Friday, July 29, 2011

PSA: What's in a Name

As a light post for Friday, I thought I'd give everyone a public service announcement about names for characters.

I don know how many human's I've come across that have had names with more than 3 syllables. And they're never common names. As such, I tend to forget those names. I've started to name my characters very basic names, like Arthur, Edgar, Gregory, or Mr. Green.

So if you want me to remember your name, make it 1-2 syllables and make it intuitive.

Now, I understand that some races have crazy naming schemes (I'm looking at you, Elves). If you have to have a crazy name, then at least come up with a way to shorten it into a nickname. That way, not only will people remember the name they call you, but then fae won't get a hold of your true name.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

YouTube Thursday: Knights of Baddassdom

I know, I know. YouTubes are supposed to be on Fridays now. But I've put this post off long enough. Any longer, and I'd be behind the times.

For those of you not in the know, Comic-Con is one of the biggest geek conventions in US. Every year, people go to San Diego in hopes of finding out the next great fantasy/sci-fi/comic book thing, whether it be graphic art, literature, and especially movies.

If your movie hopes to rely on nerd culture at the box office, then your best bet would be to get a strong buzz at Comic-con. For independent films, it's make or break.

Now, there's a movie I've been tracking for the past half a year in hopes of finding a trailer. I heard the concept of it and wanted desperately to see/hear more. And that movie is Joe Lynch's "Knights of Badassdom," a movie based on LARP. And that movie just made it's debut at Comic-con, in a big way.

Now, I didn't get a chance to go to Comic Con myself, but I have been reading all the reports of who's hot and who's not. And apparently between the release of the trailer and a spectacular panel in Hall H (one Hall to rule them all), KoB is definitely what's hot.

For those of you who aren't in the know, this movie is about a couple of guys who kidnap their mundane friend and bring him to a LARP. Then it's all fun and games until someone accidentally summons a Succubus, and the LARPers have to take care of the situation. And it packs some major star power for an independent film, including Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Summer Glau (Firefly), Steve Zahn (Sahara) and Jimmi Simpson (Loser).

Based on the trailer alone, I think this movie is going to be a great representation of a LARP game, set in a horror movie. Unlike The Wild Hunt, the LARPers don't go crazy and aren't devil worshippers (even though they accidentially summon a succubus). I think this movie has just enough Horror to make it with people uninitiated with LARP while leaving people with the feel good feeling about LARP as we got from Role Models. And depending on how campy the horror is, it could end up supplanting the Evil Dead series as the pump up movie for a lot of LARPers I know.

The movie is currently in post production, slated to come out next Spring. Since it is an independent film, you should do your best to spread the buzz about this film publicly, in hopes of it hitting theaters near you.

Verily, you should like the YouTube video and join the Facebook group.

I know I can't wait. I would be more than happy to write a review if I could get my hands on an early copy of this movie.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Organize Your Gear!

I figured I'd post about storage and organization, seeing as we just organized all our gear in our basement. This isn't so much a how-to post as it is a "How do you do it?" post.

None of these tubs include weapons. We keep these all separate.

Jenn's Plot Tub (NERO)
Jenn's got a lot more years on plot than I do, and with it comes a ridiculous amount of totally awesome goodness - Puzzles, masks, intense props, furs, and other goodies.

My Exiles Plot Tub
I've only been running plot for a year for Exiles, which uses a different prop set than other games. As such, it's a smaller tub filled with fake bugs, snakes, steampunk gear, and some random costuming.

My Exiles PC Tub
My PC at Exiles uses a lot of stuff to set up a doctorin' table. Tablecloth, candles, glass jars filled with various herb-like items, and more glassware. On top of that, I've got my costuming and my various doctor bags. All that is enough to fill up that tub.

Between the two of us, we can get our PC gear into one, larger tub. Both of our costumes and props are relatively light (except stuff for my table which is stored in the Exiles PC box). Still, it's an important tub.

