Going to the Fair

We interrupt you’re regularly scheduled post-NELCO reports to bring you… a post on projects for Cottington Woods.

This weekend is the summer one-day event of Cottington Woods, the  fairy tale themed campaign boffer LARP. A teaser went out for it a little while ago, and I am so very excited. It will be set at the Woodland Fair. There will be bards performing, dancing, art and inventions on display, contests, a hunt, fortune telling, games and tons of food.

And of course, I left everything until the last minute, so today was filled with shopping for food and art supplies, picking up a costume piece, and some last minute projects.

First of all, I’ve been working on a new costume. I figure Quill, my wind-up doll turned priest, might wear something festive besides her usual priestly garb. And what does she own that’s festive? …Well, the closest thing would be whatever she used to wear back when she was literally just a doll. I do have a full outfit for this weekend, though it’s not quite what I had in mind, so I’m sure I’ll continue to work on it after this weekend. Hopefully, there will be future events that will provide excuses to wear this over-the-top dolly outfit. I’ll have a full post on the new costume soon.

Other projects included a cat toy. I bought some felt and made a stuffed mouse, because one of the NPCs is a talking cat. He’s quite enigmatic and plays games of questions with the PCs, and I want my character to give him a little gift. I have no idea if the character will like it, or what the LARPer who plays him will make of it. I just thought Quill might assume a toy is a good way to make someone happy. After all, she used to be a toy herself. The mouse is meant to look very handmade- Quill has no experience with this sort of art. Which is convenient, because making it look very amateur was a lot easier and quicker than trying to make it look more professional.

I also decided I wanted to contribute to the art on display. I figured I’d bring in the picture I drew of Quill a while back. (It will be her self-portrait.) I also tried to draw a picture of a PC of a friend of mine who will not be there.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s the worst picture I’ve ever drawn, but… I’m quite disappointed that it looks nothing like the player. I’ve drawn people before, and while I’m not terribly good at it, usually I can see some resemblance between the picture and the subject. But this one… I don’t see any resemblance at all. It’s too late to start from scratch, so it will have to do. But I sincerely doubt anyone will know that this is a particular PC and not just some random person. I also tried to add in a library background, but it  was awful (and time consuming) so I erased it. Oh, well. I can always try again another time.

The Fair will also have something called a Summer Tree, and each person at the Fair is encouraged to bring some sort of trinket or token to tie to it as a gesture of gratitude to the local woodland fairies. I have some extra wind up keys (I bought a set so I could decorate my character’s in-game journal with one. I will, of course, take it out of the package first.) Since the wind up key has become sort of iconic for my character, I decided it would be a nice thing to hang on the Tree from a ribbon. I also put something together for the absent friend- it’s a square of paper bearing the mark that’s on his forehead.

I also have some new supplies to create some kind of illuminated prayer. I will have to see if I have time for it tomorrow.

Speaking of my absent friend- as exciting as his weekend plans are (he’s at Gen Con, lucky boy), he was still a little disappointed to be missing the Cottington Woods event. His character has strong ties to mine, so I was also rather bummed out when I found out he wouldn’t be there. I was trying to brainstorm some ideas for how we can still make his character’s presence felt at the Fair. I suggested to him that he write my character a letter.

As it turns out, he’d already had that very same idea (and a few others, besides.)

The letter has been sitting next to me for a few days now, and I’m terribly curious to know what he wrote! …But I was forbidden to read it until I was in character at the Fair.

It’s several pages long, too.

I’m excited to be sharing this idea on my blog, because I thought it was a really nifty way to engage with a LARP and your character’s in-game friends when you have to miss an event.

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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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6 Responses to Going to the Fair

  1. Huh. I’m assuming the character in question is Sebastian (or whatever C’s character name is), and I see a resemblance. In fact I looked at it and recognized him!

    Anyway, lots of very cool ideas here. Eager to see your new costume. You people keep making me wish I hadn’t chickened out on playing Cottington… *shakes fist*

  2. eurveinofair says:

    Your costume and makeup were outstanding. I found your character intriguing and hope to be able to make it back to CW for further interaction. Thank you for the recitation of “The Raven”. I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances. I had no idea there was such talent there.

    Nice portrait by the way. I’m not sure who it’s supposed to be (not knowing most of the CW characters) but that is really good art work. Bravo!

    • Fair Escape says:

      Thank you! Costuming is one of my favorite aspects of LARPing, so it really means a lot to me to hear that people liked it. If I’d known that was the contest, I would have recited something more appropriate. Certainly something shorter that wouldn’t have needed to be cut off!

      Thank for the kind words on the portrait, too. It seems a few people did recognize the character even though he wasn’t there, so I’m happy.

      • Rick says:

        I’m really sorry about that. I wish *I* had known that would be the contest. I had a hard fixed departure time of 6:00 pm, come Hell or high water and the late start time really screwed things up badly for the planned Talsyn encounters.

        It came down to scrap the contest, scrap the Muse mod or figure out a way to do them both. I figured out a way on the fly to do them both. People performed admirably given the conditions and I was suitably impressed with all of them. I would have been hard pressed to narrow that down to a top three.

        As I was doing a quick debriefing I gave my feedback to John with a recommended method of determinging a “winner”. Who took it?

        • Fair Escape says:

          We ended up… I think dividing the ribbons equally? I’m honestly not entirely sure, but I think we decided it would be unfair to do it otherwise, because it was hard to compare stories to songs to poems, and people might have picked/performed differently if they’d known. I wasn’t actually competing to win- I’m no bard!- I mostly just wanted to share a lovely Shel Silverstein poem and a very short story another player had written. Somehow I got a ribbon out of it!

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