Well now, that's a pretty loaded title isn't it?
Did it grab your attention?
Are you hungering to know the gossip as I apparently out myself as some form of predator in the larp community?
I'm going to recount something for you, an anecdote about me.
You see as a Ref I get to engage in all kinds of awesome things.
I run a World of Darkness game. As the name suggests, it's dark, it has some grim stuff in it.
Normally we play Camarilla sect vampires in it, if that jeans anything to you yay!
The other side of the coin are the Sabbat. In their earliest incarnations of the rules they were the monsters of the setting, they were the 30 days of Night vampires or the Dusk til Dawn vampires.
Crude, murderous beasts.
As the rules updated they became a more dangerous sort of thing, they had a hellish hierarchy and a vast panoply of monstrous clans within the sect. It became the very mirror of the refined and decadent Camarilla.
We decided to run a Sabbat game to cover some of the recent background lore for our game.
It was a massive gamble, players were going to be asked to blind pick new characters to play for three months.
The players stepped up, boundaries were pushed, and they were pushed hard.
But we also had an interest from other people, people who were already part of the larp hobby and had played vampire in the past apparently.
So, our regular players picked their characters and a number were left over for the new players.
They had all the same rules as the existing players to go by when it came to spending some points on the characters.
All the characters were written genderless, with the exception of a small group who were specifically female because of plot reasons, meaning that they'd fit who ever chose them.
All the specifically female characters were chosen, that was cool, and that just left the non gender specific characters.
We'd provided male and female names for them to use, and costume descriptions.
One of the characters was a former Olympic drop out athlete who bombed after an accident.
Seems like a good idea right? The Sabbat get to ride the coat tails of this athlete who's well known in schools and media, they're famous and the Sabbat can use that to destroy the Camarilla in Kent some how or other, totally up to the player to decide how they're going to do it.
So, new person selects that character, from a blind pick.
Shortly after the excuses start coming in from that person, then they drop out all together.
No biggie, a shame because it would have been nice to have some one else in game from another system, especially one that was pretty much our neighbours at the time and that we'd done shout outs for posting their game info once in a while, because that's what civil people do, they support each other in the shared hobby environment.
That character is resealed and another person selects it instead.
Then a few months after the very successful mini story we start hearing some things, a couple of our players started attending that other system and they'd heard some odd rumours about our game, or rather more specifically about me.
So, those rumours..
Wow they was a doozy I can tell you!
“Don't go to that game it's run by a pervert”
“The guy that runs it just wants to see all the girls running round in knickers and bras”
“That guy is a right weirdo and not the good sort”
That sort of thing.
So, I want to see all the girls running round in bras and knickers at my game?
Um.. pretty well documented that at our game there's no girls running round in just their undies, I'm the guy that takes the pictures and I often have to move to one side to make sure there isn't an upskirt or inappropriate picture.
And when they do happen, they get deleted, I make sure my A-Ref is with me at the time when I'm going through the pictures and they point out what may need editing or deleting if I don't pick it up right away.
These days I take between four and five hundred pictures at an event..
There Have even been times when a player has said “don't delete that picture, send it over to me so I have a copy of it” and afterwards I'll delete it.
Then the rumours started to be “that guys a creeper, he keeps posting on the same sites I do, I think he's stalking me”.
Back then there wasn't really a lot of larp and associated pages unlike now where there's hundreds of the things.
I'd had enough, I left a whole lot of roleplay social groups online, stuck to just the games I was active in or was going to be active in.
I was going to join that other game as well, but after hearing stuff like about me.. yeah no. I dropped that like a hot potato and removed links to in on my games facebook page and wiki.
Want to know what the character description was that made them think I wanted all the girls to run around in undies?
“The character is an ex athlete (track and swimming), they still dress the part when they go out to schools to check a location out for a mass embrace. You're the Face of the local invasion, it's through you that things kick off locally. Your character would wear athletic things, tracksuit and trainers sort of thing. Think Athlete.”
How in nine hells did they get “athlete” to mean knickers and bra?
If I'd have said “you're a swimmer and a track person, loose tracksuits and bikinis are what you wear, you don't like being restrained by clothing so you'll try and find reason to ditch the tracksuit when ever you can” I'd understand how that would be twisted in to “that guys a pervert who wanted to see me in my bra and knickers stay away from him and his creepy game”.
Those rumours went unchecked for a while, thankfully some of my players were part of that game and started to correct people once they realised what had happened.
I never got an apology for the shit they caused me personally.