Category Archives: Empire

[Zephyr] The wyvern or the lion?

The wyvern or the lion?

Which was he? More importantly, which was he to her?

One was worrying, the other unsettling.

The answer was obvious, if you ask the right question. But was he asking the right question?

There was only one way to find out. To ask and see what answer comes from it.

At best, a scathing retort; at worst, he was wrong about the answer and things were much more unsettling.

Still, what is Dawn if not a nation that charges through difficult situations?

The question is asked. The smile is knowing. Ah, this may be much worse than was supposed…

Image is the coat of arms of Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Character Study via Playlist – Zephyr de Rondell

Something I’ve been considering of late is how my character playlists have changed from when they were first created to now.

Zephyr’s playlist was started on the 8th of September 2017, just before my first full event of playing him, and is somewhat appropriately titled “Glory!”.[1]

It starts off with “Glorious Domination” – the WWE entrance music for Bobby Roode, and that has generally been the signature track on the playlist. The song portrays a very Dawnish sentiment, as well as blending well with Zephyr’s Changeling nature.

The rest of the songs added that day are all songs that portray a different aspect of a headstrong, ready-to-charge, Dawnish war witch, whether they’re songs that you just want to rock out to or whether they’re songs you want to charge into battle to.

Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is the Dawnish battle line advancing on barbarians.
Heather Alexander’s “March of Cambreadth” tells of the relentless nature of the Dawnish at war.[2]
Lindsey Stirling’s “Roundtable Rival” is just full of energy.
Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” gives a hint of the Changeling being controlled by emotion without thought.
And then there are many many songs about Glory.

The playlist then stays unchanged until the 20th of June 2017. This is when “Firebird’s Child” by S.J. Tucker was added. This is the first song that isn’t directly associated with Zephyr, but instead with his lady love, Eliane. This was the beginning of the changes.

On the 30th of November 2017, after A “Relaxing” Social Event[3], I spent some time adding more songs to the playlist. Part of this was having discovered more songs that fit Zephyr like Lorde’s “Glory and Gore” and Saint Mesa’s “Lion”, but it was also indicative of a shift in the character.

Glory and battle are not Zephyr’s only drives any more. Love, and Loyalty, and passion are rising ever more to the fore. There are songs that tell of his willingness to do anything for his love, to stand fast and true to his loyalty, and to ensure that no one has their story forgotten.

The League of Legends track “Legends Never Die” speaks of his current tasks and Inspirations.
Celtic Woman’s cover of “Fields of Gold” speaks of the joy of love, but knowing that it will end in tragedy.
Five Finger Death Punch’s “No One Gets Left Behind” is a reminder of the events of the Spring Equinox, and of Toni.
Within Temptation’s “Stand My Ground” speaks quite eloquently of his stubbornness when confronted with Highguard tribulation.
S.J. Tucker’s “Come to the Labyrinth” hints at his newly religious nature.
Lorde’s “Glory and Gore” is both a reminder of the reality of battle, and of the fact that he is still both a Changeling and a War Witch no matter how much he’s changed.

I’m finding it quite interesting to see how character development is reflected in their playlists, and I’ll likely do another of these analyses for Tertius (my Stargate character).

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The only character playlist I have that does not share its title with the character’s name
2. ignoring the Songgate lines
3. honest, it was relaxing
Zephyr De Rondell, captured by Charlie Moss

Differences

Five years ago, I would have told you that liked playing the IoD games, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Four years ago, I would have told you that I was looking forward to Empire, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Three years ago, I would have told you that I enjoyed Empire, but I was considering changing over to crew because what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

Two years ago, I would have told you that Empire was finally starting to click for me, but what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

One year ago, I would have told you I was having a blast at Empire, but there weren’t any other games I was looking at playing, and what I really enjoyed was running and crewing games.

This year, things changed. I went to Future’s End and came away from that event with more energy and desire to play it again than I can recall ever experiencing from a game before. That led to me dropping IoD completely because it was a drain on my time for no reward. I’ve started playing Stargate and realised I was going to keep playing it when on the drive back I said “And next time, I’ll be playing with a compound fracture” and Fraser pointed out that I’d said I’d be playing the next one. This year, I got my Imperial Title in Empire, got over every problem I faced and produced the best results from a game I have ever had (thanks to a glorious mistake, but it worked!). I then promptly died at the next event but I have so much energy for going back and playing that my main worries are actually that I’m not going to look good enough for Dawn – not over what I’ll do.

I’ve also stopped being an active element in No Rest for the Wicked. After running By Schisms Rent Asunder, I went on break, and I’ve not really phased back in yet. I’ve done some things here and there, but mostly I’m letting the others handle things, and it feels good. It’s making me question how much I do enjoy running events, and what I want to be doing when I do run them.

