Next week see’s the first of this years Maelstrom’s, and as per usual there’s mad scramble to get everything done in time ahead of the event. The problem this time is I’m finding it more difficult to drum up the enthusiasm than usual – I’ll no doubt enjoy it when I get there and see everyone – work schedules and the like seem to be taking up all of my time and energy. I’ll enjoy it because of the people, rather than the event itself I fear (although this is in no way a bad thing).
Last year following event four, I commented to some people about the “Elephant in the Room” that was present on the Saturday night at ‘Strom. Walking across the camp everything felt quieter, more subdued, as if everyone knew something was on the horizon but unwilling to say it. We knew the end of ‘Strom was just around the corner, but we needed confirmation. If PD hadn’t had issued a leaflet on the Sunday following play I’d have probably sacked this year, as an issue it seemed to be getting in the way of things and affecting play.
Maelstrom has been good to me, it got me out of the first bout of LARP fatigue I had following the five odd years I’d spent running a smaller scale local system and reminded me what I loved about the hobby. I’ve certainly gotten more into the construction & prop side of things this time around, more and more system-less systems appeal, but I can’t help but feel I’m in need of a break or a change soon. I’m certainly now of the opinion that everything should have a limited shelf life (and that the shelf life should be advertised to players) in order to avoid things going stale. Maelstrom has probably been on the shelf for two years too long by my reckoning (two fun years, but still two years to stagnate a little) and hopefully the fact that this is the final year will inject some energy into things.
Away from ‘Strom, the smaller scale events I’m involved with remain fun, but I think part of the appeal is their scarcity / one-off factor. One event for a system per year just feels right; it allows you to focus on maximising your enjoyment without worrying about what is to come. Even if something is ongoing, once per year means it doesn’t get in the way of everything else in life. I certainly couldn’t even begin to comprehend going back to the once a month rota that I managed once, yes it’s intense, but (and especially if you’re running things) it has a danger of becoming all consuming.
Will I try Empire? Probably, but I’m also hoping that PD have the sense to it to three events a year rather than four, just to allow it a little breathing space in the year. Their decision will no doubt be partly reliant on their business model, although presumably they could stage a third Odyssey per year to pick up the short fall? I think I’m also going to have to find something a less sedate as well.
Anyway, musing over, normal service will resume soon.