You’ve bought your costume, made your character, taken time off work and hauled ass to game site: you’re committed and it’s time to larp. The excitement is almost killing you, as is the anxiety. You arrive amidst clouds of clove cigarette smoke, all sorts of new faces and strange conversation.
You put your best foot forward, take a deep breath, and … no one talks to you, no one notices you, no one on staff pays you any mind: you leave game wondering if that ticket was worth its price.
But Facebook is full of happy posts about a successful game, so you go back, you drink that Kool Aid and wonder why nothing has changed the second time through. You’re still passed over, you still watch as other people get plot arcs written for them, experience intrigue with other players, and often swindle their way to the top of the game.
And you wonder if you’re the only one who isn’t having a good time.
I’m happy to inform you that you’re not. Everyone who has ever larped has felt this way, and would tell you about it … if they weren’t still gravely insecure and uncomfortable with this aspect of our hobby.
Moving out of those early, disheartening episodes requires tact and an eye for bullshit, the ability to read between the lines, and to understand the dynamics of a social world that has almost nothing to do with roleplaying, and everything to do with people.
Welcome to the world of the Larp Cynic, where success is about networking, playing to someone else’s tune, or headbanging to your own. I can’t guarantee you the adoration of storytellers or the envy of peers, but I can help answer those nagging questions that you want to ask, but are frowned upon by staff and cool-kids alike.
In this blog I will highlight tropes, structures and systems that block new players from succeeding, or older players from getting the recognition they desire. I will impart strategies for success, uncomfortable truths, and even tell you when it might be time to leave a toxic larp. Happy stuff, right?
And you thought larp was a GAME.