At the end of May 2017 I was lucky enough to once again meet up with the people of Forest Argent. Before I talk about the event I’ll just explain what Forest Argent. Its a small larp based in the South West of the UK. Single day events are regular (a couple of times a month) and throughout the year there are a goodly number of weekend events. Convergence 2017 is one of the longer weekenders played across the end of May bank holiday. I need to point you at the setting for the game. Players come from one of 5 distinct worlds where travel between these worlds is known and possible. This link takes you to the world overview. This matters as its going to have an impact on the rest of this piece.
Convergence is an annual event in the Forest Argent calendar. It both wraps up old plots and kicks off new ones. This year was going to be a bit of a doozy as authorities were catching up with some players whilst others had characters that had an opportunity to blossom; if they dared. This may sound as if there is no cohesive plot and perhaps a bit messy. The start did feel a bit like that however has events built up, interacted and collided that was replaced with a sense of doom and opportunity. Players were faced with consequences of actions and ideas where played out to create new direction. More of the game setting was fleshed out.
I like this kind of game. It’s a sandbox for ideas and plot.
In fact this is one of the things that I love about Forest Argent. Its possible to anything from a lilly white hero through to a crooked dastardly villain and still have a place in the game. It allows for quiet characters to carefully move their way through the world as easily as it allows foe big characters to become living legends.
I’m not going to recount plot(s) as that really doesn’t suit this review. I will talk about scenes as interesting things did happen.
Attitude to Slavery: Member of one of the attending races – inspired by (Moorcocks Elric of Melnibone tales). decided to hold a slave market. First point of friction is that not all the characters believed in this but it went ahead through sheer force of will. What happened a little later though was something else. Somehow the slaver characters learned about pinatas. Took a human slave, forced that person to eat “prizes” and then proceeded to push other characters to beat this person to death. It was a disturbing part of the game. Yes some characters objected but what was interesting to see was how many would go along with it and then later suffer from the consequences of immoral action.
Faerie Folk: A key theme in Forest Argent is that of fey folk. Not as described by Disney or the cuter end of pop culture; but as described in story and legend. In an earlier game the players had release something akin to a Boggart and now they were coming to torment the players. Played out a night in pitch darkness the crew in appropriately creepy masks and costume snuck around in the dark. Creeping up behind players, calling out to them, dragging them away and being that feared hand that stalks the night. Somebody said that this part of the game was genuinely creepy. The crew should take a pat on the back for that.
The Galvanic Zombies: Imagine that you could use an electrical device to create zombies. Now imagine that the characters need that device. Fortunately the zombies were blind. Unfortunately they were attracted to sound. What followed was a long game of cat and mouse as the players attempted to turn off and secure the “galavanic” technology for themselves.