Fastaval: annual Danish roleplay/board game/freeform/mini-larp convention with a heavy focus on DIY and self-made scenarios. Big award show on Sunday. Always in Easter.
I feel I did something 24/7, but it’s odd how few games I actually got to play. Many good conversations, though. I even had fun dancing, which I hardly ever do. Was a bit stressed out over some card-printing problems for the game I participated with, Old Friends (with Jason Morningstar), but it worked out in the 11th hour, with good help from the Info crew and my eager scissor-hands. Old Friends is a mini-larp (5 players) about retired ghost hunters. It uses funky impro-inspired masks and keyword technology Jason has devised.
I was supposed to run Oliver Nøglebæk’s Trigger Warning, which is a concentrated 2 hour exploration of a simple core method; meditating over some pictures by turn. I liked the set-up and instructions, and would love to try it someday. The method seems solid, I found some of the “secrets” a bit heavy-handed. But there is gold in there, that can be scavenged by people interested in that sort of thing.
I was also supposed to GM The Intrepid Seven by Jacqueline Bryk and Evan Torner, which I’m not sure really needs a GM. “Queer polyamorous terraforming space-colonists”. All seven characters are married to each other. And there’s rub-arm sex. Larp-y. The set-up looks daunting at first, with its 116 pages, but you only have to read about 40 (GM and one character booklet) and maybe talk to others who ran it to figure it out. Those who got to play seemed to really enjoy it.
The abovementioned GM-duties were cancelled due to lack of players in both cases (and honestly, I was so tired it was probably for the best).
Ran a game by Terese Nielsen, I Mit Sted/In My Place. Parents and teens drama with a body-switch twist, like that movie. It worked nicely, I had a very cool group of three Danes and a German. They helped me get started by, on their own initiative while I was out of the room, drawing a relationship map on the blackboard. The scene cards were a great play aid. The script I received was a bit convoluted, with some forward-referencing issues. I understand it will be cleaned up before posting it to the amazing Alexandria.dk database (thousands of Danish con scenarios from the past several years. Check it out. Many games in English, but they can be hard to find. Search for Fastaval or “Otto” and start exploring).
Also got to be an NPC in Jackson Tegu’s Glitch Iteration for about 5 minutes. It’s an incrowd larp that won the Golden Cobra design contest one year. I played a short game experiment by the same author called… uhm… something about Little Red Riding Hood? Nice 10 minute, go rounds type deal. Then an interesting debrief/discussion. I like those little experiments. I think I learned some stuff about some stuff. Bit of the old introspection, y’know? Tegu was a guest of honor at the festival.
I didn’t run Old Friends, because I’d switched GM duties with others, recruited GMs among my January playtesters and because I’d recently run it three times. Read through our script again on the plane home. Identified some annoying typos, among other minor things. «Off» has many places been changed to «oft» by some autocorrect or the other. Things like that. We’ll put it online soon.
I was signed up to play some of the #Feminism nanogames, but was just too tired. Finally received my booklet, though. Great layout, 30 mini-games. I think the layout is pretty much best practice in this branch of niche gaming: accessible, clear, making pick-up-and-play easy. Interesting and inspiring anthology. I’ve been lucky enough to playtest one game and participate in two others before Fastaval.
There are also several on-going status- and in-joke based incrowd larps going on all over the festival at any given time of day. You can drop in and out at will, if you’re elite like me.
Hope to see you next year.
(Oh, and here’s a thoughtful blog post by one of this year’s Otto winners, Troels Ken Pedersen, about the pros and cons of the awards and the annual scenario writing competition. In Danish: https://planbrollespil.wordpress.com/velkommen/bloggen/ ).