Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Anecdotal Evidence is Balls

Everyone who is involved in anything thinks that they're an expert. They think they have a pulse on what the people want, simply because they've heard some people talk about stuff. And then they use this information to guide judgement.

So here's your public service announcement, followed by a wall of text!

Friends don't let friends use anecdotal evidence to make decisions on how a game should operate.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Larpcast Episode: Treasure!

A new Larpcast episode is up! This episode is all about the strategies behind treasure distribution. Enjoy!

Larpcast 24: Treasure

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Week In LARP - February 27th

This Week In LARP

Celebrate Leap Year by LARPing!


NERO Indiana will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, March 2nd and ending Sunday, March 4th. The game will be held at the Columbus Youth Camp. It's $50 to PC ($40 when pre-registering) 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, February 24, 2012

YouTube Friday: Jugger Ireland

After a week of tense and frustrating NERO drama, it's nice to be able to unwind by wailing on your friends in a nice, friendly game of Jugger.

Here's a documentary made about the Irish Juggers out there. Pretty entertaining. I still really want to play more Jugger. Hopefully I can make it down to Marietta and play with the Jugger Ohio guys.

Heads up thought, there is some obscene language, but it's not too bad.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why "Competition" is Good

There's been a lot of commenting going on based on Bill's last couple posts. Really, I couldn't say it any better than a lot of the points made. We all know, logically, that diversity is a good thing.

But at the same time, when new LARPs have come up, people tend to have a knee-jerk reaction and view these upstarts with suspicion, if not outright hostility. These games, even if not the same type or theme, are seen as out to bring down "their" game. They are full of people who can't play, who play to hard, or who just don't get it. They are, in some way, inferior, and a threat to our good time.

From what I've seen, though, people don't make LARPs to bring others down, or because they like controlling people and telling them what to do (mostly). At least in the beginning, people make LARPs because they have a vision of a way to create a new, fun way of creating the LARP experience and they want to share it with like-minded people. They have a dream - and the dream is not, in general, to be High Supreme LARP Overlord. :) That may come later, of course, but at the heart, everyone just wants to play a fun game.

Unfortunately, those who see other games as competition aren't totally wrong. LARPers are only a small percentage of the overall population, and it's very difficult to have multiple, successful, large games in the same area. Or is that just in Ohio? :)

So how can you both support diversity and ensure the survival of your particular brand of LARP?

Support these other games. It may not make sense in a business model, but LARPs aren't really there to make people money. Or at least, I don't think they should be, and I don't think that most do a very good job of it. So instead, games should act more like a club or a hobby - and you don't see different Girl Scout troops trying to cause the other to fail (or at least, I didn't :) ). No one wants their hobby to have a negative, hostile atmosphere - even if it's directed at the other team. No one wants to feel like they're bad people for playing another game. Why not be a knight one weekend and a space marine the next?

And, as anyone who's a fan of capitalism knows, competition can create a lot of good things. If you don't have to try to succeed, things get stale, and old. I'm not saying to change for the sake of change, but certainly be open to it. Competition brings new ideas, new ways of doing things. It challenges us to keep up, to do better. With our friendly competition here, I'm not advocating that we constantly try to outdo each other and prove how we're better - that just leads right back to hostility and everything else. But certainly there could be a little of that, deep inside - I mean, we've all got our pride, right? :)

We can all learn from each other to keep up a good quality game. What is that game doing that people like? Why do certain players play there, and how can we get them to also play here? What cool prop-making have they thought of?

On a personal level, it can be really nice to have somewhere to go where you can just have fun. If you run a game, you can "vacation" at the other one without feeling responsible. If you're heavily involved in one game, playing others can create a break and freshen your outlook.

I've been very impressed at how our 3 big NERO chapters have been working together recently (at least outwardly). They seem to support decisions made, they try not to schedule over each other, and they maintain a positive atmosphere. And I think it is working - I know I'm more encouraged to play different chapters, because I feel like I'd be welcome.

And once you work together, it makes you a stronger force. When one chapter goes against National, it's easier to ignore than 3. And when several games group up, they can share information and players, but also have a force in the community. They can do demos, go to fairs, and so on - and the more people you have, and the more diversity, the more likely you are to suck in new players and break the stigma.

