It’s the New Year. I had a great time at a party last night, and now I’m feeling wistful and nostalgic and hopeful and excited.
A retrospective on my LARPing in 2012…
LARPs Played: This past year, I’ve played in (or aGMed/NPCed) 34 LARPs. My first was Venezia, the Renaissance LARP of 3 acts, by Lovers and Madmen. The last was the final event of Lost Eidolons, the Lovecraftian Steampunk Horror campaign boffer LARP.
Most were 4 hour one-shot theater LARPs. A couple were weekend long theater LARPs (King’s Musketeers and Once Upon a Time in Tombstone.) Most were basic Intercon-style LARPs, though a few were new experiences for me. There was a Jeep-inspired LARP, a slice of life LARP written in a single weekend by new writers, my first LARP at MIT, and a few more with unusual structures (such as The Passage.)
I think the coolest new thing was a LARP structured around an actual wedding. (And on a very cool side note, in 2011, I saw two people actually get legally married during a LARP.)
Events: I went to 5 LARPing conventions (or mini-conventions)- Dice Bubble at RPI, Intercon (my best Intercon ever, I think), LARPocalypse (Brandeis’ Festival of the LARPs), Dia de los Sobres (which was, admittedly, only two LARPs over one day), and SLAW at WPI. I also attended the first NELCO, a weekend convention of panels on LARPing. It was a very interesting, very cool weekend that brought together a lot of people to discuss all things LARP. I learned a lot, met new people, and it even produced the aforementioned new theater LARP by new writers, which I got to play in. I also attended a book reading and Q&A with the author for a book about LARPs, Lizzie Stark’s Leaving Mundania.
Boffer Fighting: I went to 5 boffer events, a handful of evening boffer practices, and a spar-b-q. I don’t know if I can honestly say my boffer fighting has improved at all, but I’m still enjoying it as much as ever.
Contributions: I haven’t done any LARP writing (besides collecting some vague ideas into Google documents), though I have created art for LARPs, namely the banners for Venezia and Cracks in the Orb. I also created all of the posters for Intercon L. And organized the raffle for Intercon L.
Travel/Other Communities: I pretty much stayed within New England. The farthest I traveled for LARPing was to RPI in Troy, NY, about a 3 hour drive. A few LARPs were at new campsites (new to me, anyway) around New England. I learned a lot more about other LARPing communities thank to the powers of the Internet (mostly this blog and online forums). But I’ve yet to experience them for myself.
Blogging: Though technically this blog was started in 2011, I didn’t post much that year. I don’t think Fair Escape really got any momentum until 2012. I wrote 106 posts, got about 5,600 hits (which are still steadily climbing), and the most popular post, by far, was Brian R.’s guest post, Boffer Lessons for Theater, which I’m proud to have hosted. (Actually, my Costumer’s Pride and Joy post has technically gotten more hits, but I suspect they’re mostly incidental hits by people looking for something else, mostly Amidala costuming images or pictures of harem girls.)
I’ve written a guest post for another LARPing website, been linked to by other blogs, and been asked to be on a panel (though I declined because I just don’t think there’s an audience for a panel on blogging about LARP.) I’ve found a lot more information about LARPing, especially in other communities across the US and the world thanks to this blog. I’ve had a slew of interesting conversations with people, both online and in person when people- both strangers and friends- said “hey, I found your blog.” That was actually the original purpose of this blog — to kickstart interesting LARP conversations — so I consider this blog a small success.
Costuming: I did a lot of costuming this year, both sewing/making new stuff from scratch, (and also buying new stuff, and combining old costuming in new ways). I’m particularly proud of my Cottington Woods costuming, and was excited to try out colored contacts for the first time. I tried out stilts (though I have yet to actually LARP in them.) Second best was maybe my Venezia Renaissance dress or my Grecian Princess Barbie look for Feast of the Minotaur.
Other: I’m convinced that dancing is a very useful skill for LARPing, and a number of LARPs I attended this year backed that up. (The King’s Musketeers, Cracks in the Orb, The Dance and the Dawn.) I attended a panel on dancing in LARP at Pre-Con and tried contra dancing for the first time (in Cracks). I also tried to pick up a bit of belly dancing through instructional videos on youtube (there are a lot out there, I think Tiazza Wilson has been my favorite.)
…And a glimpse forward into 2013.
My first LARP of 2012, TBC, is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday. It’s an unusual experiment that I’m really looking forward to. Intercon M is going to be massive, with more attendees and more games than ever, and I’ve got a great batch of LARPs on my roster. Dice Bubble at RPI and Triskedekafestival (Brandeis’ Festival of the LARPs) are both in development and from what I hear, will have some great LARPs on their schedules. Cottington Woods will be starting its full weekend events and I’ve got a bunch more costuming that I’m excited to work on for it. I’ll also be NPCing for Clockwork Skies, and hopefully will get a chance to check out Invictus, Shadows of Amun, and Occam’s Razor. I’m really hoping NELCO happens again. And there’s another spar-b-q coming up I hope to attend.
A few resolutions for the new year:
– Contribute more to Intercon. (Already working on the raffle, planning to do posters.) Attend more ConCom meetings.
– Improve my boffer skills. Get back into regular weekly practice.
– Improve my dancing skills. Especially in ballroom dancing and belly dancing.
– Improve my sewing skills. Expand my Cottington Woods costume. Try some new costuming projects, like wings, or that piece of armor I’ve been saving up soda can tabs for.
– Build stilts. Practice walking in them. Incorporate them into a LARP.
– Travel more, experience other LARP cultures. This one is a bit less likely until I have a steady income and solid schedule, so it might not happen in 2013… but within the next few years, I’d like to travel. WyrdCon in California, Consequences in the UK, Knutepunkt wherever it ends up, Chimera in New Zealand… Until that’s more plausible, continue traveling to Troy, NY and maybe the DC area if possible.
– Write an article for a LARP publication.
– Sit on a LARP panel again. I did one on Costuming for Beginners at an early Pre-Con. Looking over the current list for Intercon M’s Pre-Con panels, I don’t think I have anything to contribute to any of those topics, but maybe if I accomplish the write-an-article goal, I’ll have something to say at Pre-Con or NELCO.
– Write and run a LARP. So many ideas, so little actually written. One day, I’ll actually be on a writing team and get one produced.
– Use a blood capsule during a LARP. Incorporate the Wilhelm into a LARP, somehow. Keep my PCs at CP cap. Submit all my PELs on time.
– Keep up this blog. (And see if I can get Brian R. to write another guest post!)
That’s all I can think of for now, though I suspect more will hit me later. If you have any LARPing resolutions of your own, please feel free to share in the comments!
Looking back, this post helped me realize that 2012 was an awesome year for LARPing for me. Here’s hoping 2013 will be just as good, if not better!