With Intercon, the all LARPing convention, around the corner (about a month and a half), I realize I’ve overlooked Dice Bubble, RPI’s weekend of theater LARPs, this year running February 14th to the 16th. It’s small and low key, but an important part of the local theater community — out of all the mini conventions I attend (Festival of the LARPs, SLAW, Dia de los Sobres) Dice Bubble seems to be the most successful at bringing in new people to LARP.
The schedule for Dice Bubble 2014 just recently went up. I’ve looked over the schedule, and it seems a bit more sparse than usual. There are eight unique LARPs running. (Two are running twice.) Of them, I’ve played in five — A Fungal Coronation, Skies of Eladria: The Steampunk Game, Status MAGI and Time Travel Review Board.
I’ve been thinking about bidding a game to run, perhaps during the Saturday evening schedule (which has only one LARP running, one of the LARPs I’ve already played.) I’m wracking my brains trying to come up with something with broad appeal that takes minimal prep, but drawing a blank. Triple Blind has been run many times at RPI recently, and I’m not sure it would fill, even with only nine slots. (Last time I played it, we ran it with fewer than nine people — it works, but it’s wacky.) Time Travel Review Board was the other one that came to mind, but that’s already on the schedule. I poked around online for free LARPs, but so far haven’t found anything that jumps out at me. There used to be an online game bank of LARPs, I’m not quite sure what became of it.
In the meantime, in case anyone here is thinking of attending a free weekend of mini-games with the welcoming RPI crowd, here is a brief description of my experiences with some of the LARPs on the schedule.
A Fungal Coronation is a LARP set in the universe of the Super Mario Brothers franchise. It’s a rather cute LARP, I think, that plays with the tropes of video games.
Skies of Eladria: The Steampunk Game, is, as the name suggests, a steampunk LARP that takes place on an airship. This LARP had a lot of fun mechanical systems to play with, including a series of side quests to try. And the item crafting mechanic is really neat — I think perhaps my favorite crafting mechanic ever. (Widgets, or small component items, a represented on index cards, and each has a variety of words written on the bottom of the cards. There are rules for what cards can combine, but if the words on the cards can be combined, one from each, to form a sentence, the machine will perform an action the sentence describes.)
Status MAGI — I played this LARP at Time Bubble, RPI’s weekend of LARPs in the late fall (which I may have confused with Dice Bubble in the past). It’s an urban fantasy LARP that turned out to be a lot more complex than I realized going in to it, with layers of sci-fi built into the setting. I recall there was a minor issue with players teleporting off to go adventuring, which sometimes meant that various characters were unavailable for chunks of time, but I can’t be certain because I never actually engaged with that mechanic. I was too busy at the school. I’m curious to find out if the GMs ended up making changes to the LARP based on our feedback questionnaires.
And lastly, Time Travel Review Board is a hoard LARP I played back in 2009. The premise involves a world in which time travel has been invented, and those who want to use it must petition a governmental committee set up to approve or deny requests. Meanwhile, a timeline is set up across one wall, with GMs adjusting it as the various successful petitioners go back in time and alter the course of history. It was quite amusing and a lot of fun to play. I played the chairwoman of the committee, and I would certainly play it again as a member of the hoard.
The convention is free and the first round of sign ups opens tomorrow, January 14th, at 6:30pm. (The second round is January 15th at 6:30pm, and open sign ups are January 16th at 6:30.) Attendees can request crash space, and if you think you might enjoy running a LARP, they’re still welcoming new bids for LARPs to add to the schedule!