General Costume/Prop Tub
Everything that doesn't fall in the other tubs goes here. Whether it's stuff from previous characters, old plot stuff, or various things that have made it into our LARP collection from various pieces of junk found at flea markets and garage sales. We also have stuff for secondary PCs in here. Fills up a big ol' tub.

So that's how we store our stuff. How do you do it? Do you separate costuming/clothes from props? Do you store all your PC stuff together? Do you have a plot tub (if you run plot)?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Manual Labor

Today's post comes in light of a module that we went on at the last Exiles event. We were doing a module where we were fighting bandits on horses. Now, for those of you who don't play Exiles, I would say the most unique thing about the game is the exciting "vehicle" modules that appear at pretty much every event.

A "vehicle" module is one that has some sort of non-standard environmental effect that the players have to work around. Sometimes you're on a runaway train, and you have to keep a hand braced on something to walk. Sometimes you're on a riverboat and you have to turn the ship in the right direction while dodging obstacles like low branches and rapids. We've had mine carts, horse chases, airships, and stagecoaches, each with different rules. And it's ton's of fun.

But it also takes some time to explain.

The module at this event was lots of fun. But it took the better part of half an hour to explain, and there were still some questions about mechanics in the middle of the module, which breaks immersion.

So what can you do to avoid these awkward pauses?

Write a Manual. An IG Manual.

A lot of times, you can explain the effects of a module using terms that would make sense IG. That way, players can learn how to do the module before hand in an IG way. And even in situations where the manual cannot be fully IG, you can make sections of the manual OOG (last few pages, section on each page). And, in situations where it's applicable, the time it takes to read the manual might be a significant challenge in a module.

For example, you could have to start a car, boat, or train to get away from a group of zombies. Most of the party is fighting off the walking dead while one or two players read through the book to learn what actions must be performed to start the vehicle (thus ending the module).

And as a final benefit, having a document like this means that the mechanic can be as uniform as possible. Different plot teams will know exactly what rules govern a stagecoach, horse, or train module (with leeway for special circumstances, of course).

So get to work on some manuals!

And as an added bonus, having a manual for

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Week In LARP - July 25th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments!

This Week In LARP

So damn hot. Stay hydrated.


NERO Indiana will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 29th and ending Sunday, July 31st. The game will be held at Columbus Youth Camp (IN) at the IG location of The Southlands. It's $50 to PC ($40 with prereg) and is free to NPC. This game wll be using 9th edition rules.

PRO will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 29th and ending Sunday, July 31st. The game will be held at Raccoon State Park (PA) Camp 3. I do not know the prices, nor do I know what ruleset they're using.

If you've got a game running this week and we
didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Friday, July 22, 2011

YouTube Friday: 7-Eleven

I don't have cable (we use Netflix), so I tend to miss gems like this one. As the uploader states in the comments, this is a pretty good sign that at least knowledge of gamer culture is becoming more mainstream.

We may not like how LARPers are portrayed in the video, but at least we're getting closer to the date where we can tell people we're LARPers without having to explain what LARP is.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The 'Unscaled' Module

Tim and I have written several modules about scaling on the fly and working that into your plot lines. However, we had an interesting conversation regarding the 'Unscaled' module.

Back in the day, we used to scale most modules to fit the group. If low level players came up, we'd bring it down a notch so it was a challenge, but was still fun for the players. If higher level players came, we made it a challenge for them, making it fun for them.

But we also had 'Unscaled' encounters. These were encounters where the stats were set, and we wouldn't change them. Bring the power. Tim likes calling difficult modules 'Unscaled'.

I think it's a shit term. And here's why.

'Unscaled' means that plot is lazy and won't bend the module to make it fun for the characters. Scaling doesn't always happen in stats. I also determines the way the NPCs react to a situation.

If you had a dragon and lower level players came to fight it, would you really just obliterate them and move on? I know I wouldn't. I'd probably scare them, followed by threatening to kill them and someone else (helpless farmers), followed by killing them and that someone else.

