Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Origins Recap

Last weekend, I got to do some serious gaming at the Origins Game Fair. Since I write about LARP for a gaming website, I figured I'd get as much LARPing in as possible and get some company names out.

All in all, we participated in 6 LARPs. Belegarth, Amtgard, Amber, 10 Bad LARPs, Rising, and Dark Aeons. Here's what I thought of each.

I felt bad for these guys, because they were put in the back of the board game hall with the NERO Origins Dungeon and were fighting on Concrete. Jenn decided to step up to the plate and do some fighting with these guys, without telling them that she was a LARPer. The plan was to see if they treated women any different than the men - which they did. When she was doing 1-on-1, she was doing a very good job against the guy and he was surprised. Then when her and Tim did 2-on-2, Tim let slip that she played NERO, and the guy's first response was "I thought she was throwing a few too many wrap shots." These guys are a little full of themselves, but honestly they were pretty good about people from other games, and even offered to come and play with us if we ever joined/started an Amtgard group in Cleveland. Props to them.

Amtgard - Kingdom of the Rising Winds
In time between scheduled games, we spent a lot of time swinging foam. Since the Belegarth guys were way out of the way (nice move Origins), we spent more time with the Amtgard guys. It was tons of fun to swing on those guys, and they didn't have anything bad to say about NERO, which is cool. I think they were impressed when they gave Tim and I weapons and we started fighting, and when we did some battlegames with them, I feel like we dished out as much as we took. Good times.

Amber - 5th Wall Gaming
There were a couple of games we played in from the 5th Wall Gaming guys. Amber took place in a shadow world of Amber, so the characters from the book were not from our world. I thought the character generation was interesting, as it started with a player being chosen as a king, and he chose whether he wanted a wife and how many children, each time adding more players. The game was very free-form, which made it rough if you didn't know you could essentially do anything. Tim died on the pattern and then came back as a lizardman to rule Amber. GG.

10 Bad LARPs - 5th Wall Gaming
10 Bad LARPs was probably the most entertaining thing I did all weekend. It was essentially a string of crazy impromptu situations, ranging from "Superbowl: The Musical" to a MetaMetaMeta LARP where everyone was playing someone playing someone else who was pretending to be Martha Stewart. I think all 12 of us had a spectacular time, which is particularly amazing, considering everyone was a boffer LARPer, and we're particular about our games.

Rising - Zombie Buddy Productions
This one was tough. First off, at $18 a person for 2 hours. it was the most expensive LARP we attended. Second off, they didn't have a lot of production value (no real costumes, mostly tarps and boxes in the dark. And finally, they were clearly not amused by the fact we were NERO people. We got a lot of attitude from the game master when we asked questions, even when what was happening was in direct conflict with the rules we were given beforehand. I'll give them credit that their introduction video was entertaining and the puzzles for the engineers throughout the scenario were great, but if you're an experienced boffer LARPer, I would save some some time and money and try something else. I know I will.

Dark Aeons
What LARP package would be complete without some Lovecraftian Horror? We got a chance to play a 5 hour game of Dark Aeons on Saturday night, and I really enjoyed the story that we did. Unfortunately, there was a relatively light showing, which made the game a bit harder to interact with everyone. Tim and I got to play the role reversal of a blackmailer and his bodyguard pretending to be one another, much like the movie Clue. Combat was a little slow, but that could be attributed to the lack of player knowledge of combat mechanics. But it was definitely cool enough that we'd love to take that world and add some boff to it.

So, in summary, 5 games that I had fun with, and one that not only wasn't fun and expensive, but was very opposed to cross gaming. Links to come.

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