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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PC Nobles and Plot

Note, do not actually light your LARP arrows on fire.

First off, let’s establish that by agreeing to be a PC noble you’re creating a contract with the Plot team. You have a responsibility to play your Character in a manner that doesn’t drive people away from the game. This doesn’t mean your Character needs to be loved and adored by your fellow Players, but since you have the potential to have an outsized impact on the game you have a responsibility to your organization to be a good Player and a good representative for the game. Conveniently, there are a few things that your Plot/GM team can do to help you be a good representative. 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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A Few Simple Rules for Stating in Alliance

So you’ve decided you want to take a go at writing monster cards? This can be a stressful endeavor. Too much in one direction, and you’ve killed all the people you intended to entertain. Too much in the other direction and the fight was largely a joke.

Here are a few simple rules.

Follow the 1 damage for 10 body rule

Generally a really easy want to create monster cards is with the 1/10 rule. For every one damage your monster swings, it should have 10 body (or armor if you’re willing to rep out npcs in heavy armor).  This seems to be a great easy rule to follow. Your baddies can last long enough  to hit a wall with a line of players and still get some damage in. The scale on these monsters body gets ahead of pcs body pretty quickly but, generally your npc ratio isn’t 1:1. So that extra body helps keep them entertaining players. read more

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