So Thursday night, we went out to dinner with quietann and her husband, and AJ, queenortart, ibarhis, and ubiquitous_cat. They gave me some valuable advice.
1) If there's someone you're told to avoid, don't. Chances are good there's some information there you need or want, or they can do something for you.
2) If you have a secret, leak it. Not immediately, that would be lame, but over the course of the LARP, gradually let it slip. Anita added this morning at breakfast, that you should tell at least three people. More on this later. The three people thing. And the breakfast thing.
3) Talk to as many people as you can. (obviously)
4) If you don't want to feel like you're carrying around bits of folder, make a notebook with your character sheet in it. Make it as in character as it can be, then it becomes a prop, rather than a crutch. (my words, not theirs, but you know once you say something, it's entirely out of your control how it will be interpreted.)
We went to Thai Jasmine and the food was wonderful and we had nearly the entire place to ourselves, as I knew we would about that time. After last year's fiasco, I thought a congenial environment of people who know me and expect a fair bit of zaniness from anyone I bring was probably the order of the day. As it was, we were rather more subdued this year, but still, the food was delicious, so even if we didn't behave outlandishly, it was still a good choice. And it was close to the hotel, which worked well.
I stopped by Staples at lunch and picked up a notebook and a set of fountain pens. I was hoping for something with a vaguely antiquarian look, but that I could still use. I didn't find anything like that at a reasonable price, all the fountain pens were very modern or very, very expensive, but I ended up with a 3 pack of disposable fountain pens that are delightful to write with, and look nothing at all like something a regency period author might own. but it was a fountain pen, so if you looked at the nib and no further, it probably blended in delightfully.
In any case, I prepped my notebook and waited for whatsisname to get home. And did a bunch of work. We stayed at the hotel so we didn't have the issues of what and where to go on Shabbos and it turned out to be a very good idea. We talked to a couple of people who didn't book a room at the hotel, and then mostly ended up staying there anyway on account of being too tired to really travel away again. The hotel was very accommodating by all accounts.
Anyway, as might be expected, hoppie was late, but not badly so. Just enough to make me more jittery. Also The Expected happened, which impact my playing ability somewhat, maybe more than somewhat, particularly in the Saturday afternoon game. Anyway, we picked up our keys (I checked in online in the morning), and went to the room. I changed to something slightly more angelic, although not much, I'll admit.
Note: From this point on, there are potential game spoilers.
I was playing the Angel Rafael. The characters I interacted with most was one of the gods of Smithing, and another god from his pantheon, the god who's name no one could pronounce, and therefore was referred to by most characters as "The green leafy fellow," the out-of-time Indian goddess, and the goddess of death, and her husband, the god of minutia, I mean, uh, lawyering, and my brother, Michael.
I think I had a pretty good dynamic with Michael. We did a lot of him stern authority figure, me apologetic, pathetic conflicted, and terminally naive in the ways of gods and mortals. My primary plots were to a) not herald the end of the world and make sure no one else did either and b) in exchange for being criminally naive, and allowing the smith to muck with my heraldric horn (the harmonica of doom), I got sucked into a plot to turn mortals into trees if they defiled the Earth. That was pretty cool. 8-) Michael managed to compensate for my helping the green, leafy fellow and thereby strengthening him, by redeeming the fisher king from his pantheon. Puck (hoppie) stole my bright and shiny harmonica, but never actually got around to blowing it.
This is where my evident newness at LARPing was evident. I didn't realize what it meant when the GM came up to me and identified herself as the Smith. Which is as well, it allowed the game some new dimensions and allowed me to create an apocalyptic scare. I didn't really know what to do with my power to tell the GM secrets, but at least I got that one in. That created a nice level of panic during the game.
I have these two comments on behalf of Rafael, largely directed at the Goddess of Death: I am not a messenger. I'm an emissary. Also, damnit, it's my horn, not Gabriel's! I mean, it's God's, but mine!
It was a very fun game. There were a great many plots for everyone, and I think it played well. As my first game, it was a great introduction to the world of LARP. Hoppie was brilliantly fun. I might have enjoyed a good love spell, but alas. I'll comment more on this later during On The Rails, but I had no romantic plots at all, not that I necessarily needed them, but if I do this again, that might be fun. I'm no quietann/queenortart, but I can do great deal with romance.
Game wrap was fun too, because I got to hear what the other people were up to in their own words without the GMs spin on what was important and what was going on. I was pleased that the turning mortals to trees plot figured in a number of wrap statements since I'd felt so intimately involved with it. Trey (GM) said this was the first time the game has had angels. They were very fun. I might also like to see her add Norse gods, but it means expanding the region, since it's primarily a Victorian era party. But it's not like Norse country is _that_ far away. And wouldn't you pay money to watch Loki and Puck interact? Would they escalate pranks by playing them on each other, or team up to play massive pranks on all?
-----------polite space between this game and the next game, Marlow 2020.
In terms of story, this was probably my favourite game, but in terms of game play, not as much. I was a cybertech, actually the lead cybertech, but because I was so new, and so awkward around people, I don't think I spent enough time furthering my goals. Of course, if they were better players, the Americans would have tried to suborn me, and that never happened.
From two days distance, I see a lot of potential there that was untapped, now, and not by me. That makes me feel better. I'd been feeling like I'd been awful, but I think it might go back to me being new. So many people in the games knew each other and naturally gravitated towards each other. The player I interacted with most, I don't even know his real name, but he was "Boss" in this game, and Lex Luthor in the Call Batman... game, was a very strong personality and I found myself following his lead. That was one of my problems, but it seemed somewhat a part of my character to be naturally reticent and only involve myself in the technical aspects, and of course, promoting the interests of my "friends" the androids. This of course left me lonely and vulnerable, which, as I said would have been a great opportunity for some one of the Americans to attempt to suborn me. But that's neither here nor there. By the end of the game there were no dead bodies and a preliminary agreement on the table, and the Romeo/Juliet couple was going to get married. A surprisingly happy ending for a Shakespearean tragedy. Ironically, I was not a Shakespearean character. Boss was nominally Laertes, but with significantly less impetuosity and bumbling. Ni was the unfortunate Ophelia, with very little similarity. He did try to kill the Romeo character a number of times, unsuccessfully, which was a source of much amusement post game. I thought I might have been Pollonius, but that turned out to be one of my favourite creations.
The story here was fleshed out and provided a great deal of interaction, but I didn't get much accomplished on my goal of furthering of the android rebellion, although Boss did. I think part of it was that I was too subtle in trying to drag the androids in. I didn't want to express open displeasure, but I used very charged language that later people told me they didn't pick up the nuances of where I was going with it. So. There's another rule. Be less subtle. You won't die until the third hour anyway, so go a bit farther.
RPGs allow for a more subtle approach than a four hour game, I guess. It does require some adjustment.