I took a trip to Troy, NY this past Saturday night to catch the tail end of Time Bubble 2014. Even though I had to miss all of the LARPing on Friday and Saturday, I wanted to catch up with some of the RPI LARPers I hadn’t seen in awhile, and play a Sunday LARP while I was there.
I arrived just as the party for Foam Brain Productions’ 10th Anniversary was ending. A few Time Bubblicans told me about how the panel on running LARPs, combined with a run of 10 Bad LARPs, was canceled (food poisoning was to blame), which is such a shame, but I hope Dice/Time Bubble will try panels again in the future. On the bright side, some new LARPs seemed to have positive first runs, and the repeats of some older games went well. (Maybe I’ll catch a future run of Pokemon: Research Under Review and put my pikachu sweatshirt to good use.)
On Sunday, I played Tin Girl in Sidekicks Anonymous, a superhero themed LARP written in Ireland (and edited by the lead GM here in the US). Costuming was last minute, so it was mostly pulled from my closet. I yanked out some black items and wore an R2-D2 top over it (the most robotic-looking thing I own), and paired it with pink contact lenses, silver nail polish, and silver face paint (which very quickly wore off and left nothing but sparkles in its wake.) I also wore a cyberlocks headband with little blinking lights from the Halloween section in CVS. (I’d love to try making a set of cyberlocks some time.)
Sidekicks Anonymous is a light-hearted LARP centered around some junior superheros after the world’s greatest heroes have disappeared. Many of the PCs and NPCs are affectionate references to popular Marvel and DC characters. The LARP features a lot of fun characterization and plays around with classic comic book tropes. We got into all kinds of shenanigans and ultimately saved the world from certain disasters, while other impending disasters were left unsolved. We ended on a classic comic book cliffhanger. “To be continued!”
There was a bit of a bottle neck around the GMs, as most of the superpower mechanics had to go through them (this is not terribly uncommon for superhero themed LARPs), but I made use of the waiting time. Whenever I was waiting for a GM to use my special abilities, I played an instrumental version of “The Girl from Ipanema” on my phone and sat perfectly still, like I had placed the other characters on hold. I think a few other players got a laugh out of it.
(If you’re not familiar with the song, “The Girl from Ipanema,” it’s a musical trope, commonly used as elevator music or hold music. Try clicking on the link and closing your eyes. Do you suddenly feel like you’re in an elevator?)
Once again, the LARPing crowd at RPI impressed me with how well they recruit new LARPers. I spotted a number of new faces and a few who had been new at the last Dice Bubble, last February. I’m sure a number of them will be playing Game of Empires, the weekend LARP Lime Shirts is running this November. (Which is still open for sign ups, by the way.)
On my way out of Troy, by the way, my ride and I stopped for some food and the waitress addressed me as Tin Girl. I was rather shocked until I remembered I was still wearing my name tag.