So maybe what I'm talking about isn't really competition. Maybe what I'm saying is still "diversity is good," and we shouldn't circle the wagons when we hear about new LARPs. Try them out, learn a few things, keep an open mind. Bill is right: We want to be a community made up of many voices that make all of our hobbies stronger and better.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Larpcast: Thank You

Here is a Larpcast that Mickey and I did last night regarding the situation with National. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thank You to the Readers

I'd just like to take a moment to thank all the readers of LARP Ohio. Despite the absurdity of the situation, no one has stooped to all out insults. No matter what state you're in, you can go to bed knowing that you all will be the ones that promote the growth and acceptance in our hobby.

Thank you. You guys and gals really are the best.

And so I give you The Best, by Adam WarRock.

Further News on Joe: Links

Joe says we can't share links in the national forums anymore. So I will be taking down all links to national from this blog.

He keeps thinking that the people who are commenting on this are not NERO players for some reason. Heroic.

PS: Don't worry local chapters! We're still going to link to your websites, because you understand how the internet works.

The Plot Thickens: Deleted!

Many of you saw the National Post that Mickey created yesterday regarding the stuff that was published on the NERO Cincinnati Boards. But many of you did not.

Ken Gillis posted some stuff on the boards. It was the first time he's posted anything in weeks and I'm glad that the web admin is talking rules and not fixing one of the many blatant typos on the main page. But when I tried to respond to him, I found I got an error saying I couldn't post to that thread. I figured maybe someone locked it (like a proper moderator would).

But no, the post was gone. I went into full on "Night before Christmas" mode.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

Joe can't be bothered to actually respond to any questions people have, but he certainly has time to rip stuff off the boards.

I feel bad for the "Anonymous" that posted before, because we were just trying to get some talk on the National Forums. But Joe would prefer these discussions to go on here.

So here's Mickey's post in full. I apologize to the people who had legitimate comments (bgardner) that weren't asked, but I'd be happy to answer them here, or you can take your questions to the NERO Cincinnati forums.

Finally, I apologize to the non-NERO readers for all this drama. I want to get this in a timely manner. Tomorrow's post will have a sick prop for your eyes to lust over.


Hello everyone, I have found some discussions I think would interest people. This is the place, according to one "anonymous" commenter at, where these kinds of discussions should happen afterall.

Here is where you can still see the goblin point system policy proposal, thanks to the kind efforts of NERO Cincinnati. It was taken down from discussion on the naitonal forums for some reason, but luckily you can comment at Cincy or even in response to my post here.

And here, also thanks to Cincy, is a link to a policy document Joe Valenti has been nice enough to make public on the internet for people to discuss as well. Some interesting thoughts on goblin stamp redemption and the use of banks by local chapters.

And lastly, here is the larpohio blog post with the "anonymous" commenter followed by a link to my reply.

Hopefully this stuff will interest NERO players and jumpstart some much needed discussion and debate on these forums.


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Rebuttal from Mickey

The following is a comment from Mickey that got cut off and flagged as spam, and is a rebuttal to the comment from "anonymous". For those of you interested in the comment that this post is referring to, check out the comments on this post.


The following is my line by line reply to a comment by "anonymous". My replies are inside of asterisks [italicized] to differentiate. All of my references to National and how it acts, behaves, and so on exclude Bill Tobin, Dan Comstock, and Noah Mason unless I say otherwise. They're good people trying to help.

This conversation about nero and its proposed future rules should not be discussed in public. Nowhere in any documents about being staff for NERO National office does it say to go to the public to discuss possible rules changes.

I would think player feedback would be welcome. Heck, even pretending to care would be an upgrade at this point.

There is a specific Rules forums on the NERO LARP site at that should be used.

As already mentioned, Bill didn't want people to inflate the post into something official yet. This was a low-key way to get input.

The idea that people on this blog site will give better feedback than people on the nerolarp forums is false.

They will, however, likely get more feedback since this blog is a more active posting community

The idea that everyone who is a LARPer and on the NET is connected to this site is also a false statement.

