This is a long one...
Hello all beautiful SbN larpers!
This is a long one, but we ask you to read it all the way through. It's important. If you can’t keep your attention up, look for the parts in bold. They’re the most important.
In the early 2020, we had a larp that wasn't perfect, but it was thriving. We generally had around 30 larpers per larp, and plots that were in motion were picked up, made to progress and made to finish. We as GMs had more energy, motivation and inspiration and did our best to work as a sounding board, to respond to initiative in kind, and to introduce situations that were fun and worth exploring.
Then the pandemic hit. We all know what that was like. We paused SbN for about 18 months, tried to get it going again, but had to pause yet again after Covid decided to pick back up.
Eventually, we did get going, but by then we had lost a massive chunk of our players. This was in no way surprising or weird. In almost two years, people find other things to do and other interests to pursue. We decided to keep going anyway in the hopes that people would find their way back.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. The player base is dwindling (in part because of SF restrictions and a stop for new players) and worse, so is energy and engagement. Us Gms feel it too. We have fewer ideas, less drive and less joy. We all feed off each others’ energy, and so this has become a negative spiral. It’s nobody’s fault. Nobody is to blame. This is not a ”you problem” or a ”we problem”. It’s an ”us problem”.
The situation has been a topic of discussion at many of our latest GM meetings, and before the latest larp we came to a decision. If things don’t change during the remainder of 2023 (meaning, if we don’t get more players and if the energy/engagement doesn’t pick up), SbN will be coming to a close. This will happen at the latest end of 2023, but might happen earlier than that. Everything eventually comes to an end. At some point, we’re simply flogging a dead horse, and something that has brought us such immense joy, inspiration, friendships, laughter and challenges, doesn’t deserve an end like that.
This being said, we’re not going down without a fight. From now, we’re welcoming new players until we reach a base of at least 40 people; after that, we’ll evaluate and see if we have room for more. If you have friends interested in trying, now is the time. Should worse still come to worse, we will not be ending SbN as an association, but will keep it running in case we want to start a new campaign later on (or restart SbN in case of popular demand).
We’re also implementing major changes to the larp world in an effort to stir the pot, change up all dynamics and hopefully light some fires in all of you – and us. We’ll list them here, for ease of reading:
- All elders will pick up their shit and go, leaving the neonates to fend for themselves. In game, this will likely (but not certainly) be due to di Borgia and her entire coterie attending some huge conclave or the like. This means, she/they will be back, sooner or later. Off game, we’ll keep them away for as long as it seems to have purpose for all of you guys.
- All decision power will be placed in the hands of the primogen council, including the power of life and death – or will it? Will the primogens be able to enforce their will on the rest of the neonates, or will they crumble?
- All current domains will be dissolved. Hunting grounds are there for the taking, for anyone who can take – and keep – them. If you can’t claim, bribe, suck up or steal a place to eat, your character will go hungry. Maybe they’ll even die.
- A much larger focus will be placed on coteries. You might share blood with your clan, but you share interests with other people. This doesn’t mean you have to like them, but a shared goal is a shared goal. For now. To examplify this: our eminent Sheriff might be Ventrue, but he might not agree with the rest of his clan on how to handle power. Perhaps he’s much more in agreement with Emmet, in that power is taken and held through force. This is the beginning of a coterie. Who else might fit here? Aria, for certain. Perhaps Tobias, as well?
We know that this is a lot to take in. It’s a lot to even write. We’ve talked and talked, tried our hardest to keep SbN going, but as of right now, our larp is on life support. It’s been a part of our lives for a very, very long time, and it’ll certainly be a part of our hearts forever – regardless of the outcome.
We understand that you’ll have questions and will want to express your feelings, and you are of course more than welcome to do so. We only ask that you try to be respectful to both your peers and to us. This sucks and we hate it. Please be kind.