Larp Gospels: Into The Woods

Mother cannot guide you, Now you’re on your own.
Only me beside you. Still, you’re not alone.
No one is alone, truly. No one is alone.

Sometimes people leave you, Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you, You decide what’s good.
You decide alone, But no one is alone

I wish…

I know.
Mother isn’t here now.

Wrong things, right things

Who knows what she’d say?

Who can say what’s true?

Nothing’s quite so clear now.

Do things, fight things.

Feel you’ve lost your way?
But–

You decide, but… You are not alone.
Believe me, No one is alone.

You decide, but… You are not alone.
Believe me, truly.

You move just a finger, Say the slightest word.
Something’s bound to linger, Be heard.

No one acts alone.
Careful, No one is alone.

People make mistakes.
Fathers, Mothers. People make mistakes.
Holding to their own, Thinking they’re alone

Honor their mistakes. Fight for their mistakes.
Everybody makes. One another’s terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right, Giants can be good.
You decide what’s right, You decide what’s good.

Just remember.
Someone is on your side.

Our side.

Someone else is not.
While we’re seeing our side.

Our side.

Maybe we forgot.
They are not alone, No one is alone.

Hard to see the light now, Just don’t let it go.
Things will come out right now. We can make it so.
Someone is on your side, No one is alone.

Into The Woods – “No One Is Alone”

Larp Gospels: The Tragedy of Coriolanus

“You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.”

Coriolanus  Act 3, Scene 3.
William Shakespeare

Character Creator’s Log -Character Blueprint-

This is probably the easiest ‘class’ I’ve ever run.
No grades, no essays, no deadlines, no set schedules, no firm outlines…

Actually… that last one is probably why it’s faltering.
Here one day and then weeks, months of solace silence.

Which is generally why the crafting of an outline is item one on any list.
Well, once you get past the initial, simplistic, “I want ____ !” thought that spawns it.

I know that there are a LOT of Character Outlines, Templates, Fill-ins, Forms, Worksheets, Questionnaires, the list goes on… an inexhaustible and exhausting supply.

Google any of those phrases and you’ll get the phone-book of Character-How-To.
90% of them have one thing in common, they’re boring, tedious and time-consuming.
You feel every second and sigh though every question, flipping pages ahead trying to figure out, “How long is this thing?” and start giving blithe, one word answers instead of flushing out a structured story.
Or you’ll get stuck.  You’ll ponder a question too long or too well, completely unwilling to accept that, “I don’t know” is itself an answer and then fail to complete the damn thing.  Sure, you keep meaning to come back, but that promise only matters until you forget about it completely and move on.

So how do YOU make a well-rounded character without them?
Well frankly, I don’t know. I only know what works for me.
So if you want to give this a try, here’s hoping you might find the same.

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Homework:
View your Character’s blueprint as the crafting of one perfect sentence.

Noun. Pick a trope, a stereotype.
Depending on your game and whatever it considers cisnormative, this is usually as easy as pointing to a class, gender or race that’s simply tickles your fancy.
The Brute, The Healer, The Scholar, The Bard, The Magician, The Thief, The Beast,  etc…

Adjective. Flavor with an adjective, one adjective only.
Reluctant, Terrible, Foolish, Brave, Noble, Giggling, Battered, Wandering, etc…

Stop.
Reexamine the two choices you have currently and think. Really think about that adjective. For instance, terrible can also mean feared.  So is your adjective something your character does/is, or something they cause or bring out in others?
Are you happy with any of your thoughts so far?
If the answer is already ‘No’ or even ‘Meh’.
Start over.
Keep pairing until you are at least amused.

Where? Give them a backdrop, set them in a scene.
A Cabin, A School, A Playground, A Store, A Tavern, A Cave, A Theater, etc.

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Completed Example:
A battered bard sat slumped in the corner of the mahogany stage.

Okay, it’s not perfect.
But it should give you an idea about how you may want to introduce your character in-game. What is the pervasive feeling as they enter, or as someone stumbles across them. Is it a trait that people can use to point them out?
But most importantly. Does it make people, make YOU, want to know more?
Because if the character can’t even interest you, how will they be able to draw in anyone else?
That said… How battered is this bard? How do we know that this person is even a bard? Did someone beat them up? Are they drunk or just down on their luck? Are they waiting on someone, or is this where they slept? Why are we paying special attention to the material of the stage? So many questions.
All natural, all stemming from this one sentence.
So keep in mind your personality head shot and don’t be afraid to roll with them.
You’ll have a paragraph(or several) in no time.

We Don’t Talk About LARP Club

I look around, I look around and I see a lot of new faces.
Which means some of you have been breaking the first two rules of LARP club…

Which is GREAT!
Those were some crap rules anyhow. I don’t know who in America decided that we shouldn’t speak of our hobby. Or that if we did, it should be in hushed tones parceled among the trusted few already within our circles… Or why for that matter, some want to keep it that way. Are we ashamed, still? Really? Especially since this self-imposed silence brings with it a swarm of other issues. But namely, it’s hindering our growth.

So. This ‘rule’ of silence, hasn’t served us well and while I’m pleased to see American bloggers/communities coming out of the woodwork to toss this one out with the bath water… I’ve also started to hear a notion of dissatisfaction… murmuring from around the communities and it threatens the growth and serious recognition of our hobby. An old, knee-jerk lament in new wrapping: The ‘old school’ vs ‘new school’ whine of “things were better before.”

While I’m convinced this is mostly just a wistful and a deliberate miss-remembering for that first tightly knit LARP group in the long-long-ago.  Another thought occurs… Is it a resentment at being ‘dragged’ kicking and screaming into the public eye? Do we feel that we would lose something special, something ‘ours’ if we actually began to fully embrace the lime light that’s just beginning to shine?

Is this why we continue to hide ourselves, our opinions… sometimes even from each other and continue to mumble that we were ‘camping’ when a co-worker asks us what we did over the weekend?
Why do we clam up and insist, still grumbling to ourselves, that ‘they’ just wouldn’t understand?

Why put back up the wall of silence?
Why the attitude? Why are there so few willing to extend a hand of welcome or criticism unless we’re being asked first?
Why do we hoard our own lessons of trial and error like they’re so hard won or worse meaningless? Who does that benefit? No one. So why keep doing so, when all that is required for us ‘old schoolers’ to lend a hand in continuing to move everything and everyone forward and onto something better, into something greater, is that we speak up and share these lessons and actively  invite others out there to join in?

So I’m calling out my attitude, culling the nonsense and instead picking up the chalk, clapping the dust from the erasers and out my brain and taking everything back to the blog-board in the hope that I can start to turn this around.

Welcome everyone. Please don’t hesitate to speak up.
I promise, you won’t even have to raise your hand.