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…
- 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
- 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…
- 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
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.
So, this is another one of these where I can break it down into LARP vs tabletop.
The most recent LARP I’ve played is Empire by Profound Decisions. That was a mere two weekends ago in Spernal. Empire is a fantasy LARP with a lot of features I like in the game and a huge range in scope with people being able to play just within their own group, within their nation, or within the entire Empire with a other sub-groups you can get involved in as well. For myself, I’m getting heavily involved with the Shuttered Lantern (one of the mage orders) and the Military Council (the council of Army Generals) as I take steps to organise military scrying across the Empire. My next event is already part-planned as I try and organise exactly what I’m doing and who I need to speak to.
The most recent tabletop RPG I’ve played was a Deathwatch game run by Rob. It kinda trickled out of existence as these things sometimes do. It was followed by the last tabletop game I ran (Black Crusade) which has ended up trickling out of existence in a similar manner.
Right, so I have one for this, but it’s not a tabletop game.
Empire, 379YE Spring Equinox (2015 E2) was surprising to me on a number of levels. I enjoyed the event massively, making it one of my favourite LARP events of all time. I engaged with the game on different levels than I ever have before, and it was fantastic.
Surprises of the event:
- Conclave: apparently I really like attending Conclave, and what goes on there is actually of massive interest to me. This actually surprised me.
- Getting known: by the end of the event, I had people seeking me out and delegating tasks to me despite only having really known me for a few days in character.
- Scrying: I was leading rituals, and enjoying doing so, with my ritual patter pretty much exactly being two minutes without any scripting.
- Conclave: BEST CONCLAVE EVER proven weight loss supplements. Spider heralds leaping out and attacking people? That was awesome.
- Stab-safe mage staffs: I’d been dubious, but stab-safe mage staffs are awesome.
Currently in the Lake District on our way back from Empire. It was a tiring weekend, but a good one.
I’m finding that I really like being recognised by people, even if they don’t necessarily know who I am. Senators, Grandmasters, Archmages, and Generals are now on my frequent contact list. Well.. some of them have been on that list for a while, but now it’s business as well as pleasure.
Hearing people recount the story of the Booze Snake is also gratifying, as it’s a nice bit of fun.
The car is packed to the roof and no one really has any room but we are all in it, which is the important part. Should be in Edinburgh not long after midnight and while I’m not looking forward to work in the morning, it shouldn’t be too much of a trial to get up in the morning.
My Good, Bad, and Ugly from the the Spring Equinox, 379YE. This was far and away my best Empire event (and my best event as a player of anything, I reckon) and being away from the office for nigh-on a week was something I desperately needed. Having as much fun as I did was just a bonus.
- The Bad
- Selling half of the salted caramel cream liqueur (that stuff was really really nice)
- Aching heels from walking around the entire site several times organising rituals
- Forgetting the names of runes partway through a ritual
- Rituals could use some flash and pomp
- Left my make-up at home
- Blister on my palm from hammering tent pegs – betadine stings!
- Barely being in Wintermark
- Barely seeing friends on the field
- BEST CONCLAVE EVER!
- Fighting Heralds of Arhallogen in the Hall of Worlds
- Pulling both Pavul and Jessica out of the fighting to Gudrun and realising afterwards that I might have just saved Jessica’s life
- Running the timers after the civil servant had to run off because of the Empress election
- Being the lead ritualist in six rituals
- Becoming known by archmages, the warmage, and grandmasters
- Making a name for myself in the Shuttered Lantern
- Making three crowns from my booze
- Organising scrying rituals for the military council
- Finding a rhythm for my rituals that meant I was pretty much perfect on timing
- Lights in the regio stones
- Enjoying every minute of Conclave (I must be getting weird)
- James managed to pick up my make-up
- Arriving on Thursday makes everything else so much more relaxed (being on site 28 hours before time in was weird)
- Feeling so much better after being away for the weekend
- Froth lunch at Buddy’s with the Glasgow lot
- Salted caramel cream liqueur
- First magical traumatic wound
- Holtoberfest sausages
- Team Human Centipede!
- Stab-safe mage staffs are big and clever – I need to make myself one
- Learning how to make Cesare speechless
- Witnessing Astrid’s joining the League ceremony
- Cunts and first kisses in the pub
I have a few IC letters and some reports to write, and I’m resisting the urge to talk in TLAs about everything that happened.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||TRV did ESM and EHP on various locations. Fighting HoA in HoW was awesome.|
This weekend I’m off to Empire. First Empire event of 2015, first of the Winter events I’ll have been to. It’s also my first field LARP event as a player this year.
Currently I’m fretting a little over the things I don’t have. I can’t find my scaled brow prosthetic, so I might be reduced back to just make-up, which I’d really prefer not to do. I can’t find my rune bag – but that’s an accessory I can live without. I don’t have as much in the way of Demijohn liqueurs as I normally do as I’m a little skint right now. I also don’t have the final piece of my mage armour, so I’ll be throwing something together in a hurry – possibly just by wearing my big coat on the battlefield.
The idea of using some of Jeremy’s cast-off skin for my Naga scales has just occurred to me, but I think that might not work as well as the idea suggested. Might be worth an experiment though – I can see if it’ll take make-up to colour it. My worry is that it would tear easily, but Naga probably shed scales as well, so I can find an IC reason for it.
I’m not as revved up for the event as I’d like to be. My keen is low, and I’m not sure what I’ll be doing on the field as Sólsetur. I have a letter to deliver, some people to see, and some rituals to do, but I don’t really know what I’m doing as a whole. I may angle towards taking over as Thane for something to do besides sit around and occasionally do a ritual.
I don’t know. Playing events can be odd for me – I feel more comfortable in a ref/crew role in the main, and while I can write my own characters and play them, finding goals and things for them to do can be tricky for me. I don’t know why I find it easier to do that for an NPC I write than for my own characters, but I do.
Tonight we’re packing the car, and tomorrow morning we’re off to the new Empire site. Hopefully without getting mired in traffic. We’ll see.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||I didn’t think I’d be coming to this event, so I didn’t commission it and by the time I knew I wasn’t coming, it was too late|