Ok, so the internet is a world wide computer network that, absent limiting software (ex. workplaces, parental controls, Iran) or other odd circumstances, lets everyone who is on it see any site. Thus, and this is the subtle point you apparently missed, Bill posting the policy idea here wasn't meant to be private or secret and so clearly it's ok to repost it elsewhere if someone felt strongly about discussing it elsewhere.

The NERO LARP forums are seemingly empty because the NERO LARP forums have been 'overrun' by a few people who are promoting thier own LARP website on the NEROLARP forums, who are repeatedly putting links to thier own website blog to get nero members away from the nerolarp forums. Offering discussion points about nero LARP on non-nero forums and promoting that to NERO Members seems like a way to get people off the nerolarp forums.

If my 8 posts announcing a new larpcast episode (including one today!) constitute an "overrun" of the forums and are enough to drive away readers to the point where it is the empty wasteland it currently is... the problem is not 8 posts. The problem is the lack of community building, content, attention to customer concerns, failure to update the site, failure to follow through on promised explanations, and so on. Basically, "anonymous" (with an amazingly distinctive writing style), 8 posts should be a drop in the bucket and it's sad that it's even noticeable. Oh, also, this is a blog about LARPing and the forums are a place for members of one LARP to talk amongst themselves, why would you consider the sites themselves to be in some sort of zero sum competition? Amazingly, you can check both! Actually, it's very easy to check both, this one is the one with actual new content from time to time. See below for new content on the National site... that went away.

NERO Owners and NERO Members give the feedback that NERO management wants to hear. The feedback should be given via the NERO LARP forums.

See above as to some of the reasons this wasn't on the forums. And if "NERO management" wants to hear it, here it is. Enjoy it and whine less about where it is.

NERO Policy is the same for every NERO Member. So it would seem logical that policy that benefits only Staff who are basically given what-ever number of goblin points an Owner or more likely, a Staff member of a Chapter, is not a policy that NERO National will put into place.

It benefits anyone with goblin stamps. And if the people with the most goblin stamps happen to be staff members, then you have a situation where the people who work the hardest have an additional outlet for their rewards. Sounds good to me. If your concern is that Owners give too many goblin to staff in the first place, take it up with them. This policy idea won't make that better or worse.

As soon as a policy goes into effect that gives donators magic items for goblin points, every nero member will get a magic item as neighboring chapters compete for donations and goblin points awards skyrocket at each chapter - this has happenned before why will it not happen now?

Ok, this is some feedback about the idea itself. A concern about donation competition. Bill has posted an answer to it in reply so I'll let that speak for itself. Though, I know that this was intended as part of a bigger policy update to the goblin stamp system. Heck, that system was even posted on the National Forums for a couple days before National took it down from public comment. Which is rather funny in conjunction with your earlier comments about how the National Forums should be the center of these discussions. Clearly they're unsuitable, the discussions get removed. But anyway, hopefully we'll get a chance to see the full system somewhere where people can comment on it in a useful, and non-transitory, fashion.

The cost to buy a magic item with goblin points actually has to be low enough for everyone to buy one, and the maximum needs to be high enough so that players do not need to find a magic item in game if they do not wnat to.

Everyone would be able to buy one, they just have to contribute to the game enough to earn the goblin necessary

Having 5 players with 10 columns of life spells show up at a game you are running absolutely causes the staff to run things differently. more monsters, bigger monsters, and more defensive skills, to name but a few of the ramifications of excessive magic items / additional skills.

What is a 10 column of life spells? 10 life spells? 90 spells, 10 of which are life spells? Regardless, apparently you missed the 1 item per player per year limitation that would keep this from coming anywhere close to the effects you're worried about.

Having 25 players arrive with 4 effect per day life items each, or 4 effect imprison, or any portions thereof, will absolutely effect the way the scaling of the game.

