How my Cerberus went:
On Friday night, I ran Best of the Wurst, an “Allo Allo”-inspired larp from Peaky Games. The game did exactly what it says on the label, and the players excelled in coming up with ways to make single-entendres about sausage. I’d like to rerun this one in Wellington sometime; I just need to work out when.
When we wrapped up on Friday night, it turned out the caterer had made scones with jam and cream as a late night snack, which encouraged people to sit around and chat about larp. I was able to get in an unscheduled run of Descent Into Oblivion, a 20-minute Firefly larp by Martin Jones. It went really well, and its made me see a niche for this sort of micro-larp. I may be able to re-run this one at Hydra next year.
On Saturday morning I played one of the parasitic alien Drik in @Ciaran’s S.W.I.P.E (Symbiotes Will Inherit Planet Earth). It was an interesting game, trying to be two character sharing the same body at once, and I had fun talking as both of them and sometimes making sarcastic comments at myself. Unfortunately, about halfway through the game I forgot a key facet of my character in pursuit of a joke, which meant we got humour instead of tragedy (well, we would have got that humour with someone else, no doubt). It was a good game, with an in-game research system which gave the players a lot of control over the path the story of the Drik took, and an example of a larp with an act-structure which worked.
On Saturday morning I played Thorvald in Luke Crane’s Inheritance (run by @Catnip). This was a game we’d got over Kickstarter, and I’m not sure if its available anywhere else. Its pitched as a viking family drama, and it delivered that perfectly. The players all bought their A-game, both in performance and costume, and I had a great time working out my relationship with my sons and being pushed around by my wife (played by @Emerald). This one also uses an act structure, and again its one that works.
On Saturday night I played Mississippi Sam the gambler in One Night in Xanadu. This was apparently inspired by the Feng Shui tabletop rpg, a cross-genre game of magic and kung-fu, and it delivered on that mash-up quite nicely. You can get a lot of weirdness in Vegas, and it doesn’t seem weird at all to see gamblers, Elvis impersonators, kung-fu monks and cyborg gorillas all rubbing shoulders there.
This was a great larp, and there was always something to do, and there were huge chunks of it I heard about in the debrief and never saw. I had strong in-game incentives to gamble, and to hit the bar and talk to the barkeep, so I never got bored. I had a nice character arc which was fulfilling in all sorts of ways, and a lot of cool moments. Best moment: learning about my future. @Jangalian has written a really cool game here, and I’m looking forward to his next one.
On Sunday morning I facilitated and played JUGGERNAUT, Jason Morningstar’s game of a cold war computer which can predict the future. I’d played this before at KapCon a few years ago, but the game comes with substitute cards you can put in to give a different focus. Once again, it delivered a strong game about free will, determinism, and the consequences of knowledge, and the players really rose to the occasion. If you haven’t played it, I recommend giving it a go.
On Sunday afternoon I played in A-Muse-ment, a larp of writers and inspiration by Lisa Malone. This was a perfect last-round game, and delivered lots of silly fun as the various muses tried to get writers to accept out-of-genre ideas. In the process, we talked a lot about fiction and tropes, and snarked a lot at each other’s genres (paranormal romance and sparkle vampires came in for a lot of hate - I cannot possibly think why). At the end, the inspirations the muses had provided were pasted in to the actual story synopses, with hilarious results. But I’m sure that “2356: Planet of the Androids” will be a best-seller.