Play Report: Juggernaut

Juggernaut was the offering for our Indie RPG meetup this month - and oh boy did we find that our group had a LARP shaped hole in their hearts that needed filling by a three foot by six foot by eight foot, clicking and whirring mechanical abomination full of punch-cards. It filled up faster than any other game we offered to date!

A description by Bully Pulpit:

It is July third, 1950. The Korean War is eight days old. National Security Council Report 68 is sitting on Harry Truman’s desk, a grim outline of the Cold War that is to enfold the world for the next 40 years. Alan Turing’s paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” is circulating for review. Cinderella is a box office sensation. 
And you have invented a computer that can see the future.

Play kept a solid clip and everyone was engaged in the creepy vibe - we had a great time. I especially liked it for new players (half the players were new to LARP). There's a lot to explore internally for the characters, but there's also so much external weirdness going on that players have a lot to focus on in their environment if they don't want to dive too deep into introspection.

Our Juggernaut: Built from our color-coded bookcase, speakers, and a theremin.

Rainbow-theremin Juggernaut is never wrong. 

Rainbow-theremin Juggernaut is never wrong. 

Some observations coming out:

  • I love giving the players tools to ratchet up intensity and pace - it feels like you're given a set of tools to craft what works for your group, on that day, in the time you have, under those emotional conditions.
  • We ran Juggernaut as an mp3 file on a phone attached to my computer speakers surrounding our bookcase. Those four speakers together could really blare when we ran a summary output job. I was really glad we did this - keeping the noise loud enough that it immediately interrupts and stifles conversation does so much to build tension.
  • What I focus on during the safety brief has such a big effect on my relationship with the players. I'm so used to being the person making sure everything's running smoothly mechanically, that sometimes I err too much on the mechanics of safety. This time, I focused more on love and trust. It really felt like the players felt they needed to be less guarded in their play after seeing the facilitator open up like that. A great feeling to engender as we introduce new players and try to grow out the community in the Bay Area.

Here are some of Joe's thoughts coming out of the game too (our Dr. Takahashi): https://twitter.com/JoeSondow/status/724406747327131648

While looking through other play reports online, I noticed something funny. Ours wasn't the only game that had a cat wonder into the play area (pics included in Joe's tweets) - it also happened at the Larp House: http://larphouse.tumblr.com/post/92007181095/if-this-machine-does-half-of-what-we-think-it

Dr Takahashi seems to have been the cat lover in both cases.