about monsters

of ghosties and ghoulies and creepies and crawlies

Where would the good guys be without their adversaries? In a novel by Eddison the losers of the epic battle are revived at the end so existence can continue to have a meaning. Moorcock (whatever else you may have heard- todayīs well known principle of the eternal fight between order and chaos was invented by him) postulates that the multiverse will go down the drain if one side ever manages to win. And in any mythology one cares to mention the bad guys are never totally extinct but have to be constantly forced back -again & again.
Danger and menace have something undeniably fascinating, and in their overcoming man grows and matures. Victory is delight and exaltation- the more arduously achieved, the more intensive.

Of course, in realitas nobody would like to be attacked by hordes of undead. As usual we need Mr. Pratchett to cut right to the chase of the matter:
“In a catastrophe people just run far enough that they can safely turn around to see if something interesting happens to somebody else”.

With larp -but also with video games, tv/cinema or even books (the kind of paper-like thingies with pages)- we get the enviable opportunity to experience the interesting facets of danger without getting killed in the process (apart from countless dead characters of course). And this, dear psychologists, indeed enriches our life.

Besides, weīre off the streets...


When the gentleman in the middle says “go”.....

But enough of this now.

What attributes does a monster need in the gameworlds?

Larp-monsters arenīt film- monsters. They canīt compete against modern cg-creatures (although weīre working on it): their qualities and capabilities must far surpass the attribute: “Wow, looks cool!”

They donīt move in choreographed environments where a regisseur in advance has determined every camera angle but somewhere in open, often difficult terrain- in real weather and combat situations which have not been pre-rehearsed.
They must be fit to make a stand against the players which means they must be able to see and fight well. They regularly get beaten up with foam weapons (and many players seem to think monster- outfits are armoured, which they arenīt). The costume shoudlnīt suffer damage when the actor accidently falls (thatīs why many monsters donīt lie down when “dead”- to avoid abrasion damage). They must be safe for actor and players alike - no compromises there - and they must still look cool.

All these demands cause a lot of problems for monster-builders which often contradict the desired look of the creature. And way too often one reaches the limits of oneīs own craftsmanship and artistic skills.

Then there are budget and production time- always limited, like in real life.... We just canīt afford to make a mould from a lifesize-clay-sculpture that is then casted in tons of foam latex and (drool, slobber) outfitted with animatronics.

To save time and reduce costs we normally build “straight”, meaning what we donīt do sculptures and cast negatives from which we produce the result but go straight to the end product.
You have to know approximately what you want and how to get it- and nevertheless one never ever gets exactly what one wanted. When people see the finished monster (and hopefully like it) they often donīt understand that I always at first have to learn to love my creatures, for they are but only a poor likeness of what I had in mind originally.

The dream of every larp-monsterbuilder is - and I am not afraid to speak their name - Power-Ranger-Monsters. Iīm not talking about their shapes or colours -which of course disqualify them for larp- but consider their attributes! Those guys just suck up impacts, can roll on the floor without getting damaged and are agile enough for Kung-Fu- techniques. Exactly what we need!

But be it as it may be: too expensive, too complicated. So back to our humble workshop to  continue researching practical solutions for the problems of the worldīs coolest hobby. A few of them can be found on this website. Hereīs a link to the contents: Contents

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last edit oct 2016

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