A Larp Profile of Velvet Noir

A Larp Profile of Velvet Noir

Name of LARP Group

Velvet Noir (by Entropic Endeavors)

Country?

United States

LARP Genre

Emergent Freeform

Who Creates The Characters?

A Combination of both

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

A lot

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

Friday nights start with a workshop which is focused on tying all new players into the existing factions, setting up the type of roleplay that players want, creating new character ties, and planning some narrative for the weekend. It makes getting into game much easier than your traditional campaign.

How Frequently do you run events

4 times a year and players do not need to attend every event. The workshops are designed to accommodate the most casual of players.

What are the facilities like?

3 bunk houses and several cabins with camp mattresses, bunks, and indoors plumbing on the side of a lovely lake in central Pennsylvania.

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

Velvet Noir is a rules light, immersive experience designed to engage in hard conversations about the marginalized and oppressed while it utilizes a set of mechanics that emphasize strategy and roleplay, rather than direct combat skill. Participants get to play in a 1920s themed setting where the morality movement has won in the City and driven a predominantly queer gang of bootleggers (The Rossi-Davis family) out to their country estate. The Rossi-Davis family has made a loose truce with the local police, who turn a blind eye to their sexuality and their moonshine still in exchange for permission to research what their Federal colleagues cleaned up in the Darkness beyond the Farm. Meanwhile, gangsters, cops, and townsfolk all stand in uncomfortable confusion at the Things which lurk in the Darkness, threatening all of their already tense lives. With a side meta-game written by Dana Kjolner that explores the tension and territory wars in the outside world and a freeform, narratively collaborative story on the ground during lives events, “Velvet Noir” offers a captivating experience for a wide range of larpers, actors, and gamers alike.

Website / URL

http://www.entropicendeavors.com/velvetnoir

Other Web Address

https://www.facebook.com/groups/velvetnoir/

Gallery

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2020 UK LARP Awards Nominations

2020 UK LARP Awards Nominations

It’s that time of year again. The UK larp awards are approaching. The public nominations have been assessed and counted. Leaving us with the actual nominees for the night

This year sees the introduction of new categories

  • Larp Media of the Year
  • Prop of the Year

LARPBook has been nominated in Larp Media of the Year. Thar’s really warmed the teams heart. A big thank you from us to you for that.

The list itself is diverse, and with some great recognition of work going on.

Here then are the 2020 nominess

NEW Larp Media of the Year

  • The LARP Noobs Podcast
  • The Orcs Planet
  • LARPBook
  • Slender videos
  • Access Larp

NEW Prop of the year

  • The Bridge of the Obsidian Cygnus – Star Wars Larp
  • Severed head/edible brain – We Are Legends – Legendary Larp
  • The Spear of L.U.G.H – Fairyland
  • The Jump engine – Odysseus LARP
  • Trebuchets at siege of Ravensberg – Curious Pastimes

Award for Accessibility in Larp

  • Empire
  • Lorien Trust
  • Making It
  • Legacy
  • Orion Sphere

International Larp of the year

  • Goat Larp
  • Odysseus
  • The Night in Question
  • Drachenfest
  • Epic Empires

Larp venue of the year

  • Huntley Wood
  • Eversley
  • The Grange
  • Paccar
  • Treowen House

Small Larp of the year

  • Faded Glory
  • Gaderung (formerly Clans of Albion)
  • MVEX
  • Erda
  • Star Wars (Obsidian Cygnus)

Medium Larp of the year

  • Orion sphere
  • Fairyland
  • All for One
  • Jade Throne
  • Flying Lead:Smoke and Brass

Large Larp of the year

  • Empire
  • Curious Pastimes
  • Lorien Trust
  • Green Cloaks
  • Legacy Lrp

Family Event of the Year

  • Empire
  • Lorien Trust
  • Legacy
  • Orion Sphere
  • Fields of Illusion

Player Run or Sanctioned Event of the year

  • Nemesis 2 – Empire
  • Return to Moi – Fir Cruthen – Curious Pastimes
  • Mistbound – Harts – Lorien Trust
  • Alea Iacta Est – King’s Keep – Green Cloaks
  • Tales in the Sand – Death Unto Darkness

Club System of the Year

  • Fools & Heroes
  • Hokfell (University of Leeds)
  • Labyrinthe
  • Union Lrp (Nottingham)
  • Forest Argent

Grassroots System of the Year

  • Empire
  • Fools & Heroes
  • Steamweave
  • Gaderung (formerly Clans of Albion)
  • Erda

