Pandora’s Tears

Your historian luminant has been sadly remiss of late, for which I apologize.  It’s been over a month since the last LRS event, and I’m only now getting around to talking about it – which is especially ridiculous because I ran said event.  My only excuse is that I’ve been busy developing repertoire for the rest of the year, and of course, working on Grand LARP.

Back in early February, I ran Pandora’s Tears, a LARP that I originally wrote a few years ago as a moody Halloween game.  It was later run again at the Stanford Gaming Society, which would make the LRS run the third iteration.  Aaron Sunshine was on hand to assist me, and Acata came to take pictures but also stepped in to help manage a combat or two. (Thanks!)  We had a brilliant cast of players, which included veterans of my LARPs who had missed the earlier runs, people who had never played in one of my LARPs before, and a few brave souls who were new (or almost new) to LARPing in general.

Rerunning LARPs is a fascinating experience, because each run is very distinct, and each set of players will always find something new in the game.  After two runs of Pandora’s Tears, there were many things that I assumed I knew about how this game would shake out.  My players challenged those assumptions.  They engaged with different portions of the backstory than previous groups had, and that changed many fundamental things about the tone and direction of the game.  Certain plot elements were pivotal which had heretofore rarely been touched, and others were untouched which had previously been central to the game’s plot, purely based on choices which the players made.  This particular run was far bloodier than its predecessors had been, but oddly, also contained some of the most uplifting moments I’ve seen in any iteration.  I was very excited by it.