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My second event of Festival was the one I’d been most nervously anticipating, the first run of my newest game, a collaboration with Bernie, a Downton Abbey-inspired period game I called Brockhurst.

That this game came off at all was something of a wonder. It was written in two and a half months, the fastest I’ve ever completed a four-hour larp. It has nineteen characters, and I wanted it to be as thickly plotted as possible, as I am a hard-core narrativist and wanted lots of story to keep people engaged. The size, the short period, and the high standards I went in with made it difficult enough even without my family problems hanging over me, so I had a lot of anxiety over getting it done, and fear that it wouldn’t come out any good. I certainly couldn’t have done it without Bernie’s help, who signed on to be a coauthor and ended up having to also be my personal wrangler when I got down about things. We spent pretty much every waking moment of the week leading up to the game finishing, printing, and packing it, and it was an incredibly high-stress experience.

I suffer from a fallacy where I tend to believe my writing’s quality exists in proportional to the ease with which I wrote it. As in, stuff that was easy to write must be good, stuff that was hard to write must be bad. Those things do not necessarily correlate, but I struggled so much to get this thing done in time that I couldn’t shake the fear that it was boring, had no plot, wouldn’t work, blah blah blah. I was incredibly paranoid that people wouldn’t have enough to do.

But once thing got going, people seemed pretty busy and happy. A lot of people really got into their characters and came up with some fabulous things. We had a fabulous cast, which helped. This was polaris_xx’s first larp, and I really wanted to show her a good time, so the good cast helped. bronzite also very generously agreed to step in and fill a drop. All awesome people doing awesome, awesome things. Bernie was proved right on a bunch of casting choices he insisted on that I hadn’t initially been able to see. When people who enjoy larping together get the chance, they can make their own fun, but they also seemed to get their teeth into the stuff I wrote. That was gratifying. We even saw proof of concept of some ideas that were kind of experimental, such as the telegram mechanic.

Most of the characters seemed to have fun; we heard a lot of very enthusiastic reports after the game. We had one character not present in the game due to the player getting a migraine, which I worry had consequences on other’s characters’ times. There was one player in particular whose experience was spectacularly bad, and I feel really bad about it. I think there were lots of factors at work, and I will have to examine that character closely to determine the problem with it, but the other character’s absence was likely part of it.

It was also neat to get to watch the presence and interpretation of characters from my other stories. Because Brockhurst takes place in 1915, it was possible to have Mrs. Hawking’s grandniece and grandnephew Beatrice and Reggie Hawking present, as well as Marcus Loring, Rowan’ cousin, and Jamie Harper, the grandson of Zachariah Harper, Tall Bear, and Negahse’wey from The Stand. Admittedly Marcus and Jamie were among the toughest to incorporate into the overall plot, and probably require more editing than most, but I do like the idea of them. The Hawkings seemed to work just fine, and it was neat exploring two characters who I’d only ever really thought about as babies previously. And hey, if anyone was made more interested in reading any of the original stories, I’d be happy to pass them along.

So overall I’m pleased. Not bad at all for a first run, given how quickly it was written, and how much outside garbage I was dealing with during the writing. Thanks so much to all the lovely people who played the game. You made all the effort worth it.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
laurion
Apr. 30th, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
In places where quality matters, I measure my work by the editing instead of the writing.

Congrats on having another produced (but as the way of things, almost never finished) body of LARP work. May the runs only get better.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:



MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3


at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM

and

Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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