The weekend was of course NWO. I had a great time. The writers are jolly fine and I appreciate the efforts of everyone else to NPC for me (as the centre of the world). I'm now going to muse on it and may sound ungrateful (for no other reason than the aura of sarcasm mentioned below) - that is not my intention.
Like pretty much everyone else there I am Not Without Opinions on the game, the players and the hobby as a whole. After the first game of the current cycle happened without me, I had a moment of bluntness and emailed this chap called Ian Andrews and said something along the lines of "I hear you are great, I would like to be your friend" in order to get an "in" to the LRP elite and persevered until I felt I Now Was One. Those roads led to Thebes (looking a bit like Surrey), then to Transylvania (a bit like Nottinghamshire) and finally Rome and Constantinople (close to the most expensive school in Staffordshire to get broadband to).
There was a game. I had fun, I stopped having fun, I started having fun again, I won. Admittedly I didn't have to do anything to win, but still it was nice in itself. I fail to see how a brief for the "Cleverest Man in the World" could not have been written just for me, but still... I caused some trouble, I goaded some people and I watched the value of my stock rise despite no having no moustache to twiddle.
At the start of last year I started keeping a list of "nice things people said about me", because I've Never Written One and kept being accused of only remembering the bad things people say (which is in itself nearly as good!). It never got very long, but the strangest people kept turning up on it - and I hope some even meant to compliment me. After Saturday night there were a couple of more lines to add, which was both unexpected and welcome. I shall note them here and you can all laugh at me.
- Someone, who does a fine maniac, said the look on my face was suitably manic and intense. I approve.
- Some people, who I respect greatly, said I played a previous game particularly well. I kind of disagree, but will take the compliments anyway.
- Someone who I still don't quite get, said I was difficult to please. It was actually what he said after that that I rate as especially nice, but it's somehow a little bit personal for a public forum. And no - I do not mean rude.
- I was also pleased to get positive support for the Netherlands Work Offer. At least, I hope people weren't just trying to get me out of the country.
- Nerves are Universal; Fear is Commonplace. Overcoming this is part of the game. Not overcoming this is a shame.
- Endings are important. Conclusions are important. Not knowing, but only guessing when there exists in some warped sense the possibility of an absolute truth, is really, really infuriating.
- Understanding what people want to play is important, however there is a trap of trying too much to please at the cost of vision. Not that any of the Nice Writer Outfit necessarily fell into it, but I know I could.
- I really do have a sincerity problem. Honest. It's an entire Parma Sincerity or maybe even a Regio.
- I have my finger on the pulse of LARPers. Or at least what they are bitching about. Walking into a room, then guessing second time the subject of the bitching and mirth was just kinda freaky - especially as it had little to do with the context of the rest of the weekend.
This of course has left me in the rather unfortunate position where I am considering running some. It will of course never happen, but just in case someone wants to take notes here's a list of possible "dinner party LARP/Freeform/ElitistExclusiveHybrid"...
- Robin & Marian - Old Soldiers, after all none of us are getting younger and the mail shirts will need letting out in no time at all
- Downfall/Wannsee Conference - Surely this is obvious?
- Threads - Inside the Civil Defence bunker under Sheffield
- Fight Club
- A Clockwork Orange
- 51st State - Guantanamo Bay-style game with two games in one - one for the guards and another for the inmates