All for froth: guest post by many hands.

We got a lot of useful feedback after the event, some of which I’m using to comment on my own Design post and a Learning post elsewhere.

This is really just the froth. I say “just”, it’s lovely to hear people praise something you’ve spent best part of 5 years working on on and off, so… Thank you all.

tl: dr; “It was great. There were muskets.”

From the players…

There were muskets. Those are players. Image credit: Tom Garnett, used with permission

Wow. Actual text later because I am destroyed, but just back from being a musketeer at All For One: certainly the most ambitious LARP I have ever been at.

There were actual muskets, actual cannon, simulated cannon, grenados to be thrown, grenados to be held, actual horses, blackbox scenes with props and projected backdrops, bar brawls with LARPsafe food, bottles and benches, the plots of five separate movies unfolding at once and 6kg of black powder to be expended.

As Samantha said, it was Musketeer Hogwarts.

Good show, Crooked House. You blew my expectations away, and my expectations were HIGH

Nick Bradbeer, from Facebook

I need a lot of sleep and several days to really get to grips with what just happened but… All For One just won LARP of my life.

Philla Evans , on Facebook

For me All For One has shown me that £350 is not only worth it but a steal for a high calibre immersive experience. That money got true luxury of setting, amazing effects and a very small player base, so the experience was insanely intense in the best of ways. That 350 did not, however, pay for the time or calibre of the team that ran it…(which if this was commercial would be top end) as they did that bit for free.

Philla Evans, on Facebook

What’s it called when as you’re experiencing a thing you’re aware you’re going to be reminiscing about it in 20 years?

Thank you all, best last minute decision I’ve made in years ❤

(Special thank you to the chefs; “Contact: kitchen staff” was by far the most OP tag in the game)

– Briaca “Brie” Rozec of Violette x

Kitty Dobson – on Facebook
Doug Fazzani, a letter in Italian, from a longer post here

Bravo, bravo

Doug Fazzani, from a longer post here

It was an amazing, exhausting, incredible event. I was honoured and thrilled to be a part of it. So many thanks to Ian ThomasRachel L ThomasHarry HarroldDamian BrewisDan MacMillan and all the other brown coats for organising and running it. And to all of the other crew for being most excellent NPCs for us to interact with and bounce off.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Catriona has told me I’ve not been this enthusiastic about anything for years.

James Stuart, on Facebook

I am utterly exhausted but I had a really amazing time. For the majority of the weekend I honestly felt like one of the main characters in a film, it felt like our group had the “main” plot (and I’m pretty certain everybody was left with that feeling) and we got plenty of interaction and intrigue with the main NPCs – having nice actual character conversations with the king and queen of France, D’artagnan, Aramis, Milady and even the pope himself (before and after he became pope XD) was really quite cool in a lot of ways. 

Amy MacKenzie-Lawn from a longer post on Facebook

To all of you, cast and crew, a HUGE thank you for an absolutely awesome larp! ⚜💙 Right now I’m pretty much alternating between giggling in delight, crying because I miss it all already, and just having this big grin on my face. I’ll post something more coherent once I’m back home… 😅

Marianne Koski, on Facebook

Thankyou to everyone at the event – be they organisers, NPCs, cooks, monsters or players, I genuinely had the most amazing time at an event in my 16 or so years of doing this silly hobby and it was thanks to you all.

Doug Fazzani, on Facebook

In my nearly 30 years of LARP, All For One has just been the best game I have EVER been to, and I’ve done some pretty awesome stuff. It ticked all of my boxes, hit all of my buttons and on Saturday night (early hours of Sunday morning) I actually laughed myself to sleep……. 
Q: How many Musketeers does it take to recover a holy relic?……..
A: Nun……..
Thank you Thank You Thank You Thank You !!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron Johnstone, on Facebook

In 1640 a crack cadre of musketeer cadets was arrested for a crime they did not commit. Imprisoned in the Bastille, they escaped into the Orleans underground. Today, still wanted by the Cardinal they exist as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, maybe you can hire… Cadre Rose

Neil Webber, on Facebook

For what it’s worth, the food at All For One was some of the best larp food I have ever had and really felt a part of the whole experience
Not least because the chefs were always ready with something that worked for my dietary requirements and that is no easy feat

Amy Mackenzie-Lawn, on Facebook

From simple breakfasts in d’Artagnan’s briefing tent while on campaign, to elaborate masked ball banquets, to tavern brawls over an unpaid lunch bill, every meal was tailored to the Act it was served in and every meal added to the setting enormously.

