Be Excited

The first round of sign-ups for Intercon N (the all-LARP convention) open tomorrow at 7pm EST. I see the schedule is continuing to expand, which is fantastic. (I think we’re up to… around 65 games?) My general game plan remains the same.

I’m not quite sure why, but I just love reading about people musing over the options. It’s a fun time to be keeping an eye on the Intercon-related groups of various forms of social media. I wanted to mention a particular game that only just popped up on the schedule; one I suspect many Interconners haven’t heard of. (As far as I know, I may be the only non-HRSFA LARPer to have played in it so far.)

Be Not Afraid is running on Friday evening. I played this LARP at the last Vericon (Harvard University’s geek convention) and had a great time. Before I saw the schedule fill with games I really wanted to play, I was musing over the possibility that one slot may have nothing that spoke to me in particular, so maybe I’d ask for permission to run it.

Be Not Afraid is about the angels being exiled from heaven some time before the Apocalypse, and along with two human candidates and two ambassadors from Hell, determining the course of their future — what their existence will look like, what purpose they will serve, what role they will take, etc.

You can read the blurb here. I tend to be very critical of blurbs, but I think this one does a good job of presenting the sort of atmosphere this LARP creates.

What struck me about this LARP was that while I think that it qualifies as what people commonly refer to as “mechanics heavy” — there is a significant resource managing system for characters to achieve their various goals — it can easily be enjoyed by people who prefer to avoid mechanics altogether. I personally failed to accomplish most of the projects of my character, Michael the Archangel, though I never felt like a failure and the very nature of our situation and relationships provided more than enough fodder to keep me busy for the entirety of the LARP. The characters are entirely divorced from human experience (arguably, even the two humans are more than human, they’re candidates for the next messiah, after all) — they’re alien figures who only just recently took on more humanoid forms and aren’t used to it yet — so it’s a very particular form of immersion. Not the form of immersion where the character is very familiar and relatable, so you can easily draw on personal experience to fall into it, but the form of immersion where… I’m not sure how to describe it. But the characters are very complete (I particularly liked the section that described the various nuanced relationships they have with one another.)

Incidentally, if you’re into costuming, I rather liked the costuming guidelines. There’s no wrong way to interpret one’s character’s dress, and how much it resembles any particular human fashion is up to the players. Some players showed up in formal attire, some in suits, some in exotic looking garb, one showed up in white with bloodstained bandages around her eyes and bloody stains on both hands… Ok, I wouldn’t recommend showing up in a t-shirt and jeans (though I could see one making the argument that one or two of the angels might have picked up the most casual and common of mortal styles) — that might decrease the gravity of the LARP, but there’s room to get very creative if you want, and room to just use what’s in your closet if you don’t.


My own costume as Michael was pulled together from my own mundane and costuming wardrobes, so it’s not as expressive as it might have been, had I had more free time between casting and playing. I file this under one of my “costuming regrets” — a list of LARPs where I wish I’d taken the opportunity to do more with my costume. My biggest costuming regret, by the way, was when I was cast as the personification of Chaos and didn’t quite understand my costuming hint. This was at my first Intercon, I believe, and oh, just thinking about this missed opportunity really bums me out.

Can you tell costuming matters to me.

For more details on my experience playing Be Not Afraid, my original post-event report is here. Feel free to send me any questions about my thoughts; I’ll do my best to answer before 7pm tomorrow. I recommend Interconners check out the blurb, even if they feel as though they’ve already settled their sign-up plans.

And be excited! Intercon sign-ups are nearly here!


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 Be Excited

  1. Alon Levy says:

    Okay, third person who raves about BNA. Why are there four LARPs I’m really interested in all in the same slot?

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