We were lucky to get an interview with Simon Deacon. The creator of the new Northern Kingdoms Witcher Larp. There’s been some buzz on this one. It was nominated for a UK Larp Award; and we’ve had a bunch of people telling us how good it is.
This made me keen to find out more.
Sadly this particular interview was beset by technical issues. I can only issue my apologies for these.
To make up we’d like to offer an open invitation to Simon and Northern Kingdoms to come back at any time to talk more about the larp.
To learn more about Northern Kingdoms. Here is their Facebook Group:
The photo used for this post comes from the Larp Photographer Kren Cooper
It’s a fascinating sounding game. A true mashup of genres. And of course, it features armoured vehicles and tank battles.
I think its made the child in every larper I know squeal.
The Talsorian Cyberpunk game is the granddaddy of Cyberpunk RPGs and of the very best ever written. We were fascinated to learn more about its translation larp.
We caught up with Steve E Metze the project leader for this larp and had this first rate conversation with him.
Contacting Jackalope Live Action Studios
If you’d like to know more about this larp then you can find full details at:
They can also be contacted
The image used is the cover art for cyberpunk 2020 and is the copyright of R Talsorian Games.
Used here to set the scene.
What’s Your Game ItselfThe event meanders through Blackfriars Priory. It’s an awesome location. A 13th medieval priory filled with atmosphere, nooks and crannies. You could easily write a larp that involved exploring this place. The What’s Your Game plant plenty of signs around the site. A good idea. Wouldn’t want any larpers to get lost in here. It might sound labyrinthine but that means plenty of space for vendors to display their ware. For me, one of the standouts of What’s Your Game is the generosity of space. It means there is space to try on and try out in a way that doesn’t feel cramped or restricted. The result is a friendly atmosphere. As even when full it does not feel overbearing. The complex handles people very well. Also a shout out to the What’s Your Game staff. I had to rely on a walking stick this weekend and they made sure I knew about all the easy ways to get around. Thank You!
The MeadFor the last couple of years, I’ve run into new mead makers at What’s Your Game. Last year it was Magic Mead. This year it was Wye Valley Meadery who make an excellent sparkling session mead. Also, Sam of the Crimson Moon was talking about their new enterprise Duntabbin. A specialist mead shop. Is it all about the mead?
The Larp KitIt’s not all about the mead as there was a great range of larp kit. For the first time, I didn’t come away with more costume. That’s only because I didn’t have a plan for what I needed. Had that been on my mind it would have been a very different outcome. A good sign is always new traders. They were here. Quite a few were doing their first bit of con or field trading. It happens every year. I for one am very glad that What’s Your Game attracts both established and new artisans.
Medieval CombatBetween the priory buildings, there is a small green. Every year something happens here. This year we had demonstrations of from civil war re-enactors and also medieval combat. Expect to hear more about medieval combat in LARPBook.
The Photograph Gallery
The Video InterviewsWe interviewed a number of traders at What’s Your Game and this is what we learned. We’ve loaded the videos as a playlist. Or you could just watch on YouTube.
It was great to meet up with Steinnarr as we’ve been passing messages for a little while. He has a small larp in Canada that is moving from test plays to full events this year and I was fascinated by the sound of it. If that sounds like a bit of a tease – well it is. However, this link will explain more as it takes you to a full profile that explains Schism Larp.
During the course of the interview talks about the development period and also the structure of the game itself. So we learned a lot about how characters gain faction allegiances and also what the factions mean.
This was good as the game was billed as merging fantasy, SF and horror and it certainly looks like it does that.
It also piqued something in Luke. Recently we’ve been chatting about larps that don’t hand victories out to players but where loss and consequences are a vital part of the story. From the sounds of it, Schism is in that category. It’s wartime conditions and you need to do what you need to do to survive.
We also ended up talking about the differences in Winter Larping between Canada. In particular Ontario and the UK. It boiled down you can frostbite and loose bits of your body in Ontario. In the UK a stiff drink helps warm you up.
