two chicks write some LARPs
this one's noisier than usual
The Sound of Drums, by Tory Root and Lily Benderskaya
In the distant, shadowy past of myths and legends, deep in a lonely mountainous forest, where magic still pulses and saber-tooth tigers still roam the land, lives a small and isolated tribe of hunters and warriors, reclusive folk with strange ways and powerful gods. It is a full moon night, when the tribe holds council, and there is a full feast of argument and debate to come. The medicine woman has yet to choose a successor; the chief has taken a questionable lover. And four foreigners, strange outsiders, have taken sanctuary with the tribe, lived among them, and there are many who rankle at the thought.
Time for secrets to be spoken and paths to be decided. Will the outsiders stay past the dawn? Who will lead the tribe and keep its traditions? It is council night, the time of voices and change and strange, little-told tales, and as these passionate people struggle for unity, their hidden wood will ring with the sound of drums...
The Sound of Drums is a character-driven game for eighteen to twenty-four players, full of passion, politics, drumming, and storytelling. Players are encouraged to bring hand drums or other primitive percussion instruments, and/or play if instruments are available, but it is not a requirement for anybody, and no musical ability is necessary to enjoy this game. This game contains pervasive themes of bisexuality and polyamory, and is recommended for mature players.
"I thought I was going to cry."
- a guy who doesn't cry
This is another pretty experimental game, mostly conceived by Tory, with Lily's help with writing, plotting, and sense-making. Sense-making is crucial, y'see. This is a relatively low-plot game that focuses on character interactions and cultural immersion through the use of in-game myths and storytelling. More so than most LARPs we know, it highly encourages players to take on a different mindset and worldview. Players are also encouraged to bring drums and rock out on them during quiet moments.
The current version of The Sound of Drums, version 1.1, is a game for twenty-four players (eleven male, thirteen female) which runs for four hours, in one large room, under the direction of at least two GMs.
Version 1.0: March 13th, 2010, at Intercon J in Chelmsford, MA. For a first run of a raw draft, finished at 5 am on Thursday, it went pretty well. Some characters were awkwardly plotted or simply plot-screwed, and we will be fixing that, and there were some scheduling and gamespace logistics which caused the first hour of the game to be little more than awkward muttering for most players, but it grew into awesomeness from there. What we considered the core two plots of the game both fizzled, but plenty of other things happened, and a lot of players were very satisfied and emotionally affected.
Photos of this game! They are blurry, orange, epically costumed, and may contain vague spoilers.
Version 1.1: November 20th, 2010, at SLAW at WPI in Worcester, MA. That casting-screwed run where we had to gender-swap one female character to male (temporarily) and cross-cast two others. Some tweaks and edits proved useful, and we discovered that we needed some more, especially with clarifying one tribal custom which led to a lot of potential plot being stifled upon misinterpretation. That being said, though, things went well overall, and it was interesting to see how different it was from the past run in some ways, and how similar in others. Also, two characters made up an original story to tell. Go them!
Photos of this game! They are crisp, normally colored, epically costumed, and may contain vague spoilers.
No future runs are definitively scheduled, although there has been considerable demand for another run, so we would like to run it at some point within the next year.