As per usual, we’ll bid goodbye to a few games and promotions and, as is the trend, welcome more replacements…
2020 Ultimate New England Sport LARP Calendar
(and 2019 in Review)
2019 continued to show a steady growth in the New England Sport LARPing community. While the hobby shows signs of significant fracturing with the introduction of increasingly more (Accelerant, mostly) games, the overall strength and robust growth, not only in attendance but also in community-related businesses, points towards a continuous gain in momentum with few signs of slowing.
(As a side note, we have also seen a general rise in combat-centric one day events hosted by games such as Hearthlight, and Hallowdane – while we do not explicitly cover these systems as they tend to fall outside of our narrow focus and experience it is important to recognize that they are on the increase as well).
As per the usual, we’ll bid goodbye to a few games and promotions and, in what has become a trend, welcome far more replacements. From a community perspective, 2019 has seen (and 2020 will continue) a number of trends – from invite-only games, to cross-game ban lists and the expansion of LARP-focused business offerings.
We’ll try to cover all of these topics over the course of the winter, along with dipping our toes and then our entire face in the ongoing discussion about the pricing of events across New England and even a look at the supposed LARP-influencers and what they can and cannot bring to a game.
But before we let the screaming Hyenas out, on with the Calendar!
Our 2020 LARP Calendar covers Sport LARPs and upcoming LARPing events for the New England Area including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and beyond.
Exeunt, Stage Left, Pursued by Bear
In 2019 the following games left us:
- Evensong: Winged Throne wrapped up this successful, musically inspired game this year, raffled off all their props, and have moved on to other endeavors.
- Terres Rising: One of the oldest games in the New England Era, a large staff turnover is placing this game on hiatus for a year. We are looking forward to their revamp in 2021.
- Dysphoria Mania: Not quite sure what happened here – however, they did feature on an Episode of the 3, 2, 1, Lay-On Pod Cast so…there’s that?
- Fables of Fenorra: With its break from the organization formerly known as “NERO” International, Fables seemed ready to re-launch under Accelerant rules but never really managed to get things going.
- Starfall: The women-only scripted and staffed LARP one-shot to benefit charity of behalf of the Accelerant community couldn’t draw enough participants to make it worth running this year.
- Draconis: This Dungeons and Dragons inspired game with a small but enthusiastic player base came to an abrupt conclusion this year, but published fiction for the world is on the way, and a new campaign is on the horizon (see below).
- Verdwyn: A Tesla-Punk game with a ton of experienced staff had some work/life balance issues arise and the presenters chose to move it to permanent hiatus.
- Ink: After running a series of successful, genre-bending events, Ink has concluded and re-launched a 2nd, invite only game. Bogeyman: A seeming one-shot centered around horror, nightmare and dreaming concepts.
- Carnivale of Stars – the Anarcats: Possibly my favorite name for a LARP even, this never managed to get off the ground.
- “NERO” International Ravenholt: Despite the introduction of a long-heralded “Dream Team” of eager plot writers, the no-longer-legally-known-as “NERO” Ravenholt was unable to attract enough players to run any full time events this year and has none scheduled for the foreseeable future. While the original NERO Chapter still lives on in the NERO.World incarnation, the “NERO” International version seems to have passed.
- Osterath: An invite only game from the previous owner of CRO, Osterath has been put on hiatus in favor of a new offering.
- Pocket Monsters: A one-shot deep dive into the tragic history of Pokémon the world over.
- Tales from the Cotting House: An intermediary set of events run between Cottington Woods 1 and the recently announced Cottington Woods 2 (see below).
- Tales of Valor: This well attended game at Camp Howe in Goshen successfully concluded their arc and is in the process of launching another one.
Welcome all old and young
In 2020, your chance to get in on the ground floor includes the following:
- Tales of Valor: Fellowship. The 3rd iteration of the Tales of Valor series; if you enjoy being hit in the head during combat, this is the game experience for you! All joking aside, ToV has presented a consistently well-attended story going on for years now and the opportunity to experience it from the ground-up is a worthwhile addition to anyone’s LARP schedule.
- Fealty: A game of Knighthood and Alignment, featuring opt-in PVP settings and the return of IG nobility, now with the added bonus of no bullying.
- Arcane Skies: The latest from Mike OJ, one of the founders of Ebonrock and a performing magician. Arcane Skies is described as “an Industrial Revolution Urban Fantasy LARP.”
- Cottington Woods 2: The continuation of the Fairy Tale setting (as opposed to the Fairy Tail setting) of the original Cottington Woods campaign.
- Draconis 2: A reset of the Dungeons and Dragons-themed LARP of the same name.
- Katzia: A female-invite only game play testing at the Burgundar site in the Fall.