Two things. First, if 25 players all donated or NPCed or staffed or otherwise contributed to NERO sufficiently to each get a magic item... Good! We should encourage that, it's good for the game. Second, even if these hypothetical 25 players all coordinated their efforts in some secret meeting to all get the same magic item effects to maximize the game impact, my experience tells me that any competent staff can handle it with ease. It's just not that big of a deal. It's a little more longevity. Luckily, unlike the anonymous commenter, people know who I am and can weigh my experience when deciding how much credence to give my predictions about scaling impact.

The Week In LARP - February 20th

This Week In LARP

Please bring back the unseasonably warm weather in Ohio!

I could not find any events in Ohio or the surrounding area. If you know of one, drop it in the comments!

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!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ohio LARP Management Update

Usually I rely on Bill to notice these things, but I don't think he's posted this yet. Two Ohio NERO chapters, OGRE and Northlands, have both ceased operations under their previous management. However, it looks like NERO Cincinnati bought both chapters, and they are considering running games in the Dayton and Columbus areas.

This may be old news, but I thought it bore a mention since this is, you know, an Ohio LARP blog :)


Anyone with more info is welcome to chime in!

Friday, February 17, 2012

YouTube Friday: Skyrim

I don't know how I missed this, but Gary Bigham is back at it again. This time, he creates a Skyrim LARP. Hilarious!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

5 Ways for Your Costuming Form to Meet Function

This winter I've talked a lot about upgrading or adding to your costume but LARPing is not only about looking good or having period replicas. It's active, and usually takes place outside in all types of weather. This means that the right LARP costume is a compromise between adding to the atmosphere and and keeping the wearer comfortable.

Here are a few areas I've seen where people tend to go one way or the other, when there are easy compromises available!

1.) The Crown Royal Pouch - LARPers everywhere tend to use something like this to hold their goodies - especially starting out. As you add to it, the single-bag approach gets heavy, makes it hard to find stuff, and constantly gets in the way. There are so many better ways to go. Period-looking pouches come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. There are multiple online sites that have pouches and bags designed just for LARPers. Get something made to attach to a belt, or a shoulder bag, and you'll be more organized and comfortable. Not to mention looking better!

2.) My Fighter Wears Sweats - Again, comfort is super important in a LARP, and you want to be able to move. I see a lot of sweat pants and shorts, even on long-term players. You can get comfort out of period pants - and yes, people can tell the difference. Instead of sweats, try simple drawstring pants or wrap pants - or both! Both are easy to make and inexpensive to buy, and you can move in them. Wrap pants are ventilated for hot weather - just be careful about what you wear underneath! :) You could also wear combat pants in black, which are durable and offer lots of pockets. They don't look quite as period, but they're a great compromise.

3.) Ladies' Apparel - Often, ladies who LARP want to look good, and some will be the ones who value form over function - although these points go for anyone (well, in general concept anyway! :) ). I'm all for adding to immersion, but just make sure you can still play at the level you want. A LARP is probably not the best place for your full Elizabethan. :) Select elements that are durable and will be comfortable in the weather. For example, skirts are period, but they are also bulky, clumsy, and can be a mess in the rain. Most games are fantasy, so there's nothing wrong with a lady wearing pants if you want - you can make them feminine by selecting different fabrics, or using a style like harem or riding skirts.

Also, corsets. Most ladies love them for accentuating the right things, and even giving an armor bonus! Make sure the one you wear will stand up to your level of activity, and is still comfortable. Most LARPs don't have fainting couches. :) Also, consider alternatives - for example, if you're a fighter, think about getting a custom breastplate instead. In the sea of corsets, you'll stand out!

Side note - They say to dress to impress, and everyone wants their costume to make them look good. Just make sure you're not falling out of anything when you're running around. There have been people at games who don't wear underwear, and you know, I never wanted to know that about them. Skirts will fly up, wrap pants come undone, etc., and LARPs have their share of minors and, well, creepers - so be careful! :)

4.) Sweater Armor - People do all sorts of things to get their armor bonus but not have to wear anything restrictive, and then down the line often dump their armor all together. But you can wear armor that looks decent without making life hard. You don't have to go for full plate, but a few pieces such as arm and shin guards can add a great touch, give you a bonus, and keep your limbs limber. Try plastic, too - just make sure it's black or some other neutral cover. Leather is a great compromise here. Or go cheap and wrap vinyl or pleather around a frame of some kind to create your own look. Your armor doesn't have to be washers glued onto a vinyl tablecloth! :) It can still get the job done, but be light enough to wear all weekend.

