Odds and Ends

In my rush to get my last post out, I realize I forgot to mention something. There were two mechanics in Be Not Afraid that were both old and new to me that I think were very successful.

The first was the system for intercharacter abilities- meaning, abilities characters used to directly affect one another. We used a very basic call system, not unlike the Accelerant call system. Whenever a character was using an ability on another character, we used specific verbal phrases to indicate that a mechanic was being used- “By the Will of Heaven” or “By the Power of Hell” depending upon the character, followed by a short sentence that made the affect of the ability abundantly clear. For example, a demon might hypothetically say “By the Power of Hell, you will bow before me” and the subject would know that the demon’s ability was compelling them to bow. There were no index cards to flash or read, and almost no clarifications needed, which made the whole system both real-time and quite smooth and in-character, I thought. Appropriately dramatic at the right moments, too. I also particularly liked a lot of the specifics of the abilities, though I won’t go into examples or reasons why here for spoiler reasons. Suffice to say they were flavorful and both appropriate and fun to see in action.

It actually reminded me a bit of some of what was discussed in the Boffer Lessons for Theater post, and I would really love to see more like this in theater LARPs in the future. Though I will say that this setting concept lends itself very well to this sort of thing- LARPs without explicit, public supernatural abilities might make it more difficult.

The other mechanic in Be Not Afraid I rather liked was almost like Ars Amandi, stripped down to its bare bones, for expressing affection. Officially, touching other players wasn’t allowed, except for this mechanic. Players could reach towards one another with both hands to indicate they were making romantic advances on one another, taking the proffered hands indicated reciprocal action. I can’t say for certain if this was as successful (other players are welcome to chime in here if they made use of this mechanic) because I never actually used it. Though I did almost extend my hands towards Barachiel after an epic knock-down, drag-out, moon-shaking, building-breaking brawl in the sky.

Which reminds me- the player who played Barachiel, Angel of Lightning, included a brightly flashing ring worn upside down on one hand, which I thought was a really nice touch. It looked like his palm was crackling with energy.

In entirely unrelated news, Brandeis’ Festival of the LARPs is around the corner. Lovers and Madmen, the GM team of Devil to Pay, a dark pirate LARP, showed me some of the cards for their LARP. There are multiple websites that will let you print business cards for free. Vistaprint, for example, only charges shipping and processing for 100 cards, if you use one of their standard templates. Shipping and processing works out to about the same as a stack of index cards, doesn’t require you to fuss with formatting for printing (or have a printer that can handle it.) The cards end up looking a lot nicer than the standard index card, and are much smaller. Kind of a win all around. So if you have some kind of resource card in your LARP (or any other card that you need many identical copies of)… try business cards! I’ve seen the Pirate Influence resource cards for Devil to Pay. They look nice.

And lastly, also on the topic of Devil to Pay, my costume is finally underway. I’ve had a pinterest board going for inspiration, of course. and finally picked a pattern and found the sort of fabric I want.

This picture doesn’t quite do the fabric colors justice. Actually, I’m using the wrong side of the fabric- it’s upholstery fabric, and the reverse side- the side intended to be seen- is a burgundy design on a gold background… which looks more like it was intended for furniture. I like the gold design on burgundy look better… I just hope it doesn’t look like it’s always inside-out!

The best part about this pattern? Pockets! I love it when costumes have pockets.

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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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2 Responses to Odds and Ends

  1. Warren Tusk says:

    This is, I assume, a deal for 100 *identical* cards? Getting a firm to do nice cheap printing of item cards for LARPs would be amazing, but…well, you saw what the materials for BNA were like.

    Also, well, I’m super glad to hear that those mechanics worked well for you. Given that, y’know, you’ve actually played in boffer LARPs and workshopped Ars Armandi. Neither of which I have done.

    • Brian R. says:

      Yes, identical. The idea is to use them for things like currency or other common fungible resources. It doesn’t work for a suite of varied item cards, unfortunately (Devil to Pay has both some common resources which we’re using business cards for, and some varied and unique items which we print onto mailing labels and stick onto index cards).

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