Monday, November 21, 2005

Two larps and one musical

I have finally gotten myself together to write about my latest larping experiences, now over a month ago...

Fröken Ingeborg är försenad

First out was Fröken Ingeborg är försenad (Ms Ingeborg is late)*. Following up on their previous game Aurora Borealis*, NCID* one again returned to the 30's and Lovecraftian horror. This time they wanted to make is run as close to a Lovecraft story as possible, with the gradual buildup of fear and madness.

The larp had two parts played out in the same evening, the first being a dinner while waiting for Ingeborg. It was fairly standard for this type of Swedish larp, not bad but nothing spectacular. I played the husband to be of Ingeborg, a very ordinary man feeling a bit out of place among all the artist and occultists. The second part, when searching for Ingeborg in an abandoned mining area was very nice. By mine I mean the real thing, making for a fantastic mood. Examining the swampy holes in the light kerosenerne lamps was fantastic. Another nice technique was the dinner group meeting up with another party also searching for Ingeborg. My only real complain is that the ending felt a bit anticlimactic. I would have preferred the lamps one by one running out of fuel, leaving us in complete darkness.

Efter mörkret

One week later I went to Gothenburg for Efter mörkret (After the Darkness)* by Fabel*. Fabel is known to produce very professional plays requiring a minimum of preparation, and they are in fact professionals as the group sells roleplaying experiences to companies.

The basic plot was a fairly standard post apocalypse story, with humanity mostly destroyed by a plaque. A group of survivors was trying to get to the fabled Ark, where humanity tried to build a new world. Fleeing from marauders, our group took shelter in a subterran complex.

The game started at this point, with the stage being a large bombing shelter in central Gothenburg. Our group faced the expected difficulties of cooperation and establishing some kind of order, and my own very stubborn ex-farmer did nothing to help. After a while we made contact with another group, in the same situation as ours but that was just the beginning of the difficulties. Already present in the mountain was a weird cult lead by the charismatic and power mad Engel...

As you can see this was another event with split groups, this time two parties of refugees and one with the cultists. The style of play differed greatly between the cult and the outsiders. We had the creeping fears of the mountain and our inability to cooperate. They lived in a complex hierarchy based on oppression and violence.

I personally loved it but as I see it some of the other participants may not have gotten as much out of the game as I did. As my role had the attitude that noone could do something good enough than himself, I got in the position to be in the center of all the difficult and dangerous part of the play. I got to explore the areas surrounding our camp and more importantly be one of four emissaries to the courts of Engel. It all ended with the four of us imprisoned with the task to choose of the other refugees to be sacrificed for the others safe passage. After heated and horrible debate we choosed two of ourselves. It was a very intense experience and I nearly threw up from winning the draw and instead sending my best friend to be cooked and eaten. Not surprisingly it ended with all the refugees dying by some event and me starving to death after eating my fellow prisoners. The player of the sacrificed friend of my character, who only had experience from fantasy larps thought the ending was a bit weird but I assured him that it was pretty expected fro this sub-genre of Swedish larps. That by itself its may be a bit weird.

This was one of the better larps I have ever attended, but I'm not to sure if the players whos characters never got to leave our camps would agree with me. As the plot was in fairly tight controll by the arrangers, I think they could have made more effort in dividing the experiences among the players.

En shoggot på taket

This is already way to long so I will cover the musical briefly. One week after Efter mörkret I visited the Lovecraft convention MiskatoniCon, held for the first time in Stockholm I didn't have time for much of the actual convention, but couldn't miss the first ever performance of En shoggot på taket (A shoggoth on the roof - also read this article). I was really impressed by the result and especially the singing. If you get the chance to see this some time in the future, take it!

Ahh.. That's it... I hope at least some of you are still with me this far. Enough for now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Choose your poison

It seem like I'm about to switch drug, from Star Wars Galaxies to World of Warcraft. Same shit, different name... Maybe I should finish my text about the last months larping and play less computer games.

If you know Swedish, check out Svens new blog about living in Turkey*.