This was a long time ago for most of us, but do you remember the stunning joy of first immersing yourself into the realms of tabletop fantasy gaming? You lost all track of time, nearly lost track of reality, and just completely got lost in the moment? I hadn’t really had it happen again for about the last 10 or 12 years, then a friend took me to an Alliance game.

Wow.

I was simply blown away. The costuming was great, the large plumbing supplies we were beating each other with were as visually distracting as I first thought they’d be, and there was nearly constant plot happening all around me. I wasn’t even sure who was PC and who was NPC! Then the first real battle hit — my barbarian character managed to start cutting and hollering his way through rank after rank of minor NPC bad guys, only to get quickly put in his place by something far less crunchy!

I’ve been to three events now so far, and I just can’t get enough. The plots are constantly “topical” for the characters, ranging from romance issues to race relations, the undead and monsters, and the townies getting a plague for which we had to discover a cure, to a Tournament where the major villain inserted a team and took hostages to try to make sure they’d win!

The costumes are great, and sometimes even of such quality that you see something coming and decide it’s probably best not to be there when it arrives just because of its appearance. Fog machines cover the undead as they rise from their graves. Sometimes you’re woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of ghastly dogs howling, you look across a field and see bright red and green eyes staring back at you, closing in…. Oh, they could charge double the price for admission and it’s still worth it!

I’ve been in this hobby for 15 years now, and played under more game systems than I think I’ll ever be able to remember. I’ve seen a lot of good games, a lot of bad games. Done a bunch of conventions, published my own tabletop once, and nearly have another one purchased right now (keep your fingers crossed for me!), but even with all that past history I was simply amazed by the game that the staff of Alliance put on. ┬áThe Larper – Jan 2002