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February 2018

Articles

We’ve taken a look inside this School of Witchcraft and we’ve got to say, it looks awesome! Here’s five reasons why you should attend this year.

1. It's in a real castle!

Yup, that’s right, it’s in a real 15th century English castle! Situated in the South East of England, Herstmonceux castle is surrounded by 600 acres of idyllic countryside, it’s the real deal, it’s even got a moat! During the game students get free roam of the castle and grounds for four days to do whatever they want. It’s got a great hall for dining, plenty of classrooms including an alchemy lab, expansive gardens for Herbology and even its own tavern! Whether in classes or taking part in a daring escapade with your fellow students, the surroundings create a 360 degree level of immersion in the game. We’ve heard tales of trolls in the dark forest and rumour has it that the Daemonology classroom has a dungeon!

Bothwell School of Wizardry Trailer

2. You make the story.

Bothwell School of Witchcraft is a Nordic/Sand box style larp. Once you get your character you have complete autonomy over what you want to do with your character. With their unique scene writing system, you can request a close encounter with giant spiders, form a secret society or plan a mishap for others and watch the calamity unfold. It means you become the central character in your own plot and you can be anything from a daring adventurer to a bullied book worm with a few hidden talents. Your choices make the story and its brimming with possibility.

3. House Rivalry

The warring and bickering houses of Bothwell make for a great playing experience. The most solid of friendships can be betrayed by choosing the houses glory first and the bitterest of enemies can become like family in the same house. Houses compete at the school for House Points in order to win the coveted house shield. Competing takes place at every moment, whether it be in the classroom, on the fireball pitch or even on a less-than-safe errand for a professor. Of course, there are students who don’t care about such things and choose self-interest over their houses goals. At the end of the day, Bothwell is one huge family and the houses are more like siblings than arch enemies, but it certainly makes for interesting play!

Wanna get in on the action? Click here to fill out the application form to attend this amazing school of Witchcraft!

4. Great for New Starters or Veterans

Bothwell is great for anyone who hasn’t been to a larp before. The game has been designed so those who’re apprehensive about attending a live action role play needn’t worry about anything. Heck, you can even turn up having done no preparation and there will be plenty to get your teeth stuck into. The schedule is packed with classes for everyone, and its easy to join societies or tag along on adventures and get the most out of your Bothwell experience. Of course, if you’re used to all of that and want to create your own magic, that’s all doable too. With the afore mentioned scene writing system, you can take yourself and others on a complex journey of twists and turns. Nothing is mandatory, you can skip classes, play pranks or duel in the courtyard. For those looking for a challenge you can also play a professor and teach some of the classes. Whatever your experience, the Bothwell staff are always on hand to help you through it. They offer Webinars on character development and will help you write your scenes.

5. Low Maintenance

It’s somewhat refreshing that if you wanted to, you need only a white shirt and trousers to attend, and it still looks good! The team behind Bothwell provide you with your robe and house tie, all they say you need to bring is “A wand and a sense of humour.” That’s not to say if you love costuming and want to bring your character to life you can’t, there’s loads of great opportunities to display your characters personality through costuming. There’s even the option for a few wardrobe changes as you dress up for the banquet or don as much of your house colours for the House Tournament.

Whatever you’re looking to get out of it, Bothwell is a fantastic game to play and shouldn’t be missed!

Now, if you like the idea of attending wizard school at a real castle in the UK click here to fill in the form on the next page and we’ll tell you how you can secure a ticket!

Don’t miss your chance to be a wizard in a real english castle!

Feb 06, 2018
Armistice Arcane is a high-immersion, rules-light larp set in 1890’s America produced by Peculiar Crossroads Productions held at Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans. Photos, unless otherwise noted, are by Alicia Nicole Trisciuzzi and I used this website to make them look old-timey! Thanks to Daniel Tan and Michael Kollen who edited this article.

 

Blockbuster LARPs have exploded since I started larping in 2014. This year alone boasts over six blockbusters scheduled across the country. For those unfamiliar with the term, LarpWiki defines a blockbuster LARP as

“a large, high-budget, high-profile larp which attracts international players and media attention.”

Blockbuster LARPs are still growing and organizers are still resolving questions including finding fair pricing, or if they are replacing local campaign games. I’ve found that people who have not attended a blockbuster are often hesitant to commit or suspicious that the experience may not be worth their money. Making the jump from $50 a month to $550+ for one weekend with little to no public reviews and information is difficult. Having been to a few blockbusters, I hope to shed more light on what I got from my time and money at Armistice Arcane.

