It was a seemingly innocuous dream, but for some reason it bothered me a lot.
The hubby and I were with a group of people, some of whom we know from other larping events. We were all discussing a new larp and we found that it really wasn’t a very interesting thing. The weird thing is hubby was still my hubby (yes still Wolsey), but I can’t remember if this was pre-transition hubby or my new improved hubby. All I remember was he had short blonde hair and I still remembered him as my husband, not my wife.
Then all of us plus a bunch of new people were sitting at a restaurant, it appeared like some sort of Denny’s or Sharis. It was sunny outside, not super warm, but warm enough that no one was bundled in hats or heavy coats.
Hubby was still there talking, and I was working on something about a larp, or maybe it was tabletop, but I do think it was a larp with a map. I was marking a map indicating how we the group should travel. It started somewhere southwest, went west to the coast, then up the west coast and into Canada.
I couldn’t tell you why but I was so pissed about something. Nothing had happened in the dream, but it was there.
All of a sudden hubby got up with a group of people and started walking away down the street. He hadn’t said a word to me and I was confused. I started to get up but he indicated not to make it a big deal and let him walk off.
So I just grabbed my backpack and started walking the other direction super pissed. Even in the dream I wasn’t sure why he was walking off, for some reason though I absolutely hated the group he was walking off with, no explanation in dream why.
That is when I woke up.
Overall the dream lasted most of the night, although I did get a good amount of sleep. The annoyance I felt in the dream was reminiscent of some of my larping times. Mostly it was when the hubby (pre-transition) would wander off with a specific player/character at a game. That player, let’s call him E, was a douchebag to women.
It wasn’t that I was jealous of my then wife roleplaying dating someone else at the time, it was specifically him that set off everything.
Wolsey had in-game dated others and it never bothered me, but for some reason this dream set off the feelings of dislike I had for this one gentleman, even though there was nothing about dating at all in the dream.
I think I will unpack this today and maybe post something reflective later.
My last post I talked about the pros and cons of LARPing, I figured for my first post specifically about a pro/con I would start with what a lot of people consider the most important part, role-playing.
Role-playing is the most identifiable part of LARPing. The interaction between people ranges from the most intense situations down to the worst ham acting known to man. Also people’s attitudes about role-playing plays a big influence in this as well.
I want to note that this is my opinion, everyone has a different experience and your mileage may vary.
The best role-playing experience I have ever been involved in was LARPing. There are times when a group all hit the same groove of being in the moment that all thoughts of the outside world disappeared. For those who have never role-played in any form, it is the ultimate form of escapism. You really feel like you are in another world.
This type of role-playing drowns out thoughts of work, politics, home problems, etc. All that is happening is the situation between you and the others. The relationships are an extremely exaggerated for both good and bad. You would die for your in game friends and would gladly salt the earth of your enemies’ graves. It is like the most intensive TV drama you could name. After a really good role-playing session you are both exhilarated and exhausted.
A good role-play session will last for years in retelling. These sessions are usually what comprise a LARPers list of stories they talk about (ok, even if the people aren’t interested in hearing about it, the LARPer will remember fondly).
1. Average level of role-play:
LARP role-play overall is lower quality in acting/interacting then all other mediums of role-play I have been exposed to (such as tabletop, online, forum/PBEM).
First it should be noted that LARPers are not innately actors, they don’t do it as a living, and most don’t engage in a lot of other speaking type hobbies (such as a toastmaster or other public speaking clubs). If you aren’t really in the mood, too tired from being up too long, too distracted because of real life or just having a bad day can impact the best actor’s performance. While I do think I am fairly good at role-play, I know some of my performances have been horrible, just like everyone else.
2. The role-play snob quotient: A second negative issue about role-playing at a LARP (and honestly this is probably more about the community which will be more in detail later) is the snob quotient.
I might talk about the average level of role-play being less at larping, there are a lot of other aspects that can make a weekend really fun (the sense of community, just being away from the real world for a weekend, sharing a hobby with a few dozen others, etc). I have had weekends that were fantastic, that didn’t have great role-play, but a great time hanging with people.
Unfortunately, some people focus as role-play is the only reason to be there. Now this is valid for them, and I can understand if that is their total focus. However, I have witnessed a lot of people act in a very demeaning manner to individuals who just aren’t good at role-playing.
These people will ignore and cast out individuals that do not meet their “expectation”. I know that it isn’t anyone’s job to teach, but my opinion is if I claim to be one of the LARP’s role-playing leaders, then it is my responsibility to help others so it improves the overall experience.
Someone who is not good at role-playing will not get better if you don’t try and help them. In order to help them (in my opinion) is to invite them into your group, treat them as one of you and in my experience they learn and become better role-players and sometimes great friends.
The funny part about this is that there have been many people who claim to be great role-players, who demean and belittle others, yet the sadly ironic part is that they really aren’t that good at role-playing themselves.
Conclusion: I have not covered the relationships formed during role-play, I will do that during my post about the community itself.
It may sound in the end that I am bagging on role-play at larping. I don’t really think that is the case.
