“Forgotten” is Balrog games 2013 event. Balrog runs 1 intimate LARP event every year. Each is the next installment in an ongoing campaign that follows the lives of characters caught up in a chain of events out of their control as dragons, wizards and gods fight to control a cluster of inextricably linked worlds. It is high fantasy featuring characters that range from the very ordinary to the exotic and at times alien.

Its a good recipe – one that has kept Balrog running

Its a small game and I say intimate as everything is run somewhat communally whilst generating a convivial “family” atmosphere. Size is intentionally limited in order to make sure that all players get a good experience.

So what about the game itself.

The short review is – it is good. That has no context so lets try and put some flesh on that.

The role-play style focuses on personality. True this is a combat game – the battles are fast and furious but at the centre of everything is the interaction between characters. Everything hinges on a sweet combination of achievements and reactions. Which boils down to talk, strong reactions, attempts to understand strange things and bad decisions for the right reasons. There is also a high threat level that keeps the game tense.

This is all sounds very serious and it is. Not doom and gloom though. Comedy is an essential part of the Balrog formula. Characters with comedy intent will pop in and out –  always done well enough to relieve tension yet keep the game on track. Sometimes there are things done exceptionally just for laughs. That happened this year when the characters stumbled into a scene set in a monsters gay bar. Complete with the tango.

You’ll notice I’ve not gone into the plot. Well that’s because this is an annual event and every year the game is stand-alone with references to the past all coming out in character. If you wanted to attend a Balrog game you don’t want to read the spoilers of last years game – that means I can’t discuss the plot here,. If you go you have to learn about things as your character learns,

I like Balrog. I’ve been going for 7 years – so perhaps I am not the most impartial of reviewers – but I do believe that this years was one of the best I’ve been to; and that gives me high hopes for next year.

The picture for this piece comes from Forgotten and is part of the set taken at the game. Click here to view and the others

If you’d like to learn more about Balrog try this: http://balrog.co.uk/

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