in Blog, LARP

I finished pretty much everything I spelled out in this earlier post, but there’s more to do for Fifth Gate!

  • Finish overdress (I’m on like step 7 out of 42)
  • Finish cloak/invocation circle (see: featured image for this post)
    • Fix the gnarly hand-sewing bits
    • Attach hood
    • Cut lining fabric
    • Apply lining
    • Hem
    • Apply closure
    • Scotchguard it (since it’s going to be on the ground and I’m going to be standing on it, I’ll need something to protect the intricate embroidery and painting)
  • Acquire some sort of belt
  • Acquire/make some sort of pouch to hold packets (could use the leather purse I use for NPCing, but it’s pretty small. Then again, I don’t have that many packet attacks)
  • Finish Orb of Battle (Matt is helping with this)
    • paint the remaining symbols
    • second layer of paint on all symbols
    • attach chain to orb and to belt
  • Figure out what I’m wearing on my legs (black fleece leggings? buy leggings to match brown overdress? Wear brown costume pants over thermal underlayer?)
  • Try on full outfit
  • Memorize my incants! Or, more generally, my abilities (how many Heal by Magics do I have? What costs Spirit, how much Spirit do I have, and how much do I have left? If I’m casting, what the heck do I do with my staff, since I didn’t buy the ability that allows me to cast with a staff in one hand?)
  • Acquire some appropriate-looking note-taking supplies. This could just be the notebook I use for the same thing while NPCing, I suppose.

Other things I’d like long-term, which I won’t get to for game 1:

  • additional outfits
  • a full-length cloak to go with the small one that doubles as my invocation circle
  • better belt and pouches, to match my costume
  • fancy hangings to go around my bunk? The “old sheets” method is less than attractive.
  • incorporate an Orb of Battle into a staff (can’t use the current one, alas, as it’s not boffer-safe)

Our warband, the Eyrie — the “team” I belong to in 5G Silverfire — had a fight practice on Sunday, organized by the lovely Fair Escape. Some Wrathborn players also showed up, as well as a bunch of random Festival of the LARPs congoers who wanted to learn about Accelerant. Together, they provided convenient mooks for us to fight.

The two Wrathborn players, who are very experienced larpers, even created fake mods for us to do, like “fight your way to the top of the hill, where you will find the artifact called the Jade Bedroll (i.e. someone’s sleeping bag).” Once there, we each needed to rest for one minute on the Jade Bedroll to be successful. Despite the silliness of it, I would play that mod again!

The biggest thing I learned, flexing Ianthe on the battlefield the first time? PCing is nothing like NPCing.

NPCing has taught me enough about Accelerant that I recognize the calls and know the etiquette. On the other hand, it’s taught me almost nothing about keeping track of economy — Vitality, Spirit, other attributes; number of heals, number of packet attacks, etc. Most NPCs, after all, are written to have abilities that are limited by number of uses (i.e. “3 x Grant 1 Protection by Magic”) or by how often you can use them (“an uncalled packet every 10 seconds”).

And most NPCs don’t have incantations (“incants”) — those flavorful phrases you need to say before an effect verbal. I thought I had my incants memorized, but it’s one thing to remember them while sitting in your room, and another when someone is charging you. I have literally made myself flash cards to remember them, because as a heavy healer, I have no less than seven, each of them eight syllables or more.

Looking at this, and analyzing the amount of flailing around pointlessly I did, it’s tempting to say I haven’t learned anything from my Two Years of NPCing Dangerously. But there are folks on my team who are even less experienced than I am, and that reminds me of what it was like starting from zero.

When they talk about how hard it is to even notice they are being hit, I remember having that problem at my first fight practice back in 2013. Now, I have a lot more situational awareness. (Still not enough, I feel — but some!)

At my first game NPCing for Shadows, I didn’t know how to answer if someone used “Diagnose Stable” on me. Now, I can reliably recall if I took uncalled or called damage.

Nowadays, too, I know why it’s important to have enough armor and Vitality to take a three-point uncalled flurry!

So, NPCing has been valuable, but it’s only part of the equation. I would definitely recommend it before PCing, especially to folks who feel a lot of anxiety about “doin’ it wrong,” as I did. (I’m one of those people who HATES that whole “incompetence” phase of learning). I would just caution that it won’t teach you everything you need, and there’s going to be another learning curve when you start PCing.

Let’s hope it’s not too steep.