There actually is no question about it: I do enjoy running events and I do enjoy crewing them, but I’ve also learned to love playing them as well. I’m going to take a longer break from running things than I anticipated (I still have three events on the cards to run[1][2]), but I’m going to keep back from being an organiser for a while longer[3]). The love for playing events is something I’ve been missing for a long time – I’m not sure I’ve ever really had it in the entire 12 years I’ve been LRPing, so it feels good to finally be feeling like this.

If you’re reading this, thanks to Kelly, Fraser, JD, Cat, Cherry, Rob, and the others who’ve made me come around to enjoying playing games instead of just running them.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. my birthday party, one for No Rest, and one for Stargate
2. The Stargate one may actually be pretty far in the future
3. If you’re reading this Rob, I guess you were right.

Priorities

I’ve spent some time of late considering my priorities when it comes to my spare time and I’ve decided to start cutting down on the hobbies that have the lowest energy:enjoyment ratios. That is to say I mean to stop doing things that take a lot of time and energy but don’t reward my effort with add much enjoyment as I get from other sources.

What that means is that I’m not going to expend time and energy on things I’m not enjoying which should mean I have more time and energy to do what I do enjoy.

To cut a long story short, this means that I don’t intend to renew my membership in the Isles of Darkness. I’ve not enjoyed playing the games as much as I used to for quite some time and I’m tired of expending effort on IoD that I’d rather be using on other projects. I have other games I want to write and run that get put aside for the pressures of running an IoD game every month.

If I spent as much time on my next No Rest event as I’ve spent on IoD stuff this year, my event would be mostly done by now.

Part of my problem with IoD is that I enjoy storytelling but I don’t like being painted into a corner and having my work second-guessed by people who haven’t even seen it.

I’d much rather spend my time and energy on Empire, Future’s End, and the field LRPs I’m running and that’s what I plan to do.

I’m not going to just drop out of things, but my membership will lapse in a few months and that coincides with the end of my term as LST Scotland Awakening so it seems like a fair time to go.

LRP Schedule

My LRP schedule for the year has been pretty full since last October and events are still being added.

  • 22-24 Jan – Empire Player Event: In the Fields of the Cloth of Gold
  • 19-21 Feb – Empire Player Event: Gilded Horn Carta Winter Retreat
  • 4-6 Mar – Future’s End: Mission One
  • 25-28 Mar – Empire: 379YE Winter Solstice
  • 6-8 May – Stargate: The Spaces Inbetween
  • 13-15 May – No Rest for the Wicked: Dark Deeds
  • 27-30 May – Empire: 380YE Spring Equinox
  • 1-3 Jul – No Rest for the Wicked: By Schisms Rent Asunder
  • 29-31 Jul – Empire: 380YE Summer Solstice
  • 9-11 Sept – Empire 380YE Autumn Equinox
  • 30 Sept – 2 Oct – Future’s End: Mission Two
  • 14 – 16 Oct: No Rest for the Wicked: Humans Are Such Easy Prey

And that’s not including any extra Stargate events I get tempted into, or any extra Empire player events that might happen post-season, or the potential of going to CP in August.

On the other hand, I only have 8 days of holiday left and I may want to take the Thursday off for Empire E3 and E4 and any Christmas leave I want has to come out of that as well. So maybe this is about my LRP limit in a year. But maybe not.

Shaken till booze falls out

I spent my weekend in a castle, my face painted with scales and two bottles of booze in my bag. It was a good weekend.

To say I was unsure what I was going to do/achieve at the beginning of the event would be an understatement. I had no idea if I was going to manage what I wanted, never mind if it was possible. Turns out I was proven wrong.

My goals for the weekend were to introduce myself to some people, get better acquainted with others, and have some fun. All of these goals were met and then some.

Turns out that I accidentally ended up being the most competent person in the room at one point which led to me being embroiled in some politics I’d previously had no idea about – that’s going to give me a lot more to do in the field this year.

I may also have almost started a new religion with my salted caramel cream liqueur hot chocolate – pronounced to “taste like glory” and to be “heresy, so I should confiscate it for the good of the Empire”.

Decided to join the tournament with the last minute addition of hidden steel chainmail under my Suaq layers. That helped me through the first round, but didn’t help at all against Rodrigo Barossa’s zweihander. If only I’d had my mage staff…

Bohemond even congratulated me on my duelling technique – shame he later shook me until booze entered his hand.