We had a few technical hiccups going into this interview. It represents our return to steaming with a new setup. The lack of experience in the new gear shows in this Interview and I’d like to thank Steinnarr for being so patient. We’ve asked if he’ll come back. That’s due to a genuine interest in this game.
Also to the viewer. Apologies for issues at the start of this video. However, it is worth it for the content that follows.
Find Out More
If you’d like to find out more about Schism larp there is a Facebook group. The address is:
A Family At Larp
Earlier on this year we took a family to a larp. The family concerned were the Pitts. We took them to Curious Pastimes – Renewal. It was the first time they’d been to a festival larp as a family.
During the event we filmed their progress and also talked to them about how they felt about the event. You’ll find those videos collated in this post. First though a few thoughts
A Family Larp is…
I thought it might be an idea before we go further to define what a family larp is. It will help us figure things out later. In particular based on the family’s feelings did Curious Pastimes measure up as a family larp.
For me a family larp needs to
- Be suitable for both children and adults to attend.
- Have content for children and adults.
Family content – The Difficulty
Here’s where things get tricky. Writing a book, film, TV show, play etc that both children and adults can get something from is not easy. That said it is easier to do than writing a family larp.
In larp writing we have to consider physicality. The size and strength of our players.
We need to consider the psychological impact on something that is happening to them.
Adults and children are different in how a larp affects them,
Also children of different ages have different reactions. A 6 year old is very different from a 12 year old.
Why am I making these points
When you watch the videos or look at the photos it’s clear that Curious Pastimes is a family larp. It also doesn’t fully please our sample family.
Which means that there are opinions here to help writers of family larps. I also know that Curious Pastimes are looking at ways to offer a fuller family experience in the future.
Also that although making a family game is a great aim. It shouldn’t be the only target. Something for everyone is generally not possible. As larpers we also need to understand and respect that.
I hope that means a future of larps for an increasing range of age and ineterst groups. While places that that cater for wider tastes or families also do well.
I am also sure that if we did this experiment again in the future we’d get a different result.
Why don’t I post a solution
Simply there’s not enough space in one post to do this. We have though been making childrens and family larp a quest for larpbook and I think you will see a future post where we take our findings and come up with more ideas.
The Children’s LARP
Family Larp Interviews
Interview (the other one)
This year we did something a little different. We followed a family around Curious Pastimes. The idea was a simple one, be a fly on the wall to find out how a family gets on for their first time at a UK Fest Larp. In doing so we hoped to provide insight for other families hoping to try out larping.
In this first article we’re going to introduce you to our brave volunteers and give you an insight of what they got up to via photograph gallery.
Subsquently we’ll be releasing video interviews with them and also footage of their time in the game. You’ll be able to hear from the horses mouth as it were and also see for yourself.
Introducing the Pitt Family
You may well recognise Luke. He is one of the regular presenters of the LARPBook show and he pretty much volunteered his family for this adventure. For those of you who want a bit more detail they are
- Luke (Aged 46 going on 12)
- Bex (Officially not 44)
- Charlie (Aged 9 and wants to fight everything)
- Issy (Aged 11 and wants to get into everything)
Their Role in Renewal
In the event they each created a character at GOD, and decided that as a family they would joine the Wolves faction. This turned out to be a great idea as within 10 minutes of entering the Wolves camp they were talking to established players and starting to get involved. Thank you the Wolves for making the start of our little experiment so easy. Wolves members did this by the way with no prompting and only discovered themselves what was going on later.
About the Photos
These photographs are a picked to show the family, their chatacters, their reactions. We were looking for photos that help people see who they are and how they reacted to what was going on in the game. Some of the moodier pictures actually reflect emotional reactions from the larp itself. Which is awesome
Thank You to Curious Pastimes
Yes I’ll let you see the photos in a moment but first I want to say a big thank you to Curious Pastimes for letting us run with this idea. Especially to Emmylou and Kayleigh. Thank you!
And Finally (AKA What Happens Next)
At risk of adding a spoiler to a future post I can say that a great time was had by all. They were also invited to Wolves Banquet. Being invited back is always a great sign of playing a great game.