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[LARP] A Serpent of Ash

 
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: [LARP] A Serpent of Ash Reply with quote

Tonight I ran a nice little Scandinavian LARP: "A Serpent of Ash" by J. Tuomas Harviainen. Twelve former cult-members get together to discuss their experiences. So how'd it go?

Pretty well. The players seemed to have fun, the portrayals were good, and while it ran a little short (1 hr 20 vs 1 hr 30), it didn't seem like it was cut off. Without going into any specifics (since I will probably be running it again at ConFusion, Chimera, or KapCon), after about 50 minutes of people standing around finding out what they'd been up to for the past few years (and a few outbursts which established where a few people stood), there was a sudden state-change, which resulted in everyone sitting in a circle and it becoming like a giant self-help group. And then the real fireworks started as people began discussing how they really felt about poor, dead Timothy.

Best lines:
"Would you have more faith if you got your money back?"

"How many of us are better people for being in The Liberated?"

"We're all like German Shepherds, and some of us still miss the kennel" (which led to an extended dog-metaphor for religion)

"I've grown up... you can't go back to being a little kid"

At the end of it all, some people seemed to have moved on while finding support in their past, some were planning to refound the group in a more relaxed form, and one was planning immediate murder.

As mentioned above, the portrayals were all good, and there was some interesting body language as people acted out their weird little neuroses and internal tics (compulsive twitching when talking about (sinful) TV; unconsciously moving away when someone was talking about drug sniffer dogs; refusing to shake hands because they were repulsed by physical contact). It was subtle, but it added a lot, at least from my POV as the loon cackling in the corner.

Anyway, thanks to all the players - you were great. I look forward to doing it again sometime.
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and for those who were wondering:

* Contrary to expectations, the LARP made a small profit of ~$5 for WARGS. So the tip-jar method seems to work for this sort of small game, if costs are low (in this case, $40 for the room and $10 for the refreshments and cups).

* we had to share the building with another group, called "Invisible Temples"; several players thought that was the name of the LARP. Turns out they're a real-life pyramid cult (and their lecture cost $20 to attend - LARP is cheaper than religion!)
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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Adrexia



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 2117
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Re: [LARP] A Serpent of Ash Reply with quote

Thanks for running this Idiot! It was a pretty unique game. I don't usually have so much fun being socially uncomfortable (it really is hard to pretend that everything is all right when you have to tell people your husband killed himself a month ago). Wink

IdiotSavant wrote:


At the end of it all, some people seemed to have moved on while finding support in their past, some were planning to refound the group in a more relaxed form, and one was planning immediate murder.


Umm... Who was planning immediate murder? Maybe I shouldn't ask that.


Last edited by Adrexia on Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: [LARP] A Serpent of Ash Reply with quote

Adrexia wrote:
Umm... Who was planning immediate murder? Maybe I shouldn't ask that.


Potential spoiler:
Nathan. He thought Alice had betrayed Timothy by abandoning the faith, so he decided to follow her home and murder her.
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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Stephanie



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 401
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: [LARP] A Serpent of Ash Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Adrexia wrote:
Umm... Who was planning immediate murder? Maybe I shouldn't ask that.


Potential spoiler:
Gosh. Awesome game, thanks for running it.
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a good time, was fun to just LARP for the sake of Rp'ing. Many games these days have a big plot or character goals that drive the whole thing. This felt more like the old days of acting practice where you just free style it.

I also liked the 'tics' that everyone had. From Ken's creepy voice, Alice's aversion to bodily contact, my (Ed's) habit of just talking regardless of topic or sensibility (and nervous wringing of hands when topics cut too close to the bone), and all the rest. Really good jobs all round.

There is definately a market for this kind of thing. I'm very keen to get more involved in LARPS, having run and participated in heaps down in Chch. One off LARPS just seem to be more so often, for a big variety of reasons.
Cheers!
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick_Adams wrote:
There is definately a market for this kind of thing. I'm very keen to get more involved in LARPS, having run and participated in heaps down in Chch. One off LARPS just seem to be more so often, for a big variety of reasons.


Well, they're serious effort to write. But now, with the internets, we can always steal them from other people.
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, looks like a bad typo from me...
"One off LARPS just seem to be more interesting so often for a big variety of reasons"
For example:
- short plot lines
- known destination/end point
- direct character interaction
- no down time/chance to forget stuff
and so on.

Thanks Id!
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Adrexia



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 2117
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Nick_Adams wrote:
There is definately a market for this kind of thing. I'm very keen to get more involved in LARPS, having run and participated in heaps down in Chch. One off LARPS just seem to be more so often, for a big variety of reasons.


Well, they're serious effort to write. But now, with the internets, we can always steal them from other people.


I, for one, am in favour of stealing more Larps from elsewhere and running them in Wellington! There are some I've seen that look like they would be excellent. Smile

I have only ever played one-off Larps, so I have no bench mark for that. I think I find them much more interesting than I'd find campaigns though.
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick_Adams wrote:
Okay, looks like a bad typo from me...
"One off LARPS just seem to be more interesting so often for a big variety of reasons"
For example:
- short plot lines
- known destination/end point
- direct character interaction
- no down time/chance to forget stuff
and so on.


And no long-term commitment. On the other side, you won't get long-term character growth and the sense of an evolving setting. But you can to some extent mirror this by having linked scenarios with an overlapping cast (I think it would be fun to do this with VtDA: tell a one-off story with an idle thought for the future, then if it pans out do a sequel).
_________________
Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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IdiotSavant



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: Palmerston North (bugger)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adrexia wrote:
I, for one, am in favour of stealing more Larps from elsewhere and running them in Wellington! There are some I've seen that look like they would be excellent. Smile


Suggestions?

Quote:
I have only ever played one-off Larps, so I have no bench mark for that. I think I find them much more interesting than I'd find campaigns though.


As with tabletop, a campaign is a different form of story, with a longer focus. They do a lot of them up in Auckland, but the form isn't (publicly) explored in Wellington - too many scars from WbN.

We also don't do the weekend-long games popular overseas (and again, in Auckland for some things) - the only one I can think of was Aliens: Apocalypse. But the logistics (and the plotting) are just that much more difficult.
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Playing: ArM5 - Fons Albae; Pendragon: Defenders of Sarum
Running: ArM5 - Fons Albae (rotating); The Laundry
Planning: KapCon XXI; The Devil's Brood (Chimera); Hydra (April 2012)
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Scott



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't LARPed in a long time so it was a lot of fun to play again. And it was interesting playing in a smaller one off with no huge over arching plot and it just purely being about character interaction.

Personally I enjoy both one off and campaign LARPs
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Bryn



Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 55
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a fun time, nice to meet up with people from Kapcon and also to meet some new people too.

I'd love to play something else, in fact I'm booked to go up to Auckland to do some "cross-country pantomime" style LARP.

Thanks again,

Bryn.
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