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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Intercon's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
4:08 pm
Intercon Q con report - Silver Lines
The highlight of my weekend was the running of Silver Lines, my mystery tabletop-game-turned-larp set in the future of the Mrs. Hawking storyline. As I mentioned, this was the first time I ever ran it as a true larp, with physical locations and physical props, and I was nervous about how it would turn out. But I am pleased to report that with the invaluable support of inwaterwrit as co-GM, it was a definite success!

I love mysteries, and if I may say so myself, I'm getting pretty good at writing them. Base Instruments is my most recent serious triumph in the genre, and this one turned out really strong as well. Good thing, because two of my players, specifically those who took on the roles of Mary and Arthur, signed up expressly because they wanted to solve a murder mystery. So it was important that it be good.

I really love this story, and I think the game itself works really well. It tells a moment of the greater Hawking story that is unlikely to ever make it into a play, but still is fitting and important. This run also drove home to me how flexible it is as a module. It only has five players, which is pretty easy to fill, but at least three out of five can be seamlessly any gender, and all but one can be turned into an NPC who the PCs can encounter and get necessary information from. It's as open to as much or as little character-based roleplaying as you like, or you can focus on making the mystery solving your primary drive.

The physicality of it, the props and the locations, worked well. Jenn and I divided the NPCs equally between us, which worked well because it enabled one of us to interact with players while the other prepared other aspects of the game. The players suggested that sound design could be used to further flesh out the locations, such as crowd noise or music to set the scenes.

The players went through it VERY efficiently. In previous forms, all of which were more tabletop-style, the game took about four hours, but this group reached the end in a little over two. That surprised me a little, but they seemed to have fun, so I didn't mind. And they didn't miss any of the planned parts of the game. I really enjoyed running it the whole time, and I'm really indebted to Jenn for helping me. She did an amazing job!

I'm looking forward to rerunning this larp version at Festival of the Larps 2017 April 28th-30th at Brandeis University. If you'd like to play, be sure to come out then!
Monday, February 13th, 2017
12:16 pm
Intercon Q con report - Suffragette Slamdown
This was the only game I was playing this Intercon, and I was excited for it. I am most interested in period storytelling these days, and the clashing of ethnic gangs around the time of the great migration while fighting for women's rights sounded great to me.

I was able to costume quite easily-- I could tweak the Victorian stuff I've collected for the Mrs. Hawking plays --so I looked pretty on-point. I liked the character I got cast as too; I think I was one of the more villainous roles, an upper-class society girl who was out for herself. I love playing villains and having an excuse to be awful, so that was fun for me. I also had a lot of friends in this game with me, which always improves a larp experience, partially because of enjoying the company, and partially because it makes it easier to give yourself over to being a character with people you're comfortable with.

I had a solid conception of myself and my goals, though if I had any critique of the game, was that it could have used more thought as to what pursuit of those goals would mean for in-game play. All the ideas were definitely there, but I wasn't finding a ton of avenues to pursue the things I was supposed to be interested in. But I was okay with it, as I had fun with pure interactions, and I managed to find more things to do. I actually received a compliment from another player on my ability to actually be racist and classist, which a lot of players shy from due to squeamishness. That's understandable, I guess, but it sure takes a lot of tension out of a situation where the villain doesn't want to actually be bad. So I'm always happy to play that role.

I will say that players that didn't have much to do with the gang war "boardgame" aspect of it didn't have a ton of agency to affect the goings-on, which made me slightly disappointed, even if I tend away from mechanics-driven storytelling in games. I know the larp as a whole suffered because the GMs, the excellent Haz and Ada, had some personal issues that made it so they were not able to spend as much time putting it together as they might have otherwise. But the premise and concepts are solid, and with the time to rework some of the in-game function it'll be excellent, I'm sure of it. I'm glad I played and had a good time.
Friday, August 19th, 2016
7:05 pm
[OT] LARP Running in Cambridge
Sarah and I are running our LARP "Wishing Well" September 18th! It's a zany fairy tale sort of thing inspired by the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. It's free, in Central Square, and you should play!

For more information or to sign up, see:

Friday, June 19th, 2015
5:26 pm
Intercon Location Changes
Intercon P will not be at the Chelmsford Radisson

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Intercon will no longer be held at the Chelmsford Radisson. We are currently talking with a number of other locations in the area regarding hosting for P and possibly beyond. We will keep you all updated with information as soon as we have any to give you.

