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Guest Post: Tips for Playing an Abrasive Character

The following is an article written by a friend, while it is oriented towards Larping, I believe the elements within can also be applied to tabletop roleplaying as well.
Steve is a larper and friend that I have been gaming with for the past seven years. I fully endorse this article and agree wholeheartedly. I couldn’t have written it better myself, which is why I am hosting his! And yes, that is his real name.
-Wren


Tips for Playing an Abrasive Character

by Steve Rogers, a Director of Divine Intervention Larp

 


Playing an abrasive character at a LARP can be a very fun and rewarding experience. However, it can be fairly difficult to balance playing a mean, contrary, or negative character without letting those actions translate into negative OOG actions. Below are some tips that may be useful in playing that sort of character. (For the purpose of this document, I’m going to use the term “abrasive” to apply to a pretty wide variety of character traits player characters might use, from “my character is intentionally kind of annoying” to “my character is a huge asshole to everyone”.) The intent here is not to tell people how to play their characters; only to offer advice on playing a character archetype that can be difficult to portray and potentially contentious if in-game feelings run into out-of-game feelings. 

Continue reading “Guest Post: Tips for Playing an Abrasive Character”

“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”

  -A.A. Milne

I start getting into some pretty fun topics in the coming weeks, and I realized I ultimately don’t have much written here about my *past* LARPing experiences yet. I will sometimes reference characters and games that I no longer play, or that no longer exist, so in order for that all to make sense, today’s post is about some of my favorite past player characters.

*In order to make this post not an essay length, I am omitting characters that I only played for one game to test the game out. And I am also not including NPC roles.


 

Detective AC Mortmaine:
Steam & Cinders Larp (Steampunk)

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Name: Lady Alice Cassandra Mortmaine-DeVoe

Occupation: Private Detective > Town Constable > Chief of Police
Fighting Style: Two very fancy fencing swords. Florentine. (Essentially a Ranger build) Favored attack was “Disarm.”
Backstory: Was a police clerk for many years, couldn’t rise up in the ranks because she was not willing to take bribes. Struck out on her own to form her own detective agency, followed leads about the serial killer “Gregor the Organist” to the town of Iron City.
Dark Secret: Believed that she was secretly a witch with mind powers. (Don’t worry, it was just the mercury poisoning.)
Happy Ending?: She got to marry her longtime girlfriend and forensic scientist partner Sophia. But she also had to mercy kill her own brother who got taken over by eldritch horrors, so, you know.


Courier Izzy Lastrano:
Second Dawn Larp (Post Apocalyptic)

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Name: Isobel Lastrano, or Courier Izzy!

Occupation: Mail Carrier!
Fighting Style: A Sword almost as tall as me. Sometimes a big turret gun. Oddly enough, she was a bard build. Favored call: “Inspire!”
Backstory: Was a low level noble daughter of a house in a post apocalyptic wasteland feudal system. Escaped that life to become a Postman!
Dark Secret: Had kinda faked her death a little bit to leave the keep.
Happy Ending?: Izzy ultimately died trying to save her robot friends from being mind wiped to use as shells for space people. So, yes? She also was able to save the serfs in her previous kingdom by helping them escape and live with fundertakers. (That is a very long story. Second Dawn was a trip.)


Sanura:
Steam & Cinders Larp (Steampunk)

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Name: Citizen Sanura Kaniik

Occupation: Freelance Engineer > Head of the Iron City Engineer Guild > Town Councilman
Fighting Style: Gun in one hand, sword in the other. Favored call: “Maim”
Backstory: Left her communist home country after a lab accident. She was estranged from her husband and sad about it.
Dark Secret: Ended up working for the God of Entropy to take down the world.
Happy Ending? I retired the character/killed her off after it became too stressful to play a secret bad guy.


Ebur Chantarelle:
Divine Intervention Larp (Magepunk)

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Name: Ebur Chantarelle

Occupation: Fathom Collectible Card Game Board Certified Tournament Judge!
Backstory: Simple Farmer, joined the Fathom league, moved to Brink to Judge Annual Tournaments.
Fighting Style: A Very large wooden hammer. Sometimes a very small bow. Favored attack: “Break Weapon.”
Dark Secret: Honestly, not really. They didn’t want kids and so they left behind a divorcee. That is not really dark so much as too real. Haha.
Happy Ending? I hope so! I am still playing them.


Evelyn Peabody:
Lacuna Cathect ARG (Corporate Supernatural/ Modern Day)

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Name: Evelyn Peabody

Occupation: Spiritual Advisor and Crystal Healer > Ghost artifact collector
Fighting Style: Hiding under a magical umbrella that made her impervious to damage.
Backstory: Evelyn had a nice house in the woods where she took in injured animals and also helped people with magical problems. She was recruited by Lacuna Corp. to help hunt ghost artifacts.
Dark Secret: None, she was a pure bean.
Happy Ending? She ended up in a weird ghost mental prison while fighting the big bad.