I decided to use Youtuber LarpAnalysis’ system for “reviewing” LARP events. You can find his channel HERE. He also has an in depth video that explores the lore of Armistice Arcane.

Mechanics/Rules:

Before attending my first low mechanics (or what some might describe as Nordic or Nordic inspired) LARP, I was pretty confused about what exactly the game play would look like. Even after watching Youtube videos and reading articles about similar games, I still just didn’t get it. Coming from a NERO-inspired boffer larp, I had a hard time believing players would willingly accept a negative effect on their character for the purpose of good story. Armistice Arcane showed me how a simple set of well designed mechanics and high expectations of players could work together to build a collaborative story.

Armistice Arcane was a very rules light game. The only real “mechanic” was something the designers called, “open mediation and narrative decision making”, which is a fancy way of saying, every action in the game against a character must be consented to. So while character death and defeats were prevalent, none of them happened without the express consent of the “losing” player. This is the first time I really understood the phrase “play to lose”.

Here is just one of the many ways this played out: My character had the magical ability to sway and manipulate people’s emotions. At one point I was speaking with a character who was reticent towards me. While we chatted about mundane in-game things, I leaned forward and said, “if you consent, you feel very safe around me and that you can trust me.” That player then went on to reveal a few trivial secrets through the course of our conversation. It was a fun RP moment for both of us and there was no arguing about whether or not the effect happened. I am confident it was knowing that you had ultimate control over how magic affected your game that gave players a chance to be vulnerable to it.

I also loved the “no closed door” policy. I’m not sure if it was a mechanic per se, but it had a huge effect on how the game worked. The policy mandated that meetings must be held where other players could easily come across them. Therefore, plot wasn’t concentrated into the hands of a few high-ranking characters. In my past larp experience, players were reluctant to share their hard earned secrets and as a result, new players had a difficult time participating. “No closed door” made sure that this mistake wasn’t replicated at Armistice Arcane.  

Since the game was so “rules-light” the few in place were more in regards to safety and good community building and I will discuss those in the “Safety” section.

Lastly I want to discuss the expectations of the players. AFrom the first moment at Armistice, I was impressed by how professional the organizational team was and how they expected the same level of professionalism and maturity from their player base. Even at the best larps there are issues, but I couldn’t believe how few I witnessed at Armistice. For the most part, players accepted negative effects with grace and acted so well that the hotel actually offered a good deal for us to come back. I really believe treating your players with respect and showing them the same level can go miles towards building a thriving community.

One more thing I forgot to mention: The organizers also set up an escape room located in a fancy suite in the hotel. Throughout the weekend players were encouraged to attend with different factions to solve the room for pieces of in-game information. I attended one of these sessions and it remained completely in-character. This experience was completely optional and a cool bonus activity, as well as a way to meet players you wouldn’t normally interact with.

Atmosphere

For me there are three different elements that go into creating the atmosphere of a larp: the environment, the themes, and the quality of costuming.

Environment: The event was held at Le Pavillon hotel in New Orleans and WOW, was it beautiful. While there were elements of the game that were not in decorum (plastic cups, exit signs, and other modern items) they never distracted me from being immersed. Most of the players were staying on the 2nd floor, and we had full access to the conference rooms on this floor so we didn’t have non-player hotel guests stumbling on scenes (though we did upset one of the hotel staff who thought Larp Girl’s characters poisoning was an actual illness XD.) The rooms available to us gave plenty of locations for rituals, dancing, meetings, and more. The staff did a good job utilizing lighting and props-most amazingly building a fake wall with a mirror out of which an NPC literally came out of to the great surprise of all of the players. We also had live music one night that greatly enhanced the environment.

 

The themes of the game were definitely dark, but not overly so. While it pushed boundaries, I think this is a safe game for people who may not be comfortable exploring the darkest themes-especially because you can tailor your character to your comfort level. For a more in-depth look at some of the themes, Tara has written an excellent piece which I will link to when it goes live. Reading her experience showed me the vast range of stories this event contained.

The costuming was excellent. Some players were dressed in full Victorian garb, some were closer to Edwardian, and some were dressed in outfits from different time periods that fit their factions. I personally really enjoyed the variety I saw in costuming. I also want to give a shout out to Raquel Skellington who helped me (and more than a few others) find the majority of my costuming on Amazon for cheap!

