Tenment 67 – Cyberpunk Larp

Back in March I played in a one day Tenement 67 at the Grange. It would be fair to say that it blew me away (learn how here) . The quick version is super high emotional content, awesome cyberpunk vibe and massive immersion. You might say that it being one of favourite genres helped. But that would take too much away from Rob and the team who did an incredible job.

Welcome to Tenement 67

Up till now Tenement 67 (T67) has been day events. This was the first weekender. The sad news for me was that family commitments meant that I had to leave on the Saturday morning. That still meant that I could be there for the set up in Thursday and the first day of play. So although I cannot talk about the end there is still I lot I can say.

The Location

This time play was at The Gaol in Oakham. . Normally used for airsoft it makes for a cracking larp site. The reason it’s special is the used to be a prison. HMP Ashwell to be precise. There are mutliple buildings. But the fact that it was built as a prison really lends to the atmosphere. T67 is set in a tenement full of people at the fringes of civilised life. Rich and poor mingle. The rich because they can, the poor because they have to. The corridors, cells and rooms of a disused priosn so effortlessly lend themselves to this idea of a building repurposed as the world changed.

Players were encouraged to make cells their own. And they did. Additionally common areas were carefully lit. Flyers and graffitti adorned walls. Once the game started suspension of disbelief did not take long.

The Players

The players were a fantastic bunch. A priviledge to meet and play with. This time round there were more here. Also this larp was international with players coming in from Europe and for me the surprise of seeing people I knew from out of the UK. International larps are a little special. There is something about a mix of nationalities that helps with atmosphere. I must figure that out at some point. For Cyberpunk it is really relevant. I best imagine cyberpunk worlds as being mixing pots of with all cultures, races, and social stata intermingling and clashing with each other. Making it a perfect player mix for the genre.

The Game

It was shennanigans time at the tenement. As you’d expect from a Cyberpunk event there were a lot of plot elements. A sythetic human (awesome costume), dubious recruiters for dodgy deep sea mining, gang warfare, reconstruction of digital personas, gangs clashing, corporate intrigue, dubious drugs, reality TV stars, striking workforces and I hope you’re starting to get the idea. And that’s just a sample. There was more than I have listed going on.

This larp is a long way from find the gold, kill the monster.
Which is my way of sayng that T67 is a great example of just how far Larps have come since the 1980’s.

It is emotionally demanding material.

The content of Tenement 67 constantly makes you assese how you feel about things. My first game in March had a deeper emotional impact on me than I expected. This time again I had plenty of feelings.

Its also worth noting that all the players and crew put themselves under pressure to create an incredible experience. From the get go you know this is a quality larp and everyone strives for this. This also amps up the pressure.

Fortunately the team from Carcosa Dreams have this covered. They work under the assumption that larp can impact its players and are ready for such eventualities.

Which is something I want. I game that gives its players a very real experience and then looks after them.

Thank you Carcosa for both the creation of the larp and the understanding of your duty of care.

The Crew Area

I was crew. So it seems fitting to mention the crew quarters. A good many of us slept in one of the buildings away from the players. If you needed a rest – you could get a rest.

The crew area in the main event building centred on a game control room and a the crews ready room. The ready room contianed plenty of food and chairs. We used this place to chill between scenes, chat, eat and figure what we were going to use when next called to action.

Additionally sleeping areas were created for key crew who had to be available on 24 hour notice.

It was an effective use of space. Everyhing you would expect from a well organised larp.

Would I play again?

That’s easy – in a heart beat!

The Photos

The Video

During my time at this event I paused to record short video diaries.

These have all been collected into one short film; just click here.

I tried a somewhat experimental take on the presentation of this one. Not everyone likes how it looks. My apologies if its at all disturbing to you.

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