"I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die." ~ Isaac Asimov

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fangtastic Friday - LARP

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Fangtastic Friday. What is this meme, you ask? Started by Beth Ann Masarik, it's a weekly post related to all things vampires - books, movies, lore, etc. Today I'm stretching that definition to include gaming, in particular Live Action Roleplaying (now referred to as LARP).

In August of 2000, one of the last times GenCon (a HUGE gaming convention) was in Milwaukee, WI, my family decided to introduce me to the World of Darkness, particularly getting to pretend I was a vampire for a few hours a night. After a couple crappy mishaps, I met another player and created an awesome character some might still remember: Alana the Gangrel. Alana had an infamous sire (creator), played by the guy who helped me create Alana. For more than 3 years, I played that awesome character, until something happened and Alana had to go away. So then came my second, just as awesome character...

But before I get to her, let me explain the dynamics of the game to you. Like I said, you create a vampire character to play. Depending on dice rolls or just a flip of a card, you find out what generation your character will be (how far removed from Cain, the original vampire, your character is). Every generation has a limit on traits, abilities, etc. that you can buy when creating your character. Every character is a certain type of vampire, which are split up into 13 clans, all having specific powers and abilities. Alana was a Gangrel, an outdoorsy, woodsy type character who could shapeshift into either a bear of a raven, could "pop claws" (make her fingernails extend into 6" bear claws) and could hide in the ground. She also could speak to and command animals.

For every game you attend, you are awarded points to help build up your character. The game I belonged to  and all the games I played in followed the rules of Vampire: The Masquerade, a storytelling gaming system devised by White Wolf Publishing in the early 1990's. Today I'm told other versions of that original game are being used, but it's been 5 years since I played a character.

So... who was the character after the infamous Alana the Gangrel?

Mikayla Roberts.

I know that name doesn't strike fear in the hearts of other players like I once wished it would, but I  hope that at least for some who might be reading this, it makes you smile. Mikayla was originally a ghoul, a human servant to Deakin Cross (played by my wonderfully hubby) - until my favorite storyteller got a hold of her background. What started out as a assassin-type ghoul turned into Kinfolk, having werewolf blood in her. Due to the story woven, Mikayla broke the bond with Deakin after meeting Nicholas, a very bad and powerful Werewolf Alpha. Playing Mikayla actually spawned a 5 book series that I still have to finish writing. She was probably my most favorite character to play. :) And just to embarrass myself a little more, below is a picture of Mikayla and her master, Deakin.

One of the best parts about LARPing was making all the friends I did. I still keep in touch with a few of them and look forward to seeing them whenever I get the chance. Lee still LARPs so I know how the game is run now, but sadly it is something I will probably never do again.

I hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane. :)

Happy Friday!

1 comment:

  1. Huh...now I know we are definitely twins! LOL. I LOVE LARPING probably almost as much as I love to cosplay lol. Great post Erin! My favorite World of Darkness character was an Alpha werewolf named Randy. She was EPIC. Next to Aura, who was my very first LARP character, Randy was my favorite. I remember crying when her character died. It was either that, or she become a Black Spiral Dancer which I knew she wouldn't want to do. We need to LARP together one of these days! It would be fun!