Top right and bottom left photos by Foulweather Photos 

Roleplay

The roleplay at Armistice Arcane was excellent. I did not feel the need to be out of character one single time during the weekend. The amount of care the writers took with characters meant that most players, regardless of their level of RP experience, felt at ease. I came into the game with connections as well as information that was of interest to other players. This ensured that I felt I was an integral part to the experience right off the bat. While Evie did not sign any agreements or end anyone’s life, she was still an important part of at least a few other character stories.

The main engine of roleplay was player actions based on pre-written character sheets that each player received prior to the game. These sheets outlined our histories, our powers, our motivations, and our positive and negative relationships.

Highlights from my 7 page long character sheet. Your sheet includes a detailed story of your past, your motivations, and primary allies and enemies.

The organizers set up several events throughout the weekend (a high tea, a ball, dancing lessons) and sent out several NPCs, but most rituals and scenes were up to the individual player. For example, my character wanted to talk to someone from her past who had been murdered and may have a key piece of information. I spoke with a character who could contact the dead and she agreed to the ritual. We popped into the out-of-game room and told the storyteller our idea. He nodded, and sent me out of the room. He then told the other character what would happen if we attempted the summoning. Later we gathered in one of the ritual rooms, accompanied by two other characters. We performed a seance that was easily one of the most intense scenes for me of the weekend. I had tears pouring down my face as I listened to her relating how scared and alone the person from my character’s past was. I loved the way this worked. The only thing to look out for is that new larpers may not realize if they want scenes like this, they just need to ask. I know that when I was a new larper, I had no idea how to ask for or create plot. While many jumped in right away, a few players mentioned afterward that it took them awhile to understand how it worked. One potential remedy to this is to empower new players to ask plot for scenes such as this.

An intense meeting, me being whirled around the dance floor, and a kiss before a dramatic confrontation!

One thing I really loved about the RP was that it seemed that the designers accommodated for everyone’s level of comfort. As someone who is relatively new to heavy RP, I felt that my character had just the amount of drama that I was able to stay in character but was comfortable with her storylines. While my drama was relatively tame, I also heard from a veteran RPer that her character story arc was incredibly difficult and surprising for her, something she didn’t often get to experience anymore. I feel that the designers really took into account what you wanted out of the experience. I also felt that I had the ability to push myself further if I wanted, but that staying in my comfort zone did not detract from Evie’s story.

Safety

I really admire the staff’s attention to the safety and comfort of their players. Larp can be rough on players physically. Lack of sleep, forgetting to drink water, too much alcohol and high sugar content foods can be disastrous. While some of these are outside of the control of organizers, they certainly did their best to anticipate any issues. The staff went out of their way to ensure everyone was taking care of themselves, offering water and checking in on our well being. We also received a gift bag with snacks at registration. A few times I was so immersed in RP that I forgot to eat and those snacks saved my life. I personally did not sleep enough and did not eat at designated meal times, which did hurt my experience. However, this was completely personal and I will be sure to be better next time.

The emotional safety the organizers provided was amazing. They prepared us for the high drama of the weekend through an excellent pre-game workshop, a system for checking in, and escape mechanics for tough scenes. During the event there was a safe room players were welcome to decompress in with snacks, drinks, and a staff member with a certification of some sort in mental health. After the event they helped us decompress with an after party and a post-workshop. I loved that the game only ran until midnight on Saturday, because it gave us plenty of time to ease out of character safely.

This is particularly important to me because my last larp experience had none of these safety measures and completely threw me for a loop. I played a character that betrayed my family. Without any sort of pre or post workshop and general lack of communication, I was devastated when the game ended with my family sentencing me to death. Since many people in my faction were new to RP, I was worried that they would not separate my in-game betrayal from me as a person and I had no time to speak with them about any lingering feelings. Additionally, without a post-workshop I was confused about certain plot points and was frustrated by the lack of clarity. I felt used and upset. Every single issue I had at that game and others like it was anticipated and addressed by the staff at Armistice Arcane.

Some safety mechanics I think are worth stealing for other larps:

Okay-Check System: This system uses an unobtrusive hand gesture to check in with fellow players during high emotion scenes. For example, if someone is crying, you may make the “okay” hand gesture at them to check on the player’s emotional well-being. They have the option to respond with a thumbs up, a hand wave, or a thumbs down. There were many times Evie cried during the weekend, but Westbrook never felt she was in over her head.

