Fear and lovin’ in New Anvil or whatever other LARP place you are in.

I live my life in constant fear. Seriously. I’m not talking about the fear of people this time or the terror of someone touching me. No this is a terror that stalks my house, not some simple haunting. No. The other night I was walking up the stairs to bed and a hand shot out to get me from the banisters. I screamed and Emma lay on the floor laughing for five minutes while i slowly remembered how to breath.

evil door

This was a new one to be honest, she usually lurks behind doors silently waiting for me to open them with a big grin on her face waiting to jump out. I love her to bits for it, no matter how much it scares me. I could go on about how wonderful she is, but she will get me. The thing is it’s the stupid things in relationships, like the mind numbing fear of walking around your own house that define them. Stupid things like taking the last three letters of a number plate and turning it into a three word phrase starting with those letters or the fact i have seen skipping in public with her. I might add this will not be demonstrated in public at an event and there will still be no dancing.

There are in my opinion two things that get distorted in roleplay and that is love and grief. Now i’m not in the mood for grief at the moment, i’ll write about that another time. So today you got me in the mood for some lovin’. This is mainly due to the fact i have a commission to make a romantic thing for someone, for an event so my day crafting time is currently made up of symbols of love…i feel like i’m working for Clintons…eugghhh.

Now i feel that i should clarify a few things here. Now when i say roleplay and lovin’ i’m not talking about that time you dressed up as Wonder Women for your wife. Nope i’m talking about roleplaying relationships. With that i am not covering larp stalkers, weird LARP tent sex, safe words during torture or any of that strange stuff. Well not directly anyway. Also i’m assuming that the people reading this aren’t dicks and i don’t need to say it really doesn’t matter about sexuality here, we are talking relationships here, not some deep south agenda ;). I may explore sexuality and LARP at another time when i’m feeling brave enough and what i write doesn’t come off as patronising bollocks.

First up make sure it’s ok. I say this from some weird LARP stalker experinces. I was the victim of one and a young and tender age. It’s not funny, clever or in character. It’s pretty much disrespectful to assume someone will accept that sort of roleplay without checking  OOC and be damned sure you know what peoples boundaries  are. For reference laying on top of me and coping a feel is waayyyy out side mine thank you very much, not that i’m still irritated about that. You know i’m a live and let live kind of a guy who reacts in an understated way. Even later on in my LARP career I got propositioned at CP and freaked out, it was so far out side context at the time that i got grumpy and huffed off in character! To be fair that was my reaction to something i wasn’t expecting and i think we have established that i am easy to make jump.

Also avoid the Drama Llamas. The Drama Llamas like drama. I remember back in my youth, when i had hair and a six pack and look slightly less like an overweight beardy Robson Green as someone once described me. I was involved in a tabletop where myself and another player had characters doing the whole love affair thing. To be honest it was a little bit cliched, but it was fun and added to the game without being some sort of ego monster thing it could have been. Anyway one drunken party later and the gm decided it would be funny to be a Drama Llama and suggest there was more to it than that…..to be honest myself, her and her other half were pretty embarrassed and i really haven’t talked to that GM since. Drama Llamas are twats who want attention. They need slapping. This is why i am declaring July the 18th national Drama Llama hunting season. If you see Drama Llamas at work on the 18th you have the right to call them on it. I enclose something to aid you by the way.

drama llamma

There you go. No need to post a reply, cut and post. Drama Llama in your office? Print this out, attach it to a stick and beat them to death with it.

So assuming that your not trying to get laid at a LARP event (seriously? Why do your Japanese love pillows not satisfy you any more?), thinks Lammies attract the opposite sex and can tell the difference between reality and roleplay and there is a reason for the roleplay (i’ll come back to that) you are of course welcome to leap feet first into the cliche ridden horror that is a ‘roleplaying romance type thing’

Now i say a reason for the roleplay as some people will look to start a LARP romance for roleplay, not as something that has appear from certain things that are set in their character creation. I.e. some people are LARP romance ho’s. I LARP therefore i must be in a LARP romance. I think this probably says more about them than their characters. I suggest you lure them in and inflict a LARP row on them and then LARP dump them and tell everyone they were LARP terrible in bed and LARP passive aggressive.

