It seems a bit late for Christmas, but one of the local boffer LARPs just held an RP-day event (mostly people hanging out in character, very little to no plot progression, no combat, etc.) to give their characters the chance to celebrate Christmas and share their cultures.
The premise of this boffer LARP, Crossover, involves a Narnia-like fantasy world that normal humans from Earth can find their way to, and PCs can be fantastical natives of Ariath (the Narnia-like world) or humans who found their way there, some of whom are altered by the magic of the world. Players are welcome to create whatever fantasy race they want to play, whether from mythology or their own imagination. The result is a very diverse set of fantastical characters, but simultaneously, a player can play someone who wandered in from Earth and be completely appropriately attired in jeans and a t-shirt if they so choose. I think these combined factors make for a very welcoming game.
I had considered PCing at one point, and I NPCed at the playtest. Crossover events have had long waitlists for every event, which contributed to me nixing the idea of PCing, but I also haven’t yet been back to NPC for various reasons. But this one-day RP event was conveniently located, so I decided to take the opportunity to check out the creative character concepts and wonderful costuming the players had created.
I decided to throw on a last minute costume pulled out of a friends’ closet to help contribute to the atmosphere while setting up Christmas trees, wreaths, and other decorations. Initially, I was just going to be a random elf of Santa’s, but then I threw on a pair of horns and decided I was one of Krampus‘ elves. (Krampus is the demonic contrasting foil for Santa Claus who punishes bad children on Christmas.) I named myself “Sleigh Bell” and spontaneously developed a nasal voice and the personality of a villain from a PG Christmas special. Mildly rude, cranky, and encouraging the PCs to make mischief so that I could rat them out to Krampus.
Sleigh Bell went around with another spontaneously developed character, Aspen the Christmas fawn, who was far more of a PG Christmas special good guy — cheerful, friendly, enamored with Christmas.
I really enjoyed meeting the PCs and admiring the extra touches they brought to this event, whether it was an ugly Christmas sweater, interesting Christmas treats, or gifts to share with everyone present. (Even the cranky little Krampus elf received some chocolate mice from a friendly talking fox.)
I don’t normally do Christmas, but I really enjoyed playing Sleigh Bell and have since found myself doodling up costume designs for them and thinking about ways to incorporate them (or some modified version of them) into future LARP events as a PC or NPC.
The day after, by the way, was a LARP Crafting Day, hosted by two members of the Eyrie. A number of us are working on costuming for the Fifth Gate masquerade coming up in February, along with a few other projects (some but not all LARP related.) It was really nice to get inspired by other people’s progress and get help from much more talented tailors/seamstresses with my costume.
This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but in all my years of sewing, I had never learned to put in a zipper by myself, but yesterday, I was taught how and my new skirt is coming along very nicely! I’m really happy with the fabric, which is a stretch tafetta, the same kind I used for my ballgown for the Cottington Woods fae ball. Taffeta can be a little, I dunno, cheesy looking, but I really like the David Tutera collection at Jo-ann Fabrics, which has a nice weight and almost a glow to it when it catches the light. After choosing the fabric, I discovered the name of the color was “Tempest” and the thread I chose to match it was labeled “Storm Cloud”, which I consider to be an auspicious sign for a Disciple of the Tempest character. Though I admit this doesn’t keep me from feeling a little envious of some of the other beautiful fabrics I saw the others working with, including a pale silver dupioni which is going to make a gorgeous addition to a dress.
In addition to masquerade finery, other projects included costuming for the upcoming cyberpunk LARP Threshold, boffer sword and a new line dance that will be taught at the masquerade.
Also? There were some adorable cats nosing around while we worked. Arts ‘n crafts is somehow more fun with animals in the way.