New Larp of the year

  • The Jade Throne
  • SteamWeave
  • We Are Legends
  • Tank Larp
  • Obsidian Cygnus

Larp producer of the year- foam/latex

  • Light Armouries
  • Gnosis Studios
  • Goblin Workshop
  • Saxon Violence
  • Twisted Goblin Armouries

Larp producer of the year – leather

  • Locke & Lode
  • McSkelley Leathers
  • Goblin Workshop
  • Darkblade
  • The Thornless Rose

Larp producer of the year – costume

  • White Star Clothing
  • Romany Robes
  • Golden Mochi Costumes & Commissions – Scarlett Hayler-King
  • Denise Gill
  • Wonderlust Couture

Larp Caterer of the year

  • Caggles Catering Corps
  • The Ratt Shakk
  • The Wooden Spoon
  • Jacqui Hancox/Cookie – Faded Glory
  • Good, Honest Food Company

Creature Costume or Puppet of the year

  • Tatsuko – The Luck Dragon
  • Snowtain – baby psionic battle goat – Faded Glory
  • Wyvern/Wyrm – Curious Pastimes
  • Drowners – Northern Kingdoms
  • H8-3R Power Droid

Online Larp retailer of the year

  • Larp Inn
  • Twisted Goblin
  • Gem’s Trading Co
  • Chow’s Emporium
  • Darkblade

In field Larp retailer of the year

  • Chow’s Emporium
  • Having a Larp
  • Gem’s Trading Co
  • Twisted Goblin Armouries
  • Light Armouries

Bard of the year

  • Sparro Trifoot – Empire – Sam Wheatley
  • D J Wild – Fairyland – John Newton
  • Golden Apple
  • Rusty Compass – Will Rivington
  • Dai Murasaki – Lorien Trust – Dread Roberts

NPC of the year

  • Lucille Guthrie – Saph – Lorien Trust
  • Rob Hopper – D’Artagnan – All For One
  • Chris Goddard, Petrov Zamoldchikova-Rhyzhikov – Orion Sphere, Terran Ascendancy
  • Ian Humphries – Dieter – Curious Pastimes, Academy of war
  • Stu Lean – Emperor Hami – Lorien Trust, Jackals

Event Crew Member of the year

  • Thomas Coleman
  • Kat Quatermass
  • Kitty Dobson
  • Emma Round
  • Charlotte Rose1. List item

All that remains to say is see you all at the awards. The ceremony is on the 29th of February at the Century Theatre in Coalville. Here’s a link to the website

Mutant: The Last Ark –  A Larp Profile

Mutant: The Last Ark – A Larp Profile

Name of LARP Group

Mutant: The Last Ark

Country?

Sweden

LARP Genre

Post-apocalyptic

Who Creates The Characters?

A Combination of both

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

It Varies

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

Each event can be experienced on its own, so you don’t need to have been to a previous, or even to have been to a larp before to go. We really want new players, so we’re tailoring our events to be as welcoming as possible. We’ll be guiding you with player letters, costume guides and workshops, designed to bring you closer to your ingame contacts and into character.

How Frequently do you run events

This summer of 2020 we’ll have 3 stand-alone events. We’re intending to continue to use the location, probably for more larps in the same world.

What are the facilities like?

The larps take place on a small isolated island outside of Stockholm, Stora Höggarn. The old industrial area is overtaken by nature now, and you can only get there by boat. Supported by the Swedish Arts Council, we’re building the facilities to make the area into a permanent post-apocalyptic playing area. It’s honestly just incredibly cool out there.

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

The events are set in the world of Mutant: Year Zero. Here the fun and grotesque meets the serious, friendship goes hand in hand with the struggle for survival and the suspicion of strangers.

Our first event, CRASH, takes place about a century after the great catastrophe. The mutated humans, who’ve survived against all odds by hiding inside a great big ship finally land on a small island. Now they must rebel against their leaders to rebuild society. CRASH is a Nordic-style larp that focuses on social conflicts and questioning your identity.

The second event, ADAPTION, takes place a few years after the first, pitching the settlers against the many tribes that roam the area. ADAPTION is more of a typical post-apocalyptic survival game, where you work hard, fight hard and party hard.

The last event, CELEBRATION, is set in the cozy early-fall 10 years after the landing, at a Swedish crayfish party. The settlers and the tribes have made peace. Everyone is here, together, to celebrate life against all odds and to finally get the answers to the old questions: what secrets does the island hide?