That way, your plot line isn't busted by a bunch of lower level players. As an added bonus, they now have a story to tell people (about how they faced off with a dragon and lived to walk away), as opposed to saying, "I got eaten by a dragon."

So, I believe that every encounter should be scaled in some way. It just doesn't have to end in victory.

Now, Tim argues that when he uses 'Unscaled,' it means dangerous. My counter to that is that you should just use the term 'Dangerous'. Big difference, right?

Well, yes, it is a big difference.

We are always looking for ways to portray OOG information without breaking immersion. You can't have a hook come down and say "PS, This module is unscaled." You can, however, have your NPC say "This is going to be a very dangerous mission, so you might want to bring some the more sturdy adventurers for this task.'

We've used the term 'Deadly' in Exiles for a while now, to indicate that the module has kill effects or NPCs ready to do coup'de'grace PCs. In fact, deadly modules give players more experience on the whole (as it increases the event danger component for awarding learnin'). And the term has a specific OOG meaning and legitimate IG usage. Win-Win.

So, in summary, unscaled can mean one of two things.

1) You're too lazy to try and make this module fun for the PCs.
2) It's highly tuned and deadly.

In the case of A, you should try a little more to make your game more fun for the players. In the case of B, the modules are fine. I would just use a different term.

But as a PSA, I would strongly recommend people stop calling modules 'Unscaled.'

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expanding LARP Ohio's Coverage

After the last post, and after Corey posted the blog on an Indiana-based facebook community, I decided I'm going to try and expand this blog to reach games a little bit further out, like Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, PA, and parts of NY.

But I need your help.

Currently, I have to manually search through the various sites to find what games are running when. NERO Cincinnati has a handy dandy calendar that helps, but still only gets me what I need for NERO.

So, if you want to have your game posted on the This Week In LARP post, please send an email to, including the following.

- Name of The Game
- Dates for Events
- Website
- OOG Location(s) (address if you have it)
- IG Location(s)
- Cost to PC
- Cost to NPC
- Any other pertinent information.

I am going to try and put together an extended calender for games, so feel free to send the info for all the events you'll be running this year.

Non Player Characters: Populating Your World

Non player characters span a range of concepts. Monsters and villains, sources of information and confederates the list continues for quite awhile. I am going to take a look at three with some ideas of how to use them. Please feel free to disagree with me, my ideas are not necessarily your ideals.

A villain is a more complex antagonist than a monster. They can range from humans with evil intent, to near deific elementals who rule over planar kingdoms. In my opinion, villains should be as complex as player characters. They should have goals and flaws. They should have strengths and weaknesses. Many players enjoy the information gathering aspect of game play and one of the best ways to make that aspect cool is by giving them information about the main villain. I know that I have said this before but I feel it bears mentioning again, steer clear of the Cape. Capes are villains who cannot be defeated, they require the silver sword of plot(Deus Ex Machina) to defeat. When I create a villain, I try to do it with the idea that a high level group may decide that they want to kill him when he is giving his soliloquy. I like the idea that a plot line can alter to the players direct action. A word about villain flaws and weaknesses; it is OK to make the villain have an obscure weakness, but they should have a common weakness as well. A common weakness, like double damage from ice, makes fighting the villain and his minions have an extra layer of strategy. Villains therefore are characters who oppose the PCs, they should have all of the attributes of players plus whatever powers or abilities you decide to give them to make them fun to fight.

Information sources are NPCs whose purpose is primarily the dissemination of game knowledge. The most important thing when creating an information source NPC is making sure that the entire plot team is aware of what information the source has. It is also important to make notes about what information the NPC has put into game. I have found that managing information is one of the most complex parts of running plot. Making sure that enough people have access to places where they can get information, and making sure that the appropriate information is in game so the plot can advance, takes serious organizational effort. I started taking notes this season immediately after conversations with my information NPCs. I found this helpful and it will be something that I recommend to new plot people on my team. Organization is the key to information NPCs.

