LARP War Journal: The Labors Of Heracles

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This was an interesting campout adventure. Leading up to The Labors Of Heracles, we Goblins didn’t have strong favor with any of the gods. Truthfully we weren’t even trying to gain favor with the gods rather than make fun of them. There was actually at first a plan to get others to pay us to see who we would give grief to for most of the weekend. Things didn’t go quite that way, but well enough in that direction.

I found myself impressed by this adventure because they did manage to make this one work in spite of the combination of heat and the small attendance. Real life happens and all, and a good number of players that you would usually expect weren’t able to make it. There was a greater appreciation to take from this experience because aside from those two big groups lacking, you had a number of other groups that were smaller than usual. It created a good opportunity for a good number of players to align with each other that never genuinely got the chance to before. I mean I’ve worked with enough players, but as different countries working towards the same goal? That shakes things up. Especially when done not only to be able to get through the mods, but to stand a chance against the one country that showed up with enough to outnumber the rest.

The first three labors were fun. One involved dealing with a loose lion, the other was a giant pig, and then the third was going through a dungeon to face Hades and his pet Cerberus. The giant pig was fun because as Goblins me and another one were able to make use of our cabbage and cheese to become friends with it. A double-edged sword however since the pig makes you crawl on your knees being a giant and it would follow us for more cabbage and cheese. The lion was easy to handle as well. Didn’t kill it like we should have, but feeding it at least kept us from dropping like flies in contrast to other bold groups. The dungeon took about three tries to complete. Our first try ended in us being killed at the end by Hades and Cerberus. Second time a Satyr set off a trap for us. The third time we made it back to the end accompanied by Hercules. Before we engaged Hades, one of our guys was smart enough to pull some diplomacy with Hades. Talked him into a deal where we sacrificed Hercules to him. It was the best move we could ever make while also hilarious. The minute the fight began we all stepped aside as Cerberus ate Hercules. A win-win when it both completes the dungeon, gains us MORE favor with Hades, and satisfies the other guys who wanted us to kill Hercules earlier.

Fighting the next day was quite chaotic, but it was definitely the action you were looking forward to if you came for some combat. Some mods required you to think rather than show brute strength, yet others without a doubt took some numbers to see through to the end.

I must say this was the best group of NPCs I’ve interacted with. All of them were entertaining to be a Goblin around. They either had just as many insults to sling back or they had some way to feed into our trolling. Hercules for instance had no problem in us calling him Jerkules, Porkules, or Snackules since he jokingly let himself go. Just about every other god didn’t care if we offed him as long as it was done in their name. Dionysus was a treat just for the fact that he really got into the role of enjoying his winery and festivities. I was quick to start calling him Dialysis which he hated. Apollo was the one who I actually had a vendetta with just because he managed to put me down and in-game destroy my instrument.

The feast Cult of Tharros had at the end of the campout was one of the best set-ups from a host thus far. Not that others haven’t done this in the past, but they made it a point to try to address the fact that yeah sometimes it is good for everybody to be able to sit together and eat something legit. We do at times focus more on what we drink than what we eat which can have some drawbacks on the wrong day. Its something for more to keep in mind whether it is a country host sponsored or game sponsored dinner on that last night.

As usual there were a number of things on the side that I really just found memorable. First had to be the trolling of players. I don’t think I’ve ever found myself on the run as much as I did just on the first day. So many who instantly saw the Goblin face and instantly thought kill. It was undeniably the day to find out just how fast I could actually run. The other thing was the pit fights this time around. They did something unique where a few times between a category they would open the floor to challenges. Some guys actually started a roast circle. I stepped outside of my comfort zone on this one, though at least had the crutch of my Goblin persona to lean on. Won that surprisingly with a couple surgical jokes.

This was one of those weekends where I would have killed for at least one more day. The days were hot, but such beautiful nights to be outside in the woods. Everyone was fun to be around and the interactions matter a lot.

Photo credit to Kelsey Vanner Hawes

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