Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chimeracon follow up

Chimeracon has been the biggest event for us this year. We were offered our own full room for four straight hours and we made the very most of it. We planned and prepared, sewed and built props for two months in prep for this show. It was a huge undertaking for a whole lot of us all working together. Long ago I stopped expecting others to jump into a major project I was in because I've been so often disappointed, but everybody pulled through and made this happen. It was awesome!
Our plan was to have a full dungeon crawl through rooms of monsters and traps, magic and treasure for adventuring parties of five or six players. We separated our room into two sides with art displays covered in tarp. My sister's boyfriend painted each tarp to look like stonework to tremendous affect. I was so impressed I'd like to photograph the process and put it in a future book. We would lead the adventurers from one room to the other through "doors", openings between art displays, and rearrange rooms while the players weren't in them. Effectively we had two sets of actors playing roles, and changing scenes back to back. I was afraid it wouldn't work, but it worked out amazingly well. Robed wizards were accosted by heros at every turn, players were captured and rescued, monsters were made dead, and a huge demon at the end scared the gorgonzola out of everyone!
And that was just the first act!

The second act happened out in the convention, with players trying to collect parts to create a weapon to defeat the demon.

Lastly we used the whole room for the demon's last stand. He, and all the actors crossed swords with all the players who had gone through the game all day. It was really supposed to be easy, but the players were just so timid against such a horde that they huddled in a corner. Finally a player got the magic item and I thought he was going to take the demon down, but no. He gave the item to the demon as it demanded, and all ended as a loss. I was completely baffled at the end.

We learned a lot of things at this event, and had an astounding time. My people were begging to do it again as soon as possible. Let me list what I think we learned.
Paying an admission fee for each of our 10+ actors so we can provide content for someone else's con is bullshit. Chimeracon discounted us a lot, but in the future that is a deal breaker.
Time for set up and take down are crucial. The larp scheduled before us didn't show so that made things better, and the larp after us was pretty cool about us going slightly over, but I know that was not good form.
We are not here to babysit your kids. We had at least one group of young children that just ran around like Romper Room. I think their parents just dumped them so they could go game. We need to have an age limit for players.
We need to charge a fee to play. I don't really want to, but I personally spent hundreds of dollars for fabric for the props for this show. The con charged us to get in. I don't expect to make it back but we need to establish some value for what we're doing. I think this will clear out the little kids too.

This was just a great time, and really showed us what we can accomplish as a group. We need to figure out how to do this again, work out some other plots, and get into practice with this. It was so amazing to be part of. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all the crafters and players who came out and made this work. It could not happen without you!

Our photos from Chimeracon