Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Well it's more than time for an update :-)
Manticore 16 is right in front of us. Only a couple of days to go and people can be back in Mythandir, the mystical world of Manticore.
The team is prepared and ready, if all goes as planned it'll be a great one :-)

Next on the list is an update on Calam.
We are building a strong team for the next event. Main scenario theme is set and we now need to fill it out and add extra's to give a boost to this young event. We've listened to all the feedback we got and are set to create a great event and wonderfull experience.

In my last post I promised pictures from Dragonbane, well here is the first one. (Copyright for this picture lies with www.dragonbane.org). Click on it for larger version, can you find me?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's been quiet for a long time.

It's been some time since I've updated this blog. This does not mean that nothing special happened, it just means that I was too busy with a lot of things.

Of all the things that I've been doing to following are noteworthy:
- we've got a crew for Calam II (with at least 4 people working on scenario :-) )
- my character in Saga joined the Deathwind (i.e. the undead) against his will :-( (but the event in itself was  G R E A T ) => I'll need to create a new character
- Manticore XVI is coming closer (december), subscriptions are running good and the team is getting ready for a super weekend.
- I'm collecting articles for an upcoming online (pdf and free) Larp magazine, Cloak & Dagger. The first issue is set for January 2009 and if everybody delivers on time it will be well filled magazine.

I'll see that I'll post some pictures of Dragonbane here to make up for all the missed Pictures of the Month.
For the rest keep on larping and keep on posting comments :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oneiros, rejoice

A couple of weeks ago I posted a topic that I had mixed feelings about the direction that Oneiros was about to undertake.
Well, since yesterday I'm no longer having mixed feelings. The faith that I've had in the new president (and the 2 new board members) has already been rewarded.
People, it is my feeling that the downward spiral has been stopped! :-) If we keep up working as we started yesterday I believe that in a year from now Oneiros, will be both a better and stronger (both financially and organisationally) association than it ever was.
The road ahead will still contain some bumps, but with the good driver we now have behind the wheel we will be able to travel this road.
Let's raise our pint of beer to the new direction Oneiros is heading for.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dragonbane the Legacy

Two weeks ago the Dragonbane book was put online. Last week I received a printed copy along with a DVD containing photo's of the game itself.
I must say that they did a thorough job in the book. It contains all the good and bad things that happened with Dragonbane. They tell about their vision, what they achieved, where they went wrong etc.
All in all a very good book for everyone who wants to organise a Larp.
Here's the link to the book: http://stuff.wanderer.org/DB_the_Legacy.pdf
I'm also very happy to find a picture of myself in the book(page 25, top picture, 2nd from the left) as this is the only one of me at Dragonbane. Now I can proof I was there :-)

All this makes me dream of going back to Sweden and have a larp at that site. As the village that was made for Dragonbane is still there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Larp and IC fora

These days it's unthinkable to imagine a world without the internet.
The same goes with a larp without an IC forum.
In some larps the forum is used as a place where the players can have IC chats with their IC friends. But I'm seeing more larps using the IC forum as a place to undertake actions that can have big impact on the Larp itself.

I personally use the Manticore IC forum only to fill the gap between larps, but the actions taken on the forum are mostly without consequence on the Larp itself (unless the PC makes bold statements or such).
But now there are some larps that have e.g. a whole court action going on at their IC forum instead of having that whole scene on the larp itself. Personally I find that such a thing is becoming more a form of online-forum-rpg instead of a larp forum.
People who don't read the game forum (and there are plenty of those) can not follow that said court action and thus miss out on a part of the larp. In the end this can result in a lot of actions having happened in the larp world which only happened on the IC Forum. The result is that those who don't visit the IC forum may find the next larp event in a totally different setting.

Personally I find that a wrong direction, but what are your idea's on larp and IC forum, what is your opinion in how far one should be able to go on the IC forum? Let me know via the comments.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oneiros vzw

One of the largest Larp associations in Belgium is having trouble.
Yesterday was the General Meeting of Oneiros vzw, the Larp association where I organise Manticore. While some good came out of this meeting (e.g. the ellection of two new board members who are, in my view, more capable than some others in the General Board) I left the meeting with mixed feelings.
On one hand do I have a good hope in getting out of the downwards fall that Oneiros has been into since more than a year, but on the other hand some decisions were made that, in my opinion, continues with that downwards fall.
But the current president of Oneiros gets my approval and I'll see what happens on the 24th of September when the new General Meeting will take place, I just hope that it'll show signs of a new upwards direction and break with the current strategy that has been in place for years.

