Curious Pastimes – ‘Erin: Uile no rud sam bith’ is over

Curious Pastimes – ‘Erin: Uile no rud sam bith’ is over

I’ve arrived home as event 1 for Curious Pastimes 2018 is now over. It’s a sad moment when a larping event comes to its end; but at least we have lots to show you from this one.

First  thought I have say some thank yous. Thanks to Curious Pastimes for letting us come in and do this. We really appreciate it. Also a special mention to the crew time for really making us welcome – you are larpy wonderfulness.  I also want to say a special mention to Oliver Facey, Ric Crossley and Steve Mitchell. A pleasure as always to work alongside you gentlemen.

Now onto the end of the game. It was a tough one for the players, that is to say their enemies were intelligent, crafty and strong. Personally these are always my favourites. Despite the frustration and annoyance of losses – I just feel that is more satisfying to get through the tough times. I’m not sure as I write this of the outcome of the Monday battle. I’ll explain why in a moment but even without that it was clear to see that this was a great event.

This was my first time at a start of season event for Curious Pastimes. It’s smaller in terms of numbers than renewal, but not in atmosphere. Spending time in the bar (the Crimson Moon of course), hanging around camps or following skirmishes it all felt that the smaller numbers did not take away from anything. It felt like a calmer place but in that calm before the storm kind of way. Really nice

I’ve become a sucker for Paccar scout camp. It’s easily becoming a favourite larping venue for me; it is a gorgeous location. And it seems to accommodate Curious Pastimes just right.

There were highlights – like watching the start of Beltane. That was special. The action in the skirmishes were great and I thought the healers did a wonderful job of roleplaying bringing people back from the brink. There was one particularly splendid piece of demonic bad-guy monologging – I really hope we have that on video. Vollsanger did a wonderful job of building up atmosphere, and Moxy the lammie carrying wench had real fun with punters.

Great fun. It was a weekend I loved it.

For a taster here is the first set of photos from this event as we have lots to show you

Curious Pastimes – Halfway Through –  Erin: Uile no rud sam bith

Curious Pastimes – Halfway Through – Erin: Uile no rud sam bith

We’re at Curious Pastimes Event 1 2018, “Erin: Uile no rud sam bith”. This is a halftime report so to speak. It’s Sunday morning. The event started on Friday and ends on Monday.

We’re recording event diaries and at the moment the place to find these is our Facebook page. There will be a post that collates all of these and they will eventually go to YouTube. Right now the live stuff is on Facebook. This is turning out to be a good way of working for us. So expect instant on Facebook, and everything following on here and on YouTube

I haven’t forgotten about Instagram and I’m coming to that. When we photograph an event we try and stay out of peoples faces, so the phone camera doesn’t work so well at distance. This event I’m experimenting with new lenses and a new camera. We’ve had some amazing shots and so that are purely experimental. Either way expect a slew of updates on Instagram as the photos process.

Saturday we met up with a lot of old friends.  There was planning for events coming up. Also I’m getting some special prop work done – I will explain that when it happens (sorry for the tease). It will probably take a few months to complete

Coming up today we are planning to look at some more of the play and we have a plot to make a blacksmithing video.

There’s going to be a battle

And we will be recording some more diaries

It’s been a glorious event so far. I think that’s going to continue

 

Introducing LARPBookMedia.com

Introducing LARPBookMedia.com

The Explanation

I’d like to take a moment to talk to you about LARPBookMedia.com. What you say another LARPBook website. Well yes it is and that is why I need to talk about it.

When we launched the LARPBook Show (and it wasn’t called that then), the idea was simple run a bi-monthly podcast that people could download and listen to. That model perfectly suited the distribution service we picked for the job. That being podbean.com.

Things however have a tendency to get progressively complex. The show’s structure has shifted. We still have a roundtable discussion show. You can subscribe to it and get it on demand via audio download, or streaming, plus of course the LARPBook YouTube Channel. It’s the YouTube channel that is largely behind the move to LARPBookMedia. Our output became not just the podcast, it expanded to include  interviews, specials and video diaries

We really were not creating a podcast anymore. We weren’t really YouTubers in a typical sense either. We were sort of a hybrid.

