This past weekend, I took the bus to Troy, NY, for Dice Bubble, RPI’s weekend of theater LARPs.
On Friday night, I played in Cracks in the Orb, the political fantasy LARP based in Steve Brust’s Dragaera novels. I’ve played in this LARP once before, at WPI’s SLAW (pretty much the same thing as Dice Bubble, but at a different tech school.) However, there was a last minute drop, so someone was needed to fill in. I’m glad I got to do it- I had fun. Fortunately, the part I was given wasn’t terribly tied in to any of the plots I previously engaged with, so being spoiled wasn’t a major issue. There were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if my character would have figured something out if I hadn’t already played through the LARP, but nothing major for my character, so it wasn’t a big deal. The run ended very differently from my previous run.
Saturday morning, I played in the alpha run of The Worst Story Ever Told, a biblical fantasy LARP set in Jerusalem, a few years after the crucifixion of Jesus. Honestly, I was expecting some amount of disrespect towards religion, both from the writer and players, but it actually wasn’t bad. It wasn’t a goofy LARP, nor was it particularly dark or serious. Pretty standard, actually. I had a good time, and liked my casting a lot.
I will say it was the first time I ever had my character literally crucified in a LARP. (I’m not terribly keen on repeating that.)
Saturday afternoon, I nearly stepped in to yet another LARP that I’ve already played to fill in for a last minute drop. But the LARPer cast as the bearded lady in Colonel Sebastian T. Rawhide’s Circus of the Spectacular did turn up. So I wound up taking a nap on the little landing halfway up the stairs. I woke up to find an unfamiliar prop dagger in my hands. The knife-thrower refused to admit it was him, but seeing as how he had a large number of identical daggers on his belt, I didn’t feel I was being unfair by doubting him.
Just before nodding off, I picked up a copy of RPI’s newspaper and solved the Cryptogram in just a few seconds without lifting a pen. Just by looking at it. I know, that has nothing to do with LARPing, but I was rather proud of myself, so I’m shamelessly mentioning it here anyway.
Saturday night, I played in the first run of Bank of the Damned. It was a surreal LARP of two halves- one half involved a group of people waking up in a system of tunnels with amnesia, the other… I don’t know. Something to do with the world’s weirdest bank. I sat through the whole game wrap and still can’t really figure out what kind of crazy shenanigans were going on with the rest of the LARP. Suffice to say there were all kinds of crazy characters and plots I never really understood. I was mostly involved in a romance plot that slowly unveiled itself as we got to read more and more memories… and in contrast to the wacky chaos going on around us, its conclusion was rather beautifully tragic.
Sunday morning, I played in The Devil’s Brood, the LARP based on A Lion in Winter. I’d been waiting for this one for awhile. But honestly, it fell kinda flat. I don’t think it was the LARP itself; I think it was the wrong time, wrong place, and wrong people. First, we got our characters very last minute. (I received my casting and character sheets some time on Saturday.) Then, when I arrived on Sunday, the GM was feeling rather ill and some of the players were considering a “mutiny”. One of the players ended up GMing and being replaced by another person hanging out at the con. I think people were pretty tired (some of the players had been up crazy hours the past two nights). The room we got was a standard classroom, and not really conducive to getting into character, nor was it conducive to sneaking around and quietly conspiring with one another. Honestly, if I had the right environment, I’d kind of like to try it again, after handpicking the sort of LARPers who would really enjoy a lot of political intrigue, subtle emotional manipulation and screwy family dynamics with very little in terms of mechanics.
Overall, I had a fantastic weekend. The best part? I met a bunch of cool new LARPers who seemed to be really enjoying themselves, and that always makes me very happy. I really hope I see them again at Festival of the LARPs and other upcoming events. We always need new LARPers.