LARPing is made up of much more than just role-play, and even the role-play can be intense and fun. Would I personally come just for the role-play, probably not. I feel I would get more bang for my buck on a tabletop game, however like I said there is more to it (and I will cover that later). Role-playing is a great avenue at LARP, but it would not be the sole reason I recommend LARPing to anyone.
Damn I am talkative today…
I have had a lot of friends asking if I would come back to LARPing (both for local LARPs Alliance and Oz). I have been warring over that idea for a long time. I really do enjoy the hobby, but it is expensive, time consuming and I am not sure if I enjoy it as much as I used (or if I even actually enjoyed it as much as I thought I did). It is a mixed bag for me, no regrets, but a lot of ups and downs and as I get older I am not sure which way I want to go.
I suspect I will have many posts about LARPing, with having attended three boffer larps (Legacies, Amtgard and Dying Light), ran two of them as both head of departments and as owners. Jello and I have designed two LARPs, one from the ground up (and another is in the pipeline). In addition I have had friends attend two other LARPs and their stories match up almost exactly with my experiences.
I think I will break down the pros and cons here and then address those separately.
The sense of community
Learning new skills
The sense of community
The monetary and emotional/physical cost
You might think it is weird that three of the items are both pros and cons, but actually the extremes of each of these are what is great and horrible about LARPS.
Those items are just the things I think everyone comes across, there are additional things I want to post about, such as designing LARP rules, handling disputes, dealing with emergencies, etc.
I suspect I will post more today 🙂
Gallery: Dying Light Season 0 (test season)
Date: August – October 2009
Location: Fort Ebey State Park, Washington
Just got back from Dying Light. It was even better then the first game. Unfortunately some of our players were not able to make it, however we had several new players (and we are keeping at least three, a fourth that will play when they aren’t in UT and have time and the fifth, well you never know maybe he will become a gamer) and even though it was a couple of players less the game was incredibly fun (a lot more fun then the first, and I loved the first).
There was undead, pirate merchants, Cyborg commanders, Beastmen shamans, Vampire merchants, Marketday, swarms of more undead, a skull that was a magical key, more undead, a Death Shrine starting to open, defense building by the town, sacrifice of people to the portal, more undead, a beautifully executed ritual that slowed the portal and finally more death.
Oh, and lets not forget a bitter Banshee that keeps coming back.
There are of course more interactions, and I am sure these I just listed don’t make sense. I just thought I would give a incredibly quick briefing of the event before I got some tea and food. Be prepared for a more detailed update. All I have left to say is I love the game, I think we are building an incredibly strong core and by the time we are done with the BETA season (October 16-18) I think we will be well on our way to an established game, that may be smaller for awhile, but beats out the competition 😉
Well, here it is early monday morning. My little brother stayed over last night and slept on the couch (ok little is a misnomer, he is 9 years younger then me – but that still makes him 22- and he is only slightly shorter then me and his shoulders are half again wider, lol the word little is so cute for him).
Yesterday we went to amtguard, that was a lot of fun except now my ankle and knee hurts like a bitch. Weirdly enough they hurt more today then they did yesterday, I really hope I didn’t screw it up again. If it continues to hurt (the ankle specifically) I will need to go back into the doctors. The problem being is my left ankle has an unresolved fracture from when I was 14, basically that means that when I broke one of my ankle bones when I was 14, it never healed. I am glad I found out about my ankle because I always felt like such a wuss when I would go jogging or fall on it or whatever and it would just hurt.
Also I am feeling much less stressed now with my school changes, I got a lot of emails from my clan members about renewing MU and I think will do that. I dont have the money to support the server but several members have volunteered to help and if they are willing to put in that much commitment I am willing to helm the massive ship known as Miskatonic University (name of our clan for CS).
I think I wont invite anyone over today, I think I have been neglecting my little wifey-poo, maybe I will just make it a me and her day because we know everyone will be over for buffy tommorrow.
On a happier note, I have been able to spend a lot more time with my little brother, he tends to be the only other one in my family who doesn’t get sucked into wierd “drug” deals/alcholism etc, and me and the wife are really trying to provide as much other entertainment for him so he doesnt follow the path of my parents and sister. Its wierd as I was growing up my friends thought I had the coolest parents because they partied (basically my family are all bikers), dont get me wrong I do think they were great parents but the aspect my friends liked was the one aspect I hated. LOL its funny now but it wasn’t back then.
Well I better get ready for school, talk later.
Gallery: Dying Light Playtest
Date: August 4, 2002
Location: Cornwall Park, Bellingham WA
Well our first day of play-testing helped. Oh my god it rocked. The system is excellent giving everyone their own special abilities and combat is even more exciting then Legacies ever was. The biggest advantage is that combat is quick. In Legacies a group combat that we had during play-tested would have lasted 10-15 minutes. During play-test true combat was over in less than 5. The funny thing was combat was still very equivalent to any of the awesome battles we have in Legacies.