Now, if you want to wear more restrictive armor, just make sure it allows you to play at your level. Metal plate and chain are hard to wear for long amounts of time, so keep rested and hydrated. Also, make sure that it doesn't have any sharp edges - those can tear up skin and reps alike. I would also say that many helmets are not usually a good idea for LARP - they are usually too heavy to wear all weekend with comfort, and also restrict your vision enough to make playing difficult if not dangerous. There are plenty of helmets that avoid this, so if you want to wear one make sure it's safe!

5.) The Tennis Shoe Playah - Taking care of your feet is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself comfortable. If you have health issues and need to wear tennis shoes, then that's what you need to do (maybe see if you can get them in black though). White tennis shoes are one of the biggest immersion breakers in a costume for me. It's so easy to change: boots of just about any decent make look a million times better, are still comfortable, but are also more durable and weather-resistant. Hiking boots, work boots, military boots - and there are plenty of sites that sell period style boots. Just make sure they have padding if you need it, and a good tread to stand up to slippery terrain. Don't go too far the other way and choose flimsy or complicated footwear that will break, hurt your feet, or make it difficult to move. A SWAT boot is a great compromise - they blend in well, but offer comfort and utility. Plus, they make you look totally bad-ass. :)

Got any other ideas of how to make your costume look good and work right?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kickstarter for LARPs

A while back, I posted about my interest in running an Osiris Sanction game. I was pretty pumped about it. But as it turns out, the cost of the equipment is pretty steep, and it's going to take far more than I'm willing to invest for a project like this.

And then I had the post on Friday where I wrote about the show LARPers on Indiegogo, and how they're raising money, and it really made me think.

Do you think that there's a place for raising funds for a LARP on Kickstarter?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the site, it allows for people to give donations to a proposed project. There are various donation levels, and the creator will post some sort of benefit, usually related to the project (be it signed material, copies of media, etc). If the project makes their goal, they get the money. If they don't reach the goal, no one is charged anything.

The way I was thinking about doing it, almost all of the donations would include some form of membership fee (which is there for players only participating in alpha/beta phases of Osiris Sanction). But there's also some other cool stuff that you could add in for some of the higher donation levels without breaking the game.

How would you feel if someone tried to raise money for their LARP via Kickstarter?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Props to the Propnomicon

I've always been amazed at the quality of props people can make. I mean, at least people who aren't me.

Mike, one of the staff members for Invictus, sent us a link to a super sweet blog called "The Propnomicon," where they show of some awesome Lovecraftian props, ranging from floating aliens in jars to massive monster skulls and the like.

If you consider yourself an artist of sorts when it comes to prop work, I highly recommend this blog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Week In LARP - February 13th

This Week In LARP

With a little bit of snow, maybe we'll actually have some winter events this winter!


WAR will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, February 17th and ending Sunday, February 19th. The game will be held at Camp Oyo at the IG location of Ashton. It's $50 to PC ($30 with a good NPC Ratio) 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, February 10, 2012

YouTube Friday: LARPers (Vimeo)

Today's video comes from a indie project to make a show about LARPers. I don't have a lot of details regarding the show itself, but here is the email I received from Will Sampson, one of the creators of the show.

Hi there,

I wanted to reach out to you for your support in getting the word out on a television pilot my roomates and I are assembling. We would love it if you could post a link to our Indiegogo page on your blog. We would be happy to answer any questions or conduct an interview for your site. We also have some exclusive material I could send your way should your site choose to support us.

Thank you!

Will Sampson

After having a further discussion with Will, the show is going to be shot as a documentary fiction, ala "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office." Their goals seem to be in-line with what I would like to see in a LARP show, so I'm definitely excited about this project. So if you're interested in seeing something like this, stop over at their Indiegogo page and contribute!

