ladysprite: (steampunk)
I need to admit something here.

After 20+ years of being a purist when it comes to LARP - sticking exclusively to theater-style games, wanting nothing at all to do with live combat - I finally have to admit that there's fun to be found in boffer games.

I still have zero interest in actually participating in combat; my abuse history makes it so I just have a massive mental block against hitting people, even in pretend. And I'll probably never actually be an actual, formal player in any of the campaigns; despite most of the assertions that one can be fully involved in the game while never engaging in combat, it seems that that still means 'you can play the healer.' I get enough of that in my day job, thank you.

But I've lucked into a couple of groups out here that are willing to work around my anti-hitting-things policy to let me play as an NPC - picking up a handful of semi-scripted roles over the course of the weekend, to help drive the story. While I can't hit people, they're slowly learning that I can be their go-to girl for emotional gut-punches, driving plot, and providing color. And it's turned out to be a lot more fun than I anticipated.

Usually I like playing deep, complex, extended parts, but there's something kind of liberating about only needing to be in a given role for a couple of hours. And knowing that I'm going out for a specific purpose gets around a lot of my worries and anxiety about having my character be useful, or feeling like I'm pushing my way into a space where I'm unwelcome. Plus, it means I get to try a lot of roles that I normally wouldn't think of myself.

If anything, I feel a bit like I'm being catered to by the GM's, and I'm not sure why they put up with me. I'm an utter princess - I won't fight, I won't play scenes past 2am, I won't camp or stay onsite, I won't write my own scenes or characters, I do my best to avoid anything that would have me interacting with rules in any way. And yet they invite me back, and save the juiciest parts of the story for me (immortal Atlantean exile? scion of an alternate-reality Roman ruling family? literal nightmare fodder? Go for it!).

Whatever the reasons they indulge my whims and reward my unreasonable demands with more and shinier parts, I'll take it. (In fairness, this also means that I take parts that involve me standing in the biting cold near midnight, in a game with Actual Real Ghosts, playing a character with a sheet over my head like a Charlie Brown Halloween special, shouting 'BoooooOOOOooooo!' in an attempt to convince the players that I, too, am a fearsome spirit.)

Okay, that last bit was actually ridiculously awesome too. Sometimes the one true way to be cool is to embrace the dorkitude of a situation, and make everyone else wonder why they're not cool enough to have sheets on their head.

Anyway. Boffer larps. Not as bad, or as shallow, as I thought. Still not PC'ing, but I'm glad I got talked into at least joining in some way....
ladysprite: (steampunk)
Intercon happened. It was good. There were games that I played in, that were awesome, and a game that I ran that went well, and time with people I don't see near often enough, and costumes, and hugging, and all that stuff that makes me happy.

'Sith Lords' was wonderful, as I expected; I was cast with a few people I don't get to roleplay with very often, which can be a huge source of fun when things go well. It was my first attempt in a long time at coordinating costuming, plus I love being a doll for other people to practice makeup on. Between that and the fact that the role let me play around with fascinating and eccentric body language and mannerisms, and the complex and angsty romantic triangle written into my story, it was everything I wanted.

'The Ballad of Jess-Belle' was similarly dramatic and angsty, if with less makeup and lower heels for my costume. I got to roleplay with some of my favorite people, and managed to win a tall-tale-telling competition with a story I made up on the spot, which surprised the heck out of me.

'Desperadoes Under the Eaves,' which I ran with [ profile] ursangnome and [ profile] jadasc went well, as far as I can tell. Our players were marvelous and bizarre and confusing and wonderful, and as far as I can tell most of them had a good time.

And there were people I don't get to see enough, and time spent curled up on the sofa chatting and catching up, and introducing friends to each other, and meeting new people, and reminiscing over old games and planning new ones, and I can't remember the last time I had this much fun at a con.

Being around people is good, and, to be completely honest, being around people who tell me they like me is a much-needed boost to my self-esteem when things are rough. Right now I am exhausted and headachy, but feeling loved, fulfilled, entertained, and all-in-all good.

Thank you so much to everyone who was part of my con, for making it so wonderful....
ladysprite: (Default)
It seems to me, at least so far, that rewriting a game requires a completely different skill set from writing said game in the first place.

I have a list of things to be done - some as simple as 'Add Character X to Character Y's Who You Know list' and others as general as 'Character Z just feels incomplete.' And I'm making progress. But at the same time, it's scary. There are the simultaneous feelings that, if I wrote it this way the first time I must have had a reason, and that if this was the best I could do then, how could I do better now? Even when I have ideas, starting is the hardest step. It's changing a thing instead of creating a thing, which is always harder for me.