Green/Yellow/Red: This is a system we were encouraged to use in any intense scene. A player can easily slip the word “green” into dialog to check in their partner is okay with what is happening. Green means “yes”, yellow means “ stop building intensity here”, and red means “full stop”. If someone says red, the scene is over and players walk away. It is as if the scene never happened and the player who called red does not have to revisit the situation unless they want to.

Community

The community was one of the best aspects of this larp. I will break this up into three phases:

Pre-larp: After your initial ticket payment, we were added to a players Facebook group. Once we were cast, we also had a seperate faction group where we hosted hang-outs and made plans for our faction. I specifically asked to be in a faction where I didn’t know any of the players because I’m still finding my RP legs and I was worried playing with my friends would make it harder for me to stay in character. The Facebook group was pretty active, there was a lot of character art, costume progress, and a little bit of shit talking between rival factions. We had some really cool LARP creators at the event including Larp Girl, GD Art, WanderingWolf, Momo O’Brien, and Raquel Skellington, who did a great job bringing the community together with photoshoots and character expose videos. We also had several talented visual artists who took commissions and costumers who offered their services.

At the event: There were plenty of meet-ups and hangouts on Thursday in New Orleans for people arriving early to get together. I felt that everywhere I turned there was a friendly face who wanted to check out a restaurant, bar, or even get pre-game pedicures together! A few of us explored the city and shopped at some of the many costume shops NOLA has to offer.

 

Exploring Bourbon Street and taking a quick pit stop on our ghost tour in a bar full of…dogs? Photos by me.

I was really blown away by how welcoming and inclusive the community was. Often times in larp there are “asshole characters” who use their character as an excuse to make others feel intimidated and excluded. Throughout the weekend, even the scary and “asshole” characters were approachable for RP. After the event there was a post-party where I felt comfortable mingling with different groups and getting to know everyone. The organizers were not excluded from this. After the Sunday wrap up, I attended a ghost tour run by one of the amazing NPC’s who is an actual professional tour guide in NOLA. We explored the French Quarter and afterwards a large group went out to Bourbon street for karaoke and dancing. While I was out dancing, still others stayed at the hotel for a more calm but just as awesome night. It really felt that everywhere you turned, you could find someone to hang out with.

Post event: The Facebook group is still active and I am in contact with many players who I now consider good friends. I actually found a sizable group of players from my city, so that is exciting. Some of us (not me sadly) are preparing for the next North American blockbuster larp (Real Royalty anyone?) and of course we are all busy making plans for Armistice Arcane 2!

Overall I found the community inclusive, safe, welcoming, and inspiring to both new and veteran players.

Approachability

I would say this game is highly approachable for new larpers. There were a large amount of people playing who had never larped before and I heard nothing but good things from them about their experience. A few new people expressed that they were a little intimidated to really go for some of the more dramatic scenes, but that they were excited to come back with more confidence and knowledge. The only significant barrier for this game is the costuming. I was quite intimidated by acquiring a Victorian ensemble and therefore went more Edwardian. I was happy with my costume, but it caused me a significant amount of stress before the event. I think next year it would be awesome if some of the veteran players can compile more resources-especially knowing I eventually got my outfit for under $100 on Amazon (Thanks Raquel!)

Accessibility

Physical Accessibility: The RP areas were physically accessible and the staff was on hand to help with any accommodations players might need. The organizers made it very clear that the player only need reach out to them if they needed accommodations. As someone who lives with a person in a wheelchair, I spend a lot of time noticing how events are run and their accessibility. This game would be great for those who are alter-abled with a few modifications and some pre-planning.

Financial Accessibility: Financially this larp was rather pricey, with packages starting at $550. You also needed Victorian costuming and transportation to and from the hotel. Notice I say pricey, not expensive. For what you got in the package (two nights in the hotel, a goody bag and swag, all meals catered, in-depth character sheets and personal plot lines, a fully catered ball with drink tickets and a string quartet, dancing lessons, etc) I can’t believe I only payed $550. At this point I would probably go for a higher package now that I have a longer time to pay for it and just because the swag was SO COOL.

