Dancers: S1. Summer End Session Summaries

Season 1 Summer’s Start Summary

The session began at General Idalia’s warehouse, a highly secured location, with folks recently returning from helping werewolf allies in slaying the beshilu (rat/spirit hybrids that chew the boundary between our world and the spirit world, creating holes).  The changelings are certain the beshilu threat was now over.

The changelings gathered in their various courts to discuss matters before the freehold-wide meeting began.

General Idalia brought Telluk out on trial using the other monarchs as jury.  Telluk was accused of being a loyalist for Peter Pan and working against the Freehold.  Telluk told the freehold that they were acting under duress as their selkie skin had been stolen by Peter Pan and they were forced to act so that they could get it back and hopefully return to their life in the Little Mermaid’s land.  The monarchs sentenced them to be trapped in a magical mirror indefinitely until the situation could be resolved.

Season 1 Summer’s Middle Summary

We couldn’t get access to the venue as it was undergoing renovations in January so we gathered online again.  Instead of having the characters also go online, we instead decided to have them all go to a True Fae goblin market called the Carnivale of Secrets.  You see, during a between game event, a nasty True Fae called the Vinelion decided to camp out at the old goblin market and it spread vines bearing soul stealing fruit.  That old goblin market only protects it’s customers’ mind and body, not mind, body and soul, so the Vinelion was allowed to stay while the other True Fae who attacked it were banned.

What were those True Fae to do but make their own Carnivale of Secrets with impossible rides and amazing shows to put on as a protest of the Vinelion’s actions?

Now we couldn’t represent such a carnival in a hall so we used Discord instead.  We made multiple Discord text rooms which contained room descriptions and matching voice channels so people could gather in different “areas” simply by entering the relevantly named voice channel. 

In the market stalls’ text channels we added photos of each item and a name, giving the descriptions to those playing the stallholders.  We had a thread showing all the NPC head shots.  We used screen sharing to show a theatrical performance in the theatre (just a 5 minute snippet).  We embedded YouTube videos showing some crazy carnival rides.  It was a hoot to make.

We also made a section as a Hedge lake-side area again split into sub-areas with text chats and voice chats bearing the same name.  We had a bot playing music so folks would all be hearing the same things and could talk about it.  This was the first part of the game, before they went into the True Fae goblin market.

The freehold started at a summer celebration at the Hedge lake-side.  Theseus cooked sausages for everyone.  Ricky Racoon’s hedge beast companion went along even though Ricky’s player couldn’t be there.  The hedge beast got thrown into the lake at his own request.  Molly’s fae mount, a creepy horse called a kelpie, came rushing to her side when it thought she was in trouble.

After about an hour, the changelings went to the Carnival of Secrets, emboldened by a rather comprehensive promise of protection for all attendees.  Changelings and humans could only go during the three nights of the full moon and luckily it was one such night.

They had to deal with several True Fae including Sweet Alice’s fortune telling, the Director and Peter Pan at the theatre, Crypt Keeper coming down off one of his newly constructed rides, Prince Charming walking along and flirting with people, and the Little Mermaid in her stall.

They also met Scarlet, a changeling from another freehold called the Huddle of Forts & Lodges, who was busy trying to sell a human at the market.  They rescued and released the human and Scarlet declared war on them on behalf of the Huddle of Forts and Lodges.  Our PCs wondered if she had the authority to do that and decided to send an emissary to speak to the Huddle itself after game.

Since it was pretty easy for players to switch between PC and NPC, we had a lot of players doing brief NPC shifts which let us include hobs running spooky haunted house mazes, control the rides, run the stalls and even paint food into existence.

It was a really successful session considering the difficulties of online play.

Dancers LARP Session Summaries

Curious about how our games run?  Well, every game-line is different but we can give you some basic summaries from our cyberpunk Changeling: the Lost LARP called Dancers in the Neon Dusk.  Cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology and powerful megacorporations.  The game is set in 2048 in Detroit.

