And so a five year crazy ass adventure comes to an end. Not in the way I wanted, not for the reason I wanted, but oh so overdue. I've finally stopped running Ottawa by Night. And as much as I was aggravated by the comments and attitudes of some players; the ones who pushed my patience just the wrong way one last time, in a way, they did me a service.
I didn't know just how tired and burnt out I was. It's a progressive thing. I thought 20 players was my max and then that creeped up to 55 or so. We added systems, automatized intention sheets, use google docs for replies, etc. I was only sad for a day ... or so and that's telling a lot when with the push of a button you blow up what you've maintained alive for so long.
But it needed to go. It needed to die. larps need to start en end. Five years was more than enough for something wich Mutant Man rescued from death a mere 3 months after it started. All and all, I suppose it was a success and I've discovered a lot of things about storytelling through this little adventure:
- Don't run an open larp ... the social cases (I was stalked by a player I banned) more than outweigh the benefits of added attendance
- Plan for its end, don't leave it open ended
- Democracy works at first but then fails
- Dictatorship works once democracy fails but the the hate starts
- Larp is a black hold of time and energy but like a leech it numbs you so you don't feel it
- If you can avoid massively published systems, you will avoid the rules lawyer headaches
- If you can avoid popular systems, you won't have to re-write 50% of the rules
- When you stop, you will feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders
- Some people will always hate your decision
- Metagaming and cliques are unavoidable and the worst poison you can face, hence the no more open larp
- Sense of entitlement grows with time
- But sometimes the gratitude is expressed in ways you never expected (I received an iPad ... go figure)
And now I wonder, why only vampire? Now that I've axed the mutated monster that was ObN and allowed those with whom I didn't see eye to eye with to go on and build a campaign on their own, all I see is everything not vampire that could be run; everything that could be small, immersive, new, simple, RP intensive and rules light! I dream of a system that fits on one sheet! I have ideas for a sanity system that doesn't require ST presence.
There will be more larps, but not vampire. I see Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, the Hunt
, Twin Peaks, heck Millenium, Delta Green, Call of Cthulhu in my future. I want to explore nordic style larping, larping with little to no system, etc. So many things that I have yet to try but which I finally have time to explore.