Conclusion:

Overall I had an amazing experience that I found well worth the money. I am excited to return to Armistice Arcane 2 next year as well as see what other games Peculiar Crossroads Productions will come up with. If you are considering Armistice Arcane or are interested in finding out what other LARPs are happening in your area, I am happy to answer any questions at r.westbrook.evans@gmail.com. In the interest of full disclosure, I am friends with the organizers. However I did not receive any financial or other gain from this positive review. I have given them lots of my money and plan on doing so again because I really do believe in the experience they are creating.

 

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Feb 01, 2018

We often discuss LARP drop, or the feelings of sadness and loneliness you might experience following an event when you’re alone for the first time in a while. But there’s also LARP hype, which happens on the early end of LARP planning.

We mostly associate LARP hype with excitement and positivity, but the rush of LARP hype, your interactions with other players and their expectations, and the time crunch at the end can produce some valid feelings of anxiety.

If you’re new to LARPing, here’s a look at what you might expect. If you’ve LARPed before, enjoy the gifs and know you’re not alone.

Image: https://gph.is/1lfXF3c

 

1. Sign Up Social Hype

Whether you’ve signed up for a new blockbuster LARP or the same monthly campaign game you’ve attended for years, hype begins when you click the RSVP and payment buttons. It only escalates once you share your attendance in your game group or on your Facebook wall. LARP attendance is usually a substantial commitment of time and funds, and it can represent the majority of your entertainment budget.

What better way to experience entertainment than with your friends?

 

Are you not entertained?

Image: https://gph.is/146ahJd

 

2. Character Adoration

The anticipation of that character sheet only adds to the hype. It’s definitely one of the most intense points of hype between the sign-up and the LARP itself. If it’s a new character, there’s some anxiety about what you might get…

 

OMG

Image: https://media.giphy.com/media/prhumXOHcR5tK/giphy.gif

 

…as well as hopes about the potentials for costuming if you get cast in the group or faction of your choice.

Peculiar Crossroads Productions, creators of Armistice Arcane, sent out short character blurbs (complete with faction affiliation) prior to the full sheets to allow players adequate time for costuming preparations. It was enough to start prep, but it also fueled the hype.

For campaign LARPers, this can mean updating your character materials and selecting new skills. Now’s the time to think about what you’ll do and how you’ll accomplish it.

3. Perfect Planning and Character Connections

Once the LARP is closer to approaching and you have your new character (or your character upgrades), it comes time to plan for the event with your players. While some of the best moments of your story may happen by chance, now is the time to define and refine character relationships and potential interactions. It’s also an ideal time to begin conversations about consent, especially concerning intense interactions like fighting, arguing, or romance.

Of all the things that hype me up the most about any LARP event, it’s the process of connecting with other players and developing intense character relationships (especially the antagonistic ones).

4. Purchases and Creation

For many LARPers, the creative phase of character preparation is the most rewarding. During this time, you can purchase, customize or create the many elements that make your character unique.

While everyone is familiar with the need to acquire or make the right costuming and props, the details go far beyond that. Many LARPers memorize rules, learn songs or poems, make playlists, and practice accents in preparation for taking on their character’s role. The process of creating and assembling props and costume pieces can feel like you’re putting a bit of yourself into the character, and that only enhances the hype.

 

Making some LARP crafts

Image: https://media.giphy.com/media/1463o17ejELYqs/giphy.gif

It’s also genuinely exciting to finish a project, and LARPs naturally allow you to break tasks down into smaller ones (the process of “chunking”).

5. Packing and Panic

Have you ever stayed up to complete a project the night before the LARP? Have you ever worried you’ve forgotten something – or worse, have you actually forgotten important items? Welcome to the ‘packing and panic’ stage of LARP hype. Here, sleep deprivation contributes to general excitement and a feeling of dread, thanks to the natural deadlines LARP events create.

packing for larp

Image: https://media.giphy.com/media/l0HlGTJmgaz2nVdHW/giphy.gif

 

Is it possible to be nervous and excited at the same time?

Absolutely, and that’s yet another stage of the preparation and hype.

6. Straight Up Anxiety

If you’re used to spending a lot of time alone, the adjustment to being in a large crowd all weekend can also create some anxiety. LARPs present a lot of opportunity for expectations and disappointment, and it’s only natural to internalize some of that.

7. Sleeplessness

You know how it feels as a kid on the night before your birthday or a major holiday? That’s kind of how LARPing is for adults. I never slept the night before Christmas. When you need to fly, drive, or just generally be awake the following day, failure to sleep is not optimal, and in some cases, not safe. At this point, I just embrace the fact that it’s going to happen and plan accordingly.

