Tag Archives: Live action role-playing game

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Hammer Steam Custom Design Copper Coins on Indiegogo

9 Jun

I wanted to draw your attention to this crowd-funder, that doesn’t seem to be getting any love. Hammer Steam are offering 20 people the chance to get their very own hammered copper coins to their own design specs with this project. Personally, I think that they are quite nice, they have an authentic look and come in a custom box to keep them in.

They seem perfect for LARP and RPG props or counters. My only hesitation is that of the finished designs, if I wanted to design and get myself a set, I’d want it to be exactly how I’d designed it, and judging from the pics, they do seem a bit ropey (the designs that is!) hopefully that wouldn’t be the case.

It’s quite reminiscent of something I’m currently planning (more of that when I have something to show) but I had to show you lot these potentially cool prop coins for your game.

Anyway, check it out on Indiegogo if it looks like something you’d be up for getting for yourself. There are 5 days left and so far, it’s had no takers, but I reckon it’s a project that is worth some love, so show some support and tell them the Grinning Skull sent you!!

Source: Custom Design Copper Coins! | Indiegogo

Media hype wargaming connection with convicted murderer (here we go again…)

31 May

 

Well, the UK press are at it again, and I don’t just mean talking crap and hacking phones, this time us wargaming bods are under attack. It all concerns this fellow in the picture trying to dress like an assassin (which is exactly what he became as it happens…)

The story goes that Wayne Smith, a jilted husband, took revenge on his wife’s new boyfriend and killed him with a kitchen knife after travelling by train to the guys home, stabbing him at his front door. To try and make an alibi, he claimed to have spent the time in question at a friends house, playing (wait for it…) Necromunda!

DNA from his discarded mask and kit pretty much nailed him bang to rights, and now he’s doing bird for murder.

It seems as if the press has latched onto the Necromunda alibi and tried to turn it into another bashing of the hobby (Like the 80’s D&D satanic bullcrap and Fighting Fantasy calling to be banned etc, the list is quite long if you care to look it up. Even White wolf came underfire for the vampire RPG…) Just lets say that GWs old classic tabletop skirmish game has just been added to the ranks of demonised games.

If you take a look at the pictures of the guy, it looks as if he was a LARPer at some stage, but strangely, there is no mention of it, rather it has been lumped under the banner of wargaming.

Well done Daily mail, for spouting yet more crap and discrediting the UK press even further than was thought possible, what is even funnier, is that the article has an info box that gives you some data about the game (for the moral middleclass readers who probably don’t have a clue what the fuck Necromunda is!)

Truth is, a psycho could come from any walk of life. He could have any profession, any hobby or interest, be any race, gender or religion. Why not just focus on the real meat on the bone.

I know countless people who have played and enjoyed Necromunda, and as yet have not killed a person, yet I actually do know and have met “real” murderers, and none of them had the slightest interest in wargaming, RPGs or LARP.

The mind boggles.

CCTV of Wayne Smith en route to stab love rival Jon Britton | Mail Online.

 

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Seven things I miss about LARP…

10 Jan

Elf in a box

Now what seems like an age ago, I used to LARP (live roleplay, LRP for the purist!). For years, week after week, come rain or shine, snow or winds, we would all cogregate in our meeting spot each weekend to travel up to the local woods in which we used. Many an event we’d attend, from other clubs (Bloodbath, the Keep, myth, F&H to name a few) to weekend long fests. A great time we had, and I still hold some great nostalgia about that time.
Even so I still have loads of my old kit laying about, I fear my days of running about like a maniac weilding a rubber axe, are now long gone, especially with my knee injury, but still there are loads of stuff concerned with the whole LARP scene I really miss. So, I thought I’d share them with you lot, seven of the most missed conventions and nuances from the strange world of LARP, that I miss and hold with affection.

1. “You can’t see me, I have my finger in the air!”
Players of LARP will tell you that generally when you see another player (be they PC or monster/npc) doing this are classed as either out of the game, or invisible, or similar. Totally bizarre I know, but many times this used to make me laugh. Just one of the conventions that used to crack me up.

