Last week, we celebrated the twin birthdays of my partner and my daughter.
The actual day involved feasting from the morning through the night. We explored some of our favorite parts of Seattle, and kept things low key. On Saturday, though, we focused on our daughter by throwing a party at a local park.
She wanted something comparatively easy to throw together, something fun and open to a number of our friends and family.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
With a lot of planning, we threw together a sword & sorcery party at the park during the early evening, followed by gaming at our house until midnight. We made over twenty boffers (long swords – 3′ pipe, short swords – 2′ pipe, daggers – 1′ pipe, staffs – 3′ pipe with equally split foam) and sewed thirty-six bean bags (potions, spells, bard’s songs).
Though some of her friends weren’t able to come, we had plenty of guests participate. We grilled food (a learning experience for me), engaged in friendly battles, and spent a lot of time talking. Some of our guests followed us home for cards and jokes, a few of our neighbors stopped by, and we pulled out the futon.
All in all, a good time, and my daughter enjoyed herself immensely.
Since we wanted the one day LARP to be casual and not requiring a lot of intensive character creation or storyline, especially with two three year old pixies running about. I threw together the follow, though it became clear after a couple of hours my rules need some fine tuning and clarification.
Welcome travelers from far and wide!
You’ve arrived at the fair Loch of Cottage where Taiathess, Guardian of Ink, celebrates her 16th Name Day. Eat, drink, and fight in the name of friendly competition.
When you arrive:
1. Pick a character back story
2. Pick a name and place on name tag
3. Pick a boffer
A. Be respectful of everyone
B. Do your best to stay in character; if you’re speaking to someone out of character (ooc), place your right hand or fist over your chest to indicate you’re ooc.
C. Physical combat should only involve boffers. If someone else’s boffer touches one of your limbs, consider that limb too injured to fight. If the boffer touches your abdomen, it’s a critical wound; do a rock-paper-scissors to see if you lose the challenge. Both arms injured means you’ve lost the challenge. NO ATTACKING YOUR OPPONENT’S HEAD OR GROIN. Do so, and you’ll lose the challenge automatically.
D. Any monks or fighters using hand-to-hand, describe your action, and use rock-paper-scissors to see who wins the challenge. Winning five rounds of rps wins the challenge.
E. Magical combat will involve bean bags (for potions) and imagination, describe your actions, and use rock-paper-scissors. Five “wins” of rps, and you win the challenge.
F. Clerics will be on hand to heal characters between competitions. Be kind to them, or you might remain too wounded to fight. At least there will be food, right?
G. Remember, this is a friendly competition for the amusement and enjoyment of Taiathess, Guardian of Ink.
H. Be inventive, be clever, and bring your character to life!
We used character back story generators and name generators to come up with lists. I created a template for name badges and went to FedEx to print them on label paper, cutting them out by hand. People chose the backstory label they each liked best and wished to roleplay, then selected a name from the list of randomly generated names ranging from high fantasy to cutesy (e.g. Smoochiecuddlecakes) to silly (e.g. Skullmeat, Lumpcheese). They competed for the chance to win the Great Sword of Flying Pig (a boffer we made using flying pigs duct tape).
At some point soon, we’ll be updating the rules for this casual form of LARPing, and hope to start a proper roleplaying group (either tabletop or LARP) with local families, because my daughter adored it when people stayed in character.
WHAT WE’RE EATING
At the party, we grilled vegetable skewers, lamb souvlaki, chicken satay, and we had a garden salad with local produce and flowers, chips, berries, hummus, raspberry zinger cake from Flying Apron, and the one thing people wanted the recipe for the most:
1 c. Dry quinoa
2 c. water
1 large cucumber
1 large tomato (heirloom preferred)
1/4 c. Mint, fresh, chiffonade
Juice from 1-2 lemons
Salt, garlic granules, and black pepper
Cook quinoa as directed (ours involves bringing to a boil, covering and simmering on low about 15 minutes). Once cooked, transfer to a bowl. Add chopped vegetables and mint, season with salt, garlic, and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemons and add juice, the. Drizzle with olive oil (more than expected, but long before saturated with oil). Mix well with a large spoon. Serve warm or chill first.