Category Archives: Feature

Seekers Unlimited, bringing live action role-playing and education together!

SU_V01_Color_WBHello all! Been away for a while… Gone but, hopefully, not forgotten! For the three of you that were wondering where I was, I was finishing my MA classes. All that’s left now is the thesis. Once that is done I’ll have finished my MA Education with a concentration in Curriculum Development. Before you wonder why I’m posting about this here instead of LinkedIn, I recently discovered a Kickstarter campaign that combines my love for all things role-playing and my passion for education, Seekers Unlimited!

Their Kickstarter campaign is a project that aims to create educational live action role playing games. I am a long time role-player but have done little larping (live action role playing for the uninitiated), but I can see the benefits and how this can be put to good use in a classroom. Their Kicstarter pages explains that they have developed six edu-laps aligned to California Standards and aim to align them to the USA Common Core Standards through the Kickstarter.

The concept of engaging children in a creative endeavor, while at the same time facilitating exciting learning experiences really captures my fancy so I had to reach out to the Kickstarter project creators to get more information. Aaron Vanek, longtime larper, larp creator and author, who also happens to be the Executive Director at Seekers Unlimited, was kind enough to answer my long list of questions.

Sunglar: Aaron, your bio certainly shows your passion and experience for larps, but I’d like to hear it (read it) in your own words. Who are you and what do you do?

Aaron: Years ago, on a cross country trip to Chicago with my then-girlfriend, now wife, we stopped in a mall outside Denver. I had long hair then, and wore a red bandanna over my skull to keep my flowing locks out of my face as we rode with the windows down. Inside a store, a little girl looked up at me and asked her mother “Is he a pirate?” Her mother said, “No, he’s just a guy.” The girl replied, “Is he a pirate?”

Depending on my attire and your imagination, I could be a pirate. I could also be a starship commander, a wizard, Rasputin, Harry Houdini, or a ghost. But I’m really just a guy.

I do too many things, really, none of which makes me any (or very little) money. But they keep me exceptionally busy 24/7. Like many liberal arts college graduates, I scratch and claw for scraps. I’ve mostly been involved in motion pictures, running a film festival, freelance writing, game design, running a film festival, and of course, live action role playing.

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Numenera is here!

Numenera for postLittle over a year ago Monte Cook launched a Kickstarter for his “science fantasy rpg set in the distant future”. Back then he was looking for $20,000 to fund his project. Thirty nine days over $500,000 had been pledged and it became a runaway success. With a slew of stretch goals by the time it was over Numenera had become a full fledge game line and Monte Cook Games was a reality.

If you play role-playing games, this is not news for you, unless you roll your dice under a VERY large rock. It became one of the most expected games of 2013, including here where Michael listed it as one of the games he was excited about.

Monte made good on his word and delivered the Numenera PDF to backers on August 1st 2013, then came the Player’s Guide, and those of use that backed at a certain level will soon get our physical books. My first impression of Numenera was WOW! It is a gorgeous book, with layout, maps, art, all seamlessly coming together to evocate a feeling that manages to be alien and familiar at the same time. Monte and the team that worked on the book created a fun game that is well written and transmits the excitement of those that worked on it. It’s been compared to many things but for me it was as if Planescape and Gamma World had a baby and it’s all grown up!

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Star Wars Infinities – The Gathering Storm (Part 2 of 8)

SW InfinitiesHello there and welcome back! This is the second installment of the weekly mini-series of posts about an Infinities-type Star Wars campaign I created for my gaming group. Like I explained on the previous post it’s a trip down memory lane I’m sharing with you, our dear reader, because of all the Star Wars related news recently in the media. This time around it’s part 1 of the alternate history for the campaign. I kept some details of the Star Wars universe, changed others and made my own little mix. It’s my attempt to frame the galaxy into a place that would, first offer a place where the player’s adventures may take place, and secondly, be a galaxy that may become as we see in episodes 4, 5 and 6.

I would like to reiterate, it is MY take on the Star Wars milieu, you may agree or disagree with my interpretation of things like the Jedi, or the Force. It was crafted with the input of my players (who filled my much beloved questionnaires and commented on the text before it was finalized) so it worked for us. I hope it might be of interest to some of you. Let me know what you like, or did not like, in the comments. Looking forward to those!

Before I forget, let me acknowledge my main source of information and research, and a tool I used constantly when I ran this game, Wookipeedia. It is such a singular source of information, I could not have run the game without it.

Now to get to what you came here for…

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