Herofest - Larp

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Letting Off Steam- Event Review

Letting Off Steam event at Herofest LARPFirstly, I hope I'm not jumping the gun here by posting a review as my first post. I've been to numerous different LARP systems but it never occurred to me to review one before - but I certainly think this event deserves some praise.

Letting Off Steam is a Steampunk, fest-style LARP set in the 1880s on Mars. Combat is a mixture of standard melee weapons, nerf weaponry, and gadget powers. It's held at Candleston Campsite in South Wales. The event was time-in from 6pm on Friday until early Sunday morning, although (as with Herofest events), people turned up on Thursday to socialise and didn't end up leaving until midday Sunday. Despite the floods in Wales that week, we had decent weather and conditions were good throughout.

Die Eiserner Mann (Episode 1) was the system's debut event and so obviously there were many things which were new to everybody - but despite this, it is probably the best event I've ever been to.

The general thrust of the plot was fairly standard - an over-arching storyline which each faction had to work out, work towards, and then come together for a final big battle - plus numerous side-quests on the way. To summarise, a giant mining robot had gone haywire and we had to retrieve a number of control devices from infected miners to have a chance of stopping it. Along the way we found various technology, archaeology and other mysterious artifacts - as well as meeting some cryptic and eventually violent cultists who we are pretty sure will be back!

However, the excellent twist was the "Grand Contest", which was a strategic, long-term diplomatic game. Each faction had numerous votes which they could place to try to win control of 7 different mines. Winning different mines gave resources, additional votes, and/or "seats" on the mine. Whoever had a majority of seats on each mine at the end of the 7 rounds won a large lump sum of that mine's resources.
This added a whole new layer of involvement and intrigue to the game - whenever you weren't shooting cultists or running away from automatons, you were swapping information, planning espionage or perhaps bribing somebody to vote differently. It could be an enjoyable board game in its own right but interspersed between "regular" LARPing activities, it kept everybody well occupied, involved, and interacting. Technically each faction member had a vote which they were to cast - so it ensured that your faction was all involved and not just a dictatorship.
Other novel features included auctioning off land on which you could build various things - as well as impromptu resource auctions. I've LARPed with Nerf indoors before (LARP) - but outside is a totally different game! It took a few skirmishes before both the players and monsters got familiar with the limitations and quirks of using foam darts in the wind - but after that it worked like clockwork (no pun intended).

Good things

Less good things

Booking details for Herofest LARP/LRP are here »

For more information, or to post your completed booking, contact Paul Matthews at Herofest LARP, Unit 42A/6, Morelands Trading Estate, Bristol Road, Gloucester, GL15RZ.  Alternatively email us for information or details on how to make a Herofest Steampunk booking at: paul@herofest.co.uk.

Future Events

22nd to 25th June 2017 Under a Blood Red Moon
Candleston Castle Campsite »


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