It’s somewhat ridiculous, but I don’t know why I didn’t think to use this title for my previous New Year retrospective posts.
LARP Count Over 2016, I participated in 41 LARP events as a PC, NPC, or GM.
I played in two weekend theater LARPs at RPI, Operation: Atlantis and Siege of Troy. I played my first weekend long one-shot boffer LARP (Sunadokei) and went on road trips to NYC to LARP with the NYC/HRSFA crowd a few times. I both played and briefly NPCed in New World Magischola, my first blockbuster-style LARP (or showcase LARP, or tourism LARP, or whatever you’d like to call it.)
I GMed a few times, which is unusual for me, including running Mary Celeste to try and draw some in newbies at Brandeis University, and this was the first year I’ve ever GMed by myself, for a few simple games at Festival and SLAW.
Events I attended Intercon P, Festival of the LARPs, Time Bubble, and SLAW, and NELCO. I also attended some “floon” (excitement over a LARP) parties, a few boffer practices, a day of painting dungeon wall tarps for a new campaign, and worked as an extra on the set of a procedural tv show when a call went out for LARPers and cosplayers to appear in costume.
Campaigns The first LARP I ever PCed from start to finish, Cottington Woods, came to a close over the summer, which was bittersweet. I will very much miss my character, Quill the wind-up doll. (There will be one-off two day events set in the same world running in the future, though I don’t know if I’ll be PCing them, or, if I do, if I will reprise my porcelain doll.) I NPCed for the conclusion of Shadows of Amun and the opening of Madrigal 3. I PCed in Fifth Gate: Silverfire, and NPCed for Fifth Gate: Wrathborn. I would categorize New World Magischola as a series, rather a campaign, but I PCed twice and briefly NPCed for their fourth summer weekend.
Contributions In 2016, I started another two year term as a board member of NEIL, and I became proposal committee chair for Intercon Q. (I’m also still raffle coordinator and player liaison.) I was on the hotel search committee and general staff for NELCO and helped run and/or sat on a few panels, workshops, and discussions at PreCon and NELCO. I was also an editor for Game Wrap, which put out its first issue in 2016. I guess painting the wall tarps for Madrigal goes here, too, as does the crafting I did for Devil to Pay set dressing (new East India Trading Co. crates and fixing up the pirate flags) before Intercon P.
Still haven’t written a LARP, though.
Travel/Other Communities For New World Magischola, I found myself at the beautiful campus of the University of Richmond in Virginia, then for their Yule event, at a lodge not far from Cleveland, Ohio, which I think is the farthest I’ve ever traveled for the express purpose of LARPing. I met a lot of cool people, many of whom come from other LARPing communities (like MET or Bicolline) and lots of whom were totally new to the hobby (and are now hooked!) I also made a couple of road trips to NYC for theater LARPs. And I PCed for a weekend with Source LARP, Inc. in Pennsylvania when I played Sunadokei. I can’t wait to LARP more with all of these communities.
Blogging Despite last year’s resolution to write more blog posts in 2016 than I did in 2015, (and focus more on other posts like LARP craft and theory, LARP in the media, and LARPing communities,) my post number went down from 55 to 30, and my number of views and visitors dipped as a result, but… views per post have gone up, so it’s not as bad as it could be. I’ve been trying to stay active on twitter, as that’s the account with the most followers, and I finally gave instagram a try, though I’m not sure what it is I want to get out it as a social media platform.
I was also invited to be a guest on an episode of a LARPing podcast called Larpcast, which was really cool. So was hearing from the British team of writers behind Siege of Troy and reading their comments on my posts about that game.
Costuming and Other LARP Related Art Projects I don’t know if my sewing skills have improved per se, but maybe they’ve diversified a little. I worked with fake fur this year, making a muppet hood and (two-legged) centaur pants, and I’d never really done much serious sewing with it before that. I picked up some useful techniques for working with fur and minimizing the incredible mess it can create.