Plot directors are NPCs who guide the players down the appropriate plot lines. The most common example of this in the NERO game are NPC nobles. Plot directors are probably one of the trickier NPCs to run correctly because it is so simple to overuse them. When using an NPC noble to stress an idea or a plot line, we as plot people walk a fine line between railroading the plot and not creating priorities. Railroading plot is when players feel like they have no choices, they simply must do this or the world will end. Priority creation is a scheduling tool for plot people, allowing them to know what mods will probably be run and at what time. In my opinion plot director NPCs are your priority tools but you need to use them sparingly to maintain the illusion of a living world.

These are just three types of NPCs out of many. I may do more of these as I think of useful ideas for other types of NPCs. I may come back and edit this post to add new things that pop into my head for these types. For now, I would like to hear your thoughts. Any questions or comments?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get Your Blog On

Over a year ago, I gave the (few) readers a homework assignment to find LARPing resources. It seems that every damn thing on the internet has a million blogs and a hundred wikis dedicated to the subject. But not LARP. In fact, I bet there are more webpages and blogs dedicated to fu--ies than there is to LARPing (something that I never plan on confirming).

So here we are, a year later, and community has improved. Even still, several blogs have come and gone on the topic of LARP, and only a few survive.

So what's the deal?

Well, truth is, blogging is a difficult and grueling process. This isn't actually my first attempt at a blog. I had a blog before this one that was originally intended to be a resource for Champions Online (but was eventually changed to gaming in general when Champions proved to suck hard.) Around 100 posts I grew tired and weary about the project and started writing for, where I expected I would be showered with hits and, more importantly, cash. Not quite, but it did help me decide to use my powers for good and start another blog with Tim's help.

Ramble Ramble Ramble.

Anyways, this post isn't necessarily about LARPing. It's about blogging. I want more resources out there, helping people everywhere fly their nerd flag. Or sports. Whateves. If you're not interested in that, here's Nyan cat.

If you are interested in blogging, beware of the incoming wall of text.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Week In LARP - July 18th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments!

This Week In LARP

These are the months were we separate the men from the boys. Real men LARP in July.


NERO SWV will be hosting a 1-day event this weekend on Saturday, July 23th. The game will be held at Camp Cherokee (KY) at the IG location of Stoneforge Highlands. It's $20 to PC and is free to NPC. This game wll be using 9th edition rules.

NERO Detroit will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 22nd and ending Sunday, July 24th. The game will be held at Camp Kiwanis (MI). It's $30 to PC ($25 per person for a group of four or more), but I do not know the cost to NPC. This Event will be using 8th edition rules.


Exiles will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 22nd and ending Sunday, July 24th. The game will be held at Sycamore State Park group camping location, at the IG location of Silver Springs. It's $40 to PC and is free to NPC.

If you've got a game running this week and we didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Friday, July 15, 2011

YouTube Friday:

I received an email with today's video, which comes to us all the way from the Netherlands! is a site where they post various pop culture documentaries. Today's video is part 5 in a series which translates to "The Nature of the Party." It follows around a group of LARPers who give some decent information about LARPing and how it works socially.

Despite the fact that we have to watch it in subtitles, it's actually incredibly well done. Besides, they get some sweet loots at 5:05. With treasure like that, I would probably give any LARP a shot.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Understanding Plot Tone

One of the most difficult things to gauge whenever you're working with a new plot team is what kind of tone your team is going to use on their plot lines.

There are many different kinds of plots, and I'm not going to say that one kind is unequivocally better (even if I have my own opinions), because the opinions of the players at that game is what matters.

Some tones work well together, while some actively detract from one another. The trick is to find the tones that you and your team can work with, and run the ones that your player base enjoys. Sounds simple, right?

