This is not a how to article. It really isn’t about the best way to do anything. Instead I thought it might be interesting to talk about getting ready to go back to large Fest Larps.
Once upon a time (back in the dimly remembered 90’s), I started larping. A few years into this I went to my first large scale larp – The Gathering.
I attended this off and on for a number of years. Then for a multiplicity of reasons I stopped and focussed on smaller more intimate events.
That is until 2016 when I attended Renewal by Curious Pastimes for a about a day (which instantly made me want more); and also Fairweather Manor 4. I began to realise that my absence from larger events had gone on for far too long.
So this is about a return. More especially getting ready for the Lorien Trust Summer Moot 2017 and full attendance at Renewal 2017.
Before I go on I’d just like to say that I had originally planned a 3 event cycle – Curious Pastimes Event 3, Summer Moot and Renewal. A cut foot meant that I had to drop out of Event 3. Next Year though now that I have the bug for event camping coursing through my vanes Curious Pastimes and the Lorien Trust can expect to see more of me, health willing.
So if you’re going to a fest larp you’re going to need a tent.
I definitely needed a new tent. My existing one was old and not really suitable anymore. It was time for tent shopping.
Although any tent will do, for a UK fest it soon became clear talking to people that the best option was going to be a bell tent. That allows the option of in character camping. Also I’ve camped off an on most of my life and I like a canvas tent. I also find that a tent I can stand up up in is really essential as a personal preference. Since I’ve got somewhat dubious balance something a bit wider also helps.
That led to my first investment – a 4m bell tent. An absolute shed load of camping space.
Sleeping in a tent needs a bed. I already have a comfortable camp cot and this year I’ve added a self-inflating mattress to it. I’d recommend that to anyone. If you have a camp bed, put a hikers self inflating mat on it. The result is very comfy
That’s the tent and I already had the bed.
If you’re camping you need a stove. I ended finding one on sale but in the process discovered more options than ever before – taking a break from something for years and coming back is a sure way to keenly observe change. This case it was the wide variety of inexpensive stoves of all sizes. In the end I opted for the type that takes a CP250 canister internally. It’s a long way from the smallest and not the hottest but it has stability on its side as it is wide, flat and low to the ground. I tend to favour stability.
I needed cooking implements. So stole a couple of old items from the kitchen (I’ll probably regret that and get ordered to buy some new by the missus!), and also some cheap camping pans.
All in all I was please by how the budget was shaping up. Sure the tent was not inexpensive. Everything else though was not. It turns out the camping basic kit set can be picked up easily and cheaply. For the record it was a combination of Amazon and supermarket sales that fulfilled my needs.
Other accessories included a table, and chair (I already had) and lamps. Like a lot of larpers I seem to have a quite turnover of lamps. Acquiring, using, losing, etc but at least means I already have some some.
Accommodation was sorted.
Costume and Character
I’m not going to use the dread word garb (if you listen to the show you may know I have a instinctive dislike of that word). However going to fest larp just the same as any other larp means costume. Now I could spend a lot of time researching the best possible character for myself. However when the situation allows I like organic evolution.
At the Lorien trust I have a large number of friends who play as Romans. Now I don’t want to play centurion but I already have costuming that could fit me into a more civilian role. So that’s the plan. I’ll play a less combatant civilian and build things up from there. Hopefully by the end of my first event I’ll have a nice character building up that I can continue to use.
Similarly at Renewal I intend to play with the Wolves and I’m already looking at a variations on a character that is older, experienced, whom no longer needs to fight but instead is closer to the Gods.
Both of these plans have a few things in common
- I’m not planning to put my own creativity onto the game, I’m planning to learn about whats going on now and work within its plot and culture
- To help get into things I will be playing with friends and not against them
- The characters I’m playing will not be set in stone before the events. This allows space to adjust the character so it fits into how I want to experience the fest.
- My plans allow for simple costume and props – that I can expand on using the fest traders
In other words – I’m going to try and make sure I play the fest in a way that allows me to build a character that works for me. I’m avoiding setting too many pre-conceived ideas
Also these characters work well with my existing costuming. And as I’ve suggested if that doesn’t work out there are the traders. Traders at fest games are a great resource. You can look, feel, try and buy. I fully intend to take advantage.
What Will I Be Doing
The answer to this one is quite a lot. I’ll probably come back needing some time away; or failing that a large pizza and a comfy sofa. So the plan is as follows
At The Summer Moot
- Developing a character and playing with the Roman contingent of the Griffins Faction
- Learning the media rules of the Lorien Trust and applying these to creating a large gallery and hopefully also conducting some interviews
- Possibly running a video diary
- Creating article(s) about the the event
Last year injury issues pushed us back to only one days coverage. This year the plan is to camp on site the day before the event starts (the Thursday). Curious Pastimes have again said I can have a working area – and I will be taking them up that. The working area will be used to edit photos and write artcles during the event. This should make for much livelier coverage.
- I’ll be playing a character in the Wolves faction
- Taking advantage of what I learned last year for more photos and interviews
- Running a video diary
- Hanging out with our Friends at the Crimson Moon
- Writing articles and talking to / working with the other documentors
At before these events I’ll be prepping camping gear, cameras and other paraphernalia. Plus of course getting quite excited.
If you do see me at and event please come over, say hi and have chat. I’d love to meet you.
The photo with this post was one I took at last years Renewal.It was picked out due to the sense of atmosphere which I’m hoping to capture at these coming events.