It would be really cool if the Ohio (and Indiana!) LARP communities could single handedly get this thing off the ground, so spread the word!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love is in the LARP...Or Not

It's about Valentine's Day, that time to think about love. Keeping it, getting it, or getting rid of it - romance is a hot topic all year 'round, really, and that tension is often pretty obvious at events. Now, despite the content of some of my previous posts, and my own affection for the occasional Julia Roberts flick, I have to say that I think -

Romance in-game is almost always a bad idea.

Now, that's a general statement. I'm sure everyone can come back with an example of how it worked out for them or someone they know. But I think that overall, based on my experience and opinion, it's best to keep the romance to the real world, with a few exceptions. I'm not talking about striking up a relationship with another LARPer out of game, or LARPing with your significant other. I'm talking about trying to take that tricky interaction in-game.

First, it's just awkward. Romance usually involves opening yourself to another person, and even pretending to do that can feel silly. It's hard to tell if the other person is really role-playing, even if they say they are, or if there's more behind it. And, like the creeper article pointed out, you have to constantly evaluate a person you don't know well to figure out if they're going to be weird about it. Sometimes even people you do know well. It's hard to both keep your distance and keep up a fun role-play, I've found - it's just too awkward to be worth it.

Second, it happens pretty often that someone's feelings get hurt. Even if you're doing it just for fun, or just as friends, etc, chances are that at least one party might have a little bit more invested - you just may not know it. They may become attached to the idea of the romance more than the actual person, but become attached they often do. Then if there is a rejection, or if their counterpart doesn't take it as seriously, it can hurt. Usually the person will say they don't mind or it's all in fun, but rejection, even for pretend, is never fun - and especially not so if they're nursing secret feelings.

If one of the people is in a real-life relationship, getting involved in something like this can put a strain on it. I've heard people say that it's okay because the other person is married, or has a significant other. If only that was a magical ward against romantic complications! :) Even if their s/o says they're okay with the idea, most people will say that just so they don't come off as the crazy-jealous boy/girlfriend. Of course seeing or thinking about your loved one spending time with someone else is going to bother a lot of people. Or at least make them wonder, even if it's just a game. Chances are that at least one of the people wouldn't have agreed to it unless there was some level of attraction - you don't tend to want to role-play love if you absolutely can't stand someone.

So, when is it okay to try? Well, obviously if you're already in a relationship with the person, it's a lot easier to translate that into the game. This is probably the best case situation. Even if you're starting out the relationship, at least you know where you stand irl (as much as you can, anyway :) ). And in some cases it could probably work where you know the other person very well - but I'd wager that there's still awkwardness, if not points 2 & 3 also.

Probably the next safest is to set something up between a PC & NPC who know each other. You can set up the ground rules and keep a greater distance this way. An NPC can usually only be around for a short time at a game, and they can often skip to using the third person and describing events/actions rather than acting them out. Nothing kills the mood like having your true love be played by a dirty, smelly NPC in a wife-beater and green facepaint smoking outside the NPC shack :) Interactions can even be kept to emails between games, and as long as you keep it to the point, it can avoid giving the other person the wrong idea. Keeping it as impersonal as possible can help - the PC can fill in the blanks in their head as much as they want!

But even in the NPC-PC situation, I've seen the above-mentioned problems come up. I wish it weren't so, because the girly-girl in me would love to see that added into the game (almost every fantasy has at least a dash of romance, after all!) - but I think at the end of the day there's just too much potential for weirdness and hurt feelings. At least in my opinion.

But what do you think? Is there a way to bring romance in game without being weird?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NERO Question: Magic Items for Goblins?

One of the things the rules committee has been tossing around is the idea that players can purchase magic items for goblin points. Now, before you go to a gut reaction, here are some of the details/restrictions we're putting on them.

- The Price is Very High
We're looking in the range of 2000-3000 goblins for a full effect item. It's not intended to be the norm for players, but instead to be a supplement for players who donate a lot to chapters, particularly staff members who often don't get a chance to play and accumulate items.

Prices are based on formal levels minus the extend/render. This is done to encourage players who have donated a little to get a magic item that might not be a full 5-effect item without the overwhelming cost of getting it extended or rendered.