- Ouroboros: Now here’s something interesting; significant genre change! This somewhat tricky to pronounce game is set in “a world inspired by bronze and iron age cultures” and features playable character backgrounds influenced by Slavic, Mesoamerican and Maori cultures among others.
- Satanic Panic: A one-shot (perhaps) set in the 1980s, this game explores the faux-moral outrage of that time – quite a bold choice, as many of us grew up living through that. Likely the first game that specifically seeks to create a fictional space involving participants who are from that time. We can’t wait to see how this one turns out!
- The Scarlet Letters: Originally designed to be a theatre LARP, the Scarlet Letters explores the late 1800s with themes of transitional occultism.
- Village of Idiots: Absurdist Acolyte Dan Comstock is at it again! On the heels of the highly disregarded Goat LARP, Dan brings his Discordian mockery of all things LARP back into a more human focus with a game featuring noble heroes and a village of crafty hooligans, prepared to make idiots of all who try to help them. As the saying goes, with “Great Power comes Absolutely No Responsibility.”
- Everything at Burgundar: My gods (!) does Burgundar in Souther Maine afford a lot of games the opportunity to test out theme and rules before fully launching. This year they’re offering playtests on not only the aforementioned Katzia, but also Star Hunter: Origins, Apocalypse Showdown, Out of the Ashes and even their own Burgundar 2020 Renaissance Faire Day.
Camp Site News
- Tolgy Woods. Fully staffed and opened, offering a mixed-choice rental opportunity of up to three separate sites for all games, large and small. Numerous work days have already occurred to freshen up the site, remove debris, and maintain the grounds.
- Camp Middlesex . Located in Ashby, Ma (aka Camp F*** That Hill) is undergoing a much needed renovation. Their once-fine cabins, which used to have working heaters and are now given over to hornets most of the time, are set to be modernized and their bathhouses, featuring trenched hand-washing stations/urinals will finally get the attention they have been lacking for, oh, the last decade or so. This site plans to re-open post-summer for general rental.
- Camp Brantwood. Home to the long running Endgame/Crossover set of events (going on…what…15 years now?) as well as hosting a number of other games over the last 20 or so years, has decided to de-prioritize renting to LARP groups. This does not mean the camp is unavailable, it just means that dates may become much hard to come by in the coming years than they were before.
- Dragon’s Den. This campsite-to-be from the creators of Empires in Flames has chosen to re-focus and re-commit to their capital campaign; offering more rewards directly in line with those who attend their events. So far, they have raised $2,300+ out of an initial goal of $10,000.
- Camp Sidereus. Aside from a brief walkthrough video posted last year there have been no public updates.
- LARP Box/B3IS. Bart and Ben (what is it with the alliteration!) have formed a strategic partnership and opened up New England’s first physical LARP Store. In addition to offering a ton of high quality B3 gear, they also stock Epic Armory in quantity and have begun to expand into related gaming materials (such as Magic: the Gathering). They are currently sponsoring a $500 give-away to the game that sends in the most participants in a set timeframe, so be sure to stop by and register your attendance!
- Made by Hand Leather. Caleb, a longtime LARPer, continues his successful leather goods business, attending many New England Faires. In addition to being an Epic Armory reseller, Caleb is a huge proponent of Biccoline, having established his own, self-constructed cabin on their site; a good resource for any interested in North America’s largest Sport LARP gathering (yes, yes Daoghirir, we see you over there).
- The Nexus. Owned and run by E. Neal Belt III, the Nexus is Rhode Island’s link to the Sport LARP community. The long-time runner of Sidereus has opened his gaming store to numerous LARP style events and sponsored concerts by the Furies. There is always something happening here in this under-served LARP community.
- LARPGirl has reinvented her social media presence and rebranded as “Kaza Marie and the LARP Girl Adventures.” For the New England Community, she previously documented her journeys at Karruath and Blessing. Recently, she has turned her attention to Empires in Flames, posting a series of YouTube videos following the exploits of her team. Funding is now handled through Ko-Fi.
- Red Rabbits. The team from Witchtowers, progenitors of games such as Satanic Panic, the Scarlet Letters, Ink, Dark Ink, Ink 2, After Dark and Madrigal: Oathbound , have created a Patreon Podcast to focus on their work called Red Rabbits. Exploring a vast list of topics and with multiple funding tiers, the Red Rabbits produce several episodes of their podcast a week – the subscriber level that gives access to Red Rabbits After Dark is highly recommended.
- 4 Dirty Paws. Erin, a longtime Madrigal player and baker, has a Patreon focused around her artwork, heavily influenced by the LARPs she participates in. Aside from running the excellent Laughing Oak Bakery, which delivers breads and pastries to games, her access levels feature personalized sketches and genre-specific art – updated weekly.