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The Convention of Thorns 2: Vampires, Castles, and LARP!

The Convention of Thorns 2: Vampires, Castles, and LARP!

It’s no secret that one of my greatest dreams is flying to Europe and playing Vampire the Masquerade in an actual castle. There, I can be a human, pretending to be a vampire, who pretends to be human among others. Thanks to the rebirth of LARPs, I’ll be one step closer to getting my wish this year. Now, I just need to handle that pesky passport business.

In October of 2016, the Dziobak LARP Studios put on the first Convention of Thorns production in collaboration with White Wolf. Playing in a high stakes event with the backdrop of the spectacular Zamek Ksaiz castle was a resounding success. Enough so to convince the (wonderfully insane) storytellers to do it again this October 19th thru 22nd, 2017.

It seems much for many of us to fly halfway around the world for an immersive experience, but destination LARPing might be a growing trend. Between the Succubus Club, Dystopia Rising events, College of Wizardry, and many others; LARPs as we know it are slowly changing.

One fear many players voice about immersion LARPs is a lack of players agency; being part of the experience without actually affecting the outcome. Stuck in a game-written canon world with no impact based on your actions. The team behind this production is well aware of these concerns and are equipped with plenty of creative “what-ifs” at their disposal. After all, who knows what really happened in the world of 1493 among secret meetings of vampires.

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What is the Convention of Thorns?

The setting takes place in 1493 where the Inquisition has hunted vampires for years now. Elder vampires, having sacrificed their children to for decades to survive—are trapped. On one side; the Inquisition has been gaining ground, and it’s only a matter of time before their stakes find a home. On the other side; the elders own children have risen in rebellion against their sires.

The Convention of Thorns is the treaty that forms classic vampire organizations of the Camarilla, Sabbat, and Anarchs. Most games take place well after the creation of the three organizations, so it’s a perfect vampire LARP setting for a weekend immersion LARP like this. Every clan or type of vampire can be represented before the classic World of Darkness is created in this Dark Ages game.

Dziobak LARP Studios has everything from costume rental, food, lodgings, and transportation from Berlin covered. (Via a vampire bus… which… is kind-of-cheesily awesome in its own right). For those of us who want to PRETEND we are 500 years in the past but still use indoor plumbing—fear not, you sleep in a nearby hotel. If you are interested, the website full of details and awesome pictures from last year’s 2016 Convention can be found here. Their announcement video is below.

Immersion or Destination LARPs are popping up more and more. There comes a time and place where it’s cool to talk about your character and experiences people have had—this is one.

Let us know of your immersion LARP experiences! If one has peeked your interest or you’ve been to one, leave a comment below!

Featured Image: Convention of Thorns LARP1, Dziobak LARP Studios

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