Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Survey for the Women of the Redemption Woodstock LARP

Hello, LARP ladies!

This summer, as part of a general effort to get more women involved in gaming, I’m going to be part of a booth of female game designers selling independently designed and produced roleplaying games. As part of this endeavor, we’re going to publish and sell a ‘zine called RPG = Role Playing Girl with a collection of articles about women in roleplaying.

It’s been pointed out to me that our LARP group is a bit unusual in the number of active and involved female players that we have – as the gaming population at large tends to be largely male. I’ve been asked to write about my experiences as a woman with LARP, but I thought it would be much more interesting if I asked the women of LARP to speak for themselves.

So! Here’s the deal. I have a short survey comprised of a few open-ended questions. I’d really appreciate it if you took the time to fill it out. Feel free to write as much or as little as you care to. For that matter, answer the questions that appeal to you; feel free to ignore questions you don’t feel are relevant to you.

Some caveats, I may not use all of what you send me, but by sending me answers I am taking that as permission to publish your comments. Anything you say will be properly attributed, but may be edited for spelling and/or grammar.

I’m hoping that you’ll take the time to answer these questions. I’m excited about trying to get more women involved in gaming. And I’m excited to hear what you might say in answer to these questions.

RPG = Role Playing Girl Survey

  1. NAME (as you would like it to appear)
  2. How long have you been at LARP?
  3. How did you get involved with LARP?
  4. Do you think that women are discriminated against in roleplaying? If yes, why? If no, why not?
  5. Is LARP more female-friendly than tabletop roleplaying? If yes, why do you feel that way?
  6. Have you ever experienced discrimination by male roleplayers because of your gender? If yes, would you be willing to provide examples/anecdotes?
  7. (For people who roleplay outside of LARPs) Have you ever played cross-gender characters? If so, have you encountered resistance from other players about playing male characters?
  8. Have you ever felt that certain plots were expected of your character because they were female? (i.e. rape, pregnancy, etc)
  9. Is there anything else you’d like to say about being a female roleplayer?

My deadline to submit the article is the beginning of April, so I need responses by the end of February so that I have time to compile answers into a finished article. Please send responses to my gmail address: anna (dot) kreider (at) gmail (dot) com.

(Also - a bonus question. We're trying to come up with a name for our booth at GenCon. If you had to come up with a name for a group of female game designers, what would YOU call it?)

Thank you!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Showdown cover sketches

So my current illustration project is Showdown - a game in development by Seth Ben-Ezra that started out as a silly thread game on a forum and turned into a full-fledged game. Currently, interior layout is still being figured out, so I've just been doing sketches for potential cover illustrations, which are to be as genre-bendy as possible.

So this was my first attempt. The poses are definitely kind of 'meh', I was more wrestling with the idea of having characters from two obviously different genres of fiction face off against each other. (Seth's initial request was for space marine, but I had too much difficulty with that so I turned him into a retro-future space man.)

The verdict: the character design is good, but the poses not so much. It needed to be more action-y! They need to be actually fighting, not just facing off. So I took another stab last night at rehearsal and came up with this:

Better, although there's definitely some pose weirdness. I'm not thrilled about the idea that it looks kind of static, despite that she's hauled off and slugged him. Also, her face was ugly. But whatever - just a sketch. Easy to fix.

Tonight I had another stab at it. I actually did two different drawings. I did one where I liked him but not her, and vice versa. So I scanned them and pieced the two good halves together - which is why the placement seems a bit odd.

So that's proceeding nicely.

Currently, in addition to working on Showdown, I'm also in a play as well as doing some freelance web design while continuing to look for a new job. It's making life very... interesting. So who knows how frequently I'll update here?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last Session of Hero's Banner

So, we played the final session of Hero's Banner tonight - at long last! Man. There was some hardcore awesome-itude that happened tonight.

Amusingly, all of our characters went with their Hero influences - which resulted in some pretty personally bleak endings. In terms of mechanics, this meant that:

Magdalena managed to secure the right of women to inherit and rule their own property. In order to do this, she had to give up the possibility of a future with her lover, Carmina. (In fact, Magdalena saw her lover beheaded by Octavian as a traitor. (She was innocent)) She also gave up on continuing her family's line, as she never married or had children. Ultimately, she became a ferocious warrior and one of Octavian's chief generals and died in battle.

Octavian claimed the throne for himself and created peace between the four kingdoms - although a peace brought about by force. In order to do this, he disbanded his House and murdered his family - including his beloved Roxana. Though completely insane and corrupt, history will remember his reign as a good one. He was ultimately murdered by the son Vasilica had by the Queen (before Octavian murdered her)

Casimir followed his heart and became a priest after succeeding in his campaign to convert the barbarous folks from over the mountain. Gavril, swayed by Casimir's sermon, converted as well as became a priest - entering a life of holy solitude. Casimir never saw him again. His lands were absorbed into the Principality of Carol - formerly known as Ryic.

Vasilica decided to pursue expansion at the cost of his people, and when his loyal servant Oana tried to persuade him to be content with the crown of Tucaescu, he killed her. He died a lonely bitter old man, and no one remembered him as a hero.

Here are the drawings from the final session:

Magdalena killed a soldier to save her lover, and she was ingrateful enough to repudiate her because of it. Stupid woman.

To his credit, Octavian did try to reconcile with Roxana before boarding her up with the rest of the family in his family's manor and burning it to the ground.

Awesome SAUCE. Conclusion: Hero's Banner rocks my world.