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Journal of No. 118


June 23rd, 2012

TriWyrd Friday @ 09:38 am


I fought my way through Friday rush hour traffic to return for hagdirt's Game of Sunken Places. The Framing LARP is that the war between the 'elves' and the 'goblins' is mediated by a LARP-like game constructed 'cooperatively' by the goblins and elves, and then sprung on unsuspecting humans. The two contestants (or in our case, teams) compete for each side.

Although the framing LARP provided some character interaction and motivations, the activity slid more into a crash-course unsupervised workshop in creating a LARP communally using whatever brainpower we could muster and the contents of K's craft room and prop cupboard. And then run it. In the space of a few hours.

Given her prep talk, I think one of K's motivations was to investigate this creative process, and it was interesting to be both a part of that process and to keep a spare brain cell handy to watch it from the outside. Maybe if you had recorded everything, you could have traced all the decision-making and compromises and coming together of different elements, but it is still kind of a mystery when you have that feeling that 'the room' just had an idea. Or when an idea that stinks gets the silent treatment or stonewalling until a better idea comes along.

Then we managed to rustle up a posse of random conventioneers with nothing to do to play the LARP that we had created. Or at least the 40% of it that fully existed at that point. While they went through the first challenge, we finished up the second, and likewise with the third. It was sort of a harrowing example of just-in-time logistics.

The geniusiest challenge created by the room (mostly a combo of the Sarah and J part of the room, IIRC) was for each team to receive four Tarot cards, mainly distinctive portraits from the Major Arcana (yes, I can't escape the Tarot at Wyrd Con). Their task was to go out into the convention and take photos recreating the Tarot images using other conventioneers as the subjects, enhanced by props from the communal pile and anything else they could lay their hands on. They were to be judged on accuracy and creativity, and they did very well on both counts. Hopefully, K will make the images public, if and when she has a chance to set down what happened.

The players (and the random people they also dragged into this) were absolutely great. I'm glad they were so enthusiastic about jumping into these random challenges that had been heaped upon them. It makes me feel good about my game tonight that WyrdCon attendees are looking to have a good LARP experience, and they will have a good LARP experience, if something even remotely resembling the opportunity of a good LARP experience is offered to them.

It's kind of curious in my recounting of Casino Arcana that I pitched Murder by Death as a possibility for my next Wyrd Con LARP. Because that sounds similar to And On The Other Hand, Death, which was supposed to run this morning, but got scratched. I'm bummed, since I had signed up for it, but it'll keep my day clear to prepare for Death in Valhalla. And in related news, that means I'll run the best murder mystery LARP at Wyrd Con.

Oh, maybe Werewolves of Millers Hollow counts... maybe there's competition after all. Hard to beat a fun party game.
 
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Journal of No. 118