To answer the big questions:

We thank you for any offers of advice and assistance regarding finding a new location. We have a committee currently working on the search and we're happy to hear what you think.
We are working hard to make sure Intercon P will remain a similar distance from Boston with similar public transportation and parking availability.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email info@p.interconlarp.org
Thank you all for understanding and again, we will make sure to send out updates when we have them.

-Intercon P Information,
Joshua Sheena
Thursday, March 26th, 2015
1:07 pm
Kate Hanna
Some of you on this LJ community played "Babul" at Intercon N.

Kate Hanna, one of the authors and producers of that game, died on Monday morning after a long and valiant battle against cancer. She died at home, surrounded by love and with her sister and friends by her side (and her most excellent cat on her lap). She is at peace now. She was a brilliant, witty, graceful and generous woman, and she will be sorely missed.

Paul Dwyer, her co-author and dear friend (and one of the GMs for the Intercon N run), was her devoted caregiver during her illness. He, Kate's sister Heather, and longtime friend Barbara Jackson (who some of you may also know) did an excellent job of caring for Kate in her last days. They all have generous friends and loved ones at hand and many offers of help; I don't think they need anything material right now. If it's the sort of thing you do, please keep them in your thoughts/prayers/good wishes/etc.

If you're so inclined (and it's certainly *not* necessary), donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Snow Leopard Trust: http://www.snowleopard.org/

Ave atque vale, Kate.

Current Mood: sad
Friday, March 6th, 2015
4:40 pm
Intercon O con report - part III, Spring River
Saturday night I played in Spring River, the newest from Alleged Entertainment, written by natbudin, emp42ress, simplewordsmith, and v_cat. I always try to play their stuff, at least when I'm not on the writing team myself, as they do some excellent innovative stuff with the form of larp. I was actually invited to be on the team for this one, which I regretfully had to decline due to other commitments, but the upside was I got to play in it.

The premise of the game is that every player is one personality trait within a complete character, so four of you make up one complete person who must battle it out to figure out what decisions your shared person will make. While not on rails, there are few secrets in the game, and you are actively encouraged to temporarily drop out of character to plan what the most dramatic trajectory for your person. By the end your character will have lived a mostly complete life as determined by how the various personality traits determine their choices.

I was cast as Noah's Hedonism, a role that I was not immediately sure how to approach. I didn't want to go creepy or gross, and I didn't want to box myself into something repetitive that wouldn't be applicable in all situations. Like, if I chose to interpret it as fixated on, like, animal appetites, like always wanting to go off and have sex or eat or something, it would get old fast and I wouldn't have much to contribute to actual conversations. So I decided to go with the idea of "I want what I want when I want it," with no ability to suck it up and deal in situations I didn't want to be in. Being obsessed with pleasure, in this case, meant always wanting to do the comfortable, pleasant, easy thing, rather than ever work, struggle, or suffer. I found this to be a workable perspective in the context of the game.

It was clear from the beginning that I was the worst part of Noah-- the weakest, the most immature, the most wrong. I believe I existed, from a game design standpoint, as the force of conflict in Noah's brain, as the others were his Idealism, his Nuturing, and his Competitiveness. I played it like a self-centered teenager, and whiny, loud, and actually pretty funny, advocating for the easy, fun, impulsive choices. This had the effect, I think, of establishing me as both really absurd, and always wrong. I think that made sense, as I knew I was the shoulder devil of the group. All that seemed to work, and I think I did a pretty good job of it. I even think I was the only person to make in-character use of the fact that we were all tied together at the wrist. When they were having a boring conversation I didn't want to be in, I pulled as far away as I could and slumped on the floor so that they couldn't forget my deadweight pulling on them; when I wanted them to go my way, sometimes I tried to pull them over towards me by it. But I have to say, I ended up having probably the strangest moment I've ever had in a larp because of it.

There was a moment where my team seemed inclined to go down a path that I as Hedonism felt was not just a pain, but CATACLYSMIC for our character. We'd become too workaholic, our stress was huge and we weren't really enjoying our life, our family, or anything. Since this was such an extreme moment, I decided that was the point that Hedonism would throw a fit. I mostly had just whined and made demands up to then, so I thought the time had come to escalate. And that's where the strangeness started. They literally ignored me. They didn't just tell me they weren't going to do what I wanted; they started talking to each other and paid no attention to me at all. So I escalated. I actually started yelling things like, "I NEED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF ME." And they STILL ignored me, despite the fact that I had, albeit in a whiny obnoxious fashion, descended into nakedly begging to be addressed. That was the moment that Phoebe was yanked outside of the character of Hedonism for a moment and became really aware of the circumstances. And believe it or not, I experienced my first-ever moment of bleed in a larp.

