hour, 31 player theater LARP), there is plenty of set dressing for it. (At Intercon, these LARPs have run back-to-back.) This run was in a smaller room than the usual function room at Intercon, and so the house banners (which were my contribution to the set) filled the space really nicely. The seating chart, (a white board I decorated with tape and markers, which came with custom magnets for each of the guests), makes for a really cute, fun interactive prop. I think more LARPs should have seating chart planning.

My costume for this LARP was its own saga. I knew that as a short, comedic LARP, most LARPers would approach costuming for it pretty casually. And I could have simply borrowed the white Halloween cape past players haven worn for the very same character and been more than adequately dressed… but I think my love for the source material and dearth of recent exciting costuming opportunities went to my head. The fallacy of sunk cost may have also played a role. (In my defense, I wasn’t the only player taking this costuming opportunity and running with it.)

We had about two weeks between casting and game time, which seemed a bit tight time-wise for sewing a new white tunic and a white cloak… but still doable. Given the time crunch, I didn’t wait for coupons or sales before buying the pattern and many yards of white linen… and then, in a fit of indulgence, I spent even more money on pretty gold floral trim from the Yaya Han cosplay collection. I couldn’t resist — House Tyrell is all about the gold floral details.

Well, some unforeseen real life stuff got in the way and sucked away all the time I thought I had for this project, so I ended up rushing to finish the night before the LARP. ( And I never got around to the green tunic I wanted to make for my character’s twin brother.) A piece of my tunic pattern went missing, and the pattern I picked for the cloak proved more difficult than anticipated.  (It looked so easy on the cover! I will not be using Simplicity 8771 again.) In my haste, I even managed to slash a large hole in the cloak while trimming away seam allowance, for which I will probably never forgive myself. (Other players kindly said they wouldn’t have noticed my patch job if I hadn’t pointed it out, but I still know it’s there!) And then I ran out of time before adding the lovely gold floral trim to the tunic.

My unrealized plans for adding trim to the tunic.

Honestly, the costume did not turn out too terribly. I wore the tunic over my binder (character genders are up to the players in Game of Scones, but I really wanted S. Tyrell to be male; I find it easier to flirt shamelessly when playing a male character. “Lord Commander in the streets, Lord Commander in the sheets!”) I represented House Tyrell with a gold rose pinned to the cloak.

“No, I haven’t been drinking Shade of the Evening. Why do you ask.”

I would still like to add the gold floral trim to the tunic, though there’s a tiny voice inside me saying, “it’s more versatile as a costuming piece without the trim. What if you get cast as a character that dresses in pure white?” There’s also a second tiny voice inside me that says, “the cloak is a source of shame. Get rid of it. Foist it off on Donate it to some boffer LARP NPC wardrobe, then make a better one from scratch.”

Costuming fiascos aside, the LARP was a lot of fun, and between the players’ costuming and the extensive set dressing, it looked really good. I dream of someday taking this LARP to one of the cons dedicated to the source material (maybe Ice and Fire Con, or Con of Thrones).

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