From a longer post on Facebook by “Feast your eyes”

A little smudged, but here is the love poem to the Cadres from Cadre Rose, composed by Valentine Le Coeur.

My brain is a little too exhausted at the moment to be eloquent, but this weekend was amazing. Love to you all 💖

Rachel Eyre, from Facebook
Rachel Eyre, from Facebook

From crew…

 It’s when you start to wonder if “so, I was showing <crewperson> the priest hole, and discovered it had been stocked with an imperfect duplicate of the valuable painting on display in the main hall” is even noteworthy enough to be worth telling as a story that you know it was a corker…

Tom Garnet, on Facebook

TL:DR – it was great, you’re all great!

Jo Pryor on Facebook from a longer post here.

What’s the answer to Harry Harrold’s favourite question of ‘why do we do this stupid hobby?’
All for one……
A. Maze. Ing.

Rob Hopper “d’Artagnan”

Amazing – Watching this event unfold was just superb – the dedication from this team to make sure every player got to have an incredible experience was astounding. I was glad to be part of it and that we were able to bring something new to LARP. I haven’t shot my guns so much in one day, for that it was worth it alone. We have made new friends and can’t wait to do it again.

Tim Eagling, armourer
Ben Burston as Buckingham.”I’m not monstering anything in the future unless I get cavalry backup” Image by Tom Garnett, used with permission

Thank you all so, so much for a wonderful, marvellous weekend. I cannot begin to explain how much I learned about our excellent hobby watching you lot do your thing.
Great to play a game like this with such a lovely mix of old, old friends and brand new ones.
God-damn loved it. Every second.

Ben Burston, “Buckingham”, assorted Spaniards, on Facebook.

Well, that was one off the ‘LARP Bucket List’ for me, having loved the Three Musketeers since childhood; playing Aramis was a dream, and I can’t thank Harry, Ian & Rachel enough for the role 😍. Organisers, crew and players – you were a delight – thank you all!

Simon English, “Aramis”, on Facebook

… All of this to a backdrop of amazing role play, a brilliant ‘look’ to the whole thing and the background noises of muskets, so many muskets.
I had a fabulous time, my thanks once again to cast and crew.

Simon English, “Aramis” from a long post here

So I had forgotten the look of glee on the face of someone shooting a musket for the first time.

Tim Eagling – from a longer quote on Facebook.

Home again and back in England, 2019.
Win conditions achieved, Cardinal Mazarin lived against all odds (not least due to some rapid blagging and manoeuvring in his trial for heresy, with backup plans within backup plans!) but also became successor to Richelieu’s post of Master of the Royal Hunt/Spymaster.
I was an eminently frustrating villain as ‘the most reasonable man in the room’, who sought only to advance France, being helpful, friendly and acquiescent 😀
I think I might have been sporting an epically punchable friendly knowing smile.
Fun to flex the bad guy mental muscles again, lots of fun, thanks everyone at One for All for the opportunity to play that role 

Dan Walker – on Facebook

So yes this weekend as some may know was All For One a Musketeer event.

I was honoured to be asked to help out with some parts of the game even if Harry Harrold was worried he had used up all his crewing tokens with me after years of an arena. All I can say Harry is after this weekend you are definitely in the black.

Thanks also to Ian Thomas and Rachel L Thomas for trusting me basically without knowing me at all.

Working alongside Tom Butterworth basically doing his day job and learning so much

Woody, from a longer post here

“We just need you to come and play the kings footman so that these few players with these connections have someone to talk to”
One hour later I’m apparently the kings chief advisor and confidant and at the centre of a massive royal conspiracy.

