It’s kind of hard to believe Cottington Woods is nearly half over. Feels like it just started. But the Summer One Day coming up in July will be the half way point for the campaign. It’s a bit early to be looking into LARPs to PC when Cottington Woods is done, but a few LARPs have been producing teaser content, and people are chatting about them. And whatever I end up playing, I’d really like to get in on the ground floor.
A few friends of mine have been playing LARPs as far away as Virginia. I’m very open to experiencing other LARP communities, but I do think for PCing a campaign, I should probably stick to New England. I’d hate for travel difficulties to be the reason I miss events. And there are three local campaigns currently on my radar.
One is Crossover, a LARP by the writers who ran Endgame. I PCed a few events of Endgame and NPCed once. Never quite got into it because I joined much too late, but a number of my friends played all the way through and really enjoyed it. All I know so far is that it will involve characters from the real world getting into a fantasy realm, not unlike the Pevensies did in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series. There’s a bit of teaser content online, but it doesn’t reveal too much beyond that just yet. It’s tentatively scheduled to start in 2016, after the end of Cottington.
Another is The 5th Gate, which is scheduled to start in 2015. The novelty of the proposed structure for the LARP has a great deal of appeal for me. There are two settings within in the LARP, one sort of classic fantasy, and one post-apocalyptic (with heavy steampunk and fantasy elements), and players can choose which of the two to play in (but not both.) The staff is planning five events per year. two in each setting, and one where the two settings come together. I think this idea has a great deal of potential, and I love the idea of experimenting by breaking some of the standard assumptions of the structure of a typical campaign.
There are already the beginnings of player’s guides on the website, which detail the flavor of the various organizations characters can belong to. Initially, I assumed the classic fantasy would appeal to me more, but both settings have a lot of really appealing concepts within them, and I think I could be very happy playing either one. Which is good, because if I do PC this LARP, I expect I’ll want to join whichever setting has more of my friends playing and/or whichever has fewer PCs.
The only thing that makes me hesitate is that the listed organizations for both settings that serve as the basis for character builds seem exclusively militaristic. All seem to have one sub-group of healers, and a few have spellcasting classes that aren’t described as specifically offensive or defensive spell-casting, but they’re all still part of militaristic structures. I’m keeping an eye out for more content for the setting to get a better idea of what kind of things we can work into character histories, and what PCs will be doing in-game.
As a side note, one of the writers is a player in my monthly tabletop RPG, and he’s a cool guy whose LARPcraft skills were once praised on the LARPCast podcast.
The third LARP that is currently in development is Keystone, an alternative history, weird west LARP. There’s a lot of interesting stuff to read regarding inspiration for content and the staff’s policies on running LARPs on the facebook group. This is a not an Accelerant LARP, which I think could be a very good thing for me. At some point I’ve got to give some boffer system other than Accelerant a serious try, right? (Not sure how CP will work out, though.) It looks like the writers are putting a lot of hard work into developing the setting. Weird west is not my favorite genre, but I have had fun in western theater LARPs and a weird west tabletop RPG called Deadlands. I’m trying to imagine what sort of character I might play, and I’m having difficulty coming up with any concepts that appeal to me other than a Native American character. Which is an option in Keystone, but I do think I shouldn’t be mentally restricting myself quite this early. It might have something to do with the fact that thus far, I’ve only ever played Native Americans and, ahem, saloon gals, in Western LARPs, and I doubt I’ll want to play the same particular sort of a saloon gal in a campaign.
Anyone have any thoughts on which of these LARPs they might play or NPC? Anyone know of any other LARPs starting up in the New England area in 2015 or 2016? I think Arcane is starting up this fall…