Changeling: the Lost is a tabletop setting we have adapted to a LARP format.  Changeling is bout humans who were abducted by the Fae only to later make their way back through the Hedge (a borderlands between Earth and Arcadia) to return to the mortal realm.  They have the essence of Faerie within them, giving them access to certain powers.  It’s a tabletop game, originally, but we have modified the rules heavily to create a more rules-lite system.

Dancers in the Neon Dusk is a parlour LARP where combat is decided by dice with bonuses given from relevant skills and folks either describe or play out the fight through theatrical combat.  Everything else works through a simple “you spend glamour, you activate the thing,” or “you have the perk, you can do the thing.”  We even have a hacking game using a text adventure where people can look up people’s police records etc. if they get their name.

Those who are playing in Dancers in the Neon Dusk may consider these summaries to be in-game knowledge as word gets around about what happened.

You can find our session summaries in the pages below.  The links will activate as the posts go up – one every Tuesday until it’s up-to-date:

Season 1

Summer’s End Summary

Autumn’s Summary

Winter’s Summary

Spring’s Summary

Summer’s Summary

Season 2

Summer’s End Summary

LARP SPOTLIGHT: Limbo Run

Limbo Run is a session that occurred midway through the Seekers Campaign. The events are set on a post-apocalyptic alien world where humans have been struggling to survive both zed infestations (living, fast “zombies”) and mutant psykers who are each driven to destroy sentient life.

Previous to this session: The player characters make contact with a group of refugees and fugitives from a machine cult that cybernetically augments its operatives who are currently living in an old radio station in the middle of nowhere.  Their communication happens online, and unfortunately something terrible lands in the chat room, causing irreparable damage to one of the fugitive’s neural augmentations, requiring immediate medical attention.  Being one of the few groups with air transportation (tiltjets), they fly over to visit and arrive just in the nick of time.

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LARP SPOTLIGHT: Dervin

In a Viking-inspired nation, five clans who have been united under the same banner meet at monthly moots to discuss the issues that arise. Right now the issues include the mysterious storms surrounding the island suddenly vanishing, allowing orcs, dwarves and another human civilisation to finally visit them, bringing their own intrigues and issues with them. The elves, an ancient race, step forward from their swamp dwellings to weigh in on the discourse with unknown reasons behind their actions. This is a political LARP but it does have some boffer combat elements where people who wish to can duel with (latex) swords.

Previous to this session: Nothing.  This is the first session.

Session Begins: The hall is set up with five tables in a U-shape surrounding a central table.  Each of the five is for a different clan and is decorated accordingly.  The orcs are brought in chains to answer for their attacks on the Boar Clan and they are sat in the corner of the room until it’s their turn to speak (though they can listen and call out during other speeches).  The elves come in as guests of the Elk Clan, the dwar as guests of the raven clan, and the other human society, the Ersellians,  as guests of the Horse Clan.

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Saturday Godegian

Once my Cregan was dead, I went to dress up as a Godegian alongside the person who had played the wannabe defector. We decided to be sisters, and to be the cousins of Jack, who had thus far spent much of the game being beaten down and tortured. We then entered the game by sneaking around the back of the buildings, trying to get to chapel where we thought we would be safe. I made it up there without being spotted but she was seen, and two of the Cregans came up to fetch us. I had a little dagger but it was easily knocked from my hands.

We were forced to kneel and then sent into the restaurant with the others.  We then had an Out-of-Character break where we could eat dinner and chat for awhile with plans to re-establish our character ties and then set the game one week later.

My character ended up the pet of the new Cregan pyromancer.  She continued to act skittish and insane and utterly broken, hoping to use that to survive.  I also forged a lasting tie with another character who was my best friend in youth.  We were both thugs in youth though mine preferred to distract with magic tricks while she did the coshing.

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Saturday Cregan

We woke up early shortly after dawn and though several of us wanted to sleep in, as one rose so did others until there was a chain reaction of everyone getting up barring the Alpha and the Arvan slave. We were out before the Godegians were up. Dmitri, a trueborn Alpha who was more powerful than Rhaegar, arrived and we Cregans scrambled to keep him happy. He told us to awaken Rhaegar and so we did so.

