GM: Luke Crane, Thor Olavsrud
Players: Sean Nittner, Devin Binger, Colin Booth, Meguey Baker, Wilhelm Fitzpatrick, Sean Sakamoto, Lesley Myhan, Lukas Myhan, and my hero Thorwald, er Morgan Stinson.
System: Inheritance (LARP)
This game is about exactly what it sounds like: Inheritance. A great jarl (viking lord) has just died and his son plus relations have gathered for his funeral, feast and reading of his will.
I won’t say much about the game itself because this is a LARP that is going to be run again. (Hey, hey, at Big Bad Con even!) so I don’t want to give away spoilers.
Luke wasn’t fucking around with this game. He opened it up and told us what was going on with no uncertainty. He quickly dispelled any notions (if they were even there to begin with) that we were viking caricatures. Our characters were serious, determined, and full of conviction.
I played Ring, the son of Thorwald (the jarl) and grandson of the great jarl who died. I was young and full of anger and wanderlust. The other characters included my father, month, brother, my brothers companion, our Christian priest (bookkeeper and scribe) and our father’s brother in arms. So our knowledge of each other (except the companion) was intimate. We were all personally invested in choices of one another.
The game ended with a long wrap up to conclude all the events that followed. I was really happy to see the fruition of many characters goals, getting to see into the future and see how the turned out.
Thoughts on the game
Each character had a envelope that we couldn’t open until the GM instructed us to. The contents of the envelope pre-determined the results of conflicts between two characters. It was an awesome mechanic, because it allowed for all the uncertainty we needed as players without introducing any foreign elements (like dice or a ro-sham-bo) into the game. I really dug it.
Some of the characters had certain authority explicitly written on their character sheet. Governance over law, the new faith, the old faith, the home, etc. These were great, because they were very easy to bring into the game “My word is law” and Luke and Thor were great about enforcing those. The other characters, who didn’t have those powers were in slightly murkier waters. At one point I took a fairly rash and physically aggressive, thought not violent, action. There was a bit of confusion and then Luke hopped it to adjudicate it, which was great. We talked some after, but it seems that the most important thing was to have a GM handy in this case to clarify what is happening in the fiction.
The pacing of the game was very well structured. It reminded me in some ways of a very good game of The Gift, with each scene opening and closing on an event (a funeral, a feast, etc).
Without giving away spoilers, I won this game so hard. I loved it.