How to Beholder

Behold! Gerald!

Concept art for the classic monster of fantasy myth.

Recently I helped to construct a beholder for Alliance South Michigan. The goal was to get the flying eyeball up in the air to a certain degree. More than that as this was our second “backpack puppet” monster I wanted to focus on making the monster modular for easy access and reusing constructed works for more projects going forward.

First we got a design document going of what we were looking to try and do.

The idea was a pilot in all black straps into a column also in all black to have an illuminated beholder appear to “fly” over the heads of the players.¬† Originally the height would have checked in at over 12ft in the air. After motion testing the weight of the skeleton the frame was reinforced and dropped by about 2+ ft getting it to roughly 10ft high. This kept it in range of melee weapons… but really difficult to engage. Only the beholder itself was a viable target. The column and pilot could not be attacked. Even then an in-game effect punished melee strikes. Thus melee fighters were regulated to striking out only with their very best skills and/or protecting the ranged attacks coming from the rest of the players from the beholder foot soldiers. read more

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How To Hook Horror

To get started here was the concept art found online (not sure who the artist was but the image linked back to this forum), and the final results and a 30 second video demonstration of:

The Hook Horror

(who I nick named: “Janet”)

Image result for mardi gras puppetThe inspiration and design came from Chad, one of our heads of plot when he saw these Mardi Gras puppets. The idea was that previous prop monsters were often using what we call “Bucket Shoes” stilts. This is where we take snow board bindings and bolt them to thick 3 gallon buckets and use them like huge shoes. This made the prop monster more combat effective but not so much that it couldn’t be handled easily enough due to how slow it was. So the monster’s card/stats had to become stupidly huge thus it was certain death to make even one mistake around their slow truging selves. Compensating with stats to make them boss-monster challenging wasn’t anywhere near as much fun as a spectacle like this should be. By example for here is a past bucket shoes monster Thomm the Troll turned ally of the town. read more

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Easy to Make Monster Masks

Over the years I’ve played LARPs one common issue continues to dog Plot teams: how to quickly and effectively allow NPCs to switch between different roles while still providing Players with a clear sense of what monsters they face?

We’d all love to be able to do intricate makeup on each NPC but, while that’s fantastic for immersion in the game, it slows down everything if you need to constantly be breaking for makeup changes. It also isn’t an option when your LARP runs events in areas without a good source of light, mirrors, and running¬† water. After going through a number of prototypes I finally found a solution that is both cost effective, easy to produce, and durable enough to last more than one fight. Today I’m going to walk you though creating NPC Monster Masks for a variety of generic monsters. read more

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