War Stories: Symptoms of Sickness

The killbox was NEVER exciting. You know it, everyone else at the table knows it, but that doesn’t stop the neckbeard who wins on ties from treating those 4 terrible hours as if they were directed by Quentin Tarantino. A movie scripted just for him (or her), clueless to the absolute subjectivity of their experience, convinced that everyone ought to know exactly what went down in excruciating detail. Meanwhile, you and everyone you know is just:

Kill me.

So is this person just socially inept? Or does your LARP inevitably create war stories, if not encourage them by design? Are you forever condemned to this audio purgatory?

Good evening.

Continue reading “War Stories: Symptoms of Sickness”

War Stories: Symptoms of Sickness

Chronicle Resets: Pray for the End

The blog hadn’t been seeing a lot of action. Visits were down. I figured people were sick of the salt. And then ….

LC stats
I guess everyone is finished with their low-sodium diet.

Let’s pick up where we left off: discussing whether or not a chronicle reset will fix structural inequality in your game, which continues to stumble along like a wounded gazelle.

Good evening!

Continue reading “Chronicle Resets: Pray for the End”

Chronicle Resets: Pray for the End

Trickle-Down-Plot or Why Newbies Are Exploitable

Conventional LARP wisdom declares that a veteran player (IE Cool Kid™) is worth a dozen newbies because a veteran can do the roleplay legwork to attract or retain a dozen newbies. As a consequence we allow storytellers to devote a staggering amount of time to insular, in-group, fan-service plot to keep a select few players interested. But if resources are devoted to veterans at the expense of newbies, is that veteran still valuable, or are they worthless?

Trick question: if you have to assign numerical value to a player, the game is already over, and so is your LARP. Go home and abuse your buddies with a good old fashioned tabletop game of Paranoia.


Hello.  Continue reading “Trickle-Down-Plot or Why Newbies Are Exploitable”

Trickle-Down-Plot or Why Newbies Are Exploitable

Enforced Positivity 2: Shut Up or Leave

“The emperor is naked because of the LORE, you jackass. It’s SYMBOLIC.”

Happy Monday!

In part 1 of this post, where I explained why you can’t stop smiling lest you be singled out like a sick wildebeest, I said that tone policing is a roundabout way of saying we LARPers demand positivity because, psychologically, it’s less painful than addressing whatever is actually plaguing our hobby.

Let’s talk about some things that are wrong with our hobby, that positivity won’t fix.

Continue reading “Enforced Positivity 2: Shut Up or Leave”

Enforced Positivity 2: Shut Up or Leave

Safe Spaces: The Illusion You Have to Preserve For Sanity’s Sake

Safe spaces are integral to sanity within a LARP. They’re also patent, transparent bullshit.

Good morning.

Below is a safe space as you might know of it, courtesy of thelarpforum.org:

safe space
Courtesy of “basic human decency”

I’m glad that as 21st century LARPers on the cusp of a bright cyberpunk future, we can agree that assault is not appropriate at our events. It’s sad that we still have to EXPRESSLY state policies like the one above, but all of us know someone who was assaulted, sexually or otherwise, at a LARP event. Beyond the legally agreeable definition of safety, how do we categorize verbal attacks OOC related to playstyle, in-game choices, in-game morality or in-character disputes? Continue reading “Safe Spaces: The Illusion You Have to Preserve For Sanity’s Sake”

Safe Spaces: The Illusion You Have to Preserve For Sanity’s Sake

How to Shamelessly Self Promote: Part 2

My post made it to LARP Haven

Woo. Now I can finally die.

And predictably, the comments came in 3 camps:

  • I have experienced this
  • This makes sense but is extremely discomforting to read
  • This never happens and boy, is this dude bitter

I had a post about safe spaces prepared, but first I’d like to clear up some of the imbecilic fog that’s accumulated.

To those who have experienced the absurdly catty and socially manipulative underworld of LARP, thanks for having the balls to post in agreement. There’s so much overwhelming pressure to be positive at all costs that as a hobby, LARP resists scrutiny in all but the most rarefied academic circles. Continue reading “How to Shamelessly Self Promote: Part 2”

How to Shamelessly Self Promote: Part 2