- Maximum of one Magic Item per Player Per Year
We don't want players to fill out their full 5 magic item suite with goblin points. It's intended to help players who donate time/money.

- Items Will be Printed by the Player's Home Chapter
In order to keep players from putting strain on OOC logistics or trying to work the system, the tags will be printed by home chapters and you cannot get a magic item with goblins from a different chapter.

We're also tossing around the idea of making the items spirit locked so that they can't be traded, but we're not sold on that yet.

What does everyone think? Do you think that this will be overpowered? Do you think this will make goblins more worthwhile?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Keep It Simple

I'm sure we've beaten this dead horse far long enough, but I find it's useful to come back to this topic again and again.

The more stuff people have to remember, the more likely they are to mess it up.

In game design, we often try to add interesting elements to a game without thinking of the most basic consequence - that it's something else people have to be aware of.

The WAR Rules council is finalizing the local policy for 2012 at this moment. While some of the policies they've used in the past have added options to the game, those options were rarely, if ever, utilized by the players.

Since these are extra rules to remember, particularly for traveling players, I'm always in favor of dropping anything that isn't amazing and useful to the game. Is the Archery Modification playtest going to stay in effect? Of course, because florentine with a bow is crazy awesome and really should be a part of the core rules (as it is in that other game). On the other hand, do we really need a policy indicating how a smith can make a weapon out of bone or build a portcullis? I think not.

Here's an idea - you can be a smith and bring a portcullis to game, or make your weapon look like bone and you can tell people you made them. Done.

What do you think?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Week In LARP - February 6th

Now that we're into February, I think it's time that I get my stuff together and start up "The Week In LARP" posts again.

This Week In LARP

Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can go back to napping on Sundays after events. For those of you who don't know what the Super Bowl is, disregard that comment.


NERO Cincinnati will be hosting a 2-day event this weekend starting on Friday, February 10th and ending Sunday, February 12th. The game will be held at Camp Friedlander at the IG location of Beronis. It's $50 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!

Quick Save

Just to keep posting about the LARPing turn-arounds, I found out over the weekend that a couple of people are picking up Wastelands. So if you wanted to play an airsoft, post-apocalyptic/fantasy game - you still have your chance!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Safe Words

Some people probably got to this post by looking for something totally different :) Anyway, Bill's interesting ideas from Tuesday got me thinking. What sorts of things to we need "safe words" for? Since the podcast doesn't appear to be up just yet, I thought I'd muse a bit on the subject.

Bill's post mentioned illness, and I think this is something that can be used for a number of situations, including being hurt, or just plain exhausted.

However, there are other times when I think a code word might be a good idea. One of the most obvious would be for when a player feels uncomfortable with a situation. In most games, I think that there is enough separation so that players feel comfortable removing themselves - and the Staff tends to be careful. But in games that are more adult and immersive, there's the risk that some content may bother people, and that they feel awkward about trying to leave the mod. But in any game there's a chance that a player has an issue we don't know about. I might go so far as to suggest incorporating this into every game, just so that players know that, if something happens, they have a way to indicate their discomfort without making a big deal.

The player can just quietly say it to the marshal, and Staff could have a few stock ways of dealing with it. For example, just having the character pass out, rifting them out, or otherwise removing them from the encounter; or just letting the player stay in the back.

Another situation might be to indicate role-play. The point is usually immersion, but there are times when it can cover up some awkward role-play moments. My character may know all about dwarven cuisine, but I do not. This can cover those situations where things aren't written down, but the character would know them (or have purchased the skills). You can just say the phrase and the interaction is understood, without the explanations or awkwardness.

I am even thinking about something to use for role-play between players. For example, I have a character who is on the hunt for a rich husband. We have other players who play wealthy characters, but I don't want them to get the wrong idea. Maybe having a mechanic that allows you to go semi-out-of-game to explain your role-play, without freaking the player out.

Of course, there are going to be some dramatics around the idea. And we don't want to start using these as shortcuts for when something really should be acted out, or when a player should have read up on something but didn't. But there are always those gaps between the character and the player, and putting a few of these safe words in can smooth those over.

Got any more ideas for "safe word" situations?