At the very least, I seem to be getting better at sewing hakama, which I made both for Fifth Gate and Sunadokei. And I made a black velvet with silver sparkles gown that I feel proud of, despite its simplicity. But I think the costuming I’m most proud of this year was the additions to Cricket’s raiment… which wasn’t strictly necessary, but when I see pretty fabric that suits this character, it’s very hard to resist. (One of my New Year resolutions should be “no more diva characters after Fifth Gate“.) I still haven’t taken any decent photos of the new pieces… I will try to get some at the next event in January. But in the meantime, here are some selfies. The Japanese blue haori fabric with the koi print is (sadly, not very visible here), in my opinion, the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever worked with.
Outside of sewing, one of my larger, ongoing costuming projects was for New World Magischola. My character in her initial form read like a cliche hipster to me, so I put a lot of time and effort into figuring out hipster fashion and trying to mimic it. At first, I admit, I was developing my character into a critique of hipster culture… but then I played Mickey Duggan at my first NWM event and developed a fondness for her I hadn’t expected. As Mickey quickly became about embracing hipster culture, I developed a strong taste, out-of-game, for hipster fashion, and so have been incorporating it into my closet outside of LARP. (I’m dubbing this “fashion bleed.”)
On Resolutions My first resolution, foremost in mind because I know I failed at it in 2016, is to write more posts than I did last year. (Which is now a fairly low bar.) Specifically, I want to catch up on NELCO and Intercon posts, and post about the handful of LARPs at the end of the year that still have partial drafts waiting to be finished. (Two NYC theater LARPs, the Brandeis run of Mary Celeste, NWM Yuletide, and SLAW.) In theory, I’d love to get that all done before Intercon Q, so hopefully my rate of posts will be high over the next month and a half. And then after that (and after posting about Intercon Q in a timely manner, of course…) get back to a regular schedule of posting, and remember to write about general topics in LARP, not just post-event summaries.
As per usual, I want to continue to improve and/or expand my sewing and crafting skills for costuming and props. I want to continue to contribute to the local LARPing communities however I can. For example, on top of NEIL projects, this year, I’m coordinating Festival of the LARPs 2017, so hopefully that will go smoothly. I’m going to try to get in more boffer practices, and continue to take dance lessons.
I resolve to continue to send in my PELs and BESs and casting questionnaires on time and thanking GMs after every LARP I play, whether it’s in person, in PELs, or by email. (…I might have slipped on these last few once or twice over 2016.)
I still want to travel even farther for LARP, maybe finally internationally, but I think so long as I embrace the opportunities that arise to interact with new communities of LARPers, I’ll consider this resolution fulfilled.
Besides, someday I’ll fulfil my dream of LARPing with the kiwis in New Zealand, and then I’ll have literally traveled about as far as physically possible for LARP (at least, until the day a LARPing colony is established on Mars.)
…And a Look Forward into 2017…
January already has some events scheduled. There’s a NEIL meeting on the 8th, at which we’ll be electing the con chair for Intercon R.
I’m really looking forward to the capstone event for Fifth Gate, where the Champions of Silverfire and the Survivors of Wrathborn will once again come together. There’s also Dice Bubble 2017, a Crossover RP event at Camelot, and a short theater LARP in NYC.
February is also going to be exciting, between Intercon Q (just received my first casting questionnaire!) and Fifth Gate‘s dinner event, which will involve a masquerade ball. I’ve already begun working on Cricket’s finery (more evidence of this character’s diva nature): I have a basic design, multiple patterns, and have cut out the pieces for the top. The fabric I bought is so pretty that I’ve been afraid to make the first cut, but the time for that is over. I don’t want to be rushing last minute, and I’ve been gifted new sewing equipment that I’m really excited to use.
On top of the masquerade attire, I have a handful of other projects already on my plate for 2017, even though my Intercon schedule indicates I might not have to do any costuming for it this year. (That’s a first for me.) I’m working on banners for Kingsword, Lovers and Madmen’s latest LARP, debuting at Intercon Q, and I have materials for a new pair of pajamas for Cricket for the winter events (sushi print flannel! I couldn’t resist!) and a fleece bolero for my AI character in Threshold, a cyberpunk campaign I’ll be starting this year. (I’m so excited for Threshold.)
That should keep me busy through to March, at which point I’ll be hip-deep in preparations for Festival of the LARPs, and then NELCO after that.
So those are my resolutions and initial plans for 2017! How about you?
Wishing you a 2017 full of exciting and fun LARPing!