I'm pretty much ninety-nine percent bleed-proof in larps; I am a technique actor, not method. But, if you know me at all, you probably know that about half of everything I do is influenced by the desire to prove to the universe that I am not lazy or needy-- basically trying to avoid anything that could ever be construed as hedonism. Not that it's exactly the same, but I never want to be the kind of person who imposes on other people for their own comfort. As Hedonism in that moment, I was doing exactly that. It was totally in character for Hedonism, but not only would Phoebe NEVER demand to be taken care of, but she's fairly convinced that it's the fastest way to give people contempt for you. So they'd never actually indulge that. So Phoebe had a weird moment where she saw people ignoring Hedonism's BEGGING for care and it confirmed for her that deep-set fear and belief of, "Wow. Even if you're desperate, you really can't expect help from anyone. They won't be there." And that caused that weird emotional bleed through where Hedonism's situation made Phoebe have a little moment of upset.

Now, it totally made sense for my scene partners to act that way. As I said, my performance taught them to regard Hedonism as both absurd and always wrong. And while it made sense to me that Hedonism wanted to be heard in that moment, I was not feeling like other players were being unfair in any way; I certainly didn't care that I wasn't getting my way. Ultimately, Hedonism pointed out that they NEVER gave in to what Hedonism wanted, and it was about damn time. It led to the other characters realizing that they'd never fed their desire to feel good and have fun and it had boiled over. I think it's notable that while many traits, such as Nuturing/Overbearing in Noah, had both a positive and negative aspect specified to them. Hedonism only had the negative, but it occurs to me that the positive side of it could be considered to be "Self-care." And that part definitely got neglected in Noah! And you know, having that be a crisis point actually gave an interesting turn to our character's story. He NEEDED to struggle through this problem, and that conflict shaped our arc. As natbudin pointed out, it led to a startlingly diagetic representation of a midlife crisis.

So I really liked this game. While I'm not really in larp for bleed, I prefer to just tell compelling stories, it was interesting that this happened to me. And I loved the acting challenge the strange role offered. So I highly recommend this game, which will be running at Festival this April!
Thursday, March 5th, 2015
5:29 pm
Intercon O
(sorry for the delay; nobody was posting here so I followed the bandwagon on facebook, but I don't want to ignore lj -- don't cry, LJ, I haven't abandoned you!)

This con was -amazing- for me. I don't remember a time I had more hugs, more positive energy, more fun, and fewer (none!) larps that were less than amazing! I was:

Hanging out various places on Thursday. The pyro (Jimmy?) in Connor's D&D game on Friday afternoon. Many roles (Legalist, Butler, vidiot, and finally legalist again in the final scene) in Tales of Irnh, on Friday evening. Pre-con Liaison, Floor and tech/outside GM in Presque Vu, on Saturday morning. Marlowe Pinnacle in No Deceit Saturday afternoon. Olufemi Yeboah in (re)COURSE, on Saturday evening. And last but certainly not least, Dennis "The Menace" Mitchell in "This time for Sure" on Sunday morning. We left the con around 3pm, but got home after midnight due to the snow and traffic, but it was -totally- worth it!
9:36 am
Intercon O con report -- part II, Brockhurst
Friday night at Intercon I ran my most recent game, Brockhurst, a Downton Abbey-inspired larp that ties into my greater Breaking History universe written in collaboration with Bernie. I was a bit nervous, due to some weird issues the first run had at last year's Festival. There were some problems with power dynamics, and certain players had a hard time getting into their characters. There was some indication that it was out-of-game stuff affecting it, or bad casting matches, rather than nececessary fatal design flaws with those parts of the game, but you can't be sure with only one run. So after some thought, I decided I wasn't going to edit the game in any substantial way, in order to have another data point for assessing what needs work.

I'm glad to say I think things went really well, certainly better than the first. I even think we may have achieved a full cast that had fun, even if maybe not everybody loving every minute. Certainly nobody brought any problems to me, though certain plots went better or worse than they did last time. The villain roles were yet again cast with very clever people, who damn near ate the whole game, but not to the point where their opposites felt like they had no agency. bronzite was also a huge help. I shouldn't have been surprised, as Bernie told me it was like this when he ran it last time, but he ended up occupied with manning the telegram message-sending system pretty much the entire time. He did a great job with it, and it was a big weight off of me to know that it was being handled so well.

