Last weekend starting on March the 11th I was lucky enough to be crewing at a Forest Argent game again. This time the first weekend event of 2016. This time round though things were going to be a little different. You see its been decided that the LARPBook Shows presenters will go around and crew at games. The idea isn’t just to look for review material – it puts three pairs of eyes out there looking out for good ideas. It also means the three of us see different aspects of the event – hopefully that leads to better discussions on the podcast and better information from both this site and the podcast. I don’t see this was being one sided as we do role play quite well together and on this event that did lead to what we’ve been told were some very memorable moments.
This time round the story featured what happens when a monastery in the world of Sann refuses to ally itself to the prevailing shogun. Travellers who wander between the worlds of the “Forest Argent” are on hand. What will prevail? Shenanigans most likely.
So the setting is called Sann and is inspired by feudal Japan. Only in this version there are distinct race groups making up the society. The easiest way to describe this would be a caste system. Each race has a its own niche that it occupies. In fact, that was one of the pleasures of crewing this game. The crew were briefed on the the racial archetypes and we then had the fun of watching the players react first to a very alien society and then to realisation that not all the people were the same. Come to think of it that’s not just fun – its adding some subtext into the event (cue smiley face).
The game started in Friday night and immediately the crew got to feel what this game would be like – alternating between playing pure bred combatants and strong characters. The opening was a combat in the dark set piece. The players looked resplendent with many of them glowing in the dark with their steampunk inspired “Galvanic”, weapons and accessories.
Once that was over it was time to visit the tea rooms of the monastery and that cued in the first arrival of the Monks. For me that was special time as I was teamed up with Luke to play a pair of hopelessly drunk Monks who were always only a hairs-breadth away from being dismissed from the pure like due to their obsession with brewing and drinking. I cannot really express how much fun we had with those characters. In case you’re wondering we also remembered to play this pair of rogues somewhat muted the next day as they coped with awesome levels of hangover.
After this opening the game settled into a goodly pace as the players started to understand that both the monestery and Sann had an undead problem (caused it turned out by events at a earlier part of their story). They did the right thing – and worked to correct it. At the same time they were tested by surrounding clans – could they be useful as allies when the Shogun came to the burn the monks out of their home. Whilst trying to figure out Sann honour bound politics and what would happen if the Shogun increased his power base (the down side would likely be an invasion of their own homelands).
This gave The Sword Falls a really different feel to my last incursion into Forest Argent. That game had elements of a fairy story mixed with Lovecraftian horror. This was all honour, politics and combat.
Then again it is good that the same system running a series of linked stories can explore different genres. It helps to keep it feeling fresh; whilst keeping players and crew alike on their toes.
Mean while back at this event there other notable moments. Such as the encounter between the players and the old veterans guarding copious quantities of tea. I must also include a valiant effort to defend against a horde of undead as the worked to solve the zombie problem and the convenient and entirely “coincidental” arrival of a clan who decided they needed to engage the players in games and duals. All excellent moments.
I think you can see that I really had a good time here. I did – I find it very easy to recommend Forest Argent – its about my level of plot, character, mad science and strange magic.
I’d also like to mention that last game everyone was wonderfully friendly. This time round I was starting to really feel like part of the community. This group are fantastic at bringing new people in and making them at home. I know this is a larp trait – but its always awesome when it happens so naturally.
A special mention has to go to the catering team – who kept us all fed and watered – thank you.
Finally I was part of a big crew and everyone worked well together and we were very effectively briefed and managed by game organiser Gideon Lawrence.
If you’d like to learn more about this group here is the website:
And click here for the Facebook Group. You should note that Forest Argent is a part of Wyverns Tales Larp.