School of Hard Knocks

Today was the first event of To Be Continued, a campaign theater LARP where all of the characters are taken from various famous sources, except they are now primarily teenagers attending a special school (and a few players are school staff.)

When the LARP was announced, everyone interested was invited to bid a list of famous characters they’d like to play. This proved to be a rather interesting exercise for me- my favorite characters to read/watch and characters I’d actually like to play in a campaign LARP did not overlap as much as one would think. Additionally, I realized just how few characters I really liked were female. (My bids included mostly males, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi  of Star Wars and Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.) And of course, after the bids went in and we were cast, I kept coming up with more and more characters I wished I’d included.

At any rate, they cast me as one of the few females I bid, Arya of House Stark, from A Song of Ice and Fire.

I think the overall look was a little less androgynous than Arya might actually dress, but the costume still received positive feedback, and I had fun wearing it.

We spent the first day mingling, signing up for classes, exploring the school grounds, elect a class president and setting up individual projects with various teachers, but first we got sorted into various Houses. Arya was sorted into Milady de Winter’s School for Girls, which of course she would balk at. I forged an ID and claimed I’d been re-sorted into Bobby Singer’s School for Juvenile Delinquents… and thus far seem to have gotten away with it. I suspect that will be changed before the next event.

The LARP proved to be a bit wackier than I was expecting, though in retrospect, I probably should have realized that a LARP with a mash-up setting would be prone to a bit of wackiness. We had demons and angels attacking on day one.

I think the best aspect of the LARP was how much people seemed to be enjoying their characters- people were playing their very favorites from popular books, movies, tv shows, and video games, and it was very much a treat to see how people interpreted them and brought them into an unfamiliar setting. We’ve got characters from Harry Potter, comic books (both DC and Marvel), Avatar: The Last Airbender, Supernatural, Dr. Who, and much more.  The staff includes Thor, Captain Hammer (of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog fame), Death (from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman) and Dr. Jekyll.

The interpretation of Arya wasn’t quite what I expected, but I still had a marvelous time playing her. I think she and San, who is another sort of wild wolf-girl, are going to get along.

Also worth noting, they had a few NPCs playing various roles- mostly demons and security for the school, and I thought they did an amazing job roleplaying. One was even completely new to LARPing, though I’d never have guessed it.

We concluded the event with a Game Wrap… of sorts. I was surprised- since the plots are ongoing, it’s not as though we could take turns revealing secrets and asking questions. Instead, the staff asked us to each name another player in the LARP they wanted to give a nod too- either for great roleplaying, costuming, for having done them a favor (such as offering a ride) or whatever we’d like. I think it’s not a bad idea, however there were a handful of people who got multiple nods (typically, the players whose characters had more out-there personalities) and lots of people who got none. I kind of wonder if this is likely to repeat and maybe cause some hurt feelings.

I’m already looking forward to the next event!

Arya’s “Needle”

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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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One Response to School of Hard Knocks

  1. Pingback: For Auld Lang Syne 2013 | FairEscape

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