essentialsaltes: (Dead)
For the past few days, I've been living about 2.5 lives, and not had time to catch up on it. Until now (?) We'll see how far I get.

click at your own risk )
essentialsaltes: (Jimi)
Wyrd Con 5 is Memorial Day weekend at the Westin LAX.

Live Game Labs will be running a number of events:

The Association for the Advancement of Rights for Fairytales Creatures


Thursday night, I'll be involved in supporting a benefit to support Seekers Unlimited, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit dedicated to using live role-playing in education:

But most importantly...

On Saturday I'll be running "A Happening":
May 1969. The famous, the infamous, the obscure, the sublime, and the ridiculous gather together in a hotel in Los Angeles, just to find out what happens. A rules-light role-playing experience, where you portray the historical or fictional person of your choice (as they were in 1969).

Some character ideas.
Some background on the history leading up to May 1969. I'm inordinately happy that the calendar for 1969 is the same as 2014. I'm also inordinately happy that, on Mat 24th, 1969, Apollo 10 is on its way home from lunar orbit.
essentialsaltes: (jasmine)
Sax Rohmer's novel is at least 75% less racist than the film. It's also interesting that while the film Fu Manchu is trying to revive the legend of Genghis Khan, in the book his goal is to gain control of Islam (or at least an Islamic sect) by impersonating the Mahdi. Fu Manchu is portrayed as an honorable gentleman (if a ruthless criminal mastermind), and it's very much a plot point that he's a man of his word -- explicitly contrasting with a rather bombastic British archaeo... er... privileged private tomb raider, who ransoms his daughter with fakes of the antiquities he has promised. And the book actually ends with Fu Manchu deviously infiltrating a very generous wedding gift into the wedding of the daughter and her young swain. (Fu is probably exceedingly relieved that the wedding prevents the young swain from becoming his own son-in-law, since his just-as-evil-genius-y daughter improbably ("I have tricked you many times; for, although I love you, [swain], you are really not very clever.") has taken a fancy to him. (But it's ok, the swain only sexed her up while he was under the influence of a mind control drug.))

I also read through [ profile] aaronjv's Secret Ante (aka Soul Strip Poker), a larp of revealing characters (souls, if you like) through poker. In effect, you use memories or character aspects as chips to bet with. If you win someone's 'Fear' chip, you can get them to reveal their Fear to you, or reveal it publicly. I think my favorite sentence in Secret Ante is: "It's probably more intellectually challenging to play a fictional character, and more emotionally trying to play You." OK, I'm also partial to the part where he thanks me for providing some dim inspiration in the form of Casino Arcane/Arcana.
essentialsaltes: (Cognitive Hazard)
I fought my way through Friday rush hour traffic to return for [ profile] hagdirt's Game of Sunken Places. The Framing LARP is that the war between the 'elves' and the 'goblins' is mediated by a LARP-like game constructed 'cooperatively' by the goblins and elves, and then sprung on unsuspecting humans. The two contestants (or in our case, teams) compete for each side.

Although the framing LARP provided some character interaction and motivations, the activity slid more into a crash-course unsupervised workshop in creating a LARP communally using whatever brainpower we could muster and the contents of K's craft room and prop cupboard. And then run it. In the space of a few hours.

Given her prep talk, I think one of K's motivations was to investigate this creative process, and it was interesting to be both a part of that process and to keep a spare brain cell handy to watch it from the outside. Maybe if you had recorded everything, you could have traced all the decision-making and compromises and coming together of different elements, but it is still kind of a mystery when you have that feeling that 'the room' just had an idea. Or when an idea that stinks gets the silent treatment or stonewalling until a better idea comes along.

Then we managed to rustle up a posse of random conventioneers with nothing to do to play the LARP that we had created. Or at least the 40% of it that fully existed at that point. While they went through the first challenge, we finished up the second, and likewise with the third. It was sort of a harrowing example of just-in-time logistics.

The geniusiest challenge created by the room (mostly a combo of the Sarah and J part of the room, IIRC) was for each team to receive four Tarot cards, mainly distinctive portraits from the Major Arcana (yes, I can't escape the Tarot at Wyrd Con). Their task was to go out into the convention and take photos recreating the Tarot images using other conventioneers as the subjects, enhanced by props from the communal pile and anything else they could lay their hands on. They were to be judged on accuracy and creativity, and they did very well on both counts. Hopefully, K will make the images public, if and when she has a chance to set down what happened.

