As the icebreaker, warm up to Sandcon (a small house con on the beach), Jason and Sarah started us off with The Great Afterparty. A meta larp about larpers who just finished a larp. Oh goodness.
Here’s the teaser intro (you can find all of the materials here):
Mist over Goblin Peak, a larp set in Kabus Negara
The two countries Miramarmora and Grankendorf have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. In Goblin Peak Pass, where the long fighting was the bloodiest, an initiative for peace negotiations has finally been made. The negotiation will take place in the small village of Goblin Peak Hamlet, where the inn The Drooling Donkey lies. The evil wizard Kharbuja, more often called Lord Darkmist, has agreed to sit down at the negotiation table with the young and inexperienced Princess Libellule. But at what price..?
This happened in the game:
- There was a trial
- There was an attack from the outside that led to cooperation between the two sides
- Someone was sacrificed
- There was a great ritual
- There was a secret ritual that only a few got to attend
- Lord Darkmist demanded Princess Libellule in exchange for a ceasefire
- There was a clash between the two sides which lead to a diplomatic crisis
- Someone betrayed the princess
- The food was delayed because the darned whole lamb was never fully cooked
- There was a council meeting
- Someone’s character was killed while the player was sleeping
Roles were handed out with the “lead” roles being given to new players who hadn’t made it to Sandcon before. Karen was Kharbuja, the evil wizard, aka Lord Darkmistm and I was Krakh the orc, not to be confused with Kraaakh the orc or Khraaaaaaakh the orc. Heee.
We brought a few props but because of the flight, didn’t have room for much. I had a cap, which I thought would go a long way towards making Krakh stand out as the smart orc. Karen was given a cape and serpent scepter and I was handed a very nice boffer sword. Suddenly we were quite the part.
As with any good larp, we had secrets, oh so many secrets. Mine where:
- You only came to recruit people to the MUCH cooler larp you’re organizing.
- Someone broke your expensive, borrowed ritual chalice.
I could list them all (and you can find them on the link) but I suggest not looking at as it is much for fun to discover these petty, all to close to home, foibles in play.
The Play is the Thing
Sarah and Jason had us all close our eyes. They read the teaser (above) and then when we opened our eyes, thanked us for playing and told us to come see them if we had any compliments or wanted to tell then what we liked best about the con. Now it was a party, enjoy!
Ha, what an intro. I started off first thing asking in a loud whiny voice “Hey, who took my mom’s chalice and broke it?” It was on!
Through play we saw that some players had been ostracized, cliques had formed, unhealthy relationships were prevalent, and the whole larp was a sham too cover Jason’s cocaine habit. The generals’ position was being sold out from under her, the thief was kicked out for doing drugs (ironic), and we were strongly divided between which larp to play next: A Star Wars larp (nobody tell Disney), An Alien/Sci-Fi/Fantasy larp, or my clearly superior Dragonquest over Evermoore, where everyone could start as 6th level dragons in their choice of chromatic or metallic breeds. No bias at all on my part here 🙂
We ended with a near revolt (everyone wanted to tear down Jason) and then a quick “Thanks for playing!” at the end. It was almost too sudden, and few of us had trouble getting “out of character”. So meta.
A few picks from the start of the game
(Taken by Kira Magrann)
The larp pretty much ran itself. The tropes of dysfunctional larp groups are so pervasive than all the drama unfolded with ease. It helped that there was a gratuitous amount of rumormonger, exaggeration, and outright lying.
Jason did a fantastic job of bearing all the hate that was being lobbed at him. When he heard rumor that he was a coke addict he picked it right up and ran with it. Of course that was the reason he was trying to sell all the six month packages with extra skill points thrown in! He was a brilliant foil.
Talking to Ajit about Navine’s low self esteem and abuse was really rough actually. We were pretending to be larpers who were no longer in character, and yet we were clearly all in character, and yet, what he was talking about was something that really upsets me. There was a point where I just wanted to say “let’s leave man, this place is no good for you”, but that wasn’t in the spirit of the event. Some real feels here.
So many conspiracies here hatched, secret meetings held, plans made, and with all that I still never found out who broke my mom’s chalice! Good times.
Jenn the secret vampire was so good. She never got figured out. Even after the game!
What could have improved
As an icebreaker event this was great for getting everyone to talk to each other, but it didn’t actually help us get to know each other as people. We had name tags and I think it would have been best for us to be playing a post-larp version of ourselves in the game. So I would be Krakh the Orc played by Sean Nittner. It happened some, but mostly we just went by our “in game” names so I think some introduction opportunities were missed. Even that would be tricky though, since we were still adopting a persona.
There is a spoiler that I just figured out reading the larp what I wish I had caught onto in game. Suffice to say, my advice to you fellow gamers is that since the “larp” is over at the start of the game, ask everyone their character backgrounds. There are some easter eggs in there!