So here are the various tones of plot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Prop Trick Thanks to the Bed Intruder

Well! Obviously, we have a prop trick for you.

Recently, we stumbled upon some great alligator/dinosaur hats at the local dollar store. However, people look kind of dopey wearing them on their head, which means they'll never be used on more than a comic relief module, which would be a damn shame.

What if there was something we added something to give it a more menacing feel for very little cost? You know, something where the players couldn't see your face.

Criminals have been using cheap stockings over their head for a while now to try and hide their identity. It has the benefit of covering the face while allowing for vision. They come in all kinds of colors to match your costumes.

This can help enhance almost any monstrous creature where the facial features are not on the NPC's actual face. So go get some 'hose!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A season of Lumbertons, lessons learned

This last weekend marked the culmination of my second full year on a plot team. I am very excited to say that I think this season was better than last season and I expect next season to be better still. This season I made a couple of mistakes in my plot line, but I got to have a lot of fun with collaborative plot and I got to have fun facilitating my fellow plot members plot lines. I am going to talk about what we did well with our various plots, what I think we can work on, and my general feelings about the whole season.

First, my plot line never really got off the ground. I decided at the beginning of the season that I did not want to run another world ending plot, my plot was focused more on a deeper understanding of the campaign world. I hooked it through a couple of different players who generally do not see a ton of plot and at the end of the first event I was fairly confident that it was going to get pursued. I was wrong. Elements of my plot, NPCs and cultures became integral in other plots. Modules from my plot were rewritten to be used in other plots. Of the players that I hooked to pursue my plot directly, one permed, one had a hard time gathering support and one never came to an event. Had I been really interested in pushing my line, I would have increased the number of involved parties, put in more plot items and information and generally increased the exposure to elements of my plot line. I did none of those things, so my plot line remained in the box. I am ok with that though, there is always next year.

My fellow plot people and I came up with an idea for a campaign wide plot line at the beginning of the season and we kicked it off at the Lumberton events. I will not mention specifics but I will talk about a few generalities. First, I really love wide arcing plot and I think that the one this season is a great example. It probably touches three quarters of the player base which is huge. The plot has elements of a world ending plot for some characters, mild interest for others and some just enjoy the beat stick modules that go along with it. We were able to work in some really great roleplay and some cool modules, this was definitely my favorite line of the season.

My biggest area of improvement is in the statting of monsters. I took a real step backwards this year and forgot that the best way to make a module fun for everyone is to give everyone a target that is going to make them feel like the coolest person ever. I fell into the trap of every mob being survivable and high damage. In the last event of the season I tried to correct and i think that I met with some success. Next year however more modules will include a variety of mobs intended to be most easily defeated by different types of characters. I think that this will go a long way towards making more people feel like they were the hero, which is the whole goal.

We ran two plot lines to their completion this year. One of them spanned two seasons and the other only one. That rate of completion feels pretty good. I think the players felt suitably successful without feeling like everything was done. We didn't leave any armies of creatures roaming the land, also a good thing, since it is hard to explain why everyone isn't dead. Overall I felt good about the plot lines that we ran and completed.

So thats my take on the season, I would love to hear from those of you that played one, two or all of my events. Please give me some stuff to do better, I am always looking to improve.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Week In LARP - July 11th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments! Also, did you want to see who won the Anniversary contest? Check it here!

This Week In LARP

It may be hot outside, but... well, it's damn hot outside.


NERO Elkins will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 15th and ending Sunday, July 17th. The game will be held at BSA Camp Mahonegon (WV) at the IG location of Oilios (formerly Freetown). It's $50 to PC and is $10 to NPC, but you get a $9 discount if you prepay. This game wll be using 9th edition rules.


Einherjar will be hosting their July battle this weekend on Sunday, July 16th at Plum Creek, South Side in Medina. Weapon Check starts at Noon and fighting starts at 1:00 PM. It's $3 and minimum garb rules apply.

