A retrospective of the LARP in my life in 2014…
LARP Count: I participated in 32 LARP events over 2014, as either a PC, NPC, or GM. (For this count, I include each individual one shot and each event of a campaign.) These included a wide variety of styles, formats, and genres, from short one shots to weekend longs to full length campaigns, both theater and boffer, from fantasy and sci-fi to serious and down-to-earth, to psychological and emotional surrealism. I NPCed both theater and boffer LARPs, and GMed a couple of theater LARPs.
Events: At Intercon N, I PCed and NPCed in seven LARPs. I attended both Dice Bubble and Time Bubble at RPI, along with SLAW at WPI, and Dia de los Sobres and Festival of the LARPs at Brandeis University. I also attended two large conventions, Origins and Gen Con, and PCed in two LARPs at each. I attended a slew of panels at both PreCon and NELCO. There was also a LARP Forum last January, where I met a number of LARPers from the non-Accelerant boffer communities around New England and learned about some of the amazing local campaigns.
I never quite realized before 2014 just how lucky I am to be living in New England, one of the most active regions in the US for LARPers.
Boffer: This was the second year of the campaign I currently PC, Cottington Woods, the dark fairy tale themed Accelerant LARP. Unfortunately, most of the weekends I would have liked to have NPCed all came up against scheduling conflicts, but I’m really glad I made it to one Shadows event back in April. It was a game changer for that campaign. And I got to experience a new rule system for combat twice, once at a tournament at Origins, and later at a silly dungeon crawl with the Realmsians at WPI.
Contributions: Once again, I’m coordinating the raffle for Intercon, but as of this year, I’m also serving on the NEIL Board (the organization that runs Intercon and NELCO) and Bid Com, the committee that reviews submissions for events at Intercon. I finally served as a main GM for a theater game at Dice Bubble. I also moderated and served as a panelist for few panels at both NELCO and PreCon.
Travel/Other Communities: Sadly, I didn’t attend any LARPs in New York this year, or get to see much of the HRSFA crowd, but I did make it out to Troy, NY twice for Dice and Time Bubble. And I did travel farther for LARP than I ever had before, to attend two enormous conventions in Ohio and Indiana, and play in two LARPs at each. Despite the conventions’ populations numbering in the tens of thousands, the LARPing world revealed itself to be more interconnected than I realized. I met some really cool new people, a few of whom will soon be attending their first Intercon.
Blogging: This is my 60th post for this year, down considerably from 99 posts the year before, but the number of visitors has steadily increased. My most viewed post of the year was the recent linguistics themed post about the capitalization of the word LARP.
Costuming and other LARP Related Art Projects: I have two favorite costuming projects for 2014, both made for Intercon N. The first was my Heian-era inspired fantasy costume for Welcome to the Dragon Palace, as Willow Rabbit, the champion of the Rabbit Lady. The other favorite was my costume for Cirque du Fae, in which I played the strong lady of a dark and mysterious circus. It included a large old fashioned dumbbell prop out of styrofoam. Normally, I have a lot of help with costuming, but these two were the first I sewed entirely on my own.
The other project I’d like to mention would be the doll costume for Cottington Woods, which was updated in several ways and now includes a wind-up key that can actually be turned.
Other: I finally bought a large camping tent, which proved to be a very valuable investment for boffer weekends. I continue to enjoy weekly dance classes, a skill which comes in handy from time to time in LARPs.
On Resolutions: I managed to keep a few of the resolutions I made last year. My sewing skills have improved a little, as have my dancing skills. (I performed with my class for the first time this year.) I’ve contributed a bit more to Intercon and traveled farther to experience other LARP communities. I’ve kept my campaign character at CP cap, and my PELs and questionnaires have all been in on time. On other resolutions, I did less well. I never got any real boffer practice in, I forgot to email thank yous to a few GMs post event, haven’t made it to any LARPs outside of the US, and, probably the biggest miss for me, I still haven’t written any LARPs.
For the new year, I renew my old resolutions: I want to keep going with dance classes and working on sewing skills, use my position on the NEIL board in a meaningful, positive way, continue to contribute to programming for PreCon and NELCO, and keep my campaign characters at CP cap. I think I can keep up with PELs and casting questionnaires being submitted on time. I want to get back into boffer practice, send every staff a thank you email after events, and maybe take a class or two in a new style of historical or ballroom dance. I don’t know if I’ll make it out of the country for LARPing this year, but I hope to travel at least as far as I did in 2014, if not farther. And maybe in 2015, I’ll finally write a theater LARP. My number of posts per month on this blog has dropped a fair bit towards the end of 2014. I don’t want to make volume of posts an important part of keeping a LARP blog — that way leads to a reduction in average quality for the sake of numbers, but I would like to avoid letting the number of posts per month drop any lower for 2015.
I also had a few light-hearted goals written back at the end of 2012 that I haven’t yet managed to fulfill — make use a blood capsule (that shouldn’t be too hard, right?) and find a way to use the Wilhelm in a LARP.
And a look forward into 2015…
My first event of the year is just around the corner. On January 10th, Cottington Woods is holding a winter one-day event that I’m very much looking forward to. My costume for it is well underway. And speaking of Cottington Woods, this is the last of year of this campaign, which is so hard to believe. It feels as though it has just started! It’s so hard to imagine retiring my character, to whom I’ve become more attached than I ever thought I would. TBC, the theater campaign LARP about famous characters at a supernatural school, will also be holding its last event in January.
Dice Bubble is not long after Cottington Woods and TBC, and I’ll need to decide if I’m bidding a LARP for it in the next few days.
Fifth Gate will be holding its first event this upcoming spring, and I’m currently at work fleshing out a backstory for my character for the Silverfire portion of the LARP. I’m both nervous and excited to be trying out a new PC, which I haven’t done in three years.
I think writing these New Year posts is just about the time I suddenly realize how close the next Intercon is… only two months away! I’ve filled out only one casting questionnaire so far. I have already been preparing my Make Your Own Banner Workshop for PreCon. I think Bid Com does not have much left to do. Instead, I’ll be focusing on the raffle over the next two months, in between costuming projects.
In addition to Con Com stuff for Intercon, I’ve also joined the staff for Festival of the LARPs at Brandeis University, as housing coordinator.
Other projects include continuing work on Quill’s doll outfit, and making a costume and an Accelerant-compliant bow for Fifth Gate. And after two years of collecting, I think I’ve finally got enough soda can tabs to make my armor.
Lastly, something that involves the LARP community worldwide: the LARP Census will be closing on January 10th, so if you haven’t filled it out, please check it out and consider doing so! I think it’s a really amazing project and I’m very excited to learn about the results.
So how about you? Any exciting plans for LARPing in 2015? Any resolutions? Please share!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and a 2015 full of LARP!