So very glad I went, and so very keen for Empire now…

 

Empire 379YE Autumn Equinox

Ugly

  • We got caught by a speed camera as we approached the site
  • Craig was in an accident the Tuesday before and had whiplash
  • Getting so dehydrated I felt ill and nauseous in Conclave

Bad

  • Taking the field meant I didn’t have as much time for running around organising things
  • Missed Saturday dinner due to not stopping all evening
  • Attaching latex scales took much longer than I expected
  • Trying to attend multiple meetings scheduled for the same time doesn’t work very well
  • Going “feck it” to touching up my makeup on Sunday morning means there a few photos of me with a rubbed off forehead
  • So tired on Saturday evening – kept napping everywhere
  • My bag got nicked while doing a ritual and we lost the covenstone
  • Bonding at last event went wrong and it turns out I wasn’t actually bonded to my robes…
  • Never stopping moving. Google can confirm that the only times I really stopped moving was Conclave…

Good

  • Taking the field meant I got to (a) try out chainmail as my elite mercenary without losing my new latex scales to an orc mask and (b) got to be part of Team Saker as part of the back-up Day ritualist team
  • Salted caramel cream liqueur goes down as well as ever
  • White chocolate strawberry fudge also went down well
  • Dem Cambion girls
  • Chilling on site on Friday meant I had time to experiment with latex scales
  • Two addresses and a gambit meant I got to make my name in Conclave
  • Being recognised in Military Council was a new experience
  • Tent is sufficiently cool during the day to mean beers aren’t overly warm
  • Civil Service Hub cushions are good for napping on
  • Now known by name to archmages, grandmasters, generals, senators, and the warmage
  • An Imperial Title has been created for the job I’m doing because people thought I deserved one
  • Political drama generating MC politics on Sunday
  • Suaq dance party
  • The Nightclub of Worlds
  • Mana rich for a while (before I miscalculated and gave more away than I meant to)
  • Tea-stained map experiments were a success
  • Mhorish breakfasts
  • Carrying the stool around gets annoying but it’s worth it in Conclave
  • Still not from Urizen

A lack of game

I don’t know why but I don’t do LARPs very well. I don’t seem to be able to hook into them or get involved in things. Plot passes me by and I never know how to get into the game.

It’s not just an IoD thing, but I feel it more there. At Empire, event plot pretty much passes me by but I’m so busy doing other thinBluträchergs that I don’t notice that I didn’t get involved in it. This is likely part of the problem I had in LT as well – I couldn’t get involved in things, so I didn’t like playing.

I can recognise this in IoD games as well – in Requiem, where I’m Harpy, I don’t notice as much that I’m not involved in the plot that everyone else seems to be pulling out of the woodwork somehow. In the other games, I can’t find my way in, and I feel lost as a consequence and don’t enjoy the games. I find myself asking if anyone would even notice my absence.

My lack of ability to hook myself into the games has led to me abandoning playing Forsaken to NPC, and abandoning playing Awakening to aST/NPC. I don’t really know why I haven’t given up on Lost yet. The thing is that I know I can enjoy these games, but typically the times I enjoy playing these games is when I have things to do that aren’t relevant to the plots of the game. My last Forsaken character was a lot of fun because he just wanted to punch things, talk about punching things, and intimidate people – and I enjoyed that game as one-dimensional as it was.

I find I always feel that there are groups of people who find the plot and run off with it and become epic in the game, and I drift along at the sidelines with no idea how to do that. The only reason that I’m where I am in Empire now is because Rob offered me some work and after a year of doing it, I’ve managed to make myself known to the point of being recognised by most of the Conclave.

It feels like there’s some trick I’m missing – something that I’m doing wrong or not doing at all that leads to people having fun at games and getting involved in epic plots. It feels like I’m failing at my hobby, and like there’s no point in my trying because I’ll never manage that.

Part of all this is that I’m terrible at setting character goals for myself. When I write an NPC for myself, it’s not an issue to find goals because they’re related to making the plot work right, but when I write a character I just can’t do it right. It’s sheer luck that I’ve managed to both get a character goal and (potentially) achieve it at Empire, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been handed a job by someone else.

Perhaps I should just stick to crewing and storytelling as it seems to be where my abilities are stronger.

urgh

I feel sick, it’s hard to focus, hard to breathe, and I’m trying not to let on that anything is up.

My little brother was run off the road this morning by someone driving recklessly and is currently in hospital waiting for a CT scan. He (and his new car which dove into the ditch with him) was supposed to be on the boat from Shetland tonight, and we were going to be heading down to Empire on Thursday.

Now I don’t know if he’ll be able to leave the hospital today, never mind attend a LARP at the other end of the country this weekend.

What makes me feel worse is that I feel terrible about looking at alternate travel arrangements. This is a nightmare, and I feel awful about being selfish like this.

#rpgaday2015 day 23 – perfect game for you

Honestly, depends what I’m doing and what type of game we’re playing, but I want a game I can get involved in, that I can engage in as I want to, where I can work to my own agenda, and/or to a shared one, and where I have OOC support in doing so.

I find all of that at Empire. I usually find it all in most tabletops I play in as well. Genre, system, and setting tend to matter less to the above criteria because I can usually find a hook into genre and setting I wouldn’t normally play in, and systems just take adapting to.