If you've got a game running this week and we didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Friday, July 8, 2011

YouTube Friday: I'm Such a Nerd

Today's video is a humorous one about being a nerd, and not so much about being a LARPer. I stumbled upon it searching for LARP videos, but someone used the word LARP in the comments instead of it being part of the video.

Even still, it's pretty funny, especially if you're in to manga or the Star Wars books.

However, you will have to go to YouTube, because CollegeHumor disabled embeding. Don't worry, it's not another Rickroll.


I'm Such a Nerd

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Epic Quest

The center point of fantasy literature has always focused on a quest. The quest archetype is very, very old and it tends to follow a structure similar to opera. First there is the declaration, followed by the journey with a distinct curve of tone, meaning that it begins on a high tone, moves lower and the peaks at the end. Finally the quest ends with the completion of the original declaration. This archetype is an easy one to follow for larp but there are, as always, pitfalls and recommendations that can be made. Here are a few that I thought of, then we can talk about what you guys think in the comments.

First and most importantly, the epic quest should be targeted. It is almost impossible to have a truly epic quest that is one size fits all. Target a group, target a race, target an individual. Pick something or someone and gear the quest towards them. This is important for several reasons for starters we do not all play the same game. Some players want their epic in the form of roleplay and description, some want it in the form of fights a good epic quest will contain both of those elements but the weighting will be different for different types of players. Targeting the plot also insures that the maximum number of people can be entertained by the modules designed for the quest, when you target a group, you know roughly how many people will be on each module allowing you to allocate NPC resources appropriately.

The second thing that I would like to point out is the concept of tone curve. If a series of modules is just several grinders linked together with a common enemy, it will fail to achieve its maximum player impact. The first module in a quest should be a victory, not just any victory but a decisive victory. This will set the tone on a high note and cement the interest of the players. Depending upon the number of modules the curve downwards can occur over one or several modules bottoming out on one specific one where something major happens. My thoughts have shifted recently one the bottoming out of the tone curve. I used to think that this module should be a defeat, but that seems to lack impact, my current feeling is that it is best to kill a permanent NPC or to have a major roleplay event go very badly. The reason that these things have more impact is very simple, defeat in larp is more frustrating than sad, roleplay or the loss of a contact that has developed over time can be sad. After the bottoming out of the tone curve the ascent back to the climax begins ending in the climax itself which is the completion of the declaration. The reasoning for this is a matter of perspective, it is far easier to see a bright light in the dark, the difference between the high and the low tones will make the quests emotional impact much higher.

The third point that I would like to make is one that I struggle with but it is important and I am working on it. The quest should have a permanent impact on the game world. The enemy that was defeated should never return, the castle that was torn down should not be rebuilt and the army that was scattered should never reform. Players gauge the success of an event by what things they accomplished, it is frustrating to players to have something that they viewed as an accomplishment turned into a new problem. Big bad guys can last for several seasons but the modules for their defeat should be predetermined and once they are defeated, they should be gone.

So those are my thoughts, what do you guys think?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Carrot, Less Stick

An interesting discussion has occurred over at the NERO forums regarding my post about Pulling Marshals out of Formal Magic Rituals.

The question became, what is the goal of the formal magic system? To give the casters an interesting RP experience, or to enrich the game with roleplay?

Truth is, in the current form, formal magic is a completely mechanical rules system. There's pages 2 full pages of walk-through on casting, and it all involves mechanical processes. In fact, the only requirement they have on the RP front is that observers can tell that it's a formal magic. The only mention of roleplaying is in the section where it says observers need to know that it's a formal magic or you are punished.

If you want to promote something, don't punish those who do it poorly. Praise the ones who do it well.

Something is wrong with the way formal magic works at NERO. We have tons of formal capable casters, but many of those players (probably a majority of those players) haven't ever cast formal magic, some of which aren't even interested in casting formal magic. We need to reduce punishments for casting formal magic, and increase the attractiveness for casting formal magic.