On the other hand, it was a good game the first time, so no matter what it'll be a good game this time. We just have the chance, and the time and experience, to make it an even better game. And it does feel pretty darn good to immerse myself again in the world of the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel and all of its wacky clientele.

In other news, signups start tonight for Intercon M! If you're wondering what to play, allow me to humbly recommend Desperadoes Under The Eaves, Saturday night - rumor has it it's a pretty darn good game - or so I've been told....
ladysprite: (Default)
So there was this game. We wrote it a few years ago, [ profile] jadasc and [ profile] umbran and myself. It involved listening to a lot of Warren Zevon music, a lot of lateral thinking, and more leaps of faith than I had imagined, and ultimately it wasn't perfect, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.

And it's been a few years. And while I have no desire to write another game, I've been rolling the idea of rerunning it around in my head long enough that I've convinced the guys to let this happen, and so Desperadoes Under The Eaves will be running again at Intercon next spring.

This means that we've got a few months, give or take, to re-familiarize ourselves with the game, fix the few sticky spots, and make it even more awesome than it was the first time. And so the practical upshot of this is that I've spent the past week digging out my original notes, rereading character sheets I had forgotten I wrote, and generally realizing just how crazy I was and how much world we built.

On the one hand, I am darn glad I took notes, because otherwise I'd be at an utter loss (we had badge codes? Awesome! What did they mean?). On the other hand, I freely admit that my most of notes are the sort of gibberish that will likely only become comprehensible to me when I am in a similar state of panic, sleep deprivation, and Zevon immersion - at the moment, it's a mess of arrows, circles, names, and random words (reincarnation? DOOM! sponkh).

Rereading the character sheets is an adventure in rediscovery - there are entire characters that I know I wrote, and whose stories I still remember, but whose sheets, when I look back at them, ring almost no bells in my memory - these words are mine? Where on earth did I come up with these phrases? Am I sure I'm the one who wrote this? It's an odd window into a part of my brain I had apparently forgotten.

I am yoyoing back and forth between excitement and enthusiasm at the chance to run this again, and terror and despair at the thought that we can't fix it in time, or that it's not nearly as good as I remember it being, or that we won't be able to find enough interested players to fill a second run. Either way, it's going to be an adventure....
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
This past weekend was my last time playing in Threads of Damocles, a campaign LARP that I've been part of for three years. The game was originally only intended to run for those three years, and while it's continuing on from here... this is what I wanted. I've told my stories, my character has finished her arc, and I'd rather stop here, while it's still fun and good, than let things go on to the point of burnout.

All the same, though, I am going to miss this game like fire. I know, intellectually, that there have been ups and downs, and that everything wasn't always perfect, but right now all I remember are the good bits - and that's something wonderful, and says some pretty amazing things about the campaign. I have had so many positive experiences, met so many incredible people, been part of so many cool scenes and stories, that I can't keep them all in my head at once. I had the best character, worked with the best players and the best GMs, and played in the best plots - I don't know how anything I play again will ever be quite as amazing.... and that's okay.

I'll miss the people, and the game, and the story, but right now most of all I'll miss my character. Last night, as I was taking off her necklaces and washing off her tattoos for the last time, it finally hit home. It's not fair to her to keep going - she deserves a break of her own, too - but still, she was pretty awesome. So, goodbye to...

Miryam O'Shaugnessy Laughing Fox
Daughter of Kathleen O'Shaugnessy (prostitute, Cowboy Pete's Palace of Earthly Delights) and Joseph White Crow (medicine man, Sac & Fox tribe)
Bartender, card dealer, and dowser for Maddy's Oasis
Core member of the Tribe of Three
Founder of the MacRorie Tribe, chief of the Seven Nations, and ambassador to the government of the former Midwestern United States.
Shaman of Fox, and sometimes Thunderbird, Hawk, and Gitche-Manitou
Scion of Christ, heir to the throne of DeGaulle's France, and Coffee Filter For Jesus
Godmother to Finn Thorne, who may or may not be a Mystical Child of the Morrigan
Beloved of Andrew Matthew Thorn, as much as a sociopath can love anyone, and John E. Grayer, even though it's complicated.
Friend of angels, dead pirates, voodoo priestesses, technomages, emotionally conflicted pilots, London werewolves, drug-dealing shadowmen, Mafia princesses, depressive cyborgs, temporal physics prodigies, stodgy immortals, Funfair refugees, serial-killing vampires, pompous windbags, kitsune half-breeds, diplomats, generals, and almost anyone else who would slow down enough for her to say hi.

