2014 saw a number of games step off for a first season or follow-up an initial offering with a strong second go around or a continued presence lasting a few years.
Accelerant-wise, Cottington Woods ran a number of story-book oriented fantasy events this year, drawing participants from the popular but finished (we think?) Seven Virtues Campaign, and establishing a well-attended player base of their own. Local gossip from the game remarks that any common townsfolk seeking solace in a dangerous world need only look so far as a bakery shop. Shadows of Amun took a bold risk and jumped their advertised campaign setting back in time, exploring historical context and scholarly endeavors in the face of nameless horrors, reminiscent of early Chaosium Lovecraft based adventures. Clearly a game offering new experiences almost every weekend! Zombies: Aftershock also scheduled their yearly event for folks looking for a one off feel with a continuing character. And finally Occam’s Razor, the follow-up to Lost Eidolons, presented a wildly intriguing post-apoc meets Shadowrun setting. With an impressive wait list, OR and their beautiful campsite in NH are certainly making an impressive showing. In fact, it’s the only game where you can literally play a Highlander (and about 492 other classes) right out of the movies (“Holy Ground!” Indeed).
Challenging the norms of traditional LARP events, Arcane hosted two “prequel” events. While kinks remain to be worked out, persistent NPCs and a theatrical European-LARP based fighting style present an intriguing alternative to the traditional New England LARPs. A number of challenges still remain for a gaming system which has presented a slate of conceptual ideas but we feel the heroic efforts and passion of their staff members will not disappoint!
Likewise, the afore-mentioned Draconis LARP is looking to push boundaries – well in to 2016 I might add. With a unique concept they have certainly positioned themselves to challenge the status quo in New England LARPing and all reports from the small player base that attended their first event indicate it was a rousing success. Even now, I am assembling my 6 person team for their spring events.
Raggedy Edge Entertainment (I hope I got that right), the writing collective behind Ye Old Commons, offered their next Melting Point yearly event which is one of the few games to draw players from across the spectrum of New England LARPs.
Finally, big plans have finally taken shape up in Maine! MASI (the Maine Adventure Society), which has been running a myriad of events stretching back into the late 1990s , continued with their Mystwood chronicles and a host of other unique one-offs, combining a family friendly play style with a rustic adventuring experience. At least once in every New England LARPers life one should make the drive up to just north of Augusta to experience the immersive glory that is the MASI site in Jefferson, Maine. Burgundar, the other fully immersive Maine site, also spent the year hosting a chapter of Mystwood and few one-offs of their own. Literally carving their site out of the woods of Harrison, Maine – Burgundar is quickly becoming the place to be for a gaming experience with minimal “real world” intrusions.