New in Larp: American Freeform and more

Stark-AmericanFreeformWe’re in larp’s fallow season of planning, where organizers write games, player scheme about what conventions to attend in the coming year, and when all but the most hard core of larpers stay away from the frigid boffer larps. Here are the latest developments I’ve seen in the world of larp.

  • American Freeform Bundle. Until Tuesday you can grab this bundle of short live games, including offerings from Fiasco designer Jason Morningstar, award-winning designer Emily Care Boss, famed tabletop designer Meguey Baker, emerging designer Shoshana Kessock, the amazing Evan Torner and many more awesome designers! I’ve also got an offering in the bundle, a Pocket Guide to American Freeform, a monograph that talks a little bit about the history, and shows you how to play, run, and write in the form. American Freeform: great for noobs, great for tabletoppers, and great for larpers. Also incredibly affordable– $4.95+ for the basic collection, or pay more to get an even larger collection.

Larp Reads

  • New Yorkers do the darndest things! Check out this Dungeons & Dragons-cum-fitness larp, where the mechanic for rolling dice has been replaced by challenging group yoga moves. Video in the link above, or read the piece here. (Hat tip to John Stavropoulos for the link)
  • Over at the UKG blog, Mo attempts to describe UK Freeform, and how it differs from other freeform.
  • Check out this periodic table of story elements. Seems like it could be a cool game design tool.
  • If you want larp-based lols, check out the The Nordic Larper and When You Organize Larps tumblrs. You will lose hours of your life. In the best way possible.
  • Nerds of color join forces as the NPC guild. I’m interested to see where this goes.
  • The awesome roleplay blog PlanB Rollespil is back in action. Of course, it’s in Danish, but I trust you know how to use Google Translate. It’s worth it.
  • Guys, Ice-T did a fantasy audiobook and it’s kind of epic. ““They didn’t tell me this was a motherfuckin’ Dungeons & Dragons book,” Ice says, explaining to partner Mick Benzo that D&D is “some of the most crazy, deep, deep nerd shit.” via Paste Magazine
  • Brie Sheldon has an intriguing post on discovering personal identity through roleplay. Worth a read.
  • Larps, the Series has produced its pilot episode, which pokes fun at boffer larp, while still clearly operating as a love letter to the activity.
  • Love knowing what’s up in the world of gaming? Wish these posts were weekly and included more tabletop stuff? Then you’ll want to sign up for the excellent Story Games Weekly by joining the Story Games Community.

Action Items

  • Get Edu-Larp to the White House. The nonprofit Seekers Unlimited is part of an initiative to bring new ideas about education to the White House. The top picks up-voted on this site will make it there. Right now, they’re #4, but let’s push them up.
  • Knights of Badassdom, a long-awaited Hollywood film featuring both larp and actors you’ve heard of, like Peter Dinklage, has been released. The way it works is that locals can host a showing by getting a certain number of people to pledge to see it. I’m going to this showing in New Brunswick, NJ on March 3, and it still needs people. I still want to see it, though response to the film from larpers has been pretty negative. Here’s a thoughtful video review from larper Kristin Brumley, and a text one from Shoshana Kessock.

Upcoming Events

  • Dreamation is next weekend! I’m part of the Sex & Bullets crew, which is running more than 60 hours of American freeform and Nordic gaming goodness at this Morristown, NJ convention. Hope to see you there! (Or maybe I’ll see you at Intercon, in Chelmsford Massachusetts the following weekend?)
  • The Living Games Conference runs March 14-16 in NYC. I’ll be there, giving one of the keynote speeches, and perhaps you should be too–lots of interesting gamers from many parts of the world will converge to exchange ideas. (Otherwise, see you at Knutpunkt in Gothenburg in April?)

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