This morning, in that wonderfully clear time between waking up and getting up, my mind turned to the honourable demo.
With UCL's sci-fi society suggestion that I should do a demo/howto for their fresher's week as a way of attracting folk (and getting them over their LARP-phobia) my mind threw up an alternative.
You see, Fading Suns has a very dense and well thought out setting, that can seem intimidating. After all, without understanding underpinning issues such as the sin of Technosophy(1) and the Doctrine of Martyrs(2) or even the names and virtues of the Prophet's (may He ever walk in light) seven followers.
You see, I don't think that a standard show (basically standing round in costume collecting interest, showing someone how to boffer fight and registering members) isn't going to work if people are already ucertain about LARP already.
I need to do something different. Fortunately, all I have to do is look at the setting.
You see, the Fading Suns setting is full of strange and interesting bits of colour. For example, the (mostly) illiterate Avestite sect distributes its doctrine not only through preaching but by the distribution of little comic books. The idea is based on the US's Chick tracts (I'm not going to link unless asked - they're disgustingly offensive little piles of dogma), although the Avestite ones are much less heinous in tone and mostly involve two boys. Basically, one is good and receives his rewards, while the other is bad and suffers appropriately for it. Very primary-school ethics.
This is their method of teaching basic dogma and morality, but it would be fun to invert that idea and make a small comic strip that shows the fun of LARPing. It takes the two boys from the dogma and has one LARPing with a lot of (morally OK) fun, while the other goes clubbing and gets the clap. OK, I'm being silly, but you get the idea. At the back is a page detailing how to get involved.
And I might have to distribute them as an Inquisitor, with flamer of holy purgation, gasmask, fireproof robes - the whole outfit.
Another idea is to actually give sermons illustrating certain points of the setting - the fading suns, the sin of technosophy, the life of the Prophet (may He ever walk in light) - little touches like that.
A third one would be to dress up as a member of the Town Crier's Guild and go round spreading the news of the LARP, interspersed with news items from the setting.
(1) Essentially the sin of 'Love of Technology'; relying too much on machines as opposed to the miracle of the human body/mind, use of cybernetics to enhance characteristics, etc.
(2) The doctrine that, as a certain level of technology must be mainted to keep insterstellar society, it is only right that the upper levels of society take on the sin of technosophy in order to prevent the masses sufering from sin. And they get to use the cool toys.