Website / URL

https://www.mutantzone.com/

Other Web Address

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2261488587487759/

Gallery

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Profile of Goat Larp

Profile of Goat Larp

Name of LARP Group

Goat Larp

Country?

USA

LARP Genre

Miscellaneous

Who Creates The Characters?

The Player

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

None At All

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

EXTREMELY friendly and welcoming community, zero rules and progression. Everyone is a GM.

How Frequently do you run events

Once per year

What are the facilities like?

GOAT LARP takes place on a real Goat Farm in Redding, Connecticut

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

Goat Larp is the world’s first live action roleplaying game for goats. The Goats are the PCs, and humans are the NPCs who run mind-blowing larp plot for the goats. You can play as anything you want. Most of the game involves cuddling animals, hanging with friends, eating food, and chilling out. This is the most cute and hilarious larp ever invented by man, beast, or God.

Website / URL

https://goatlarp.com/

Other Web Address

https://www.facebook.com/groups/goatlarp/

Gallery

Contact Goat Larp

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All images are used with permission of Goat Larp

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Fields of Illusion: Fantasy with Gunpowder Larp Profile

Fields of Illusion: Fantasy with Gunpowder Larp Profile

Name of LARP Group

Fields of Illusion

Country?

UK

LARP Genre

High Fantasy with a hint of Gunpowder

Who Creates The Characters?

The Player

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

It varies

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

I asked one of our more newest members this to get his opinion: "Hrm. I found the players incredibly helpful (supplying info/equipment) and in trying to get me to event, Peter picked me up from train station and even let me crash at their home for a night, made friends for life out of game. So generally speaking, people legitimately care for each other."

How Frequently do you run events

Twice a year. The latter bank holiday weekend in May and the first weekend of August.

What are the facilities like?

All of our events are at Southcott Farm, Winkleigh in Devon. This site has fields and woodlands for us to play in, but can get quite muddy if the weather is wet. On this note the site is in Britain and that means the weather will be typically British.

There is a water standpipe on site and Toilet facilities are provided in the form of Portaloos.

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

We have just had a major overhaul of veteran characters. Many players have walked their well established character into the Sunset (or in a few cases into the dragons lair) so they can try a completly new idea.

So with all these new character and factions appearing in 2020, it would be the perfect time for anyone new to FOI to hop in!

Website / URL

http://www.fieldsofillusion.com

Other Web Address

https://www.facebook.com/fieldsofillusionlarp/

Gallery – Photos of Fields of Illusion

Contact Fields of Illusion

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Hidden disability and Larp

Hidden disability and Larp

A while ago we created a video about disability in larp. Inspired by a comment on this we decided to embark on learning about hidden disability in larp. We wanted to be able to offer practical advice on larping with a problem no one else can see. That meant learning from the people affected. So we set up some video interviews and put posts on social media.

This is the distillation of what we learned.

What is a hidden disability?

The simple definition is that it is a disability no-one else can see.

What does this mean?

Disability is a word that means less able. Lets look at this way. All people are different. Being human means you are on a spectrum. At one end there are those that push the limits of human achievement to new heights. There are also those who need help to exist on a day to day basis.

Having a hidden disability means that you may need some help.

Our Interviewees

Our four interviews were

I’d like to say thank you to everyone we interviewed. It doesn’t sound enough for what you gave us. So thank you again.

Three out of the four suffer from fibromyalgia. That was our first surprise. There are a lot of people with fibromyalgia out there. A large number play larp. That doesn’t discount any other issues that people larp with. We went with our respondents. It turns out that you can learn a lot from someone with fibromyalgia.

Fessing Up

It’s at this point I need to mention, that 3 members of the LARPBook team have their own problems. So let’s add into the mix

  • Stuart – Who can keel over if he doesn’t look after himself.

  • Katie – has fibromyalgia

  • Rob – has Spina Bifida Occulta.

Communication is key

If we learned one thing its that communication is everything. It’s not about how much, or how little someone can do. It’s about matching the larp with someones comfort zone. I’ll try and explain.

People with a hidden disability or in fact any form or disability are not easy to pigeon hole. Like everyone else in the world they have good days and bad days. Days of high capabilites and days that are worse. Being able to ask open and honest questions about the nature of the game and its environment. This lets the person booking able to make a judgement or call that says ‘is this larp a really good idea or not?’.

Opening up a line of communication lets other questions be asked too. Such as ‘On the day if I need asssitance can I get it’; or ‘Is such and such a thing available?’. Knowing the options and who to talk to is everything.

General rule of thumb – if you can talk a problem can be discovered or resolved.