One thing I hope for is that the mandatory membership will be removed as I believe that has been one of the worst decesions ever made (and the main reason why I left the board last year)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Picture of the month

Before this month is gone I have a new picture of the month.
This time it's not a recent one, but one from the good ol' days.

This is one of the last Caege, before it was called "Caege Renaissance". It's the last image where there were a lot of Elves in a Larp. After this larp there never came one where there were a lot of player Elves.
Most people know that I like to play an Elf and I find it a bit sad that there are so little larps with a lot of Elf players. In "Caege Renaissance" I started with 2 friends as Elves and we had great fun, but those 2 friends now no longer play an Elf and I haven't been participating some time now. Hopefully I'll find the time again to participate in "Caege Renaissance" again and drag some other Elf players along.

More pictures of the last Caege can be found here


Now that Calam took place I can put Manticore back on my main list (Calam will of course stay in my priorities list, but Manticore will take precedence).
First thing that will happen is a Manticore team meeting this week to discuss some general Manticore stuff. After this meeting the team will start working on Manticore 16 which will take place in December.
In the meantime we've started to kick the Manticore forum back alive with some new twists in the IC section.

Calam - afterwords

The fact that I write this blog entry 2 weeks after Calam is a statement in itself.

Calam wasn't good in terms of statisfaction. Some people enjoyed the event while others just didn't and left early.

The blame for this I place with myself. The concept of Calam was based on some Larps that I've played in the UK (Maelstrom) and in Sweden (Dragonbane). I took the high standards from Dragonbane and the no-scenario-by-crew concept from Maelstrom. This I mixed together, added a setting and this resulted in Calam.

One problem was that some people thought our high standards were too extreme (we got comments like: "this is re-enactment, not larp") which led to us not having a lot of participants, which in turn resulted in not a lot of people that could create interesting plots for themselves (via extensive background).

The no-scenario-by-crew concept works if you have a lot of participants (say 200+). So with only 54-ish participants that concept clearly didn't work. Now, we did have some basic plot elements but most of them were connected to too few npc's and when you loose one of the main npc's on saturday morning you have a plot-less larp.

Some people told me that we messed up majorly and that the name Calam is doomed and should be left behind. While I acknowledge that I did mess up I don't believe the name Calam is doomed. Even the most critical participants say that the main problem was scenario, it seems that they liked the high standards, the cooking on open fire, the world setting, ... Also when we asked the women who were present if they liked Calam they were actually all positive. It seems women like the low-action kind of larp (i.e. a larp with not a lot of fighting).

So for now, I will keep working on ways to fix all that went wrong at Calam and prepare the team for Calam II (which I will keep calling Calam :-) ). Cause I believe we can make Calam work, we only need to fix what is wrong and to that end we'll be posting a questionnaire soon to get a full image of what went wrong, but also of what went right.

In the end I have to view Calam I as a testing of a (for Belgium) new larp concept where we were shown what worked and what not. It's that valuable information that will be used to make the next event a real larp and not just a larp camping.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Marketing Calam

Thanks to the excellent help of Nico Van Aerde we've updated the website of the Calam larp.
The site is much nicer to look at and better to find all the info.
Click on the image or here to visit it.

I believe we are now a bit closer to the marketing guidelines I posted before. But we still have some work in orde to be able to check all the items off my to do list :-)
In the meantime a third teaser has been added to the site. I'm also working on a general Calam teaser which will be a mix of the three teasers with some additional clips.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Marketing a larp

With my new larp Calam slowly getting it's participants I came to the realisation that larp marketing of the old days is no longer the way to go.
In the old days we just put out word that there was a new larp coming and suddenly you were the center of attention of the larp community.

Now that is no longer enough, there are now so much more larps organised that you really need to stand out, you really need to have a website that says: if you're into larping then you just can't miss this larp.