More Carrot, Less Stick

If it were up to me, I'd pretty much remove the backlash system altogether. It's been used too many times to deal with a bad guy in a way that wasn't intended. It puts unnecessary risk on a player who decides to try formal magic for the first time. It forces marshals to inject themselves into the situation, breaking immersion.

So now that we've removed the stick, let's add some carrot.

Deal with the quality of RP using IG means. Form a group that encourages work in formal magics and formal rituals. Players that perform well prepared and well roleplayed formal rituals would get positive attention from this group (perhaps in the form of scrolls, components, and plot), and players that actively perform poorly roleplayed rituals in public would not get attention from this group.

So the players that want to cast formal magic can do so. But the players who want to be a formalist will be rewarded for creativity and roleplay.

So, in the end, the only rituals that would need to be marshal'd are the PvP rituals, which isn't that big of a deal, as PvP often needs to be marshal'd anyways.

As an aside, Crimson made a suggestion about making the casting ritual more interactive for the caster. The marshal for the formal could interact with the caster, offering suggestions for roleplay, telling stories, etc. I would definitely appreciate that if I was casting a batch of magics for 30 minutes.

However, the problem still exists that it is not immersive for others. Usually we try to minimize the use of OOG marshals, and definitely try not to communicate with them in the middle of everything. Instead, with formal magic, we pretty put OOG marshals front and center.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When I Say Table, You Say Cloth

In both the games I'm currently playing regularly, my character has some reason to set up a shop. One of them is a wild west Doctor, with tons of herbs and concoctions. The other is a bookbinding guild master.

Now, I was traveling before the first time I played the latter character. My wife graciously put together costuming/gear for the event ahead of time. And I can honestly say, I wouldn't dare play a merchant character (PC or NPC) ever again without one of the things she packed for me.


It's such a small prop and it's not that expensive, but it can absolutely transform space, especially whenever the site you're using doesn't exactly match the theme of the game. To me, nothing pulls me out of game as a merchant selling their wares off of a fold up table.

And since it's essentially a finished piece of cloth, it can be used as so many things when in possession of the staff; Tapestries, environmental effects, dimming lighting. Sky's the limit.

So get yourself a table cloth!

As an aside, one of the players for both of these games put together a set of faux-suede curtains/tablecloths in order to transform an open air tavern into a more confined, more immersive setting. I'm going to try and find some pictures for you guys.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Week In LARP - July 4th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments! Also, did you want to see who won the Anniversary contest? Check it here!

This Week In LARP

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate the summer with some LARP in the sun!


WAR will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 8th and ending Sunday, July 10th. The game will be held at Camp Giscowheco at the IG location of Lumberton. It's $50 to PC ($40 with a good NPC ratio) and is free to NPC. This game wll be using 9th edition rules with 8th edition formal.

NERO Northlands will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, July 8th and ending Sunday, July 10th. The game will be held at Rolling Hills (Lodges) at the IG location of Bramblethorn Glade. It's $40 to PC ($35 prepay) and is free to NPC. I believe this event will be using 9th edition rules.

If you've got a game running this week and we didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Friday, July 1, 2011

YouTube Friday: Conquest of Mythodea

I'm actually somewhat surprised that I've been able to go this long without posting a video about Conquest of Mythodea.

For those who aren't in the know, Conquest is just about the biggest LARP game in the world. It's hosted in Germany and every year over 8,000 people (1,000 of which are NPCs) and they change the world around the players for complete immersion.

I know that both Dan and Noah (common readers of the blog) have had a chance to attend the game with Joe V., and I know that Dan said that it changed the way he thinks about LARPs. There was also a fair amount of talk about it from the guys at the LRP store back when I wrote for

The obvious downside is that it's in Germany. We really need to get something like this in the US. Unfortunately, we're way too up tight to ever let that happen.

Anyways, Enjoy!