Fun Things to Share

A Post on Larp Couture

I sent a request to Caroline E. Willis, the author of Larp Couture, for a post with clerical raiment as the topic. I’ve been considering religious character concepts for Cottington Woods, the dark fairy tale themed boffer LARP. Even though it’s much too early, I couldn’t help dreaming up some costuming ideas. While searching online for inspiration, I came across some images of Eastern Orthodox priestly garments, which I found to be strikingly beautiful. Hence the request.

She posted this today. It’s got some fascinating stuff- particularly a link that breaks down the components of the Orthodox traditional garments- invaluable to someone who wants to use it as a basis for a costume. Love it.

A LARP Inspired by The Lion in Winter

Found this on – a one shot theater LARP for 9 people called The Devil’s Brood by Malcolm Harbrow (email: It’s inspired by The Lion in Winter. I saw the 2003 version with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close, and loved it. And in fact, I recall turning to the person I was watching it with and commenting, “this would make an excellent LARP.”

Shall we see if it has? I’m tempted to run it. But I’m also tempted to play, and once you’ve run it, you can’t play it. Which makes me wonder if there’s someone I can con into running it for me? Anyone in the New England area interesting in GMing or playing? What if I promised after getting to play it, I’d bid it for one of those day or weekends of mini-larps that could always use another LARP or two? (Assuming people enjoyed it!)

A LARP Writing Resource

The Devil’s Brood link lead me to Larpwriter, a free tool designed to aid in collaborative LARP creation. I haven’t yet poked around the website, but it seems like a great concept. If anyone has used it and has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

Which reminds me of…

Another LARP Writing Resource

Vellum is a similar concept created by one Nat Budin. Also haven’t looked into it much myself (not being a larpwright… yet…) but I’ve heard good things.


About Fair Escape

I've been LARPing for years in all different styles, including both boffer and theater. I love classic LARP but I'm always happy to try something new. I have a sort of "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards experiencing LARPs. I'm currently serve as a board member of NEIL, a member of proposal com for Intercon, the largest all LARP convention in the US, and as en editor for Game Wrap, a publication about the art and craft of LARP. I was also con chair of Festival of the LARPs 2017, and I'm on staff for NELCO, the first all LARP conference in the US. I'm
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6 Responses to Fun Things to Share

  1. Pingback: Three Follow Ups « FairEscape

  2. Nat Budin says:

    FWIW, I was aware of Larpwriter when writing Vellum, but didn’t think it would work for our needs. The problem I had with it at the time (and, to be fair, this may have changed since then) was that it was very prescriptive. That is, it allows you to create a few pre-defined types of thing: Characters, Items, Groups, etc. – but if your game went off the beaten path of what a typical LARP looks like, you were sort of on your own. (This is particularly a problem when you’re me – we couldn’t have easily fit Resonance or A Garden of Forking Paths into Larpwriter’s structure.)

    Vellum, in contrast, tries to dictate as little as possible about the structure of a project. You define the types of document that exist in your project, you define the types of relationship between those documents, and you define the way it all gets collated and printed for use in the game. This, of course, comes with a serious cost: it’s nowhere near as easy to get started with. I’ve been slowly building out functionality to make it easier to get started in Vellum, but this is an ongoing challenge.

    If you do try out Vellum, I’d very much appreciate your feedback!

    • Fair Escape says:

      Thanks for clarifying- it sounds like both have their purposes in LARP writing. I’d love to try out both. Is it true you can use Vellum to easily switch characters between male and female and account for all the pronouns on all character sheets?

      • Nat Budin says:

        No, that isn’t true. It’s something I’ve thought a whole lot about, and it was a feature of LarpML, which was my previous (much techier) LARP writing software. I don’t want to do it the same way in Vellum that I did in LarpML, because I believe it actually creates more work for the writer than not having the feature there at all would have.

        Basically, in LarpML, you have to add gender pronoun tags as you write. So, a typical sentence might be “You met <em/&;gt; on the bridge that night.” (I really hope that comes through properly in WordPress.) “em” is a Spivak pronoun that LarpML will expand to either “him” or “her” depending. Ken Clary’s GameTeX software, which is very popular at MIT, does a similar thing; in GameTeX that sentence could be written as “You met \him on the bridge that night” or “You met \her on the bridge that night” and GameTeX would treat those equivalently.

        The problem with that solution, in my view, is that it interrupts your flow when writing to be thinking about that stuff. I wanted Vellum to let people just write naturally. Or, more often, when you’re actually doing the gender-swap you find that you have to go back and fix everything you missed when writing.

        So I have an idea for another way to do it, which I haven’t actually implemented yet. The idea is that if you wanted to change the gender of a character, you tell Vellum to go into gender-change mode, and you tell it which character you’re changing. It finds anything in the project that looks like a reference to that character and lets you change the gender pronouns (or anything else you want), then saves that set of changes as a reversible change-set. The idea is that this lets you not think about it until you actually want to do a gender change, and when you do want to, it’s not much more work than you would have had to do anyway under the old system.

        What do you think?

        • Nat Budin says:

          (Of course, it didn’t come through properly, but that was my fault for mistyping. Let me try again: “You met <em/> on the bridge that night.”)

  3. Pingback: Dice Bubble 2013 « FairEscape

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