Thank You for the Reminder

Mathis

Scholar
I had a great time at this weekend's event, better than I've had in a long time, and there are a lot of people to thank for that experience.

First, thank you to all the PCs who took time out of their event to pull an NPC shift. It was immensely satisfying to see so many people respond to my call for action and to see how much that improved our Game. The realization that walking to a cabin was a potential encounter with something dark (literally) and scary made my heart race at the moment when I was halfway down a dark path without anyone else in earshot.

Second, thank you to all Players who came out and supported our game by NPCing all weekend. Having you there was such a boon. When Plot told me to stop pushing for PCs to NPC for Saturday night I was overjoyed. Thanks to your support the Saturday night assault was truly a terror I'll remember for years.

Third, thank you to Brigit and Joe for keeping us all fed. I've spent time in the kitchen so I know how much work it takes to fed our slavering horde and they slayed it. Plenty of great food, served when we needed it, and the interactions with Belfry (and between Gideon and Belfry) are amazing.

Finally, thank you to the Plot team for again reminding me why I love our game. On Saturday night I found myself, anxious, frustrated, and worried about how we could possibly overcome the relentless assault. I was getting short with people and short on resources. As we were pushed back into the Tavern only to learn that even walls would not bring us safety. That's when it hit me, this is the experience that hooked me into LARPing.

This past weekend was a master class in what I hope Players mean when they talk about "the old days" or want to "bring back the fear." Plot produced a bevy of experiences from a major assault on a complex enemy, to efforts to achieve personal goals. They did that while also preparing for and then pulling off a terrifying assault (including prop monsters that run!) which pushed the adventurers to the edge of the cliff. The PCs were at their limits and in that place there is danger. Danger that we won't succeed, danger that the consequences will be dire, and with that danger comes great stories.

This weekend reminded me that Plot is there to create a world for our Characters and when our Characters seek out adventure Plot challenges us. But, while Plot creates the obstacles, Plot isn't the enemy. If Plot wanted to kill all the PCs, they can make monsters invulnerable, they can create impenetrable barriers, and they can create impossible puzzles. Instead Plot tempers their efforts, delicately balancing challenge with reward and doing their best to ensure that success takes effort and wins feel good.

It is hard to remember these things when Plot is the antagonist to our Character's journeys, but when we trust that Plot is our collaborator and not our competitor it opens paths for experiences we could never find on our own. This weekend helped remind me that Plot worked hard to create an experience and while that experience might challenge our Characters, being challenged isn't unfair, it's what makes our game more than just the epic tale told by bards in a tavern. Plot helps tell us the whole story, including the tragic unheroic parts that don't always make it into the stories.

So, thank you to Plot and our Players for everything you did this past weekend. After all these years I still love LARPing and I'm excited to be part of a game that continues to impress me.

Matt Ferrara
 
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