A retrospective of the LARP in my life in 2013.
LARPs Played: Over 2013, I played in/GMed/NPCed in 43 LARPs, a record for me. My first LARP of 2013 was the premier event of To Be Continued, a campaign theater LARP in which I play Arya Stark. (TBC is my first campaign theater LARP). The last was Izgon 2, an international two week LARP based out of Croatia. My autumn was particularly busy, with a LARP event almost every weekend for most of it. Sadly, there were no weekend-long theater LARPs for me this year.
Events: At Intercon M, I was in eight LARPs in one weekend (also a new record for me). I also attended SLAW at WPI, Dia de los Sobres, both Time Bubble and Dice Bubble at RPI, and Festival of the LARPs (Triskaidekafestival) at Brandeis University. There was also a day of LARPing dubbed “The Devil Comes of Age” during the summer, and the second annual NELCO (New England LARP Conference). I also attended a book reading at a cafe/bookstore for books on LARPs.
Boffer: I was involved in nine boffer events this year, PCing in Cottington Woods as Quill, and NPCing for Shadows of Amun and Clockwork Skies. I also both PCed and NPCed at the last Endgame event. And I crafted my first boffer item – a gigantic shield for Quill.
Contributions: Still haven’t really contributed anything on the writing side of things, which I consider my biggest failure in LARPing. I am still organizing Intercon’s raffle and making the posters that go up around the hotel. I also made props and set dressing for multiple runs of Devil to Pay, the pirate LARP, and made a few very simple costumes to donate to Cottington Woods. I also sat on a few panels at NELCO.
Travel/Other Communities: Like last year, I didn’t travel much or get very far. The farthest I traveled for LARPS was New York City (about a four hour car ride from Boston). I also was in Troy, NY twice for two weekends of theater LARPs, Dice Bubble and Time Bubble, at RPI. I’m proud of making the two New York City trips work out — both were more or less impromptu road trips for LARPing. The second was for Izgon 2, which put me in contact with a bunch of European LARPers and a few in different parts of the US. And that was awesome.
I’m also quite happy that I’ve gotten to know the HRSFA crowd much better this year (that’s Harvard’s sci-fi club), through Be Not Afraid at Vericon, Ex Ignorantia, Soul of the World (the first New York City trip), and aGMing and NPCing a run of Devil to Pay. My ultimate goal is for people to start confusing me for one of them.
Blogging: 98 posts in 2013. I broke my old record for hits in one day with my post on collecting and distributing treasure in LARP (pretty much thanks to Ivan Zalac of Crolarper sharing a link). But I think the post that generated the most discussion was my post on the TLC documentary.
Costuming and Other LARP Art Projects: Of the various costumes I created this year, I think the most popular was my pirate coat for Devil to Pay, which my mother and I made with an altered Simplicity pattern. At some point I developed an obsession with European folk wear and used it as inspiration for my Quill-actually-dressed-as-a-doll costume. Other costumes included a Jedi in disguise, a Roman slave, an Egyptian pharaoh, and a WWI-era British soldier. I also tried out incorporating manicures and customized scents into my costumes for the first time in 2013.
A few of my smaller art projects were set dressing for Devil to Pay. Most were for Cottington Woods, whether it was updating and improving my costume, producing in-game art for the Summer Fair and Halloween-themed events, or just maintaining my in-game illuminated journal. I think my photo shoot back in snowy March was one of my favorite projects of the year. Just sitting here going through photos of all my various LARP related art project of the year makes me smile. I used to be far more into art when I was younger, and LARP provides me with encouragement to get back into some of my favorite old hobbies, whether it’s drawing or painting or calligraphy or sewing or just cutting and gluing and making a mess.
Other: I found a casual belly dance class with a cool group of gals, some of whom are LARPers, and (I believe) all of whom are SCAdians. I think belly dancing is a form of dancing that could really come in handing for LARP, and it sort of did at a one day Shadows of Amun in which I NPCed as a Dom. I haven’t managed to attend a class these past few months, but they happen on a weekly basis, so I expect to pick it right back up in January. I’m still very much a beginner, but it’s fun to do and is likely to be useful again for Shadows of Amun and other LARPs.
Last year, I wrote up some LARP related resolutions, and I managed to accomplish a few. I took dance classes, made a few costumes on my own, sat on a few panels, kept my PC at CP cap and submitted all PELs on time. And kept up this blog.
For next year, my LARPing resolutions are more or less the same — continue to improve my dancing and costuming skills, contribute more to Intercon, travel farther to LARPs and experience other communities, keep Quill at the CP cap and be punctual with my PELs and questionnaires. I also still have the same not-this-year-but-someday resolutions of LARPing in other countries and maybe, just maybe, some day running for con chair of Intercon. And most importantly, I still want to actually write a LARP. While at a New Year’s party, a LARP writer mentioned that after attending the panel on religion in LARP, he’d like to have me on his writing team, which really made my day to hear. Maybe 2014 is the year.
And a look forward into 2014…
Intercon, which falls at the very end of February, is much sooner than I realized. I’ve received three casting questionnaires so far, and I’m already quite excited for costuming, especially for Dragon Palace (a Heian period fantasy) and Cirque du Fae (a LARP featuring a circus at the turn of the century). I’ve got a couple panels bid for PreCon — still waiting to hear if any end will up on the schedule.
In addition to Intercon, there’s another event of To Be Continued, the theater campaign in which I play Arya Stark, coming up, and Cottington Woods has made noises about possibly running a low key mid-winter one-day event. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll happen. There’s also a weekend LARP in Maine I’ve been eyeballing that is much more expensive than any other LARP event I’ve been to, running at a hunting lodge in Maine.
In terms of LARP related events that aren’t actually LARP, there’s a conference in New York I’m hoping to attend, and a Spar-b-q and a LARP forum that are both happening the same night. Tough choice. I may try to catch some of both if I can.
And on top of all that, I’ve got a few projects on the back burner — finishing painting my shield and decorating my sword for Cottington Woods, as well as updating and improving the costume (e.g. remaking the scarf for the third time, fixing or remaking the wind-up key, possibly making some formal robes for a ceremony, plus a few other miscellaneous small things.
2013 was pretty awesome and busy for me in terms of LARPing. Here’s to 2014, and more of all that!