Frail Realities Event 2, June 2016 at Huntley Wood, Cheadle, Staffordshire
Frail Realities is a Live Role-Play System which is set in an alternative universe somewhat similar to our own. I was invited along for a day to see what it was all about and, of course, take some photographs of the event.
So firstly, you might ask, what is Live Role-Play?
Well have you ever played a game on a console, PC or perhaps even a story based board game? The best way I can describe it is playing one of those games, however, instead of controlling a character through pressing buttons or pushing a figure around a board based on a throw of dice or picking up a card , you ARE the character. The game is based on how you react and respond to any given situation, how you utilise your character's skills.
Now this might initially sound very cheesy, might even bring to mind the stereotype of spotty awkward teenagers as depicted in the film "Knights Of Badassdom", yet this could not be further from the truth. Not an awkward person in sight. Instead I found people who were at the very least budding thespians, if not out right actors, skilled swordsmen and who were incredibly kind and welcoming. It was evident everyone was having a wonderful time and I certainly enjoyed being there.
So Frail Realities is a system where people pay to attend for a weekend, playing a character which they have created based on this alternative universe.
Rather than me try and describe the universe it is set in I will let the organisers and writers of the system describe it for you:
"In 1818 French Mathmagicians seeking to release the Lich King Napoleon from his heavily warded prison on St Helena instead succeeded in fragmenting reality, causing time and space to collapse and the world to change forever.
Now, bubbles of reality called Realms, which may be drawn from any period of human history, sit amongst a Wasteland passable only to a few. The gifted individuals of the Wasteland Commission, who serve the British Empire, travel out from the London Realm seeking to expand the Commonwealth and Empire, make new friends, help other Realms survive and battle those that would do them harm."
There is obviously much thought, research and organisation put into these events, which resulted in a lovely flow, like watching an involved story unfolding its pages in front of you. A beautiful film which you were involved in rather than watching from the sidelines or from your sofa at home.
It involves actual battles, skirmishes and fighting using specially made weapons (for safety reasons), problem solving, use of range of skills (including magic casting, necromancy, shamanism, mathematics to name a few), games, socialising and much camaraderie.
I have to give special comment on the effort of the costume people were wearing, mostly made by the people playing the event, or certainly designed and put together by them. Such detail and careful consideration was given to garments layered and worn, make up and prosthetics. It certainly enhanced the whole feel of the event and certainly blew my mind. In particular, I have to mention a Dragon full head mask which was huge and very detailed, and the wonderful make up that a 'Cat' type character was wearing. Though I certainly didn't envy her wearing all that heavy looking costume on such a warm day! I think it probably puts many film special effects to shame.
What was particularly impressive to me was the amount of depth in the stories explored, with huge links to history right across our different cultures and time, which I could easily identify. These historical links were given a 'Frail Realities' twist giving a touch of the fantastical to them.
To find out more you can head to their website : Frailrealities.net
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