Way back when we ran the First Incident, we had no real idea what to expect or what we were doing or how people would take it. We were all sorts of worried that it wouldn’t work – actually, we’re always all sorts of worried that it won’t work, because we get stressed over things like that, but the first time was the worst – and we had no idea it would go so well or spawn something so big.
Tim’s post shortly after the game, describing what happened to him during his first time playing, was one of the things that made us realise we had to do it again. Here’s what happened to him on the final run of the night:
By now, we were grizzled zombie-killers with nothing left to lose. I also had both double-barrelled shotguns and was wielding them like a demented person, and reloading them one-handed like a mentally-ill contortionist. The rest of the team were carrying so many weapons it wasn’t even tragic. It took us only two minutes to blast our way through the building and into the main hall, where we held off regular zombies and sprinting pipe-wielding unkillable super-zombies with equal aplomb. Unfortunately as our lightning-fast raiding party reached the lobby again we were separated by the sudden rising-from-the-dead of about twelve corpses. I darted down the first flight of a staircase, expecting to escape through a door at the bottom in a desperate bid to save my own skin. Unfortunately the door at the bottom of the stair was sealed shut and I was rapidly running out shells with which to blast apart the ribcages of the brain-chewing nutters who slouched and stumbled towards me. As it turns out, it was all a waste of time. The box of vaccine contained not one syringe for each member of the team, but one syringe IN TOTAL. As I valiantly slew wave after wave of unliving shamblers with my trusty boom-sticks, my teammates not ten feet away bickered over who should get the only syringe. One such comrade was pulled away by the zombie throng and devoured; two of the others got desperate, pulled out their guns and, in a moment of terrified lunacy, shot each other. Just as my own ammunition supplies ran dry and I gritted my teeth in preparation for the clammy hands of the necromantic legion pulling my limbs off, I saw my last surviving teammate retreat into a corner, surround by six meat-munching bastards. In a strangely dignified fashion he tucked the barrel of his rifle under his chin and blew out his own brains. We were both dead before he hit the floor.
At which point everyone got up and tried to get out of character again so they could congratulate the DMs for running such a stellar game with such fucked-up and sadistic mission objectives. Unfortunately, even with dawn’s rosy fingers creeping over the horizon, it’s not possible to get out of your Zombie LARP character quite so quickly, and we unhappy chums of Epsilon Team were shivering Zombie-War-Syndrome sufferers for two hours more, after which the adrenaline rush had worn off and we were ready to begin the long slow process of rehabilitation into society. Most episodic fantasy LARP games are harmless fun and rarely cause deaths or eye-loss. One-shot Zombie LARP at the 24-Hour Roleplay was a screaming bloodbath of psychological horror, and only had ‘rules’ in the absolute loosest sense of the word. Almost every aspect of it was real, especially THE STATE OF MIGHTY TERROR in which we spent t’entire thing.
… In summary: Absolute fucking golden alchemy from the genius brains of living gods who walk in mortal trousers.
We didn’t actually recruit him as a ref for another couple of years, during which time he played bizarre cultists, frothing madmen and a range of other awesome characters. But given his incredible enthusiasm and awesome artistic powers, it was only a matter of time.