Robin Gould, “Sgt At Arms” amongst other roles it seems, on Facebook

This is perhaps the most fun I’ve had at a LARP event ever. Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of it, I’m so incredibly grateful! ❤️

I’m gonna have such a wonderful time trying to articulate to anyone that I got to attend a game that was Hogwarts for musketeers, 5 larps at once, had real horses, real musket training, grenade duels… and gosh I could keep going on… but it sounds pretty unbelievably doesn’t it? ☺️

Thank you all so much.

Samantha van den Esschert, on Facebook
Quoted by Nick Turner on Facebook

From the organisers…

I have a love/hate relationship with lrp as regular readers will have noted. But every few years I have the *absolute privilege* of being asked to help with the production of a Crooked House event. This weekend in conjunction with Larp X was as tough as ever but absolutely worth it seeing the smiles on players faces and the resultant social media froth. #AllForOne

Dan Mac on Facebook

I just wanted to tell you all how marvellous you are. There will be more thanks when wording can be done better. But it genuinely was a pleasure.

Rachel Thomas from Facebook

The level of batshit insanity we appear to have achieved this weekend is only just beginning to sink in. Five events in parallel. A ridiculous number of different sequences and activities. All timed to within minutes of the original plan. Which, as everyone involved in LARP knows, is statistically highly unlikely and deeply improbable.

Ian’s thanks from Facebook
Image by Rachel Thomas, from Facebook

…and one long-form report.

On top of all that, Claire Sheridan wrote the following, which I’ve copied wholesale from its original home on Facebook.

OK, so, I’m going to write a few posts on All For One, I reckon. It was a Big Deal. First up, very indulgent narrative of Odette Derosiers/Prunella Bisset, told through event highlights.

I just want to thank everyone at the top, because I have let this get out of control. My Cadre were wonderful, the crew worked amazingly hard, and it was great to meet new LARPers from all over the place, including Europe!

-The title sequence. Watching our names and hearing the film music before we timed in on Friday made me feel like a bad-ass. 
– Feeding lines to Marriette over her newly discovered lover’s shoulder (she got some of them right 😉 )
– Latrine Duty or The Sound Stage. So clever. We walked to Versailles for an audience with the Queen. When our servant confessed we were not all we appeared, Odette showed her the brooch that meant she was already a Queen’s agent (ok, I did a few jobs here and there, but agent sounds cooler). We got back on a boat. there was an actual boat that was constructed and destructed in the room.
– Guard Duty or Old School Linears. Oh my goodness. Guards on horseback!! Constance getting a theme tune! It was the coolest! Odette fluffed her lines, but it seemed to go ok. (she says, in retrospect)
– She admitted to D’Artagnan that their pass from the Cardinal had been ripped up by De Brie’s soldiers, and he was so disappointed she had the first of -many- cries.
-Got my Cyrano on again writing love poetry to one of the Famous characters on behalf of Gabrielle. 
-The afternoon was jam-packed with classes. Spy-craft, how to politics in setting, fight practice (sword and hand-to-hand) and FIRING MUSKETS!!! I am not a brawler at LARP, my biggest fear is not knowing how. I now have a pack of people who I can punch, kick in the gut, throw around by the shoulders and grab by the hair. It’s amazing. 
– Which is just as well, because dinner was the Brawl Scene. I broke sugar glass on people and was hit repeatedly by benches and fight-safe food. While by no means the best brawler, I hope I was enthusiastic!
– I sang “All for the Love of Me” and made at least one cadet and the Queen cry. 
And -some- members of our Cadre had “accidentally” spilled the beans to other cadets. And then, when De Brie was all up in the place we had to come clean to the Captain, and when straight up questioning didn’t work, we realised that The Play’s the Thing and actually went through with the plan we’d had all along to write a play to trap De Brie! I wrote the closing poem. Sonnet? I think it’s a sonnet. It was a lot of fun! 
-Odette was a pretty broken wee thing by this point (notes on the player is a separate post). I don’t even remember what I said to Aramis when I was sobbing my heart out. I can’t remember what triggered it, but it wasn’t pretty!
-Then post play, cry on D’Artagnan too, because I’d had all these high hopes and aspirations of Courtly Love and I couldn’t find anyone who shared these sensibilities and no one understood and he said it was dumb because that kind of love wasn’t real, and I was a good Cadet, so were all of Cadre Verte, and then he used my tag:Troubadour on me, and it really hit the right place, so Odette left a letter with her best friend, Edouard, and went to bed.