Good and Bad Days

I mentioned this briefly but lets explain what it really means. It means that you have no idea or your capability on any given day. Sometimes people falsely pigeon-hole those with any kind of capability. The thinking often goes along the line of these people are limited to or by X. Not true. Everyone has good and bad days. What is different is the range of what is possible can be really big and change really fast. In less than day it can do from ‘I am king of the world’, to ‘I don’t lie down for a while I am going to be in real trouble’.

Never assume you know what someones capbilities are. Just listen to what they say and trust their judgement. Just know that if things get then that peron genuinely has to do what they need to do. Whatever that is.

Tips from Larpers

We asked one of Facebooks for tips and ideas about handling hidden disabilties. This what we got

Noise Matters

I think the biggest tip would be ask people beforehand what they need. My autism, for example, causes sensory issues around touch and loud sounds, so some warning is nice. Mechanics should also be adaptable in case someone isn’t as able to move the same way as others

Don’t Assume Anything from Behaviour

I must admit i have come under flack due to my own aspergers. their are a number of times things I did which to others seemed wrong or dangerous. Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple coversation.

Cannot do is real. Understand and don’t abuse

I have severe allergies. Not a disability but it limits the type of costumes/make up I can do and the environments I can be in like if people are smoking in a common area that’s closed off it restricts me from interacting.

I’ve been redicualed and even gotten "warnings" for being unable to certian things on my NPC shifts.

It’s amazing what can be done

I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and my YouTube channel is Don the AS lifter.

Often a person has more than one condition, larp can help

Essentially i got schizophrenia so making friends is hard…physically the right side on my body is destroyed (total acl rupture and rotary cuff) i got arthritis and nerve damage on my fingers and a tear on my left thumbs ligament (never got it fixed)…martial arts has always been my life yea my body hurts but its a passion so i deal with it lol and larping helps me

Keeping Warm is Vital

This ones is from the Rachel Heaton interview. Never Larp without Hotties!

If it helps keep it short

I have fibro and m.e. so have been unable to do fest larps for a while but are still able to attend a day larp once a month

Always Carry Food

This one is from the Mason family interview. Having regular food is imporant – so pack and carry some

Turn it your advantage

This ones from Rob. Turn aspects of your disability into character traits. Do not play yourself but use what you have.

Thank you to

  • Meg Schley
  • Michael Barley
  • Emily Sykes Chonsky
  • Don Markham
  • Muluk Bal’ham
  • Katie North

More on Disability

We’ve previously larpers that use wheelchairs. If this is of interest please use this link

Northern Kingdoms: A Witcher Larp – Videos

Northern Kingdoms: A Witcher Larp – Videos

The Witcher is not only popular; but it has a beautifully realised world.It was inevitable then that larpers would want to explore it . Earlier this year we chatted about Northern Kingdoms, and put together a photograph gallery access. For links see later in this article.

Stuart and Luke also visited a Northern Kingdoms event at Candleston Campsite in South Wales.

Whilst there they recorded a number of video spots. So let’s take a look at them.

The Witcher Larp Interviews

Fettered Forge

What’s it like to set up and run a forge for larp? That is exactly what Fettered Forge are up to. Stuart spends some time talking to Marcus and Dean.

Interview with a Witcher

What’s it like to play a Witcher? Well this is your chance to find out. Luke chats to a resident witcher played by Rob Driscol

Interview with Simon Deacon

Of course we had to interview the person who runs Northern Kingdoms. Luke chats to Simon

The Playlist

We have a playlist for Northern Kingdoms a Witcher Larp. Press the button to see everything

If you like The Witcher why not try the books.

Andrzej Sapkowski Witcher Series 8 Books Collection Set (The Last Wish,Sword of Destiny,Blood of Elves,Time of Contempt,Baptism of Fire,Tower of the Swallow,Lady of the Lake,Hardback-Season of Storms)

Using this link will help LARPBook

Curious Pastimes in 2019

Curious Pastimes in 2019

Ive decided to think a little retrospectively about this year at Curious Pastimes. We started the year with a plan to look behind the scenes at CP. That idea has guided this retrospective.

LARPBook at CP

We attended the first and last events of the year. This is becoming our M.O. I always want to see the season kick off and I a great affection for Renewal (the final event of the Curious Pastimes season). This does not mean that the middle two events have no value for us. Quite the opposite. I’d love to go to all four. Its just the rigours of juggling the day job with attending larps means that I cannot do everything that I would want to do.

