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December 2017

Author Archives Jordan

About Jordan

Founder and creator of Larping.org. He's the captain of the ship, plotting the course, braving the storm and swabbing the poop decks.

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

Let Go & Immerse Yourself

INTO A 19TH CENTURY WORLD OF MAGIC, MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE…

Armistice Arcane will transport you back in time to the victorian age where you will become one member in a vast arcane where the future of the magical world will be decided.

This will be an experience of high-politics, gothic horror and magic. It’s not an experience for the light of heart either, as participants will explore themes of light and dark, friendships, alliances, diplomacy, fear and anger. Among other things this all inclusive, block-buster style event is going to look at what it means to push the levels of “acceptability” set forth by society.

All-Inclusive Experience

provide all players with a weekend of immersion with all lodging and food included.

We also provide a number of items, depending on which package you purchase, to enhance your in-game and out-of-game fun.

New Orleans January 5-7 2018

The event is being held at the Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans – a Victorian Era luxury hotel with spacious, well-equipped rooms, thematic decorations, delicious catering, and a beautiful view of both downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.  Considered one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans, it might also provide you with even more of a magical experience than we could expect!

Who?

Peculiar Crossroads Productions have been running and designing games for over ten years. The team is made up of Mark Hill, Rob Paul, Kathy Amende, Scott Brown, Corey Lowenberg, and Jaimie Spencer. Their team is ecstatic to bring their creative visions to a much larger audience with Armistice Arcane.

When & Where?

The event will be hosted at the Le Pavillion Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 5 – 7th, 2018. The event is all-inclusive: food, lodging, props, custom character creation and a truly immersive experience!

The Story

The Armistice Arcane, inspired by the Penny Dreadful novels of the Victorian era, is a game set in New Orleans during the late Victorian era.  It is the story of eight magical societies that have formed in the United States since its founding as a country.

I'm ready to join the Arcanum and push the levels of acceptability!

"Instead of action driven by stats on a sheet, the characters in Armistice Arcane have richly detailed histories to push the story forward."

Every person that I’ve talked to who has attended a Peculiar Crossroads game in the past has had the same resounding praise, “The writing is stellar!”. From the overall story of the game, down to the minutiae of the characters written for each participant the writing that drives the story forward is the hallmark of their events.

Over the summer their team wrote an epic event that I wasn’t able to attend, but many of my close friends were able to attend and they are all still raving about the writing, the characters and the story Peculliar Crossroads were able create.

Now, for the first time, they’re bringing all of their prowess for a large international audience to host their own blockbuster larp.

I took a few minutes to chat with Kathy Amende and ask a few questions for players who might not have taken part in a game of this type:

Q: How will this event compare to other larps most americans might have attended?

K: Armistice Arcane is a Nordic style larp fully committed to collaborative storytelling, immersion, and emotional resonance. We want our players to be, as much as modernity will allow, drawn into a world of our making and to help us tell stories by experiencing that world rather than playing a game. Unlike in traditional parlor larps that have dominated the American scene for decades, Armistice Arcane is not tied to an established setting or rule system and thus has carved out space for an original and unique narrative.

Q: Is this a “nordic larp” and if so, what makes it a nordic style event?

K: The beauty of Nordic larps is that they tend to be artistically driven, and so the game experience reflects the vision of the designers. A few years ago, when we removed conflict systems and numerical sheets, we discovered that our players had an entire new level of immersion in the story we crafted. While conflict through mediation is not a new concept in America (games like New World Magischola have had great success with this), it is still gaining traction in our public freeform larps. Instead of action driven by stats on a sheet, the characters in Armistice Arcane have richly detailed histories to push the story forward. They have motivations, objectives, goals, and webs of connections to other players that will allow for a fuller immersion into our magical Victorian New Orleans.

Q: Why custom written characters, as opposed to letting players write their own?

K: We have created a world already populated with these characters in order to make it both easier to build a comprehensive story and to make immersion and immediate play easier for the characters by ensuring that 1) every character has an important role to play int he story and 2) so that every character can come in with a web of connections to other characters.

Q: What level of customization will participants have with their characters?

K: The players do get to have some say in which factions they play in as well as the kind of relationships their characters might have. We ask our players questions about comfort levels and the things that they are interested in, and then give them characters that jibe with the answers they’ve given us. For our leader positions – characters that have earned more respect in back story – we spend a great deal of time talking with them and making sure that they are prepared for leadership roles. We also ask them to suggest some elements that we can add to their characters that would make them more easy and fun to play.

And, we allow for a lot of room for building stories with other players about things that might have happened in their shared backstories. For example, all of the members of the Cirque can come up with some stories that might have happened during their travels with the circus, as long as those stories don’t conflict with what’s in their sheets.

Tickets are selling out quickly. Don't wait!

There are only 100 tickets available for this event and since nothing like it has been done in the states it is sure to sellout fast! They’ve already sold nearly a third of the spots available and factions and characters are taking shape.

Don’t wait to get your spot!

Oct 09, 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

Head over to the Kickstarter to get your ticket!

Yes! I want to be a Weekend Warrior!

A little bit of confession here: I’ve been drooling over Fell and Faire’s Instagram account for a LONG TIME. I’ve sat around with friends and dreamed about doing an event with them. When I heard about this event I was pumped that they are doing it on the kind of level that they were and everything in the Kickstarter points to this being an epic event you won’t want to miss!

 

I had a chance to get the low down on this epic event from Skip Lipman, legendary larper, and some of the information he graciously spilled is down below.

 

There are just five days left, as of this writing to get your tickets on the Kickstarter and you’re not going to want to miss out!

Who wouldn't want to be in this company of Rangers?

A post shared by Fell & Fair (@fellandfair) on

The Team

Who’s behind this incredible effort? 

