My friend PoMoAnachro is doing this Steampunk LARP. Costumes are an awful lot of fun, and if you can get enough people serious about costuming, the venue isn’t necessarily as important because the players themselves become part of the setting. Using actors as set dressing certainly isn’t new, but I’ll tell you, in the halls of a brick school built nearly 100 years ago, it really does go a long way toward making the setting realistic.
The first game I was able to go to was the first game PoMoAnachro ran. It was held in a school that had been, for a time, repurposed as a care home, and then had again been repurposed as condos with an awesome sunroom on the fourth floor. What surprised me about the LARP was the diversity of people playing in it. I mean, usually, in Live Action Roleplaying, you get a core group of people who game together. If you’re *very* lucky, you’re able to find new players to bring in (PoMoAnachro is VERY good at this), and if you’re passionate about LARP, you’ll meet other people who choose to travel great distances (2-8 hours of driving!) to play.
Some people drive their motorcycles halfway across the continent to hang out and camp for a weekend. We do let’s-pretend.
So anyway, we were in this old school and everyone had these lovely costumes, and I was Quite Surprised to see Der Kaptin there. Now, Der Kaptin is a wonderful storyteller, and in fact he deals in stories. But this was the first time I had seen him at a gaming event. He told me he’d heard about the event and thought he’d try it out. He was dressed not as a Gentleman Adventurer, but as the very Gentleman Himself. The game was quirky, and slightly less focussed than some of PoMoAnachro’s games have been, but I prefer less focus in LARPs, rather than more.
I woke up in the morning, in Der Kaptin’s bed, after a night of what I can only assume was Pure Awesomeness. I’m pretty sure that part of the evening didn’t have much to do with costumes and roleplaying, either. Hopefully this subconscious development doesn’t make DK decide not to LARP again, and hopefully it doesn’t create Supreme Weirdness. The game itself was fun, and I’d play PoMoAnachro’s game again, especially since the first game hasn’t happened yet. And let me tell you, there’s something to be said for lovers who’ve had more practice than you have.