That was a problem because putting our output into PodBean wasn’t really suitable and LARPBook.com is quite sprawly. Which means it contains everything but is perhaps not the best vehicle for an expanding multimedia library.

Eventually we came to a decision. Let’s build a home that makes it easy to explore the extended show related output.

So that’s what we’ve done.

We’ve built a place to explore the back catalogue, which also supports the feeds necessary to let people subscribe to the show.

 

State of the Project

I’m writing this March 19th 2018. This is where we are with the LARPBookMedia Project.

Our entire show catalogue has been loaded into the site and every episode can be streamed from the site

We have subscription feeds up and running. Depending on which service you use to subscribe to the show you may have to resubscribe. Also if you experience any difficulties with your subscription please let us know and we will do our best to fix it. In theory most subscribers should get continuity but please let us know if there are problems or if you had to resubscribe. This is a transition and such things can be tricky but we will help you out if we know about it.

At the moment all the show audio on LARPBook.com points to podbean. The plan is to change all these to point to the files on LARPBookMedia. At this point this has not been accomplished but it is part of the plan and we’ll get it done as soon as we can.

Although the show is uploaded and are various too video pieces that have not been added. We’ll be looking at that too.

 

The Future

LARPBook.com will continue to be the first port of call for all things LARPBook. Every article, show, photograph is here. We have plans for LARPBook.com that will make it easier to use, whilst adding on an improved feature set. LARPBook.com is the Book of LARP.

LARPBookMedia is the library of shows. It will become the best place to go if you want to explore these. An audio and video library. Go to LARPBookMedia, pour a drink, kick back and enjoy.

 

 

Larpcon Apology

Larpcon Apology

It is with a heavy and this point frozen heart that LARPBook will have to cancel its attendance at Larpcon. Unfortunately at this point all members of the team are snowed in. The chances a thaw before the end of the weekend are very unlikely.
We will miss you all and hope to see as many of you of as possible later this year.
In the hope of some good coming out of this we are willing to offer our promoters table to another larp or another website free of charge. If you are interested in making use of this please let us know as soon as possible.
LARPBook Expands to Video

LARPBook Expands to Video

You have noticed from the two badges that today have appeared on the site that we now have channels on Twitch.TV and YouTube.

I’ll just talk about these for a moment to let you know what is going on. Ever since we started the Podcast earlier this year our presenters have felt that video would add something to the presentation (apart from being able to see our faces). It would let us show and do more than we can on an audio only broadcast. That said the Podcast is staying and we aim to make sure that always works when you are listening to it. Listening offers much more flexibility than viewing. We also want to be true to our Podcast listeners.

So over the last couple of months we’ve been testing different ways of adding YouTube and Twitch. We’ve also had a good long look at live audio streaming too. Live audio hasn’t happened yet – but live video has.

Our first experiment was on Sunday May 31st – with one presenter limping in from a LARP event and another ducking into view whilst trying to avoid unpacking his car following a holiday. Despite this the show was fun and the format seemed to work. We will of course try to improve things in the future.

These channels will be used for the current podcast and any other Larping related shows we can come up with. There is also the possibility of one off videos on the YouTube channel – and this would allow us to add custom video more easily to the website.

So looking to the future lots of talking, writing and video to come your way.

LARPBook on Soundcloud and some development notes

LARPBook on Soundcloud and some development notes

It’s time to talk about the continuing developments in LARPBook, and I’ll start with the podcast.

The podcast seems to have a dedicated following and so we’ll be continuing to add episodes and to make it easier to download or stream.

We’ve just added Soundcloud on as a distribution point for the podcast. You can find us at:

https://soundcloud.com/larp-book

At the moment we have 2 episodes available on Soundcloud and we’ll make sure that all new episodes are uploaded as and when they become available.