The Curious Pastimes Crew

The crew is large. CP put out a photo of all the crew this year. It had over a 160 faces on it. It takes a lot of people to run a larp like Curious Pastimes. LARPBook is part of the media team; but there are so many specialisms like refs, game operations, build specialists, pyrotechnics, comms, make-up, world building, cooking. I probably haven’t even hit on every role there, but the point is that everyone works at the thing that best suits them. Not to mention of course all the multi-specialism people out there.

CP looks after the crew. Here’s a fantastic example. I was hoping to film in the Crew area. The response was "no". The reason was fantastic. The crew must have safe spaces. Where relaxation can happen, where steam can be let off, and where they can just break from the rigours of a long larping day. There is no better reason to say no than – "we’re protecting our crew". Hats off to Curious Pastimes looking after the crew!

Crew Welfare

In fact a lot of attention to detail goes into crew welfare. The crew are fed, given accomodation and showers. There are crew briefings to keep everyone up to speed. And of course all the crew look after each other.

The emphasis here is on making a team that is looked after and works together. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a 100% success. In fact calling the crew a team is a little unfair. They are more like a family.

Communication

A lot of larps use radios to communicate accross a site. It’s a common practice and essential on a larger larp. I’ve been part of radio comms for quite a few larps and I just like how CP handles this side of things. Practical elements like charging are well organised. Use of channels that help you hone in on the right conversation is simple and clear. Perhaps the most fun part are the crew call signs – these are always entertaining and spookily accurate.

This talk about crew and comms may sound a little gushy but there is a point to be made. This year some children lost their parents. They were found by the crew in minutes! That’s right minutes. You cannot do better than that!

The best proof that this communication system simply works.

Traders

One last quick mention – traders. I was around this year when the head weapons checker was giving trader feedback. It’s holistic, helpful and helps make sure that the items on sale at events are correct for CP.

The New Player Briefing

Briefinng and educating new players is something that it is so easy to get wrong. There are plenty of written rules and also plenty expectations that need to be delivered to a new player. New player here is anyone new to Curious Pastimes. It’s a mix of first time larpers and experienced souls dipping their toes into Curious Pastimes for the first time. That’s a hard crowd. This year I decided to photograph so I could get to see how the assigned crew members took on this difficult task.

It was hysterically funny and very well timed. I train professionally and I know that when an audience is smiling they are receptive to ideas. This briefing timed the delivery of the content with smiles perfectly.

It’s a great example of how much work the crew put in to make sure that Curious Pastimes events work. A good first briefing gets the new players fired up and ready to go; and yes that is what happened here.

The Weather

Oh boy the weather this year was not kind. The game went on and event four was downright spectacular. So lets take a moment to look at the weather

The May event was just plain cold. Cloaks sold out from the traders fast. I know that May is not a guaranteed warm time but the weather this year had everyone complaining about the chill and freezing nights.

We didn’t attend June and July. events but I saw the photos and heard about them. It was wet. Perhaps a deluge of biblical proportions. It looked like boats would have been preferred over tents. Plot still progressed and took us to August.

August was more exceptional weather. I think everyone there remembers the heat.

Curious Pastimes became the scorched earth. Dust hung in the air as the sun beat down and threatened to melt the players. The game progressed. The battles were spectacular. Again a shout out to the crew who made sure that water caches were near the action, and a good many of the crew carried extra water just so it could be handed to suffering players. It may have been hot but everyone came toghether to make it good

Cool Things

This years May event "The Siege of Ravenburg" saw in game simulated Trebuchet in action. To get this working required a Trebuchet crew (with refs), pyrotechics – to simulate the boom of impact and a ref handling effects on the receiving end. Battles involving had an intensity I had not seen at Curious Pastimes and the handling of the Trebuchet goes down as one of 2019’s cool things.

On a fun side – quite a few players thought that just ‘having a go’ with Trebuchet would be fun. That led to random fire and giant rocks going places you did not want giant rocks to go.

I’d also like to commend the crew on the wall and the many small building builds for the May event. Simnply terrific and very cool,

The Photographs

Here are a selection of photographs from this years events. If you want to see more follow the gallery links at the bottom of the photographs section for a much larger selection of photographs.

The Videos

Quite a lot of videos this year. May saw a large number of intreviews with players, crew and traders alike. At Renewal in August we dropped down to some video diaries. I’d recommend the May – "Siege of Ravenburg" play list as the starting point.

 

Other Posts

This isn’t our first post this year about Curious Pastimes. Follow these links for more inforamtion

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