A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Monday, August 4, 2008

LARP and Me.

I really need to thank the players, storytellers, and NPC players for this year's Changeling game at Connecticon 08. It was so kicky rad I just had to say thank you once more. Time for a long but not massively detailed recap, and a bunch of me feeling utterly not worthy at the majesty of megafun you fine ladies and gentlemen provided for me Saturday night!

First off, why I didn't ever do LARP before this event:

1: It seems dorky. Yeah. Its kind of goofy running around in silly costumes in public doing silly things.

2: Possibly illegal. One of the first times I got asked to LARP it was with a group who mentioned they had to look out for cops as they run around graveyards and stuff.

3: Some WEEEIIRD PEOPLE MAN. Its unfair stereotyping, but it does cloud your opinions.

4: Conflict resolution is usually STUPID. Throwing beanbags at people? Rock Paper Scissors? Hitting each other with pool foam tubes? DUMB. Maybe if there was lightguns, airsoft, or paintball, but you can do those without having to yammer on with the prince of Muncie. I love putting my wee toy soldiers on a battle mat or my Heroscape scenery or whatever and having my wargames where RP breaks out.

5: Mostly gamestuff I don't like. I am sci fi and horror as my big nerd on things. Most LARPs are goth Anne Rice wonderlands or immersion breaking sword and sorcery games.

6: I work weekends and evenings. Yeah. It ruins what little social life my sorry butt could have to begin with, and even makes it hard to tabletop game.

Now this week, my opinion was changed thanks to my LARP friends convincing me to give the game a try. It was a Changeling game. What sold me to at least give it a shot was the conflict resolution. Your stats and skills plus a randomly picked playing card.

Ok, that's kind of neat. And I like playing card mechanics in RPGs. Its a nice change of pace from dice. Its how I ran All Flesh Must Be Eaten in a sit down game many moons ago.

We were allowed to make our own PCs if we wanted, so I made mine up the day before. I had a negative opinion of Changeling as well, but I went in at least willing to give it a shot. I made a version of one of my pet PCs I have used in such games as Castles & Crusades, Car Wars, and Warhammer 40K. I would have much rather played a Promethean as I am a total fanboy for that game, but it wasn't on offer.

Because nobody likes Promethean but me.

I make him up and tweak his concept for this setting. Being our characters are in a local place in a modern setting, no need for costumes or whatever which helps with immersion. Even if its just in a large conference room at a convention. Some folks have their cosplay either as their character, or from their impromptu dealer's room trips. Or just for the con itself.

It starts off with us being gathered at some meaningless social gathering. OH BOY.
Even my friends are giving me a look of "Oh no. Boring disaster in the making." But some folks are more outgoing than others and a little RP starts happening and we get into character a bit more and sort of at least familiarize ourselves with each other.

Then the Storyteller gets things moving with reports of one of our upper leaders being dead. We split off and go find things out. Still just in the same room, but I can visualize it well enough. The ST does a great job of RPing the NPCs and we move on. The RPing gets a bit more intense as we work on what to do next and how to do it. I become one of the three big movers and shakers getting things done. (We would later find out the guy who pretty much nominated myself and the other proactive leader type did so figuring we would all get taken out. ) We come up with a plan and start putting it into motion. It leads to a combat situation and we described what we were doing and BELIEVED IN THE HEART OF THE CARDS. Except unlike terrible anime, it didn't always work out as planned.

But even the failures lead to a TON of laughs. (The only other time there were so many big laughs this con was in a rather disastrous Warhammer 40K battle where one of the best close combat models in the game got taken out by the worst. Its a minis wargamer thing...)

We took care of our problems, and as RPGs and stories go, it was merely the first step to more fun havoc and mayhem. Which we as a group dealt with. And pretty much AS A GROUP. Nearly 20 people, most of whom had never met before and we worked as a team. (Even the guy who tried to orchestrate our doom ended up becoming one of the gang. Post game he apologized for going from an evil sort to more good to get things moving in a way he thought it should go, but I thought it was great myself.)

We had a KICK BUTT TIME, and I ended up chatting with people from the group off and on for the rest of the convention and because of it, got to meet and talk with tons of great folks. I tend to be a quiet lonely sort whose life is pretty much work, 1-2 days of nerd gaming in the afternoon, sit around at home and waste my life on videogames and the internet. I don't get to meet people who share similar interests as me and talk about stuff I care about. Because of the LARP I did, and I found the game itself really fun.

My experience was closer to a sit down RPG with 2-3 times as many people, light costuming, and more roleplaying with much less constant GM supervision.


And now I want to sort of develop a little LARP myself. It could make a fun Mecha game. Either hybrid it with rules light miniatures play for the robot combat (TOYS FOR EVERYONE! HUZZAH! ^_^ ), or just as the LARP I played in, describe the actions.
It would sure be a nifty way to get people who generally shy away from the glory of big stompy robots to play in a mecha game. Either way the rules light approach and more people actually ROLEPLAYING as opposed to Advanced Squad Leader with robots could be really neat. Its making my neurons fire with inspiration! I even have the perfect setting for this. SO CURSE YOU AWESOME LARP PEOPLE! SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! (But its mecha, and like Promethean I am alone in my love for it so it would just be a mental workout as opposed to something I would expect to actually see USED. Even if it would be totally RIGHTEOUS. Seriously. Sci Fi Channel 11pm-midnight Mondays as of this writing. Gurren Lagann. Giant robot action is AWESOME.)

I really regret not taking pictures at the game. When I do my post con report on my blog (see below plug plug!) I will have a gaping hole in my pictorial commentary done up in a fun and easy to read comic book style. (If anyone else happened to take pics PLEASE SEND EM TO ME!)

But for yall that were there as this youtube link says:


Yep. If I ever have a chance, first round of the tasty beverage of everyone who played this year is on me!

As to my tiny amount of regular readers? My full con report will be started sometime this week.

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/