I’ve just returned from Paradigm Shift. It is one of the stable of LRP games that The Grange run, and it ran with seven players this time around. The rest of you missed out. I have bruises in strange places and am utterly convinced it’s about midnight (it’s 2pm right now as I sit and write).
We play those that dwell in the underworld beneath a vast arcology in the far future, and started the game moving through dark underworld spaces to try and reach people we’ve lost contact with. In a brilliant use of the dark spaces, lifts, and the different floors at Bravo One, we spent hours doing this before finally falling into our first safe space for sleep and to take stock of who we were in the early hours. It probably didn’t help that we kept finding things that might be useful, but carrying every single heavy and awkward item we could find was bizarrely reassuring. I really liked the way that every time I put down the box of sugar to carry something that might prove useful further along someone else would find the box of sugar and carry it for me.
I’ve played and run a few games at Bravo One now and this was by far the best use of the space available. The noises, the darkness, and the heat all led to an amazingly disconcerting atmosphere. The tension held up very well. There was regular violence for those that wanted to shoot things, and just the right amount of threat (by which I mean constant and real) for those of us who were just trying to be peaceful gardeners. It’s an interesting game to balance. There will be violence. The combat system does use Airsoft. I will invest in eye protection because while I’m not fond of being shot, and it’s not that likely to happen to my character, it does mean I can be in the places where it’s likely to happen to the other people around me while being somewhat more comfortable myself.
The world had become very real. I missed the node we played in last time, and our being away from it made it easy to miss the other characters who weren’t with us. It always felt like we could die and the only time it felt 85% safe was when we stopped for the night.
There was a huge amount of the resource management, time management, prioritisation, negotiation and theorising that make the stories easier to get caught up in.
While this game worked really well with so few players it did lead to a tight-knit player party. There wasn’t much room to work against or distrust each other. A few more players would help to build on the intracommunity politics. Currently it’s a few against the world, but I think that there are places to build several player communities within that.
The next Paradigm Shift takes place on the 6th – 8th October 2017.
You can find out more about it here.
Featured image by Oliver Facey, taken at the previous Paradigm Shift event. Permission kindly given for it to be used here.