To those whom it may concern, I'd like to say a little about myself, and some of my goals for the future. I recently headed to my first LARP, a game with the Oregon chapter of Alliance, and got hooked. I'm seriously addicted. I've been a fantasy fan all of my life, starting with Disney movies and moving through children's books, past novels like Dragonlance and Eragon, and now I'm studying books like Gawain and the Green Knight in college. This seemed like the next logical step in my ascent to the Heights of Geekdom. I plan on heading back to that chapter this May, and I will be reporting the event here, and hopefully more after that.
Alongside my reporting activities, I'd like to use this blog to network, discuss LARPing theory and activities, and analyze techniques for this wonderful artform. If that sounds like something you're interested in, please come back to read and discuss whenever you feel like it.
Without further ado, a report of my first game (a month late, but better than never):
When I first started looking for LARPs I used Shade's List, and it was there that I found Alliance LARP. My girlfriend liked the idea of NERO-style LARPs ever since she started reading Geebas on Parade (that's right, I have a LARP-enthusiast girlfriend) and so naturally her enthusiasm passed on to me. I immediately checked out the forums to see when the next game was being played, and I was lucky. The people who responded to my initial newbie posts were insightful, kind, and respectful to the last. The staffers at Alliance Oregon practically bent over backwards to make sure that I got to the game, offering me a ride and making sure that I felt safe going out into the woods with a bunch of complete strangers! Thank you Rossic, if you read this.
When I got to the game I didn't know exactly what to expect. I was anticipating a medium-sized group of players and about an equal amount of NPCs milling about, waiting for the game to start. What I came across was about ten players and an equal amount of NPCs. It was quickly explained to me that this was a very small showing for the chapter. Unfortunately, it was also very cold, since it was still winter at the time and there was no insulation in the buidling we used as an inn. Alright, I could deal with that for a weekend of camping, roleplaying and hitting people relaxation. Then I realized that I didn't bring any of my sleeping stuff, and that's when something really cool happened.
I've been to a few anime conventions, and the people at anime conventions are pretty nice. They're all there to have a good time, and are fairly relaxed. This is nothing compared to the atmosphere of Alliance Oregon. The staff heard about my lack of sleeping arrangements and sacrificed some of the props and blankets to fix that. A few cloaks and a blanket later I had everything I needed for a fun weekend. They made sure I had enough to eat all weekend, providing me with free meals because I was NPCing, and helped me break through all of the initial confusion patiently. I'd never been at a game where everyone made me feel so at home. They took all of the problems and turned them on their head, and that really impressed me.
Then we started the game up. I started as a ratling, and the role quickly grew on me. There were a few other fun things that happened that weekend, during which I got to be a very rambunctious Mystical Wood Elf (MWE) and a pretty high-level Ice Elemental, but being a ratling was probably my favorite. Oh the things you can do when you are cute and sneaky.
Overall I made a lot of good friends, learned a lot about LARPing, and had more fun than should be legally possible. I recommend Alliance Oregon to anyone in the area, and if they're any indication of Alliance as a whole, I suggest an interested party give them a shot.
Also, Northwesterners should look into a game called Devia Larp. One of the players from Alliance Oregon made this LARP, it's five years of work and looks really good. The first event is in April, and if you can make it I highly suggest giving it a try. I'll be going for sure. Look for me there!
Quotes from this Post's game:
"Hey, Arronin, isn't that your yeti pelt running away?" The player to the scary Dark Elf Rogue.
"Me no wanna carry you no more." ~ A one ratling before throwing another's body into a spider cave.
"Endow." ~ A guard before kicking my fellow MWE prisoner (Given name Iona Mink) where it counts.