While I was at the last event of the year for Cottington Woods, a weekend long theater style LARP, Lace and Steel, was running at RPI. What a shame I couldn’t be in both places at once.
I heard very good things about Lace and Steel. I really hope it (or one of its sequels, maybe?) runs again. If anyone has any pictures from this past run, I’d love to see them!
One quick thing I wanted to share — a friend of mine was cast as a noble lady well known for running exclusive salons with certain reputations to which all the nobles wanted invitations.
Salons and other in-game parties at these sorts of weekend theater LARPs are frequently not particularly notable (most people either didn’t bother attending or weren’t aware they were going on in King’s Musketeers because there was nothing like music or refreshments or much of anything beyond a reading of a poem or two to distinguish them from the rest of the game.)
But my friend is the sort who loves hosting in real life, so she took this goal quite seriously. She was told the invitations she’d be given to hang out were just plain words printed on plain paper, so she designed her own invitations and had them printed at her local staples.
I went with her to Michael’s (a chain of arts and crafts stores) to get some supplies, and she put together a board to put outside of the salon’s room to drum up interest and make the salon seem a bit fancier. She took one of those display boards that people use at fairs and exposes and covered it with silver wrapping paper. Then she wrote out a welcome and decorated the board with markers and scrap booking paper.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to drum up any pictures of the actual salon itself (or anything else from the LARP.) But I did hear ideas bandied about for music, providing more comfortable seating, and refreshments. The salon was set to run in a classroom, so it would have had only desks and chairs and blackboards if anyone else had been cast as the salon hostess. But with said friend in charge, I’m pretty certain there was something to provide a more comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Probably sheets to drape over furniture, possible pillows and rugs as well. (I suspect a lot of it was taken from the boxes of set dressing for Stars of Al-Ashtara, an Arabian Nights themed LARP she co-wrote.) And having been to a number of her parties, I know how much she loves to put out spreads of refreshments on pretty serving pieces, with unbelievable homemade deserts. I don’t know the details of the refreshments she provided for this in-game salon, but I’m pretty sure a chocolate fountain was involved.
I hear her salons were quite successful and well attended. To me, this is rather inspiring — players being given a simple in-game role, which they then take and run with to make it special and make it their own. It’s inspiration for finding my own ways to contribute to a LARP’s atmosphere.