I made two small tweaks to the way I ran things, both of which were suggested by previous players, and I think they helped. First, I made an announcement at the end of briefing that even though everybody is roleplaying bosses and servants, people should not abuse that power dynamic. Nobody has the right to boss anybody else around, and nobody has to take orders they don't want to take. We're here to have fun, so don't be a jerk. I think it helped, as it didn't seem to ever be a problem. The other thing was I had the dancing happen first. I was told it might help mix the players who might otherwise might not find reason to blend. Again, I think it helped, maybe even with keeping the upstairs and downstairs people on a more equal footing as the tone of the Servant's Ball dictates.

The game needs a little editing, but not nearly as much as I was worried it might. There are still a handful of character who could probably use a little more. No character is thin, in my opinion, but it's such a high-plot game that some characters a bit light by comparison. So I could use maybe an extra plot or two. Also, I think I need to make some evidence of the various mysteries that cannot be destroyed. A consistent problem is that when the villains are clever, they can fairly easily conceal all signs of their misdeeds such that the characters on their trail will never get a hold of them. Not exactly sure how to do that, but it's a direction for the edit. Maybe I'll be able to get that done in time for the Festival run. At any rate, I was really pleased by how happy the players seemed to be, which made me feel more secure in the game.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
8:34 pm
My Intercon report is up
Intercon role call:

Jean Hunt in Weavers at the Loom of Fate
Ryan in the run of Reunions that lost their Brianna
The Professor in Hello You Must Be
Carlotta Cloakmotiv in Tis No Deceit
Violet Ravenstone in Miss Maypole
Carrie Ann in DreamBear as part of the Indie LARP sampler on Sunday morning.
Person wearing a red hand-dragon who was nodding off at closing ceremonies.

Full con report is here. I have tagged for SPOILERS.

Current Mood: reminiscent
Monday, March 2nd, 2015
1:35 pm
Intercon O con report - part I, The Dying of the Light
Home from Intercon, and as I feared, put-off responsibilities are crashing down on me, but I had a lovely weekend. Intercon really is one of the high points of my year, and this was no exception. I will now write about it in pieces, out of order, beginning not with the Friday night run of Brockhurst, but instead about the first game I played, The Dying of the Light.

About the right balance for me at a larp weekend is to run two things and play two things, preferably equally distributed across the weekend. I wanted to play The Dying of the Light because of the writer team— wired_lizard, mllelaurel, staystrong62805, and bleemoo —and because they beat Agent Bobo of the Resistance in the Iron GM of two years ago by something like a third of a point. It’s a high weirdness game, the sort where nobody is what they seem, which doesn’t usually interest me anymore, but this was a particularly well-done example.

Without spoiling too much, I was a chaos character, working to bring about the end of the world, and I believe, unless I’m mistaken, to have been the first player to actually make that happen. I love characters that give me an opportunity to have a socially acceptable outlet for my deeply-ingrained desire to lie and manipulate that I usually have to suppress in order to not be a terrible person. I told hideous untruths to my son with a monster inside him in order to enrage him enough to bring out his beast, then set him against my enemies, and then turned away any attempts to subdue him out of feigned motherly concern. At last, when everyone learned they had to execute him in order to save the universe, I told him to run and not look back, while using my shape shifting powers to impersonate him and die in his place. When they believed he was out of the way, they would think everything would be okay when in fact I had beaten them. Thusly, I lied and screwed my way to the end of everything, and it was very fun. I love being villains and manipulators, and it pleases me when I do a good job of it. I do not to be that person in real life, but frankly I get a little charge knowing I can pull it off when I want to. I also got to exchange bitchy bon mots with my ex-wife, and if there's anything I can do besides lie, it's be a Mean Girl. ;-)

As for how it compares to Bobo, the two games are honestly apples and oranges. DotL is a beautifully executed example of a larp form that is very difficult to keep from being tired at this point in the development of the form, while Bobo is experimental and innovative. Both are very well-thought out and provide an engaging play experience, but it is very possible to hate either of them if the form is not to your taste. But I was impressed at how well they made that larp style work, and I definitely had a good time in the game.
Monday, February 23rd, 2015
11:48 pm
Achieving Orbit in just a few days!

