There follows a review of the recent Mythlore event and a somewhat amazing photograph gallery. Please read the review, look at the pictures and check out the bylines for these very talented people.
How to pick the sweetest dates out of the basket of wonderful that was Mythlore 3? Because to list it all would take pages and pages of – dare I say it – utter frothing. So for the sake of brevity and the readers’ nerves, I’ll endeavour to pick out a few of the highlights.
One of the best and most amazing parts for me was the immersion experience. Both players and crew really lived their characters, reacting to whatever situations came up with in-role attitude. This consistently and continuously during the whole weekend. I cannot remember the last time I was at a weekend that was so thoroughly IC.
At the same time, I saw a couple of situations where someone was overwhelmed OC and whoever was closest immediately was there to help/support. If possible, it was done IC, if not in such a quietly unobtrusive OC manner that it did not disrupt game flow without in any manner minimizing the player concerned.
The costumes – ah, the costumes – so many different costumes, as befitting a market at crossroads of travel. From simple to elaborate, but all with such an eye to detail. I think I could have spent a week sitting on the sidelines, just seeing new detail after new detail. Both players and crew put a lot of thought into their kit and it showed.
The rule system was kept very light, leaving most decisions in the hands of players and ruled by their common sense and respect of each other and the game. I have found this to result in amazingly liberating game play, as it leaves one the freedom to move within one’s own character constraints.
For example, I saw so many various ways of practicing magic, as each magic-wielder interpreted their magic differently. Not a single one simply stood there and yelled an effect. They all put a lot of effort into their spellcasting including which props to use and the person/s targeted responded accordingly. Especially as these characters were coming from different cultures, these freer rules gave them leeway to portray it according to the character’s background rather than squashing it into a predefined mold. It was beautiful to watch and made it seem so much more real than if they had all had to use the same stock of spells.
Same goes for the rest of the interactions and the fighting, which yes definitely depends on the sense of fairness of the players involved. But the fights I did see seemed so gritty and real, without anyone “soaking” hits to be indestructible. But also it didn’t require anyone who had simply been grazed a couple of times, what with being quick enough to not-quite avoid another’s weapons, to lie down and die. Yes, the fights were intense, but it wasn’t solely about winning, it was about truly epic play which sometimes involved “defeat” and screaming and yelling (as much while being healed as during the fight itself).
The effects crafted by the organizers were amazing. There was a dance by Zambique tribals on the first evening, and even before the floating head turned up, all the hair on my neck was standing straight up with the shivers down my spine. Later the same night, when the lady from the sea turned up, you truly felt as if she had brought her world with her, the movement of her clothes and kit as well as the huge jellyfish accompanying her and then attacking us.
The fakir was fantastic – I had been looking forward to seeing her since I saw last year’s event pictures, but in real life she was even better! Especially the second time when she – wait for it – lifted that stick in the course of her speech, as naturally as anyone sitting on a regular chair might lift their cane across their knees. Wow goes out to The Twins FX for that!
So much work went on behind the scenes which I’m not privy to, but the results with the special effects, fireworks and explosions were mind-blowing. Thanks to LARPFx and LARPtronics for those – simply awesome.
Last but definitely not least: the huge Titan/Golem…OMFG there are no words, that thing just blew you away, literally as well as figuratively. The detailing on its armour/body, the articulated joints, the way it moved – it seemed so real – as if there really had been a crazy alchemist messing around with things he shouldn’t have….ah, it was both awe-inspiring and totally “get me out of here – NOW!” effect. Huge kudos to Mark Cordory from Mark Cordory Creations for creating such a creature. Just wow… There was even an arm from a “previous” one that we found and one of the players figured out how it was moved/powered which was information we needed to figure out how to deal with the present version. As far as I know, that one was provided by LARPFx and the player had a blast working it out.
Review Esther Mettler
A quick word of thanks to Esther for such a high quality – please submit work again.
And now for the Gallery all these pictures come from the talented hands of Tom Garnett and Giles Warhurst. If you are looking for LARP photography I would recommend that you seek them out.
In fact if you want to get in touch with Esther, Tom or Giles please contact LARPBook and I will be happy to help you out.