Leigh DeVoe:
FourTwenty ARG (Superhero/Future)

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Name: Leigh DeVoe aka ELLE aka Battery

Occupation: Librarian > Spy
Fighting Style: Hiding behind the strong characters and boosting their powers.
Backstory: Leigh was a pretty simple quiet nerd until the day the FourTwenty attacks turned a handful of people into mutants. Then she developed powers, unable to touch other mutants without them siphoning her life force.
Dark Secret: In the attacks, her love interest, Meredith, died. She became very goth and angsty after that.
Happy Ending? She got a girlfriend, became a spy, fought for the good guys, but ultimately got mind controlled in the final fight to be used as a power battery for them which weakened her so much that when she broke free and tried to stop the big bad she died in a small explosion.


Prudence Henderson:
Ashwick Larp (Colonial Horror)

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Name: Prudence Henderson

Occupation: Housewife > Deputy > Mayor of Modern Day Ashwick
Fighting Style: Human: screaming and hiding. Vampire: Swords and Teeth
Backstory: Prudence was a dutiful housewife to Obediah, and a caring sister to Percival. The family moved to Ashwick after a horrid curse killed all of their chickens.
Dark Secret: Well, eventually she got turned into a vampire. But before that she was a pretty evil Puritan lady.
Happy Ending? She was turned into a Vampire and was able to shake off all the pesky religion. She remained in Ashwick, where she is the Mayor today. She traded in the bonnet for pantsuits and her husband became her ghost butler.


 

If you were a bird…

“If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”
A.A. Milne

 


I have done a bit of a redesign on the page, and I have done a bit of a redesign on myself since I was last very active on here.

One thing you might notice is that I have changed my name!

My gender and lack thereof has been something I have tried to be very open about on my social media, as scary as it was. I know that other people being open about their struggles was what gave me the courage to be more truthful about myself. I don’t know if I will ever be “done” sorting myself out, but I felt more ready to take a permanent step.

My birthname never fit right, this was something I understood before I had a name for what I was feeling. I had always shortened it to a one syllable version which was tolerable at best. This was fine. I had tried on other names, at larps mostly, to imagine what it was like to have a name that felt more… me.

I used Ben for a bit, I really loved it. I felt like it made me more, I don’t know, real. I felt like I could kinda lean into it, be a little cocky, a little more arrogant than I allowed myself. But ultimately, I know too many really wonderful Bens, and it stopped feeling right.

It hit me at a certain point a couple years ago that Wren was A LOT like Ben, was non gender specific, and also was a bird, a very cute bird I liked very much. The king of all birds, even. (Insert winky face here for my pal Stephen.) I of course, being the king of my own anxiety kept shoving Wren away because I was afraid of people thinking I was being frivolous or overly fanciful.

I repeatedly came back to Wren when I danced around the idea of changing my name, and recently after meeting another enby on Twitter named Ren, I decided to just do it. I loved the name, my shortened birthname made me cringe, and so what if people think I am frivolous? I post parrot pictures online, of COURSE I am frivolous.

In fanciful conclusion, my name is Wren! And I feel fantastic about it!

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Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) @ Nangawooka (from Flickr CC use)

 

Ashley in the Interim, Part Two

The following is a quick mini fiction set in the world of Little Busters, a Tales from the Loop game I play in.

We are experiencing a little bit of a time jump, moving forward three years to 1992, after the monsters were defeated and most of the kids have drifted apart, moved away, or otherwise stopped being friends. Ashley is 17 now.

My character, Ashley is “The Jock” archetype. And I wanted to do some mental exercises to get into her head three years later. Here is part two. Continue reading “Ashley in the Interim, Part Two”

Ashley in the Interim, Part One

The following is a super quick mini fiction set in the world of Little Busters, a Tales from the Loop game I play in.

We are experiencing a little bit of a time jump, moving forward three years to 1992, after the monsters were defeated and most of the kids have drifted apart, moved away, or otherwise stopped being friends.

My character, Ashley is “The Jock” archetype. And I wanted to do some mental exercises to get into her head three years later. Here is part one. Continue reading “Ashley in the Interim, Part One”

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you…”

“…You have to go to them sometimes.”

-A.A. Milne    


A note on timing: I wrote this in December and never posted it because I was in too much of a mental slump to proofread it.

Tonight is the finale of “Little Busters” the Tales from the Loop game I have been playing online.

I definitely knew I was going to get a little emotional at the end, and I was right. But I need to do a little backtracking first… Continue reading ““You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you…””