Now it’s time to talk about the LARPBook website. Regular readers may have noticed a decrease in the rate of posting recently. This has nothing to do with any lack of commitment in case you are worried. It is far more to do with the fact that I am looking to write longer and deeper articles for the site. The knock on effect of this is fewer articles.  When I say trying to write bigger articles that does not mean to say that we’ll not be doing quick videos, comments or events. All of these things are very important to LARPBook. It just means that there will periods of low activity and periods of high activity. I hope the result if pleasing to you. If not please let me know via the feedback forms or Facebook page. One thing that myself or any or the editorial team will always do is listen to our readers and listeners views.

We are still hoping to encourage more writers. So if you’d like to write about LARP please get in touch. We have a section on the website about writing for us at: https://larpbook.com/contribute-to-larpbook/ if you’d like more information.

I’d also love to see more event information. If you have an event you’d like to plug please use our contact forms at:

https://larpbook.com/register-event-details/   to register a larp event with us

or

https://larpbook.com/crew-call/  – if you are running an event and looking for more crew

LARPBook is on Patreon

LARPBook is on Patreon

We have decided to open a Patreon account for LARPBook. You can find it at:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=533190

Over the last few months we have come to realise that there are a number of directions we want to take LARPBook in. These include

  • Improving the Websites Layout and functionality
  • Increasing the audio quality of the podcast
  • Adding outside recording possibilities for both Audio and Video production
  • Creating new shows that will practically help LARPers

All of this will take resources – particularly money. So we’ve decided to look at funding opportunities and one of these is Patreon. If you’d like to support us (and no amount is too small or too large) then we will plough it back into doing more.

That is our pledge – the more we raise the more we can do.

Let’s see where this takes us.

Writing a New LARP – Part 2

Writing a New LARP – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at getting the core concept of the new LARP written down and agreed on. This is our foundation that we need to build things on. Part 2 looks at how the game starts to take shape.

I’ll start with character details and casting. This post is about a game in which the players get a supported character creation process. They are free to create characters that they would like to play with few restrictions. Support is provided by the referees to make sure that the players are creating characters that will work with the plot. It’s a small event so this high degree of ref / player interaction is possible. Support works through  channels such as email, messenger and telephone possible. On the day there is only going to be limited time for character briefings so helping out the players  now makes a lot of sense.

On the NPC side the characters needed are being listed and also grouped by scene. Grouping by scene is an organisational tool that helps with a Crew shortfall. Should on the night we get a crew shortfall we can immediately with NPCs should be in play at any time, and should help if we need anyone to double up on roles. Since doubling can be confusing to players we’d also need to make sure that these characters are visually distinct.

Character grouping is not a character so the next stage is to create a working of description of who the NPC characters are and what their objectives are. This document has play notes on the types of activity and style of play we need and also goals for these characters. We are now ready for casting.

Casting our Non Player Characters is really important. We have to marry up the right combination of sex, looks, playing experience, relationship to other NPC players  and also the kind of characters this person plays well. Its a lot to think about and it is critical to the success of the game. For this game we had a meeting to discuss our crew and what they should be playing.

At this point we have the characters coming along.

Its now time to think scenes in more detail. We already have a basic list from earlier but now…

Games are like a story with beginning, middles and end(s). Although with a LARP things are a lot looser and events can swing a long way from a plan. So the trick is to make sure you can get all the elements you need in play, preferably in some sort of order. You also need to make sure that dramatic impetus, villains and other plot drivers all arrive in a timely manner that the game runs at the right pace.

The right pace is the one that will allow the players to complete the game, not get bored and not feel hopelessly over loaded either. Once again it is a balancing act.

The earlier mentioned scene list is used for this. For each scene I add more detail about what I know I need to introduce and which NPCs are involved. In other words its revising the core list of planned moments for the game. By the end of this there is a working document that explains each stage of the game. When the game is running the crew will be able to refer to this document, look up every stage of the game and know what is expected. One person cannot realistically run a Larp alone  and having a central ‘Bible’ for the game allows everyone involved to chart progress whilst it is running.

Working out scenes for a larp is a bit like a cross between writing a book and editing a film.

By this point in this second phase of writing we should information about the NPCs and game structure that puts us very close to being able to run the game.

 

The image for this post is called Trough the glass and comes from Flickr user Angelo Amboldi. To learn more about this image and it’s licence please click here.

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