There is a new larp on the scene run by people and played by people I adore. Now two people have asked me while I am here sipping coco I feel the need to defend that.
It boils down to two big reasons.
It’s a horror larp
So I was upstairs when my housemate asked me to come downstairs and take a photo of her. [This is the same housemate who, when trying out makeup drew herself a beard.] So I pad down the stairs, take the camera, nearly drop the camera, run back upstairs and start looking for a weapon.
It is only after the cave man in me wears off I realise the Eldritch horror is my housemate in contacts. When I looking into the camera I saw abysses staring back and flipped.
Now if she’d warned me it was with contacts or even let me know she was in costume I’d have not stirred. To me horror is a spice best served unknowingly. Now you can’t do that in a restaurant as people have allergies and you can’t do that in a larp because you say 18 plus and give fair warning.
Its a genre better done when your audience aren’t drum-rolling the table in anticipation of it.
Its a horror larp.
The next point serves strong service to The Bubble theory as expounded by my favourite gnome. In s nutshell that is the idea the best roleplay happens in a bubble where you really are a walking tree with a friendly neighbourhood wolfkin guarding you rather than two people trying to forget they have mortgages and a knee injury.
Things like darkness, focused roleplay and cool setting, props and costumes help preserve this while cans of stella, ooc neon pink tents and people talking about their new car at the IC tavern all hinder this.
I don’t think there is a squad of good enough roleplayers to preserve the bubble for a whole weekend in a desperate, horror setting. Larp makes me happy. I do cool things, I see distant friends and swing a sword. My innate optimism and happiness is setting breaking let alone when I start being crude with my friends.
There might be the player base out there for it but I am not sure – even at my most focused – I and the players I know there could have a strong enough bubble to match the tone of a horror larp all weekend.
That said – I think horror works in larp – it is just not a genre of its own
It is part of something more. At a cracking outcast event we were fighting in the dark and we thought we saw a monster – turned out it was a tree. Then we got enough light to see its silhouette. With claws, back spines and a full face mask it was a tree but it was hunting us in a pitch black forest and we had no way out.
That. That was terrifying. And this was the family friendly, let’s help a big tree event.
I hope my mates at the system have a sweet time and I wait to be told about the epic moments. Just don’t think this is my circus.