URGENT - Free tickets for male characters at Achaean this Saturday night


We need 4 experienced larpers to play MALE characters in Achaean on Saturday evening, at Pegasus in Auckland. Your ticket will be FREE.

If we don’t fill these roles, the game will not be able to go ahead.

Due to the change of date we’ve had a number of dropouts, some of which are in critical roles.

If you’re available on Sat night, please contact me by PM or email ryan@paddywhack.co.nz and get your FREE ticket to Achaean.


We also have 2 FREE TICKETS to the FULL DAY Pegasus convention, donated by people who couldn’t make it. Let me know if you’d like one.

So, how did it go?

It was wonderful I thought. All the games ran, and while we had lots of pullouts due to illness we also drew a lot of extra people in by reaching out to the community, and while there were gaps it seemed like plenty of people for the games to run on the day. The games were fantastic.


Excellent. It also looks like its got a couple of new member signups as well. Cons seem to be really good for bringing new people in.

So, will you be doing it again next year, covid permitting?

Unfortunately there’s no simple answer to that. There was a lot of stress for GMs due to attendees who had been cast but couldn’t attend, many of whom we naturally enough didn’t hear about until the day before or the day. We asked people not to come if sick, and I’m glad they didn’t (and in some cases didn’t come if they lived with someone sick), but of course it adds a lot of strain to pre-cast games. The game worked well on the day, but the process was very hard and risky and I don’t like to put GMs through that added pain.

Theatreform games with cast characters have a special vulnerability to people being unable to attend, and there’s a vastly increased risk of that just now. Our two “starter” games that we ran as part of the Intro to Larp had character-building workshops at the start instead of a cast list, so they were less vulnerable, but we did see numbers drop enough that one of the games was operating with fewer players than desirable. The 35 players we were on target for with the original date would have been great for 2 games, the 20 players we had on the day might have been better fit into a single game.

If I was running a theatreform or con now and got to choose the date, I’d be inclined to do it near the end of summer (Feb/Mar) when respiratory infections are at their lowest, with the hope of reducing the attendee loss. But that’s too soon in 2021 to do this again.

I had considered running the Auckland Larp Faire and Pegasus on alternating years, as I think running both every year would run the risk of crowding the calendar, and alternating could help maintain their freshness. However interest in buying larp gear is low right now due to the lack of games to use it for (plus uncertainty about whether future games will run and pandemic-related income loss), so a Faire with the usual big vendor hall currently seems unwise.

There’s a possibility of a 2021 Faire with no vendors (or a much reduced emphasis on kit) focussing instead on the talks, an Intro to Larp, and an afternoon or evening game like we did with Sanctuary. But then the game could hit the same problem with season and illness, i.e. it would be better run in Feb/Mar. Unless we had a game that was extremely resilient to player losses, like one with a character creation workshop before the game. I don’t know of a large game like that, so it might need to be original. That’s about where I’m at.

EDIT: it’s also hard on the attendees who can’t make it, and difficult to budget around the attendance uncertainty.


As someone who organises a lot of pre-cast theatreform games, the constant struggle for last-minute replacements is the worst part of it. But its just something I’ve learned to live with. Currently I try and get a wait-list, try and maintain their interest (and be clear about when activation might occur), and accept that there may be a few holes at runtime. I’ve looked at workshoppy games, and have a large collection from various larp publications, but they don’t offer the same sort of fun and TBH I’m just not that interested in running them.

Running in summer definitely seems to be a way to minimise dropouts, though there’s likely to be a lot of competition - though not next year: the cancellation of Saga means there’s a giant gap in February and March, with nothing happening anywhere between Vampirates and Exile. But I can see how it would feel too soon, and there’d also be a need to get games lined up. Unfortunately, all the workshop-based games I know of top out at about 20 - 24 players, and I’m not sure the technique works well at scale :frowning:


The age old problem! When I was rereading An Ecumenical Matter (which I had to scratch due to not enough people) it really struck me how little ease there was in the game to have a missing player. Which I guess is partly from its origin story as a Peaky game where they knew exactly how many people were going to be available to play it. I just don’t write that way anymore, because I got sick of being stressed about dropouts. My favourite technique so far has been to write an Absence note handed to a missing character’s faction at the last minute detailing how they died gruesomely, suddenly and tragically just before the game start. The first time I did this, it totes turned into a major emergent plot point. Such joy. But all the things that make web of intrigue games fun, make them less resilient to gaps.


This! You can have resilience with a looser, and more redundant web (maybe even bits you can just detach completely), or with “absence notes” (ideally, directed to a particular player and asking them to do something), or even by hording it, and with a lot of games you can just muddle through. But Peaky Games tend to have no redundancy and tight plotting, which makes them more fragile. I guess their particular con culture means games tend to be oversubscribed, and they have extra people hanging around to fill gaps on the day of required.

Designing around this probably means de-emphasising the intrigue and relationships, and pushing the situation or other external plots. But then you have the risk of the game turning into a monoplot, if a situational element takes over or wins enough precedence.

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This makes me unreasonably happy. I don’t really know why. :smile: