Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hydra Convention, Part One - 2014 (LARP)

Every year, in April (ish) Scott Kelly runs a LARP (Live Action Role Play) Convention.

Located at the Brookfields Scout camp in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt.  Over 3 days, 6 rounds of great LARP games take place.  With 1 round on Friday night, 3 rounds on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday.  Food and accommodation is provided, along with showers that are better than most Wellington flats!  I swear, each year the facilities are better than last!  The showers are on/off and are 1 temperature, PERFECT!  Although this year I forgot my towel.  DOH!  Lucky for me, Amanda had a spare which she allowed me to borrow.

Now for the fun bit, the games.  There were some games that really jumped out at me this year, I admit, there were some rounds where I'd only had 1 pick and if I didn't get in, then I wouldn't bother playing that round, but if there was a space I'd jump in.  I got into the games I really wanted to play in, although the probably didn't pan out into the awesome that I was expecting, but the GM's have gotten feedback and I hope to partake in their re-iterated worlds.

The Following May Contain Spoilers!  You have been warned

Friday Night: Road House Blues.
Based on the world of the Supernatural tv series; Nick Pitt put together a great character blurb.  Playing Chuck Green, a grumpy old hunter who cares for himself, loosing his wife and daughter to a warewolf attack, he has dedicated his life hunting down and killing monsters.  Arriving at the Roadhouse in search for ammo, supplies and monsters to hunt, the game started pretty slow.  This is pretty normal for me as a LARPer though.  A big hurdle to overcome with some LARPs is playing the loaner.  Any reason to interact brings that subconscious thought of whether it suits the character.

My sheet advised that I'd take down any monster without a second thought, something I figured I could do without too much of a problem, although it didn't present itself very often, I missed a chance to lob the head off a "not yet turned" Vampire.  I guess I meta-gamed a bit by thinking if I'd have taken her head, we could have missed out on "plot" - seems the other hunters didn't care though, cause as we were walking back with ingredients for the cure, her head was tossed out the front door of the Diner.

Heading into the dark was really against character for me, but again, developing that character into something else is what GM's like to see, in the end I'd stolen Gas from a Car, shot a woman who was possessed by a demon (I knew there was something odd about the Dr) - filled a vampire full of bullets, offered to take a young girl with me out of the area to hunt monsters & saved an old friend from possible death.

I liked the premise and enjoyed the game, although there was a bit of standing around and a feeling of "wait for the GM's to through plot at us, then go out and kill it" - rinse / repeat.  There seemed to  be way more Hunters than was required for the game, but I got the impression it was to allow as many players as possible to play the game.  But with few NPC's to hunt, it seemed like it was always going to be one sided.

I spoke to Nick about it afterwards and he mentioned that he'd come up with plot and a timeline with 2 npc's, but then was given a bunch of other players to use, which ended up being harder, as they found it difficuly to absorb lots of information and process it etc.  He's got a few ideas on how to make it better, which I'm looking forward too.  Hopefully there will be another chance to play in that world!

Saturday Morning: Saturday morning was great, I didn't play a game as there weren't any that tickled my fancy, but I managed to sleep in, have a shower and sew trim onto my flagship character's robes.  So pretty successful if you ask me!

Saturday Afternoon: Oz Reloaded
One of the games I was really looking forward too, the game world was based on the Matrix, with characters from the Wizard of Oz.  A constant "stream" of data that was available to those plugged in, was the main source of information getting into the game.

First off my partner in the game was Ellen, whom I LOVE rp'ing with.  We were the Tin Soldiers of OZ.  The Tin Man (Wiz of Oz) and TikTok (Return to OZ) - the police force of the OZ world.  On the search for the Wizard, finding memories of my "former self", locating an enchanted axe, getting a heart and finding true love! Oh and locating a bomb!

The wizard was pretty easy to find, Although I confronted the wicked witch about the bomb, there was nothing else to go by, I think personally it was a "plot point" so the bomb was going to go off no matter what, but it was still something to act robotic about and harass various "bad guys" about until it did go off.  When the bomb did go off, TikTok and I found ourselves in the Jail with "additional memories".  One thing I find a bit frustrating is attempting to add those extra characters / memories into the game, esspecially when the people you are trying to help only see you has bad and don't want to be involved with you, no matter what you say / do.

Although I pieced together a lot of my background, etc, things like finding a heart, love, axe etc just couldn't be done.  I almost got 1 life back in order to separate the two entities in my 1 body, but due to a miss-understanding, the deal didn't eventuate.  The one love that I seemed to be destined for, didn't like the metal exterior, then got caught up in her own plot.  Never got anywhere with the "Axe" plot line, no idea on what I was supposed to do with that.

Still, the game was interesting, I just felt that it lacked 1-2 more NPC's or GM's to play some important roles, especially in regards to getting information from / to the stream (matrix) - with 1 GM, he was frequently swamped / bogged down resolving things, which could have helped overall if there were more.  Towards the end, I felt like part of the set dressing, as I'd not really been able to get traction anywhere, but that's mostly my fault anyway, as I felt that I'd been blocked by story/plots where I couldn't help people out.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a preference for the types of LARPS you do?