Event Reviews / Gamer Thoughts

Event Review: Beltane LARP 2011

Type of Event:  LARP gathering

Dates: May 27-30, 2011

Where: Camp Cedarcrest, Orange, CT

So I can’t really get pictures of players at night, but here’s the lovely stream that ran through camp.

Review: As the first of Mark’s and my ‘hey, let’s go to more event games’ decision for the year, we headed up to CT for a weekend of cabin camping and evil vampires. There were only three of us attending from our local game, but that’s okay. The point is getting to meet others from out of the area anyway. This was the first year that this Beltane event, which is primarily werewolf players, included Sabbat as well. But being there to play the evil vampires has a couple of interesting quirks. For one, well, you’re not doing much playing in the daytime. And it’s really, really dark at a cabin camp. And have I ever mentioned that I’m a little afraid of the dark? Yeah…

So, Mark and I set out Friday after work. Fortunately, we seem to have hit the traffic just right that we arrived about an hour earlier than our estimate, even with long stops. Unfortunately, even with that we pretty much missed the first night of the event. We were able to hang out in character for about an hour, but then we just had to call it a night.

Saturday day time was pretty much quiet on our side of the games. We made friends with our cabin mates and some of the other players and pretty much laid low. Which was good, since the bunk beds were not exactly the easiest place to sleep, and we were exhausted. The camp was a great location though. That night, we all gathered around one of the fire circles while the werewolves went off to have their event across the other side of the camp.

Some parts of game are better when you can do them at a location like this – a little less pretend, and little more real. Some parts, not so much. Firedance in a circle around a raging camp fire was awesome. Capture the flag in the dark leading to a hospital trip for a player not so much. But it was some of the best in character discussion I have ever had. I brought along some of my props. Nathaniel’s handmade aged Book of Nod fragment was a huge hit. It was a great thing to bring in character, and was loved out of character, too.

Originally, there was only going to be vampire gaming going on Friday and Saturday nights, which had us annoyed when we found out halfway there. But the accident during capture the flag pushed that game into daylight the next day. So, Sunday afternoon those who were not also playing werewolf gathered for a real life capture the flag game. Yeah, the out of shape gamers who usual represent in character fights with rock paper scissors were running all over the camp site. Yes, we looked comical, but it was a whole lot of fun. We divided into two teams under the two bishops and played a good ol’ game of capture the flag. My team won one game, and the red team won the second one.

We all continued to hang out in character afterwards, and those that didn’t have to leave continued to hang out well into the night. All told, it was great to get to meet characters from other games. There were some amusing moments as we realized how our characters had all met before. And even though we ended the weekend exhausted, it was a relaxing change from the normal. And with the total cost for the event including a place to stay for three nights and all of the gaming, it was a cheap weekend’s entertainment, too. Plus, it gave me great ideas to bring back to our home game.

So, while I could wish for a little more in character action, or organized events into Sunday night, it was sooo much better than the first event game I ever took Valkyrie too, and was a lot of fun overall. I’ll make sure I keep bringing props to future events. Here’s hoping for an overall positive trend going forward!

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