-What she’d decided was: keep Odette, but take back her own surname, fight like a good’un, and if you’re going to rejoice in the impossible, best aim for the damned impossible…
-After breakfast, we liberated the Academy from Spanish Invaders. Every Cadre performed daring missions, and we got to save our comrades in Cadre Violette from the Spanish using disguise, intrigue and grenades! (so many explosions!!)
– By this point I was writing a lot of the time. I was also keeping copies of my poems in my book while making good copies to give away. Edouard caught me and asked what I was up to. I told him I was writing to the Queen. Not because I wanted her to love me, but because I wanted her to know she was loved. Still not sure he was trying to talk me out of it in so much as making sure I was aware what a dangerous idea this was. 
– Our next mission was to bring a Spanish Alchemist across the boarder. Watching the Comtois sisters use their Spanish skills, especially when we were getting past Aramis, was wonderful. 
– Then we snuck the Alchemist into Paris to make a “curative for the King” and Leonie kept it in her bag and it was totally the best move but I kind wished I’d had a bigger bag…
– The rest of Cadre Verte didn’t trust Constance or possibly even the Queen like I did, and when it came to wondering if we could test the potion, they called on Milady De Winter for help! 
– When the price for assistance was the name of the person who had given them the mission, and the bottle turned out to be full of Deadly Poison, so much of Odette’s world was shattered. But as the Cadre all appeared to want the opposite of what she did, she ran out to have another good cry in the garden, this time through clenched teeth. 
-Dephine (Mariette) found her first, and then they had dancing lessons, in which Odette was by turns “I’m totally FINE!” and using eye contact or the lack there of to make her feelings known. It was fantasitc! Poor Cadre Jeune. Some of them ended up on the end of glares that were not their fault. 
– Then more sulking until she was hard pressed by Madeleine in front of D’Artagnan and Aramis and Odette finally snapped and lay into her about a number of things. Madeliene left, the Cadre were told to sort themselves out, and as the others turned on Odette to say they had not heard Madeliene say anything rude about her, Delphine said she had! And the rifts were healed! 
– Everyone made up properly during a touching “pinning up the dress” scene before the ball. 
– Odette had a heartfelt talk with the Queen and Constance in the garden, and began to tell people what they needed to hear (or at least, what she thought they needed to hear) over being polite. She told them they were suspected in a plot and they did a lot to reassure her they weren’t and she was so relieved. Madeleine stole the show by stealing all the masks! 
-dancing in the masks was amazing. Really altered things just seeing people’s eyes. Loved it. 
– long after the ball and intrigue had ended, I was able to exchange stories and ideals with another Troubadour, have another few dances and Odette tried to explain things properly to Edouard. She was rewarded for staying up late with another useful piece in the puzzle of D’Artagnan and Constance…

The final few months! We tracked down Templars all over the country. Edgar pulled off a marvellous impersonation of a Templar Initiator, and we were able to do our bit for the Greater Good of France. 
Our revelations to Pope Richelieu were somewhat marred by Madeleine accusing our long suffering servant Albert of being the poisoner of Cadre Verte! (they made up later)
In a final act of Romance, Odette handed D’Artagnan and Constance identical poems telling them to sort themselves out. (I am really sad I didn’t stay to see the reaction, but that wasn’t really the point!)
And so France was saved, we all graduated, and Odette was named Chevalier, which restored her faith in herself as someone who Gets Noticed.

Roll Credits.

And finally.

Last word to Richard Smithson, who was part-responsible for Odyssey 1.0, which the most fun I’ve ever had as a solo player at a larp.

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