Okay, in just a few days Intercon O begins. We've worked hard on making this the best convention ever and there's so much happening!. The website will freeze tomorrow morning but there are still lots of LARPs with available roles and you can contact the GMs directly or check the Big Board at the convention.

You can read much more about Intercon O in our latest newsletter!

We look forward to seeing everyone in just a few days!

11:27 pm
Railways & Respectability Seeks Player for Male Character
Howdy, folks! "Railways" is down one player for a role that's a male character. Give a shout if you're interested!
Saturday, February 14th, 2015
7:47 pm
Intercon O Newsletter - So Much To Say!

Okay, we're counting down to Intercon O, in less than two weeks!

Read all the latest news about Intercon O here!

This newsletter is mainly about all the other things that are happening at Intercon O, including closing ceremonies, the raffle, swag for sale, the vendors and more!

I'm getting excited about Intercon O, aren't you?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
6:48 pm
Intercon O Before-the-convention Survey! (Get a Free Raffle Ticket!

Wow! In about two weeks, it is time for Intercon O! Of course, everyone is anticipating all of the great LARPing but there's more at Intercon O, including our fabulous raffle during closing ceremonies!

And every attendee at Intercon O has an opportunity to get a free raffle ticket by filling out our Before-the-convention Survey! It's a simple survey (and we'd love to have your feedback, too). We'll automatically enter your free ticket in the raffle.

Of course, at Intercon O, you'll have a chance to buy more raffle tickets. Stop by the Operations Desk for more details at the convention. But, don't forget to click here to get to the survey and secure your free ticket!

Look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
1:02 am
Intercon! The first sign of spring!
Well, it's early in 2015 and that means that Intercon O is coming up on the calendar fast! Here's the latest news letter, full of information. We'll have a few more as the convention gets closer, too, as there's always so much to talk about.
Monday, December 1st, 2014
3:05 pm
Intercon O LARP signups fully open!
This is the day! At 7pm EST tonight, you'll be able to sign up for as many LARPs as you can fit into a long, long weekend of sleep deprivation LARPing!

Read all about it in our latest newsletter.

We've got three more LARPs on the schedule, too:
  • "Tales of Inrh" run by Daniel Zaharopol, Stephanie Davis

  • "Reunions" by Sharone Horowit-Hendler

  • "Second Hand Spirit Animals: Second Time's the Charm" by Elisa Ford
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
1:05 pm
Intercon O 3rd LARP signup tonight at 7pm - More LARPs, too!
Hey, we've added even more LARPs to the Intercon O schedule, including these great LARPs.

► "Midsummer Mischief", run by Lise Fracalossi
► "Shadows over Mars", by Gail Freedman and Doug Freedman
► "1870: Container", by Catherine Havasi
► "Afterlife", by Samuel Dukhovni
► "Ascent to Hisseldale" by Kendra Beckler
► "Miss Maypole and the Christmas Pudding Affair", by Sue L.
► "An Evening at McAnallys Pub", by Bill Chapman
► "Murder at Elm Hall", by Thomas Wohlers
► "A Single Silver Coin", by Peter Litwack and Laura Boylan

We've also added more runs of "Interplanetary Federation - The Cadet Years", by John Hawley and Eva Schiffer.

There's some more important information, including news about an attendee cap, in our latest newsletter.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
9:47 am
2nd round of LARP signups for Intercon O starts tonight!
7pm EST tonight will begin the second round of Intercon O LARP signups. You'll be able to sign up for another LARP at Intercon O, for a total of two. (Unless, of course, you're one of our awesome GMs--you can always sign up for your own LARP.)

Check out the schedule as we've added half a dozen new LARPs.

You can't go wrong! They're all out-of-this-world LARPs! :-D
Thursday, November 13th, 2014
1:44 pm
LARP signup starts tonight!
Hello, LiveJournal friends! Hey, were you keeping track of the Rosetta probe and how it successfully put a lander on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko? Awesome, right? Well, did you know that 67P takes an orbit around the sun about every six-and-a-half years? Orbit...orbit...something about orbits....

Oh, yeah!

In a little more than five hours, at 7:00pm EST, the first LARP signup for Intercon O will begin. There are lots of great LARPs on the schedule already and, if you're on our mailing list, you've gotten this newsletter which has lots of information and links. Now that the excitement over Rosetta's success is over, this is the next out-of-this-world thing going on! What do you want to sign up for? I can't decide....

(By the way, we're still looking for your LARP or panel to be a part of our convention!)

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