Dmitri accused Rhaegar of being a weak dog, challenged him to an honour duel, beat him and then left him alive — taking him as a slave!  Unfortunately Cregan slaves could still hold their original position so he remained our Alpha.  My Arvan slave had made Dmitri a glorious silver greatsword which he used for the battle — he then broke off part of the crossguard and quietly gave it to me.  He instructed me to kill Rhaegar should he kill any more Cregans or too many more villagers.

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Friday Night Cregan

Evzenia’s story began on a dirt road, representing the path to Lilydale, with the rest of her pack while the villagers were searching for a local woman who had killed her violent husband.  Our Alpha, Rhaegar, sent Evzenia and the Pup (a brand new Cregan who had yet to achieve his first kill) over to scout around to find out how many fighters were present.  We were spotted almost immediately by a Godegian who was standing on the stairs to the chapel and who put out the call that Cregans had been spotted.

We legged it back to our Alpha, and then stormed the village as a group, striking down the guards.  In order to assert dominance over the villagers, Rhaegar pulled Jack’s wife (a character doomed to die) to the front of the group and butchered her brutally before Jack’s very eyes.  He then took the defiant Jack in chains and disappeared with him for more interrogation while Evzenia looted the remaining Godegians of their jewellery and coin and other Cregans threatened to kill them if they didn’t remove their necklaces quickly enough.

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Occupation of Lilydale Overview

Occupation of Lilydale revolved around two main factions — the Godegian villagers and assorted traders who lived and moved peacefully across the land and the Cregan packs and rangers who were trying to occupy it by force. The titular Lilydale was the village we were focusing on — the village we, the Cregan pack, were occupying.

The original Cregan pack included a wildly hedonistic Rhaegar, half-born Alpha who had killed the full-blooded Alpha in his sleep.  Alphas in this world was not only a role — the head of the pack — but often referred to a bloodline which gave rapid regeneration and incredible strength.  As a half-born, Rhaegar was still terrifying compared to the average Cregan — but he was not unkillable if enough attacked him at once.  His rapid regeneration was demonstrated by his high health points (10 which returned over time, though we weren’t told at the time what his actual health points were) and his strength (he could permanently break a weapon or limb by hitting it and saying Break).

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Drifter’s March Preparations

Over the past month we’ve gone over the plot overview for Drifter’s March and the kind of events that went down over the course of the game. Now we’re going to talk about the preparations I made for it in the first place.

Firstly, the rules.  The rules were something I’d been working on for over a year.  I literally read dozens of different LARP rule books before finally coming up with my own and I slowly amended mine over time as I thought up different scenarios or realised their flaws.  My rules needed to be fairly independent of the Game Master and to be based around accessing information or objects rather than new combat techniques.

I ran a playtest to stress test the bad guys and tinker with the combat / healing rules a little but unfortunately the playtest couldn’t really test most of the rules since most of the rules were based around things like lock picking and reading people.  Not exactly easy to do in a separate playtest.  We also did a workshop to help reinforce character ties and help people better understand the rules.  We had a pretty good turnout to both.

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Moments at the Drifter’s March LARP

So last fortnight we discussed a basic overview of the Drifter’s March LARP event we ran back in August, covering off on the different factions and meta-plots included. Of course it’s all well and good to know about the basic set up of a game, but what actually happened during it? What did the players actually *do*?

When the game began, a few of the rangers were injured in a firefight with the robots and their leader was badly wounded.  One of their lead scouts (an NPC or Non Player Character who was doomed to die) managed to open the door to the inn and call for help before being shot in the back of the head from the robot on the other side of the river and dying with a walkie talkie held in her hand.

Those in the hall leapt into action and a bunch of them headed out to find the rangers and provide support.  They could also hear a pair of reporters pleading for help.  One had her leg caught in a trap and needed someone who could disarm it.  (Each character had five skills which could include the ability to disarm traps, pick locks, or shoot guns, among other things).  They managed to get around the robot and move into position but they didn’t have much time to evac the ranger captain before they were attacked.

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