The players (and the random people they also dragged into this) were absolutely great. I'm glad they were so enthusiastic about jumping into these random challenges that had been heaped upon them. It makes me feel good about my game tonight that WyrdCon attendees are looking to have a good LARP experience, and they will have a good LARP experience, if something even remotely resembling the opportunity of a good LARP experience is offered to them.

It's kind of curious in my recounting of Casino Arcana that I pitched Murder by Death as a possibility for my next Wyrd Con LARP. Because that sounds similar to And On The Other Hand, Death, which was supposed to run this morning, but got scratched. I'm bummed, since I had signed up for it, but it'll keep my day clear to prepare for Death in Valhalla. And in related news, that means I'll run the best murder mystery LARP at Wyrd Con.

Oh, maybe Werewolves of Millers Hollow counts... maybe there's competition after all. Hard to beat a fun party game.
essentialsaltes: (Cocktail)
I jetted down for the 3rd Wyrd Con. Well, jetted is a misnomer, since I faced rush hour traffic, but I timed it well to be fashionably late for the Opening Cocktail Party. I suffered some drink ticket envy, and when I asked whether I maybe ought to have had one, I'm afraid I must have sounded whiny enough that Joslyn took pity on me and gave me one. So at least I contributed to the financial insolvency of the con, and that's something.

I met people I know well, made a stronger connection with people I know vaguely, met a few people I knew by reputation, and met a few people for the first time. Makes me sound like a social butterfly, which was hardly the case, but the friend network is strong in making introductions. I think the only people that I just leapt out and did my damn-glad-to-meet-you routine cold were the people from the LA Ghost Patrol. They are genuine ghost hunters -- er, not that they hunt genuine ghosts, but you know what I mean. But they were at the con to LARP it up a little and present a ghost hunt in the hotel. I only had about enough time to say hello and ensure that there were spaces available in the hunt later in the night before I was happily dragged to dinner with [ profile] aaronjv, [ profile] hagdirt, Lizzie Stark & Sarah Lynne Bowman. We solved most of the world's problems and then caught the tail end of the cocktail party, where I bumped into [ profile] ladyeuthanasia, with whom I went on a ghost hunt. We thought it hilarious that we were straight out of 'we fight crime' the ghost hunting version:

She's a psychic sensitive who has had numerous experiences with ghosts.

He's literally a card-carrying skeptic with a background in physics.

They hunt ghosts.

The LAGP folks showed us some of the tools of the trade. I chose a magnetometer with a sticker plastered on it that said 'ghost finder' or something like that. Maria got the copper dowsing rods. Others in our crew got the vidcam and flashlight.

Perhaps predictably, the ghost hunt was a little lame. Sort of a haunted house, or haunted hotel... we got led around from location to location to do various things. I tried to play it straight, or at least not be a dick. But a couple of the others were enjoying being 'ironic' or 'sarcastic'. It's true, though, I couldn't resist when we were going through the service passage behind the ballrooms past all of the hotel's conference stuff: "You're right. No human would stack chairs like that."

The best moment was when we were doing some EVP, with a recorder running as we asked questions of the ether. Since I was expecting some chicanery with the recorder, I was not expecting communication through seance-style rapping. [Tupac joke goes here.]

It was also interesting to see how ghost hunters put on a LARP, and then play the compare/contrast game with how LARPers put on a ghost hunt. And I believe Aaron has another one in the works.
essentialsaltes: (Nazgul)
I'm pleased to announce that my bid to run a LARP at Tri Wyrd was accepted. The convention runs June 21-24 in Costa Mesa.

Death in Valhalla is a murder mystery/live game set in the milieu of Norse-Germanic mythology and Wagner's Ring Cycle.

Several other members of the Live Game Labs crew will be running events at Tri Wyrd, and there are even more events run by other LARP troupes. I know my LARPy friends are in, but if you're interested in gaming, acting, theater, costuming, or just something different... come by and give Wyrd Con a try.

Oh, and if you don't have most of a day to spare, here's how the Ring ends, as performed in Valencia, 2008. I may have to pick those DVDs up.


essentialsaltes: (Default)

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