I genuinely think that you should set yourself some rules for you character and say ‘if x, then i would be interested’ Think about what would cause your character to want to be in a relationship, who they would find attractive or what sort of person they would be interested in. You don’t have too, but it adds more motivations for your role-play and more importantly gives you more flaws and buttons to be pressed.

Of course there are somethings to think about here. What does it do for the game? I recently read an awesome article that Harry found and posted on face book the other day. It’s really, really, really good. Puts my ranting to shame.


One thing that leapt out at me is story and serving it. What does your characters actions bring to the story? Now in a fest system you have a hundred individual stories interacting, what does a love story bring to this? Also without a script how do you stop it turning into a cliche?

I believe that relationships are the heart of drama and those relationships build into stories. Now with a script you know where the arguments are going to be, where the good spots are going to be, and there will be a sunset at the right time.

romance eughhh

Moth women and flame guy in love

I may just add on a personal note i would like to punch who ever it is that has turned romance into a post card of sunsets rather than being fun, Jesus is it me or do people look really po faced in when they stare into the middle distance together to show they are in love in movies? and don’t get me started on twilight? seriously if your that miserable all the time, maybe you might want to break up and see someone your own age?

Sorry, back on subject. Without a script your kinda feeling around what your character thinks and feels, that’s bloody hard. It’s really easy to fall into traps of grand gestures and poetry (obviously there is a place for that, just not all the bloody time!). I mean when was the last time you saw a LARP couple turn up and you noticed they had very obviously just had a row and it’s still simmering away? i’m talking about a pretend one here, not the real ones. There is nothing wrong with fairy tail, but lets face it if it’s rougher the rp will be better and may actually create game. It’s about not taking the easy route, however another problem then rears it’s ugly head. Well several actually.

First up we have the time scale. You have to fit a relationship into a small time frame and then have a long break. This is cool if you are only seeing each other occasionally, cross faction/nation/group romance, but it gets complicated if you are supposedly seeing each other in down time.  I can only suggest you talk it through in downtime and you know where you stand, and where your going next.

Physicality. Now as a person who hates being hugged by strangers, this is something that i feel keenly. Now as i mentioned before i am going to skirt around ‘adult systems’ and some of the horrific tales i have heard and get back to a more sensible topic. Touch is very powerful, and in the context of LARP it can be a bit weird. Again it comes down to team work and having that conversation at some-point about what you are comfortable with and keeping it in the context of theater.

Right so you have survived a few dates, you get on and have managed to have a blazing row in the middle of camp which is now more legendary than the time thing did that thing that was really good. You are able to have conversations, there was that time your church didn’t approve of you dating an orc and the time his friends said you weren’t good enough him and there was an honor duel over it. What next? well the obvious thing is the LARP marriage, followed swiftly by the LARP resentment and conversations about how you crushed each others dreams and how you don’t buy LARP flowers anymore….

Sorry,  the LARP marriage can be awesome and can be a bit crap. I was lucky enough to do Joesph’s wedding at CP which was awesome, if in Elven and full of metaphysical symbolism. It really fitted, came across as a truly Elven/Fey and very special. The indoor fountain and trees helped too. On the other hand i have been to LARP weddings that came across as a bit…twilight. I’ll leave the rest to you, but you know what i’m talking about, i’m pretty sure i don’t need to elaborate any.

Oh and because someone asked me to…Why no legal marriage in empire? I will now answer, Loyalty is a virtue and marriage is an oath. That and the fact it is a truly equal society, so you would hope honesty, respect and trust should be enough 😉

Love and romance can be huge things in LARP and i think can genuinely add to  story and can spawn game for other people (trust me i have had way too much game from other peoples romances.) or at least IC gossip to talk about if done well, just like combat, magic and anything else.

**Rhain Winters Vigil is currently sat in a tower waiting to be rescued, thinks he may be there for a while ;)**


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4 Responses to Fear and lovin’ in New Anvil or whatever other LARP place you are in.

  1. Echo says:

    Just FYI I’m now totally stealing the phrase Drama Lama.

  2. starblayde says:

    Is this the right time to say I’m having an IC wedding (mirroring my upcoming OC wedding) at E3? Or completely the wrong time? 😉

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