This is a lesson that I'm now learning. In the past it was ok to say: more info coming soon. Today that no longer holds true.

So this is my option of marketing a new larp today:
  • include pictures on each and every page of your website (drawings are no good, people want to see finished costumes and finished props).
  • make sure that when you start your marketing that ALL the info is available, don't go for: info coming soon.
  • when posting video make them firstly appeal to those who have not yet subscribed. The video should be an introduction to your larp and make people think that they just can not miss this larp. Other video with scenario clues are ok, but they won't draw the new people in. New people need to be awed, when they have subscribed then they'll want the scenario video's.
  • when all the above are done, you can start your marketing, post a note on all larp fora you know, and keep visiting those fora, as questions will be posted there. Always answer kindly and point them to you events fora, that way directing more people to it. Also write to larp organisers to let them know of your new larp, they in turn will check your site out and if they are impressed they'll contact their own playerbase.
  • keep your own website and forum alive: make periodic posts on your website to keep it alive, if your website doesn't get updated regularly with news or such, people will stop visiting it. The same holds true for your forum, posting regularly keeps people coming back and keeps the forum alive.
  • lack of updates to the website/forum will mean that people start thinking of not going anymore, they start to doubt. Even if your team is very active behind the scenes you might loose people due to the lack of communication.
  • since you already posted all the info on your website when you went live you might wonder how to keep it alive. Here are some possible idea's:
    • add new pictures (and update the pictures on all pages regularly)
    • add new video (post the video on youtube, vimeo, facebook, ... the more channels you can be found on the better)
    • add an IC newsletter (this is the best way to keep people coming back, especially if you can make it a regular newsletter)
    • add a news section: new prop finished, made deal with a shop, FAQ updated, ...
Well that's all for now. I'm now in need of updating the Calam site to follow the above guidelines :-) Other idea's are always welcome.

Picture of the month

I'm finally back with a picture of the month :-)

Here's a picture of a typical King's Guard soldier of the Calam larp.
More pictures can be found here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Calam teaser

Last week I posted the new Calam teaser online.
This teaser also lifts the curtain to some plots going on in the world of Calam. Some important bits of information are given in the teaser, can you find them :)
The teaser can be found at www.calam.eu

Two weeks ago we also made the frames of 5 big Viking style tents. Now we only need to finish the stitching of the tent fabric and we can scratch that off our props-list.

I'll see that I'll also post some extra pictures online of the Calam filming/cooking weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Calam: first teaser online

As said we shot some video-clips last weekend. I managed to finish a first teaser yesterday (is awesome fast editing work for me ;-) ).

You can watch it at www.calam.eu

You're always welcome to leave feedback. :-)
Next on my schedule is to make a picture review of IC cooking. I hope to finish that by the beginning of next week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Calam photoshoot and filming

This evening the Calam crew will go to the area where Calam will take place.
We will shoot some demo video's and teasers, also a photoshoot is planned.
One of the goals is to film IC cooking done be the crew, showing that it's doable to cook IC for yourself without a lot of prior experience :-)

If all goes well the first video will be online at the end of next week. I'll also post some pictures next week to make up for the missed Picture of the Month in March :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Saga and Calam

Last weekend brought us the next episode of the Saga larp. This is a larp set in a medieval arabic world. They manage to get the mix in fighting and role-play perfect so that people who don't want to fight find their pleasure in the role-play and vice versa :-).
Although it snowed, hailed and rained it was an excellent larp. It made me forget that I missed out on the first Maelstrom of the year.
If you like a larp with mystery, eastern influence and great food then look for Saga.

It's now also more than a month that we started promoting Calam and the feedback is still very positive. Interest is growing and the subscriptions have started. Although we still need to clarify some rules we are getting close to the completely finished website.
First costumes are looking good and the first potential partners are responding well.

So here are some links:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Picture of the month

Here's a new picture of the month.
I took this one at Manticore XV.

I rather like this one as I shot it without a flash in a room only illuminated by candlelight.

