There’s a lot of overlap in population and LARPs run at Dice Bubble, WPI’s SLAW, Brandeis’ Festival of the LARPs, and Intercon, and as I’ve been part of this community for about 8 or 9 years, I’ve played a lot of the LARPs that commonly run at these events. So I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that most of the LARPs on the schedule were new to me.
I’m particularly excited about The Devil’s Brood. A while back, I posted about it and mentioned that it was based on a movie that I really liked and thought would make a great premise for a LARP. I think it’s actually running at Dice Bubble because I brought it to the attention of the Dice Bubble crowd.
Other LARPs that I’m excited about include a LARP set in the Star Wars universe, and a Nordic LARP called New Voices in Art. I confess, the first time I saw New Voices in Art on a convention schedule, I thought it sounded a bit dull. I wasn’t alone- it didn’t fill and got cancelled. But then a friend of mine played it at MIT’s Jeepform day. His review actually made it sound intriguing, and the part that makes it most interesting to me is that the players provide their own art to serve as the art exhibits that are discussed in-game. That sounds like a ton of fun- I’d love to get out some of my old art projects from my summers in art school for it.
Unfortunately, the Star Wars LARP and New Voices in Art are running against each other. Bummer.
On Friday evening, I plan to sign up for Megalomania, and there’s only one option for Saturday evening (Bank of the Damned). I’m torn for Saturday morning. I’ve wanted to play a LARP by the author of The System is Down for a while, but I’m also terribly curious to see how religion is treated as a subject in The Worst Story Ever Told. (Though I confess I’m a bit pessimistic about whether or not the players will be respectful.)
At any rate, to encourage people to come join us and help people decide what to play, I’m going to provide reviews of the LARPs I have played in the past.
Cracks in the Orb is “a game of manners, romance, and military maneuvers for 20 players in the world of Steven Brust’s Dragaera novels, at the intersection of a society event and an ongoing rebellion.” I played it not too long ago at SLAW. My original review is here, but to sum up: it’s densely plotted with a lot of exciting romance and intrigue, with a lot of fun mechanics for dancing, scandals, honor, fighting the rebels, and more. I’ve also heard that there are a couple new characters and even more plot added to other characters.
There’s more information on the LARP’s website, here.
Colonel Sebastian T. Rawhide’s Circus of the Spectacular I played years ago at RPI. It’s kind of got a reputation as one of the “classic” LARPs. As it says in the blurb, it’s a “melodramatic LARP set in the golden age of the circus”. People have referred to its genre as “Something Strange is Going On,” but I find that term very misleading because people use it to imply other things. I like to call the genre “anything goes” or “kitchen sink”- meaning you can expect anything from fairies to robots to vampires to time travelers. The Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste is often considered another “classic” from this genre.
Rawhide‘s characters are very colorful (how can they not be when it’s set at a circus?) Also, players can actually perform as their characters- so if you want to sing or dance or make balloon animals or juggle, you’ll get the chance. (Though you definitely don’t have to!)
So… here’s the honest truth… I didn’t feel like I had quite enough to do during the LARP, and occasionally when I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, I went to the bathroom and applied more tattoos. I think some of the characters are more densely plotted than others. However, I will add that one of my plots got completely forgotten for no real reason, I did enjoy watching the performances, and everyone else who has played it said they had a good time.
Plan 8 from Outer Space is a comical sci-fi LARP where 8 players sit at a stereotypical business meeting and yell at one another and argue over whose fault their various disastrous plans to make contact with earthlings were. I played Sandira, the angry feminist head of marketing, and laughed a lot during this LARP.
Lastly, I played Tryst at a previous weekend of minigames at RPI. It’s a very unusual LARP- highly conceptual, neither dark nor silly. It has a very simple structure, sparse character sheets and basic goals. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it- it creates a very neat social puzzle.
Sign-ups for Dice Bubble are this Friday (Jan. 11th) at 7pm. And it’s free! So come join us! Sign up here.