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[PUBLIC] Labor Wars Run Zero - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Mon, Jun. 21st, 2010 08:28 am
[PUBLIC] Labor Wars Run Zero

This weekend was the inaugural run of Labor Wars, the new weekender by emp42ress, natbudin, simplewordsmith, and breakinglight11. The game was relatively small for a weekender, counting perhaps 15 characters active at any given time.

The game had 2 major mechanics that much was made of before gamestart. The first was "backup" or "replacement characters." Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for our fictional personnel, this mechanic was never used in our run. Had one of our characters been killed, incapacitated, or otherwise occupied during the game, the player would step back in as this replacement character to continue representing their faction.

Secondly, there was the much-anticipated wargame mechanic. This mechanic rather differed from the wargames in other weekenders like Torch of Freedom, in that the turns spanned several hours, and there were only four, all told, over the weekend. They gave the opportunity for characters to act on the national stage, and then give the gameworld a few weeks to digest their instructions.

In the playbalance of this run, we lived in a world of abundance. The basic requirements of both industry and labor flowed freely after the first turn of game, and the bulk of the game revolved less around domestic disputed, but more around the place of the national in the world, and how it could secure itself in an unstable region of developing nations. While this situation arguably detracted from any internal divisions within the PC group, the result was rather a feel-good cooperative LARP in which there was the right amount of internal dissent as people tried to get the most they could out of the nationally available resources, keep the people who looked to them as factions leaders happy, or enhance their political careers by reacting to news headlines.

The pacing of the game was a bit slow -- turns and play sessions typically ended earlier than the schedule indicated. In our run's case, this meant people had the opportunity to switch more or less freely between in-character and out-of-character conversations, which I think eliminated any friction from the game's slow pacing, and when a sufficient mass of people had entered OOC mode, the GM's would spring into the room with new headlines declaring the latest crisis, in which case the entire game would fall back into character and gleefully take off in pursuit of resolving the new issue.

All told, this game largely ended up missing its aim point by a fair margin, but hit something positive none the less. It was a relaxed, pleasant experience that was as much a social experience as it was a LARP, and I think that while seeing such games proliferate the theater LARP community might detract from the excitement, Labor Wars stands alone in a niche that has not been greatly explored by recent multiday LARP runs.

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Current Location: Waltham, MA

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