Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dragonbane II

While pondering about Dragonbane I posted on Facebook that I'd love to get some idea if there would ever come a Dragonbane II. One of the former team-members of Dragonbane then posted that I'd probably had to do it myself if I wanted a DBII.

Since I'm never scared to take up a challenge I'm asking you: "Would you be willing to travel all the way to the middle of Sweden to spent a week (5-6 days) in the middle of nowhere and larp like you've never larped before?"

If the answer is yes, then let me know. If I get around 50 serious commitments I'll start working on a possible Dragonbane II. BUT, be aware that it will take at least 2 to 3 years to organise such an event.

First we need to get permission to re-use existing DB material, next we'll need access to the site, then we'll need to know the state of the village is (last I heard it was rather bad), we'll need money to fix the village and most importantly: we need crazy people like you and me to go there and fix the village.

So if you're fed up with me telling you how GREAT Dragonbane was and how it's still, to this date, the BEST LARP EVER, then let yourself be heard and let me know you're committing to attending DBII (whenever it may take place).

PS: if you're not sure you'll be going to Sweden for a Larp then DON'T commit!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Non-larp post

BEWARE: this topic will NOT be about Larp!
This will probably be the first topic not about Larp and for a long time it will also be the only one not about larp.

It will be a topic about TABLETOP RPG!

Long before I participated in a Larp I played AD&D and Star Wars D6. It was in those days that I started to really love role-play and started asking questions about this thing called 'larp'.
Now I'm pretty sure a lot of larpers also play tabletop rpg and it's for those people that I want to talk about XDM!

XDM (X-treme Dungeon Mastery, but it also stand for the X-treme Dungeon Master aka the person running a tabletop using the XDM rules) is what I've been looking for for a long time. If I'm Parsifal then XDM is my Holy Grail (when speaking in terms of tabletop role-play).

Since my early days of tabletop role-playing I was missing something. Not knowing what I was missing led me into buying all kinds of DM guides, Gamemaster guides, books with new systems, etc.

A year ago I discovered Castles & Crusades from the hand of Troll Lord Games. This was a mix of D&D 3rd edition and good old AD&D. I thought my search for the ideal tabletop system was finished. I introduced it immediately to my new campaign Mythandir Chronicles and off we went.
But it still wasn't perfect. For me the perfect system is one that provides rules, but doesn't complicate the game for the DM/GM/... And while C&C makes a good show of making the game simple I still had to look up some rules while running the game.

In comes XDM
So while C&C was not yet perfect it was the best I had found, so I still used it and vouched to re-read the rules again and again until I would know them by heart.
But then I stumbled upon something called XDM. X-treme Dungeon Mastery, hmmm strange title, but wait I recognise one author: Tracy Hickman. Yeap the same guy who co-wrote the very first fantasy book I ever read: Dragonwing from The Deathgate Cycle. This was one of the people who made me fall in love with fantasy. So on a whim I pre-ordered the book (earning some XDM levels along the way :-) ). When the book arrived I read it and was amazed, bedazzled, stunned, ... you get the point. They were talking about fog-generators, laser beams, pyrotechnics and even magic tricks. Well I just LOVE the book!
The goal of the book is NOT to make us quit the gamesystem we all love (be it C&C, D&D (3rd 3.5th, 4th), SW D6, ...). No! It strives to make us better DMs/GMs/... by bringing the essense of the game back: yes, I'm talking about the fun.
With good examples the book explains how you can spice up your tabletop game by adding extra's. How about handing your players a real handwritten letter instead of just saying "you find a letter in which is stated...". These are all things that we find natural in a larp, but they also work perfectly in a tabletop.
This book is full of ideas for a DM to bring their games to a next level.
But that's not all, there is also a section for the players. That one tells the player to play their character, not to play a puppet using die-rolls.
Of course, this book wouldn't be complete if it would not also have it's own game system :-). XD20 is for me the same revolution as a larp that goes with WYSIWYG rules.
XD20 wants to simplify the game by having very little rules to give the XDM more freedom to focus on the game, not the rules. Ah, this is exactly the same phylosophy I uphold for my own larps :-)

XDM is written by Tracy Hickman and Curtis Hickman, with excellent drawings by Howard Tayler. It costs $29.95 and is absolutely worth the money.
Go to and go buy it NOW.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fighting in larp

A couple of months ago I posted a message on larp fora to ask for people to accompany me to Outlore in the UK. To show how cool it was I posted along some videoclips from previous Outlores.
The result was a cry for unsafety, disaster in making etc.

It's seems that in Belgium a lot of larpers are afraid of some bruises and want super safe fights.
Now I also like fights in a larp to be safe. But aren't we overdoing it here in Belgium?

My first larp at Conquest of Mythodea introduced to me fighting that was a lot harder than in Belgium. Harder weapons, shieldbashes, etc. But did I cry out that it was unsafe? No, I actually enjoyed it immensely.

I still remember when I was a kid we played zorro. We hadden WOODEN sticks that we used as swords. Some of us even had hard PLASTIC swords that are way harder than the hardest larp sword. You can even buy those today in toy shops!

So why is it that some larpers cry out that we are fighting unsafe with our very soft latex coated weapons when we allow kids to hit eachother with wooden or hard plastic swords?

I believe that with some common sense and safe weapons and shields (i.e. all foam shields) you can have some 'hard' fights where the worst one can get is some bruises.

I still remember the guy with a gambeson under a full plate armour who was crying out when someone hit his SHIELD to hard. I mean, a foam weapon on a foam shield and that guy (in full plate) was complaining of the hard hit.

Maybe we should have a larp revolution to bring the fun back into fighting instead more and more safety rules.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Last weekend was Conquest of Mythodea and some of my friends went their. It seems I missed great game. This was the first in three years that I didn't attend Conquest and I'm really wondering if Avatar was worth it to miss out on Conquest.

I have one big dilemma and that is that I'm having less time to play all the larps I want.

If I would only think about myself I would go to Conquest next year and skip Avatar. Avatar is nice and I have a lot of friends playing there (plus the organisation I preside runs a faction there), but Conquest is a total different league. And in my opinion so much better than Avatar. At Conquest they 3000+ participants, 800+ NPCs, toilets running on water, great atmosphere, awesome costumes and much more.

What would you choose if you can only do one of the summer larps. Avatar, Conquest or something else? Let me know in the comments.