This is the stage of LARP hype you can find yourself running on even through the first day of a multi-day event – but don’t forget to take care of your body.

You can also try some standard tips for falling asleep when you’re excited.

 

What stages of LARP hype do you find yourself feeling the most? Let us know how you cope with the pre-game excitement in the comments.

Dec 22, 2017

By: Kathaleen Amende, Mark Hill, Corey Lowenberg, Danielle Lauzon, Tara M. Clapper

So, you’ve decided to try out a Nordic larp!  That’s fantastic and exciting, and we hope you’re going to have an amazing time! But for some of you, it’s going to be a brand new kind of larp.  It isn’t that Nordic larp itself is new – it’s been around for a while.  But there’s no doubt that it’s different from traditional American style campaign larps.  With no boffers, no or very light mechanics, and a high expectation of immersion, Nordic larps can be kind of intimidating for a newcomer. So we’ve put together a few suggestions for how to get the most out of your first foray into the Nordic scene.

Before we get to the suggestions though, we recommend you take some time and look through a few articles on the Nordic larp scene (the links are below the article).  The field has grown strong in the European, especially the Scandinavian, countries, but it’s slowly making its way across the pond, so don’t be surprised to be hearing even more about them as time goes on.

Now, onto the actual suggestions for ways that you can embrace your first Nordic character and really get into the world that the designers have created for you.

"Besides, what’s the point of having juicy secrets if they don’t get found out at some point?"

Embrace Loss

Much, if not all, of the conflict encountered in a Nordic larp is mediated, and this system requires at least one of the parties to “lose” in any contest. It is a good idea to reframe the way you think about such things – instead of considering it “winning and losing,” simply consider setbacks and defeats as meaningful avenues for advancing a story.  Outside of straight-up death, every conflict and consequence is part of enriching not only your story, but the game at large, and since Nordic storytelling is about collaboration, these moments are important.  Besides, what’s the point of having juicy secrets if they don’t get found out at some point?  Drama with other people is more fun than the “victory” of keeping all of your secrets.

Scifi Larp

Get Involved

It is easy to find ways to refuse the call to action, in the Campbellian sense.  An adherence to a rigid, inflexible character identity will result in missing out in a variety of possible encounters.  Instead of refusing to do something because you believe that your character wouldn’t do it, find reasons why your character would do something.  Maybe you’re physically delicate socialite is too timid to face danger head on, but what if he was a gossip who wanted to be first with the dirt?  Or what if your sullen detective needed to learn to dance in order to go under cover?  Don’t wallflower with your character unless you really enjoy just sitting back and watching others dive in.

Harry Potter Larp
Students gather to share a meal - College of Wizardry Image - John-Paul Bichard

Find Your Spotlight...but also be a Generous Player

Don’t be afraid to make a dramatic move and take center stage when it’s appropriate. Larps in this style thrive on these moments. While you’ll want to allow others space for their own spotlights in the collaborative story, don’t shy away from taking yours when the time is right. If you’ve discovered that the lord of the manor is secretly worshipping demons, definitely announce it when you’ve got a good audience!  And, likewise, always be on the lookout to help others shine.  If you know that someone has the information to answer a pressing question, make sure they step up there and take that spotlight.  Maybe even draw attention to them.  Remember, you are the main character in your own story, but all those other characters are the protagonists of their stories.  A Generous Player proactively looks for ways to highlight other characters and involve other players in scenes for the betterment of the story and experience as a whole. This requires a certain level of faith between players to trust that their peers will reciprocate, but when everyone buys in, this practice leads to a truly cooperative experience.

Feel Deeply

At many Nordic larps, you have the potential to experience a fantastic amount of character development over a short amount of time. Your character won’t be the same person they were when they started, and it may even feel as though you’ve lived a whole lifetime in a few short days or hours. If you’re open to committing to intense emotions, you may find that you have changed, too. Decide for yourself if this is appropriate, and know how to embrace it if you choose.  You may hear about something called “bleed,” and you may have even experienced it yourself.  There are, of course, both positive and negative ways to respond to bleed (when there is crossover between what your character is feeling and what you are feeling), but it is not, in itself, a bad thing.  To learn more about bleed, see the links below.

