When playing in a LARP, sometimes you make Mistakes. Mistakes happen regardless of how long you have been playing the game. There are various types of Mistakes... Rules Mistakes, Genera Mistakes, Social Mistakes, IC/OOC Mistakes. *Metagaming is not a Mistake, Metagaming is deliberately using OOC knowledge IC.
So what do you do when a Mistake happens.
1. Do not freak out. Stop, take a breath and remind yourself Mistakes happen. (We play supernatural creatures, but we are only human).
2. Figure out what the mistake was, and what the correct action should have been.
3. Is it something that can be fixed with a spending of Etiquette, then do that.
4. Determine if the consequences for the mistake fit the crime/mistake.
5. Determine if you can handle the consequences of the mistakes even if they are out of proportion for the mistake. (This is where you look and see an RP opportunity. Maybe there is more to the consequences then you see.)
6. Talk to the STs if you really think things are being handled unfairly, or you can't handle RPing out the consequences. ST can also be asked about how you can fix the situation.
7. Last resort is the STs will step in and Retcon the mistake, or modify the scene and consequences.
This leads us to next topic... Mentors.
If your a newer player, finding another Player to Mentor you is a good thing (IC, OOC or both). They can help explain rules, and powers and how the game works. The STs try and help, but they can get busy with so many players.
Mentors are also good at looking at a situation or mistake and seeing how it can be a teachable moment. Older players were new once and can tell stories about the mistakes they made. They also can give insight into a situation. You’ll find some of the best RP moments come about due to mistakes.
In the end, the worst consequence is character death or your character being unplayable. This is just as game, and look at it as a chance to make something new and different. This game does not have a win or lose to it, but game is the story told. Hopefully the story was interesting for the character, and getting killed IC certainly is. Retiring a character out of boredom is not a good story.
Sierra has recently been working on cloaks for OWBN characters, to help them appear more regal or mysterious. She makes them by hand and customize them to each person and character's liking. Using various designs, materials, and details including embroidery and prints. She is taking commissions, and can be contacted via Email (Sierra109@gmail.com).
LARPing and Relationships
When geeks gather, there are often those who use such gatherings to find sexual partners. Now a days it's not just the single geeks but married geeks looking for a side thing, or poly-amorous who just have so much love to give. I know many geeks who have met their partners or significant others via their geek hobbies, because it's a great way to find like minded individuals. In normal dating apps there really isn't a space to list that you dress up as a vampire or werewolf without it sounding like a fetish. We are past the days of the stereotype that geeks are single socially awkward males that live in a basement, and while stereotypes can have some truth behind them, with geekdom being more mainstream we have moved beyond that.
So when it comes to LARPing and relationships there are several things to take into account, the most important is Consent. Most games have a No Touching rule, it's part of the LotNr basic rules even. Just because a character appears single, or straight, or in a relationship with another PC, this does not mean that the Player is anything like their character. Players like to play something different from themselves, it's an escapism from our every days lives. So also take into account that while you may find the player sexually attractive, their character may not be as attractive. If your character is attractive use that for your advantage IC but DO NOT use it to pressure other players into being nice or to notice you because of your own sexual interest in them OOC. This goes for using powers as well, DO NOT dominate the sexy guy to take his shirt off because you want to see him topless. Remember Garou do not mate with Garou, Vampire bits don't work, Mages don't have time, and Changelings are generally children!
The best time to meet and talk to players you have sexual interest in is AFTER GAME. Get to know the player, just like you would anyone else you would want to 'date'. Find out if they are single, or in an open relationship, and are they even interested in you? Want to find out about how someone feels about you? Simple... just ask! We are adults and can communicate with each other. Along those same lines, if someone has interest in you, and you are not interested, not single, etc... let the person know. Once everyone knows the situation, RESPECT each other and there decision in regards to the situation. We are no longer children where we hit the pretty girl because we like her, or we keep asking the guy out until he finally says yes. Here we respect Xe not having interest and move on, your not so magical you can change opinions. We also should support each other, call each other out for bad behaviour, for harassment, or even just inappropriate jokes, most games have a Player Rep you can go to, or the STs. If she's flirting with the married man who you know is not in an open relationship, then let her know it's not appropriate (or politely inquire if she's gotten consent from the married man, and his husband to for good measure).
Once your in a relationship, your LARPing experience will change, especially if you both LARP. Some couples do not want to be put into opposition with each other, so they make connections between their characters. Some couples have no problem with opposition or even enjoy it. The key is COMMUNICATION, just as in a relationship, communicating about your comfort level in regards to LARP is important. Do you have to scale back your LARPing to spend time with your Significant Other? Are you being brought to LARP to share in your SO's hobby? As your relationship grows how will that effect your LARPing. Is someone going to stay with the kids? What about budget concerns for event games for two instead of just one? There are lots of other couples that can help you with advice and what works for them, but each couple is different, so you will need to work out these issues together, and thus Communication.
The last topic to cover is when a relationship ends or has problems. When both players LARP it's hard not just on the couple but the game as well. There seems to be a sort of feeling that one of the pair gets the LARP in the 'divorce'. Both parties likely have friends in the LARP, and could both use the emotional support of the players, and the escapism of the characters. There are high emotions, lies are often told by both sides, and the LARP becomes an OOC battle ground. Characters having made ties due to OOC relationships to make LARPing easier for the couple, are now repressive and painful. There is no easy solution to this issue, but the first step is to be AWARE of what you may be doing to each other, to your friends and to the LARP. Real Life ALWAYS comes first, and the end of the relationship should be separate from the game. Take a few weeks off from the LARP to re-center yourself, and remember what it was like before the relationship. Talk to your Player Rep and/or STs in regards how to adjust the characters if connections become uncomfortable, arrange to switch off games if you can't see the other person, you may have to take a break from the character for awhile. Also be aware that there may be a desire to get revenge on the player by attacking their character. It's part of the high emotions, and it can be a sort of natural reaction to the effect of the hurt the player is feeling. Just like with any scene, if you are not able to handle it, you can always pass your sheet off to an ST to run your character for you. Take a break, count to 10, leave the OOC drama at the door. We all know it's not easy, and all the advice here does little against the high emotions, take care of yourself first. Remember this is only a hobby, if your not having fun, GO HOME.
So to Summarize: Consent, Respect, Communication, and Awareness.
*Please note I used different genders/relationship pairings then just Heterosexual monogamous because there is a lot more out there then just that.
Photos from Sacramento Mini-Event, provided by Partch Portraits