Go. Have fun. Drink from the fountain of youth, wander the world with your lover and your tribe. And try not to wreak too much havoc in the process.

A little is okay, though.
ladysprite: (Default)
I've been playing Live Action Roleplaying Games for more years than I can count, now. I've worn all sorts of costumes and wigs and makeup for them, and made all sorts of changes - dyed my hair, changed my posture, put on or taken off jewelry, had tattoos temporarily drawn onto my body - but somehow it's always the tiny changes that are the most noticeable to me, as I'm getting ready for the games.

The character that I'm playing right now is a tomboy, and one who leads a fairly rough and physical lifestyle. I love her costume, her hair (always braided, usually straggly), her mannerisms, everything about her. The only tough thing about playing her is her nails - while I am fairly vain about my long, shaped, never-painted but usually well-cared-for and strong nails, Miryam would never have them.

So preparing for games means packing shoes and costume and jewelry, finding the right hair elastics, making sure that the flashlights have batteries and the sunscreen hasn't expired, and cutting off my nails down to the quick. It's a tiny, stupid little detail. I'm fairly certain that no one but me would notice - but the one time I forgot to do it, it grated on me all weekend. My hands didn't look right.

On the other hand, it also means that the 48 hours before game starts, as I'm sitting at work or packing at home, my hands feel like they're not quite my own. I can feel my fingertips, in a way that I usually can't. My fingers feel shorter, my dexterity is off, I have to change the way I type or sew or hold a pen. More than costume bits, more than the Sharpie tattoos that will be drawn onto me Friday night, more than anything else, this is the physical reminder of becoming someone else for a few days.

The game will be over, and they'll grow back soon enough. But right here and now, I have someone else's fingers, and it feels extraordinarily weird....
ladysprite: (Default)
I had kind of figured that, after writing Desperadoes Under The Eaves and marinating myself so thoroughly in the music of Warren Zevon for so long, that I'd be sick of the stuff - that while I'd still appreciate it intellectually, and enjoy a song or two here and there, that I'd never actively want to seek it out again.

But yesterday, during a six-hour-long solo car ride (which I actually love - it's not something I'd want to do every day, but there's something about being able to keep the windows where you like, the a/c set at your own comfort zone, and the music as loud/repetitive/dorky as you want that's kind of delightful every once in a while) my little Ipod performed its own version of the Chanukkah miracle, and made its little 1/8 of a battery charge last almost the entire way home. So instead of listening to the Carl Hiaasen book on CD that I had borrowed from the library, I just blissed out on music, playing whatever I craved. And apparently, for at least a couple of hours, what I craved was my all-Zevon playlist, on infinite shuffle.

And you know what? It's still awesome. And God help me, it kind of made me want to re-run Desperadoes.

The more I think about it, the more I realize it just might be feasible to run at Intercon Mid-Atlantic. It's a bit big, but there are a few characters that could, if need be, be cut out or combined into others. There are a few areas that need tweaking and polishing, but I made notes at the end of the last run about what needed work, and I still have them.

It'd take a bunch of work, and I'd need to talk it over pretty seriously with my co-writer (hi [ profile] jadasc!), but... it could work. And it could even be fun. Or so my hindbrain is shouting at me.

They say the human brain just isn't built to remember pain - that that's a necessary fact in order to allow things like families with more than one child. I think I'm finally experiencing the reality of that first-hand.

I could do this.....

Somebody tell me not to, please?
ladysprite: (Default)
Intercon happened. It was fun. All of my games went well - better than I had anticipated, even. There was good dancing, socializing, hugging, and chatting. I didn't get to meet too many new people, which is a shame, but I did get to actually spend time talking to folks I know, which was nice - I've finally realized that taking some time to not play games is a winning situation.

Admittedly, I did almost die from inhaling Fresca at one point (do not try this at home. Not only is it impossible to breathe grapefruit soda, it hurts like nothing else I've ever experienced.), and I did wind up being used as an object lesson on the dance floor when someone attempted to force their way into my personal space (observers apparently took the opportunity to explain to one of the younger attendees that this was a living, breathing example of How Not To Behave), and I've got a light-saber shaped bruise on my upper thigh that is an alarming and unnatural shade of black. But in spite of all this, it was still an alarmingly good weekend.

One of the high points for me, actually, was the costume I managed to put together for my Friday night game. This was kind of surprising; I'm not much of a costumer, usually. I try to do my best, but I'm a workmanlike seamstress at best. This time, though, a synergy of wardrobe items, makeup, and other pieces came together into something pretty darn impressive - or so I was told. I'll let y'all judge for yourself:

Pictures hidden here.... )


ladysprite: (Default)

March 2017

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