"YOU! WHO ARE YOU? NO, I'M NOT GOING AWAY. WHO ARE YOU?"
That was me, about 3 hours into a 4-hour Live Action Role Playing game (i.e. LARP). My character had just about Had Enough, and I decided to Do Something About it. It was great. People were still talking about it the next day.
More to the point, it was the first LARP I ever played in. A game called "Desperadoes Under The Eaves", based around the songs of Warren Zevon. I'm betting that most of you who Warren is, but for those who don't, he typically wrote songs about archetypes, as opposed to situations. This means you can have a character embody a song. It worked.
This was the second time the game ran. I only heard about it the first time in retrospect, and told one of the game's creators (also a friend from way back) that I've never LARPed before, but if he ran it again, I would find a way to be there.
"There", in this case, was INTERCON, a 400+ LARP convention held in Chelmsford, MA. I showed up Saturday afternoon, checked into the hotel, and then started to find my sea legs around a convention where I had never been to that one, *or* its ilk. Fortunately, the cultural UI was familiar enough that I managed to get everything I needed for my game pretty quickly, went to dinner, came back, and then suited up.
The game masters (GMs) requested that everyone show up in 80s clothing, for some definition thereof. I was playing a harried bond trader who had Stuff Go Wrong (This is a Warren Zevon song. Stuff goes wrong, is about to go wrong, or started horribly wrong.), but I was lacking 80s gear, per se. So, I went for the 90s. Blazer, Trousers, Boldly-Colored Shirt(tm), Strongly-Patterned Tie(tm), and Big Chunky Alphanumeric Pager(tm).
I arrived at the game room (think a small hotel ballroom), the GMs called us 'round, went over the general setting and mechanics of the game, and then sent us on our way. Which is to say, "You have 4 hours in which to interact with each other and acheive your goals. Go." Terminology:
This was a "Theater-style LARP", i.e. "put together a bunch of characters, give them each a few goals and some loose rules, shake well, see what happens."
My secret superpower was that I could ask the GMs about the goals/motivations of all other characters in play, one for each character. However, I was an otherwise very underpowered character. I was on the run, couldn't win a fight, couldn't defend against people using their powers on me, etc. The net effect of this was that I had a character with full information and no leverage.
Let me repeat that... I had a character with full information and no leverage.
As it so happens, I know what to do in such circumstances. So, over the course of the evening, I bartered information back and forth. I connected people, got more of the story, and did what every good information broker does, and did it pretty well.
One problem. I still wasn't relevant to any of the main story lines... my only goal was to get out of trouble. Also, I didn't know how to play this kind of game well enough to lever myself up to the more pivotal people, quickly enough. This was frustrating.
This was very frustrating.
This was really really frustrating.
It was so
frustrating that I did the one thing that no one really expected.
I created a massive confrontation with one of the most pivotal characters in the game and unloaded the (in-game, legitimately obtained) full information of what needed to happen next on him, and everyone around him in a 20 foot radius, including disclosing the identities of about half the people in the room to the other half.
Put another way, I loaded all of the plot points into a shotgun and pulled the trigger."YOU! WHO ARE YOU? NO, I'M NOT GOING AWAY. WHO ARE YOU?"( Cut for spoilers, and screaming. )
What happened next was a whole bunch of people scrambling around the room very quickly to accomplish all of the things that I had revealed to them, which was all rather satisfying. The rest of the game was rather anti-climactic. I didn't exactly rehearse the meltdown, so it didn't help me get to my own goals (which were irrelevant to the main plot), and I'd just used all of the agency I had in one Moment of Awesome, so I just chilled out and wondered at what I had wrought. I was feeling down for about 15 minutes in a fit of "Did I just do it wrong?", but that passed.
The game ended, we wrapped up, All Was Told, and that was that. Once we all left the game space I had a friend introduce me to a few people from the game. They were all amused (and a little surprised) that that was my first LARP, mostly because who the hell would do something like that. I just assumed that if there was a tvtropes of the LARPing world, what I did would have to be an entry (but I can't seem to find one).
Would I do it again? Yes, yes I would.