Here's a link to the page of all the pictures I took at Manticore XV: http://larp-gallery.eu/main.php?g2_itemId=3156

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great weekend

Last weekend brought us Manticore XV: Thanatos. It was a stressfull event to organise but only due to the fact that we only had access to the buildings at Friday noon (normally we have access on Thursday evening). But luckily the crew was used to working under stress and in the end the stress was almost non existant.
According to the feedback we're getting it was considered even better as Manticore XIV (which was considered one of the best, if not the best). This of course makes the team very proud and in fact the Great Storyteller (Vince) has already started on the script of Manticore XVI.

With Manticore XV we also started the promo of my new larp: Calam. Calam is a new kind of larp in Belgium (as far as I know at least). It has no 'on paper skills' that can be used during the game. Everything is via roleplay (besides some small exceptions). First feedback of the site (www.calam.eu) is very positive, so I do hope we'll get a lot of participants.

Later this week I'll post some pictures of Manticore XV that I took

Friday, February 01, 2008

News and a teaser

Manticore XV is very nearby, only 2 weeks to go.
The crew is really anxious for this one and we see the same amongst our players. They are more active on the forum (manticore.oneiros.be/forum) and they are holding their own IC get togethers.

But Manticore is at this moment not my only larp I'm working at. There is of course Banapsis (2009) and a new one that will remain nameless for at least a week or so :-)
But I would like to give you a small insight in what it's about with this small teaser

It was early in the morning that Jorge got out of his tent. Still in his smallclothes he walked up to a nearby tree and let nature have it's flow. When that was done he looked at his surroundings and smiled. He saw the metal boys of that king, knights they call themselves, keep a good watch at what he and the rest of his clan were doing. Well, they were in for a surprise once the others would arrive.
Holding his amulet in his right hand he thanked the spirit of his greatfather for the opportunity that was given to him. Soon he might get his revenge, yes soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Manticore XV: Thanatos

Well, 12 days after my last post complaining that we still need alot of people for upcoming Manticore the counter is now at 89 participants. So that's way much better than the 60 we had in the beginning of January.
But it's still 21 less than we had in November last year.
Of course 53 of those 89 still need to pay so I hope they'll do that :-)

Anyway, if we will have less than 110 it'll have proven my point to the board of Oneiros: making membership mandatory in order to allow people to participate is a bad thing! Why am I sure that this will be the reason we might not get enough people? Almost every Manticore (especially since Manticore 11) has been getting more and more positive feedback. Each event resulted in more participants than the event before. Our last event was considered by alot of participants as 'the best ever' (and this was with rain all weekend, mud, cold, ...). So normally I would expect at least as much participants as last event.

But we'll just have to see, won't we? It could also be that my logic is completely flawed :-) and that people will gladly pay 10 euro's extra for the mandatory membership that gives them absolutely NOTHING extra, besides being allowed to participate in our event.

In any case the crew is really anxious to make Manticore XV another fantasic episode. I've reviewed the scenario last friday and it looks great to me. So if you're reading this and you haven't subscribed yet to Manticore XV do so now. Even the extra 10euro that Oneiros wants from you will make it worth.

I'll see you in Mythandir

Friday, January 11, 2008

Picture of the month (or week)

Following the trend of Sam and Vince I'll try to post at least each month a larp picture.

To start out I'll give you a picture I took at Poort XXIV larp in september 2005.

Let me know what you think of it.

Here's a link to the full album of pictures I took at this larp: http://larp-gallery.eu/main.php?g2_itemId=118

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy new year

I may have been quiet of late, but I've been busy. :-)
In this new year I'll be having some surprises in Larp land. At his moment I'm working very hard on a new mass-larp concept and there is of course Manticore.
Manticore 15 is just around the corner on 15-17th of February 2008. I personally hope that the new Oneiros rule (only members are allowed to participate) will not mean less participants. At this moment with just a little more than 1 month to go we only have 60 participants while Manticore 14 had around 110 participants. In any case we will keep on working to have a larp without Time-stop moments to note battle-damage (which is a pretty unique concept in Flanders as far as I know) and to keep a rather high visual realism standard.

In the meantime I hope we will have some time to improve our briefing movie clips.

Talking about movie clips, below is a teaser of another Lord of the Rings fanfilm: The Hunt For Gollum. It tells the story of the hunt of Aragorn for Gollum. The teaser looks and sounds very promising.