NELCO 2013 Post Event Report

This past weekend was the second annual New England LARP Conference, or NELCO. It’s a fairly low-key conference, generally consisting of a Friday night and Saturday of two tracks of panels, a track of workshops, and a Build Your Own Game project in which attendees (especially those new to writing) write a short theater style LARP over the course of the weekend. The Sundays of NELCO have so far consisted of the maiden run of the new LARP produced by the BYOG project.

I thought last year’s NELCO was quite a success, so I expected this year to be bigger. To my surprise, it actually turned out to be about the same size, which means we still didn’t break even. But NEIL’s funds from running Intercon help cover the cost, and I think NELCO provides a very valuable service to the Intercon community by strengthening the community between events, providing inspiration and guidance for playing, running, and writing new LARPs (and editing old ones), and even producing a new LARP that’s generally fairly easy to run.

I was scheduled to be on three panels, though I sort of wound up on a fourth. (More on that later.) For a few slots, I dithered about which of the panels and workshops to attend- wish I could see them all!- but I avoided the mistake I made at the last PreCon, which was switching between the panels half way through in attempt to catch at least some of them all.

Here is the list of panels I ended up on or listening to:


Writing as a Team- Dividing the Work

Writing Political Plot

Quick Costuming

Designing Interesting Boffer Modules

Designing Non-Physical Mechanics

Writing Compelling Stories for Boffer Events

Giving Players What They Want

Blogging LARP

Writing and LARP-Writing

Romance in LARPs

Religion in LARPs

And lastly, on Sunday, I played in The Night Queen Princess Fluffykins Died, a silly LARP about a neighborhood of cats, entirely written over this one weekend by the BYOG group.

In between and after events, before going to bed, I hung around in our little con suite, sitting around a conference table, munching on animal crackers, and discussing LARP theory and LARP craft with a group of great people all excited enough about the topic to gather in a hotel with like-minded individuals.

…I love this community.

I’m working on posts sharing my thoughts on each of the panels and Princess Fluffykins. Those should be posted over the next week or so. If anyone else has any notes or thoughts to share on any of the panels they went to, or thoughts on the event itself, please share! I’m very curious to know what everyone’s impressions of NELCO 2013 are.


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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11 Responses to NELCO 2013 Post Event Report

  1. You should know I’m constantly refreshing the page, hoping to see your recaps 🙂 (As I have finally posted mine, I feel justified in being bossy about this 😉 )

  2. Stephen Kohler says:

    I….may be doing the same thing.

  3. Alon Levy says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Princess Fluffykins. I’m considering posting my reactions to the process… somewhere. Certainly not on my blog, though.

    Because I did BYOG, I didn’t get to see many panels. I went to the panel about LARP Writing 101, and ducked out in the middle of writing to go to the non-physical mechanics workshop, but missed a lot of panels I would’ve liked to go to.

    At least I’ve made up for my BYOG-induced sleep debt.

    • Fair Escape says:

      Glad you’ve made up your sleep debt, the BYOG sounds like a really intense process. Wherever you end up posting it (or not posting it) I’d love to read your reactions to the process and what little of the panels you caught.

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