Honestly ever since we gave up Legacies I have noticed a large percentage of the people who proclaimed to be our friend and like what we did with Legacies are now spouting shit out of their asses. Its really frustrating to hear things concerning “the previous owners who screwed up the game” did they even understand that Legacies was over when we picked it up.
MH (name removed to protect the dumb) and crew had decided it was over, me and hubby at great personal expense (about $8000 and a bankruptcy) and got it going again. Of course we saw the “good old boys network” as wrong and we took the “privileges” away that certain people like Microsoft Douche, Mt. Baker High asshole and others. We made them play the same rules as everyone else and like little babies they quit and didn’t come back. We spent a lot of time on Legacies and all we got was shit back.
I gotta feel sorry for Pinky (called that because he is a large man who is partnered with a very small man who makes plans and I have named “The Brain) because I am hearing things already about how “fucked up the new owners are” and I know that Pinky is a great guy and doesn’t deserve that kind of shit.
After Legacies I was very much of the opinion that Larping sucked ass and I never wanted to see Larpers again. Now I realize that not everyone falls under this category but its easy to stereotype. However hubby really wanted to try Dying Light so I sat down and came up with the thought process behind the uniclass system, handed hubby the notes (which were written on Shari’s napkins) and she created it into a clear and concise set of rules. Then with much input and advice from Dunk we got the rules finalized. Then hubby did a huge ton of work on the histories, meanwhile I have created the website, and the monster manual (plus the entire setup for a new logistics, not at all like the old model at Legacies). But to be honest I have always felt a doubt about Dying Light. Well today that Doubt was almost completely erased. We had 11 playtesters and we went out to the park with full costumes (people thought we were strange).
The day was great, we found the system to be extremely streamlined and the combat and system incredibly simple. After all this I am excited about the next playtest (which is probably going to be August 25th). So this means I think we have an awesome Larp and I think it will be fun. I really hope Sandman and Meta Diva can make it some day (if not to a playtest then to the actual event) its awesome and I would love to share it with some of my friends.
Well I will stop now, this has become a novel length post, I will probably post tommorrow. I will however leave you with the gallery below from our first play-test.
Well here I am again, yesterday was so damn hot I couldn’t even do a posting. I basically went to class, studied, came home and played a little CS, a little Madden and studied a bit. I have a midterm today in 4 hours in my Roman Lit. class. I am pretty anxious by it and I should at this exact moment be studying but I can’t seem to do it. I will probably post this and then watch a buffy rerun on tv (its an episode for a season me and goat don’t own) and then at 9 I will start studying (that will give me 2 hours before test).
I don’t feel sore at all after sparring Sunday except for my ankle, lol guess maybe I shouldn’t spar on a fractured ankle but if thats all that aches I am surprised. I am pretty happy I get to quit the job at Papa Murphy’s. Don’t get me wrong I like the District Manager alot, Mike is a great guy but the actual store manager Troy is an absolute moron and can’t even call me by my real name, he keeps calling me Laughy and all it was doing was pissing me off.
On a good note I am awfully excited about Dying Light. We made up practice characters and I think the system will work well. The other thing that is great is the fact that a starting character is not useless nor does a person ever get so high a level that they plateau on ever gaining skills. I think we are all pretty excited.
I am also feeling much better about running games. Normally for my group I am the GM/DM but last year or so its been hard for me to run things. This happens sometimes, I know its not that I don’t want to, its just usually stress in the rest of my life that prevents me from doing things like that. I am pretty psyched about D&D, although I think I am going to lay down the law about arguing with the GM. I am tired of the arguing and if people can’t hack my decisions they need to find another GM.
Also we are starting to play Heavy Gear, we are starting with just the table top miniature game to make sure we like it but if that works out I will be starting a Sunday game (D&D is currently our Saturday game). I feel bad, I normally run solo games for Jello but last few months have not been good for my stress. I freak out about money. However I am feeling much better, now I just hope that I can get into the groove of his current character so I can start playing it, the only problem when I get to stressed to play is if its too long a time I sometimes lose the ability to keep that campaign going and need him to start something new.
Ahh stress, money is my number one thing I stress about. Legacies really crushed all our reserves, made us declare bankruptcy and pretty much caused my life a tremendous amount of stress. I think the most upsetting thing about it is the shit people said behind our back. I especially think its funny that all the people that were incredibly nice to us as owners and always talked to us have pretty much never contacted us since we gave it up. Max I want to thank you for attempting to warn me and Jello of that, we figured you were exaggerating, surely people would not be so two faced because of a game. You warned us and you were right. Oh well I think we are going to adopt the Acts of Gord (at http://www.actsofgord.com) type of management for Dying Light. I think the funny thing is the shit people still say behind our back. But we decided this time around to take a different perspective, Gord definately has the right idea.
Well I should stop bitching and move on, I am really glad that some of the legacies people did stay in contact and I like them, the ones that are two faced can kiss my ass and are not important to me anyways.
On a good note our MU Clan server was full most of yesterday, we have been working on getting it filled and it now is starting to. WOOOT. Well its getting close to time for breakfast and then studying. I might post when I get home tonight. Cya all.