Communicate...Communicate...Communicate

There are a ton of play styles out there, and you will probably encounter more than one of them while you are at the game.  The best way to get what you want from a story is to communicate your ideas and to listen to others when they tell you the same.  Most Nordic larps are based on consent and will have consent-based mechanics which are designed to give you the opportunity to leave a scene, to slow a scene down, or even to increase the intensity of the scene.  Learn these mechanics well (usually they have a workshop – always try to attend these), and don’t be afraid to use them.  Talking with and negotiating scenes with your fellow players will not only help everyone feel safer, but it will give you the opportunity to really explore things you might not feel safe exploring in other larps.  If you have concerns, you should definitely take advantage of the presence of your GMs and larp runners to talk about what should be expected at the game.  

 

Whatever you do, though, remember that even the most experienced of Nordic larpers can feel nervous and get stage fright.  While all larps benefit from trust, honesty, and openness, in most American style campaign larps, there is often a benefit to keeping your secrets and keeping an eye on the eventual prize.  Ultimately, in Nordic style larps, you are putting on a different person not to see what that person can achieve, but to see what it’s like to be that person.  In other words, most American style larps are about what your character can do.  Nordic style larps are about what your character can be. So feel free to experience everything you can, and to enjoy it all – even if your character might not.

Looking for your first Nordic Larp? Look no further!

Armistice Arcane is a Victorian Era Gothic larp this January!

Enter the world of magic, intrigue, and politics this January, 5-7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fill out the application and tell them Larping.org sent you!

Nov 10, 2017

For years we’ve been waiting for an augmented reality system to come out and change a lot of larps and how they work. There have been a lot of attempts to put sensors in larp weapons and hook them up to phones that have been lackluster to say the least.

 

Legacy Game Systems and Incognita Limited are looking to change all of that.

 

From the video above you can see they are using a bunch of different weapons with a very seamless augmented reality system to fully engross players in the action, instead of calls and worrying about rules. The latter of which can be a huge deterrent to being immersed in the setting and a turn off for new players that aren’t accustomed to doing maths in their head very quickly.

I very briefly spoke to Matthew Webb, one of the creators behind the new system, to get a few questions out there:

 

What details can you give about the new system and it’s hardware? 

The hardware is a multi-peripheral system – meaning it can use multiple types of devices including weapons, wands, sensors and other instruments – that communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The smartphone serves as the game engine, as well as a data connection for the game for syncing with servers and online components. – Webb

What is Spellslingers? 

Spellslingers is the initial game for the system, and involves combat between wizards using the wand peripheral for the system. It will involve casting spells of defense and offense against each other.

Check out the full press release below and make sure to check out their Youtube channel and throw them a like and subscribe to keep tabs on this project!

 

Augmented LARP just got real: Incognita Limited and the creator of NERO join forces

The leader in live action gaming software, Incognita Limited , announces its new partnership with the augmented reality hardware company Legacy Game Systems . Legacy Game Systems is led by Ford Ivey, the creator of several LARPs including the nationwide NERO

Incognita has signed on to create a new generation of games using Legacy Game Systems’ augmented reality hardware, the Daemon Platform, and will be the first company licensed to produce live action software using the platform. Incognita has been developing other live action and augmented reality projects, and is the first dedicated live action gaming software studio. Earlier this year, they premiered their Larpweaver software suite at World of Darkness Berlin, which was used to manage the immensely successful Enlightenment in Blood pervasive street LARP.

“We’re immensely excited to join forces with such a legendary figure in American LARP,” says Matthew Webb, founder of Incognita Limited, “We have been producing some great software products using standard mobile hardware for three years. But to see Legacy’s hardware in action is a real treat, and the entire platform has incredible potential. The Daemon Platform is an incredible piece of hardware. It can handle melee and ranged combat; guns to swords; magic and healing. It really fits our mission of using software to make LARP better than it has ever been before.”

Incognita Limited will be creating several games for the platform, beginning with the highly anticipated Spellslingers game, with other projects coming soon. But there are promises that the platform will be open to even more developers soon.

“We will be developing an open source library for the Unity game engine for using the Daemon Platform, so we can have an accessible and flexible piece of gaming hardware that anyone can use and create games for,” Matthew added.

Incognita Limited and Legacy Games Systems hope to showcase and demo their collaborations by end of this year.

Matthew Webb will be taking part in a panel on live action technology next weekend at San Diego Comic Con , where he will be speaking about the state of LARP technology in general as well as his own projects.

Jul 18, 2017
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