With Family Like This…

As part of our packed Summer LARP schedule, Acata ran Guild Camp this August/September.  Guild Camp is intended to be a workshop and writing intensive for new LARP writers, where a team of writers work together to learn how to write an Assassins’ Guild style LARP, then put one together and run it in about a month’s time.  This year’s team just ran their LARP a week or so ago.  It was great fun!  Betty, one of the GMs, wrote up a report.

The Luminary Role-play Society ran the newest Guild Camp game on a languid afternoon in Mitchell Park Library on Sunday, September 17th, 2017. Co-written by three first time writers Louis Wasserman, Amy Russo, and Betty Bong, “With Family Like This…” was an MIT-style three-hour one-shot no PvP-combat LARP for nine players. It was written at a breakneck pace in just over a month with the guidance of Zampolit Acata. The game was followed by the LRS Social event in the evening. 

In a universe where superpowered people are a fact of life, this game was set in a world reminiscent of those in films like the Incredibles or Sky High. A family of superpowered people vying for control over cities are called to their supervillainess matriarch’s table for a rare family dinner. 

If the goal was to explore family dynamics in a way that was both campy and poignant, it was incredibly successful. Even though there was little pregame work was involved for the cast, they were able to push the game off to a quick start at 2pm. Both new and experienced players were quick to slip into the familiarities of a family gathering. Organizers encouraged players to make up outlandish stories about their character’s siblings or children. GMs were heavily involved with mechanics and in some cases almost transcended their NPC roles. Although the game had a lot going on in the way of mechanics, the players were given the choice whether of not they had to interact with them.

”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. 

Tolstoy said it, so it must be true. Keep an eye out for future runs of this game early next year to experience the split-your-sides funny or snot-runningly weepy moments that define all complicated families.

Amy adds:

One of the highlights of game was the family dinner where players took the encouragement to improv to new heights weaving together LARP plots, current news, and family announcements. The GMs and Zampolit got to sit back and watch this unfold in a beautiful scene.  It even attracted a few spectators from the library patrons who our Zampolit, Acata, helped welcome and explained the process what LARPing was and what our current scenes were about.

Guild camp is truly an experience where much is learned about LARP writing, group dynamics and yourself as a writer.  If you are interested in learning how to write a game, consider reaching out to the LRS to find your own Zampolit or the dates for the next Guild Camp.

There were so many great quotes from this one, but the only one that we have found so far is this one, from a discussion of one of the game’s supervillains:
“He’s not that bad.”
“Actually, he is the definition of a bad guy.”

We’re definitely looking forward to the next run of this game, as well as any future LARPs this team might put together!

-Sarah, Historian Luminant

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