A little bit about the Weekend Warrior team, Zan Campbell of Fell and Fair, a growing garb and costume shop with a great Instagram following, Ron Newcomb with The Forge Studios an independent film company that focuses on fantasy and sci-fi, Samantha Swords, internationally known medieval swordsmanship specialistand WETA workshop craftsman, and me, Skip Lipman a documentarian of US LARP with his film Darkon, aspiring actor, and seasoned craftsman. Together they are working to create a next level event here in the US. Weekend Warrior!

Weekend Warrior's Inspiration

What were your inspirations for this event? 

What we want to do is take what is best about European LARP, the realistic and superbly crafted weapons, high level of costuming, roleplay, and story, and combine it with what is best about American LARP, the full contact competitive sport like fighting of Darkon, Dagorhir, Belegarth, and other high speed US based LARPS.

 

One thing that is very different from either Bicoline or Mythodea, that we do take inspiration from, is that we are the first to do this kind of large scale fully immersive event here in the United States.

The World

Tell me a little about the world you’re building. 

he world we are building is based on a cinematic universe that we are growing and will be supporting with narrative episodic videos. We are treating this event itself like a film to help create that immersive experience. Looking at the garb and gear as wardrobe selections that are specific to our realm. Making style choices to reinforce that world building.The idea is to have strong story backbone that will guide and enhance the roleplaying experience. From the moment you step onto the event grounds, you are in “Adrasil”. The story anchors the game play with NPC’s. The participants will create their own personas within this story. The wardrobe is controlled and all high-end – with recognizable factions, and loyalty tho the story and world (it’s going to look great). We currently have three storylines in development or production based on The Rangers concept.

(video below)

Cinematic Experience

You mentioned a cinematic experience, what’s your plan for how that will be used?  

We will be filming the entire event and preparations leading up to it, so participants will have a record of the event highlighting their experience, with eye towards creating a reality show developed for distribution about the event and the players. With our experience in fantasy film and documentaries like, Darkon, we believe that we will be able to produce a highly marketable product that will help promote, elevate, and change the way people think of LARP world wide.

What are you waiting for?

Yes! I want to be a Weekend Warrior!

Jun 16, 2017

Welcome to the Live Action Art Podcast!

Each week we’ll be talking to the movers, shakers and great minds in the larp community around the world. Our goal is to encourage, inspire and find the patterns behind what these folks do to produce incredible games, props, weapons, armor, etc. etc.

Today, I interviewed the Creative Director of Larping.org, Thomas Miller! We decided it’d be good to interview Tom first to get our feet wet and fumble through our words before we subject someone else to our questioning.

Big public thank you to Tom from me, Jordan, for his hard work, dedication and love of not only larp, but me, and being a damn good friend for years now. Much of what you see at Larping.org is due to his hard work and dedication to this fine community.

You can stalk Tom online on his Instagram: instagram.com/jawsoffenrir/

For those that don’t know Tom has been on our team here at Larping.org for the past three years starting out as what you might call an intern (we talk about his entrance onto the scene in the podcast) and is now our Creative Director who helps make our websites beautiful and is instrumental in pulling off our yearly trip to Bicolline called The Voyage North.

Sit back, listen and enjoy.

Next week we’ll be interviewing Fabian Geuss from Conquest, the world’s largest larp event, in Germany.

Who would you like us to interview next?

Tell us in the comments below!

”I

”You

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The Voyage North – www.thevoyagenorth.com

Our yearly trip to Bicolline to experience the largest larp in North America in one of the most immersive environments in the world. The Voyage North provides everything you need so all you have to do is larp for a week. All camp comforts are provided: matching authentic medeival tents, cots, tavern, lighting, firewood, benches, seating, mead hall meeting tent, you name it and the camp comforts are provided. Plus, transportation to and from the airport, two gourmet meals a day, organized guild activities, translators for speakign French and a home in an amazing medieval fantasy world.
Boswell’s Best – http://www.boswellpipes.com/tobaccoblends.html

I love this tobacco, it’s delicious and well priced. If you’re a pipe smoker I highly recommend Northwoods. It’s become my go to smoke.
Rick Wynne | Grand Expedition – https://www.facebook.com/The-Grand-Expedition-to-Drachenfest-Mythodea-since-2011-121329411259220/timeline/

“The Grand Expedition is a collection of live action role players from all over the world who went as a group to the big German LARP festivals of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. We will be going to the events again in the summer of 2016! The Expedition itself is the plot device used to help organize this project. By combining the resources, experiences and energy of so many people we hope to create a dynamic role playing “super-group”. We have members from several different LARP systems and even different countries. Rick Wynne, the Expedition organizer has been to both Drachenfest and Mythodea in 2010 on his own where he discovered the need for an organization like the Grand Expedition.”

Patrick Pennig | Epic Armoury Canada – http://www.epicarmourycanada.com/

We have a large debt of gratitude for Patrick’s help in our first year on The Voyage North to Bicolline. He was instrumental in helping us get situated on site, getting our tents the first year and all around helping us navigate everything for the trip the first year. Thank you Patrick!

Duche de Bicolline – http://www.bicolline.org/v2/
All things Bicolline can be found here. If you don’t speak French, open the website in Chrome and it should translate most of the text.

Demitri Zaitsev | Nuclear Snails Studios – https://www.facebook.com/nuclear.snail
Amazing artist all around and incredible costuming designer of

Ian Forand | Atliers Nemesis – https://www.ateliers-nemesis.com/?language=en
Creator of incredible larp weapons and props.

Fitz Carlson | Props – https://www.facebook.com/lancerb/photos
Plastidip and Costume Artist

Fabian Geuss | Conquest – http://www.live-adventure.de/ConQuest_english/start.php
Largest larp game in the world. Held every August in Germany and has over 8,000 participants.


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