I’d like to pretend to care about Xbox and Playstation, but i really can’t get the effort too. Although Kinect 2.0 looks good. I can freely fap in my front room and someone at Microsoft will be watching now. I’m wondering if i can charge for this and if my pay will be in Microsoft points? Can i get the cost of a movie if a i jam a bit of veg somewhere inappropriate? It’s a brave new world of console chat rooms and half naked sweaty gamers, thanks Microsoft.
One of the things our amazing geeky culture has is the need to have ‘either or’. It’s Xbox or Playstation, Curious Pastimes or LT, hookers or your mum. Why we do this? i don’t know. Perhaps it’s some sort of part of us that wants everything boxed away? Or is it that we remember at school the box we lived in was looked down on and we want to be able to look down on someone else? Or is it at the end of the day being a narrow minded twat is the new tribal divisions? Will we be fighting small bush fire wars in the future over the relative merits of Colin Baker and Tom Baker? Small countries torn apart by the geek wars of the 21st century. I for one hope so, mainly because we could deal with less people and people scare me.
Now i have recently gone and played in another fest LARP, I know. It wasn’t you it’s me, after 10 or so years i was tempted by a pretty rule book. It had it’s wiki on display and everything. But you know what, i love you even more for my dalliance, it reminded me of that sexy thing you do with monster crews.
Now I have been at Curious Pastimes for long enough that i can’t remember if it is 10 or 11 years. It’s all Dean Weyland’s fault you see. He wanted to go back to see some old friends and do a bit of LARP and roped my mates in. Being a massive tit back then i grabbed some reenactment kit and slung some fairy wings on and went as an elf. Back then i Ran Vampire, read Interactive magazine and thought Joesph Conrad had something to do with playing a pixie. Like I said, tit. I get ahead of my self though.
You see i went to Empire and enjoyed it, some would say i am a terrible person for that. They are wrong and need to get out a little bit more. What it has done is reinforce the things i love about CP.
CP has a great player base, with a lot of imagination. Now it has the usual factions. The living in the woods one, the evil one, the Celtic one, the sub Athurian bollocks one, i could go on.
What separates it from a lot of games though is that people may just try and kill you when you go to the loo’s and that’s ok. The CP world has a palpable sense of dread and fear. The camps are dangerous at night and your always under a constant threat of a camp attack, monsters ambushing you on the road and players who want your stuff. Life is cheaper than your mum on a date. The world is well written and has a lot of lore behind it from the creation of the world, the Fey wars to legendary battles like the battle of lonely pine that players took part in. A lot of this history is however buried an hidden in books and IC libraries. Much like a world coming out of a dark age this information isn’t common knowledge and nor is the cosmology. That’s right people aren’t entirely sure how the world and magic work, but as it is a system you can research in, you can find out. Other than the Factions there are a couple of NPC run organisations, but there aren’t a hundred guilds of and of the three NPC organisations they all take a lot of effort and ROLEPLAY to get any tangible, mechanical benefit.
Each of the factions are run by NPC’s, however they tend to be hands off and let the players sort out the plot and running of nations. In fact in one very memorable case there is an LG that is such a frothing loon you wouldn’t trust him with day to day running’s of a faction and players spend their time clearing up his diplomatic incidents. This kind of hard work from the faction leadership just adds more game for the players and can be great fun.
The battles are another high point. There are very few calls in the system and this means you can get on with the fighting. Now some of these battles have been absolute show stoppers. The battle of lonley Pine, the fighting withdrawal, the ambushes, the fighting through rat warrens, the siege weapons and the raid on the blood prison part 2. The Battles are amazing, now a lack of calls does not mean a simple system, it’s actually quiet complicated once you get past how simple it is and things like hits per location, rather than global hits make for a some really tough long exhausting fights. Also the roleplaying of weapon swings and hit taking is really good, CP players really like throwing themselves on the floor and screaming when they get hit.
Plot wise there have been some really good ones. I was lucky to start when the invasion of the Empire started and have a massive love of that plot line and how it dovetailed really well into the Blood Queen plot. Each faction also has plot and i remember as a merc at my first event getting dragged into the Fir Cruthern plot, also how much Benji’s summer king has had on how i view roleplaying.
Yes CP is the game system that i picked all my good LARP habits up from. There have been some players who turned me into the LARPer i am today. Dudge, Angelea, Mark Dollar, Sarah Young Benji, Angelea, and Gaz. Thease are all people who have made me a better LARPer and informed my formative LARP years in a fest system. If it hadn’t been for Benji my FR characters would be a lot more one dimensional and i wouldn’t spend time working out triggers for behavior in my characters…Hmm I may still be a pretentious tit though.
The feel of CP is really good, everyone gets on, everyone is willing to help out and there is a real sense of community among players and Refs. This has got better and better over time and there is a heavy ref presence around site, so you can always find one. Also the back room staff at God! There should be a LARP award for you lot! You really are the heart and soul of the game and we all love you.
So the bad, well there isn’t much bad to be honest. One thing that CP does suffer from is it forgets how good it is, i think sometimes the players take it for granted and maybe they could do with having a good look at their world and put a lot more information up in a wiki. Now that is the ONLY thing they should take from another system. The other problem is sometimes it can be a bit too eclectic. CP has a long history of having some very imaginative groups and characters. Be that the parrot, groups like the Sunz or other great ideas, CP is a very accepting community, however sometimes it can go a little too far. I remember a few years back the great plague of pirates, everyone was a bloody pirate or the time the Norse faction had a bunch of Samurai and Spartans. However this has mainly gone away and the factions are more defined than that weird blip we went through.
Why do i love CP, i think it’s the danger, the fact you have to work for your toys most of the time, the ritual circle is amazing and really scary to be near, the sense of dread with every choice, the fact the world is a mystery to be investigated, that skill not points define how good you are, that i can get away with a shameless Hank McCoy rip off and no ones noticed yet and that CP has so much quirkiness without being silly.
Do i want Empire to be like CP? No i do not. Do i want CP to be like Empire? Nope. I can in fact love both systems and prey that they wont start to be like each other. So going back to my original bit about differences. I like the difference between Xbox and Playstation, I like the difference between CP and PD and long may there be differences.