I’ve wanted to try a Lorien Trust event for a long time. I’m involved in a lot of fest level stuff in the UK and it’s always felt a bit odd not to have been to any of their events. I couldn’t make sense of it from photos or from descriptions and over time I’ve met more and more people who play at LT and I wanted to see what it was about.
We didn’t turn up until nearly time in and when we did arrive we drove across a large site devoid of signs and found a carpark. We’d been aiming for the Harts but were the opposite side of the site near the dragons and had friends there so we pitched up with them and never quite made it across to our camp. I had an awesome weekend. It was a bit revealing in many ways and there were things I disagreed with, but I did have an awesome weekend.
The first major point is that to the people there visual immersion was just not as important as it is to the games I am normally involved in. Things are more token representations and that doesn’t matter. There are people with awesome costume. There was one person I saw wearing a t-shirt. More people wore masks on foreheads than otherwise and as the site was mostly vast open fields there were OOC tents visible everywhere. But largely the people playing the game didn’t seem to care.
The site had two fields of faction camps and a third field that had all the logistics in it. The third field was mostly empty which was utterly bizarre. There were fights there occasionally, but for most of the event it was a huge empty space in the middle of their game world. I know we were attending a smaller event but they could have camped two of the farthest flung camps in that field and it still wouldn’t have felt full. The bar faced onto the trading area and for that reason it felt quite cut off from the guilds. The guilds were in tents grouped together with very little space for people and no privacy at all. The game itself just didn’t feel like the same game I normally play.
We interacted very little with the plot and that was our choice. I can’t really comment on the plot of the way things actually worked, other than that fighting was the one thing I think they’re doing wrong at LT. I was wearing bright red. I have lovely bright red kit that I enjoy wearing. But I had no magic. These were the least enjoyable combat situations that I have ever been involved in. I could hit nothing. I could barely get near a fight before being hit by magic that everyone else seemed to be able to resist.
This also can’t be a fair review because I saw a lot of people I know OOC from other places and had a lot of OOC conversations. I didn’t play the game I just turned up and watched and we all know that turning up and watching isn’t a fair analysis of what’s going on at LRP. However, I saw enough to know that the game they’re playing isn’t the game I want to play and that I probably won’t be returning as a regular customer.
I can see why some people are confused by the things we do at Empire. Empire is a mix of people from different systems (Lorien Trust, Curious Pastimes and Maelstrom) who have come together to run a system, and for that reason it took a few years to settle into a routine. We do many things the CP way, a lot of the other staff have an LT background, and we’ve only recently settled into an Empire way that has elements of several systems and some stuff all of its own.
During the settling down process we’ve been repeatedly told that we can’t do things the way we do them. That things we’re proposing ‘won’t work’ despite them being things we’ve done for years with considerable success. It can be quite hard to let go of your own ideas of how things work, even (especially?) when faced by someone swearing blind it can only be done their way – which is very different to your own way.
So I went to an event. They did things differently from me. They seemed to have fun. I had fun – but not because of the game, Different people trying to do different things employ different methods, and this seems pretty self explanatory.