2. Time freeze! Time Stop! Time in and Time out and other bollocks!
I remember new players getting confused as hell with these, and amusement ensued when players got it wrong and the head ref would shout abuse and blow their stack. Herding kittens is akin to this one. Who knew the difference between time stop and time freeze was one was standing still and listening to the refs, and the other playing statues with an added “lalalala got me fingers in me ears and me eyes is closed” employed usually for the evil refs to teleport some rock hard creatures in behind you to give you all a good kicking!
3. Orc in a sack, elf in a box
Some people really do pay a fortune on their dream kit and costume, indeed some really do look the “bee’s knees” so to speak. Others spend hours on hand making their stuff from bits, that looks fine too. Some think that the only effort they need is to stick a hole in an old blanket, a pair of trainers and some levis. While I’m no costume nazi, it always made me giggle when I saw these piss poor efforts. Orc in a sack was the very worst example I ever saw, in which a guy once asked a couple of us what kind of thing we would recommend for a half-orc assassin to wear. We suggested scruffy dark and dirty rags and robes, maybe he could get some old potato sacks to fashion into costume. The next week he returned, indeed he’d taken part of it on board, just rather than hessian potato sacks, he’d used brown paper ones instead! Elf in a box is literally that, cardboard armour too! Never did fail to raise a chuckle, still at least they tried!
4. Weapon calls and weirdness.
Double bastard flaming through, and weird calls like that, if your a LARP player you’ll recognise stuff like the first bit. I much preferred more realistic combat systems to be honest over the ones that were more power based, much less hassle when you’re fighting to not have silly unwieldy calls to make. Others would probably agree, but I’ve played tons of different LARP systems and a lot of the time, they get it wrong. I do still hold great memories of ridiculous sounding battles. I’m not even going to get started on the magic systems….
5. Hammy death scenes and comedy melodrama
Many LARPers regard themselves as excellent actors. This is simply not the case as most LARPers are pretty bad at it. Thinking that one is the next oscar winner to that of someone who doesn’t is another thing. Just there’s a lot of X-factor like wannabes in the LARP community (Maybe its an attention thing, I’ve never asked a shrink about LARP…) that really don’t think they are piss poor actors. This of course leads to some great and funny situations, which add to the entire episode being played out. This “epic” quest being played out becoming more like Monty python rather than LOTR. Kinda of like being told to keep quiet in church, but that makes you want to laugh more.
6. Comraderie
One of the best parts of the LARP scene is other LARPers. The community itself, the other compplete nutters that play out in your various worlds and stories. I remember great times spent outside of the game, either partying, or preparing our kit, nice cooperative times where the universal concept of humanity and brotherly love meant we as a group could come together and work to common goals. But, seriously there are lots of really great LARPers out there and I’ve made tons of really good friends over the years through this hobby, and it’s one of the things I really miss out of everything else probably. Happy days.
7. Ambience
When you’ve had one too many beers, or a good smoke, or both, the edges of the world your inhabiting start to fade a little, this is especially true in the case of those long fest nights spent visiting other groups camps, or simply wandering aimlessly into a strange half seen encounter between others. These things used to be outstanding I think, the darkness tends to mask a lot of the hokey half done effects and allows your mind to fill in the blanks. Memories of escaping from god knows how many vampires in a skirmish encounter at about 1am, by crawling on my belly through the pitch black, it was truly horrific, sheer fear and exhileration that I felt was second to none. I could regale you in true quality experiences that were just so atmospheric and mystical, but it’d go on for a long time. Safe to say any lack of suspension of disbelief was not present and LARP and reality merged.

Although I’ve listed just seven things I miss, there are more. I look at my various LARP and airsoft/painball kit and think about what adventures they have served with me and how many kills they have made (Obviously LARP deaths, LARP aint real kiddies!) and feel the rosy glow of nostalgia. Maybe, if I strap my knee up I might attempt some new quests, show these young uns’ what I can do. Who knows, but it’s going to have to be done I think, my eldest is almost a teen and I think he’d get a kick out of it too.
LARP is a strange hobby, but strange in a good way, yes it’s misunderstood and mocked, but it’s all good in the long run. I’m proud that I was a LARPer, and gained lots out of it. If you’re unsure about LARP, give it a shot, it may not be to some of you, but for those it does fit, you’ll never regret doing it!

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Hey people, share a bit of love for the LARP crowd…

5 Sep
A contest for candidates to the imperial thron...

A contest for candidates to the imperial throne is about to begin at a live action role-playing game BBRI4 in Visaginas, Lithuania (July 27-30, 2006). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[TMP] “”Double Double”” Topic.

This topic over on TMP makes me wonder why so much distain is aimed at the lowly LARPer, sure it’s a strange hobby, and it’s quite hard for people to understand what the hell is it all about and such like.

But this is coming from a site that promotes miniature wargaming! It seems kind of like the bullied kid at school taking a pop at another geeky kid in the playground! I’m pretty sure that if we were to trace a map of evolution of the hobbies, I am sure that there would be related strands that cross over in the family tree.

Besides, most people I know who LARP, are actually avid wargamers, RPGers, Re-enactors, and the like, but from the outside we all look the same to untrained eyes. Sure, it isn’t for everyone, but until you “get it” you’ll never see the delights of the hobby, just the same as roleplaying games with your mates, or being a general, commanding an army of tiny little men.

There’s also a stereotype of LARPers, which is just that, a stereotype. Much like that of wargaming which likens them to unwashed, beardy types that are devoid of female attention. Lets just be clear about this folks, it’s easy to be ignorant and fear what you can’t understand.

The original post in the topic was instigated by the article on the beeb site here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23877430 about LARP going a bit more mainstream, which after years, is about time to be honest.

I’m not asking for any of you to like LARP if you really don’t, but just don’t be ignorant about it.

Go on, share a bit of love….

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Crowdfunding Spotlight: Michael Baird’s Folklore Monster Puppets Kickstarter

19 Jun

Puppets if done correctly can be quite brilliant, so with that in mind I’d like to bring this KS to your attention. Coming from a LARP background, big 3D puppets and bodysuits can add so much to the whole ambience of a live game and this kind of thing would be ideal. Although this is for an art display, the higher tears of funding actually get you a puppet of your own! What’s more the full body puppet options are a real bargain for the price (even including postage to the uk) and I should imagine that you might get a fair amount of creative input too.

Having worked in the LARP industry, I can tell you that custom stuff like this can cost an absolute fortune, with puppets and bodysuits costing in excess of £600 and up, so the $400 ($440 with postage is just over £280) is well below what you’d imagine to pay. Bargain!

There’s only a bit left before this is funded ($396 left) so with limited rewards available, they could quickly get snapped up. Ahh if only I had some funds!! Go and help out this project if it seems your thing (imagine the fun at Halloween scaring the neighbours….)

Peace out monster lovers….

Folklore Monsters and Art Puppets! by Michael Baird — Kickstarter.

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