Stargate: Hammer of Hephaestus (ConCarolinas 2008, LARP)
Who is Hephaestus: Hephaestus is not your normal system lord. He was a creator, a craftsman and a tech wizard to many of the other system lords. He maintained a small empire with a handful of planets, appeasing the other system lords with it techno-wonders. He was strongly associated to the Olympus pantheon as well as the Polynesian pantheon as Maui, the God-hero Who Brought Fire to Man.
But what most did not know was that he had access to a source of Ancient knowledge that no other system lord had. Hephaestus was badly mutated beyond what his symbiote could repair. For many centuries, Hephaestus sought to repair the mutations. He became obsessed with making himself whole and created likeness of himself, the way he wanted to be as well as likenesses of females he fancied – his robots.
Hephaestus as Maui is at the heart of the Polynesian myth of the hero, however, the truth is not so heroic. The Maui legend stems from occurrences during the pre-Polynesian period, passed along from slaves originating from the continent of Mu. The system lord Ra who ruled over Mu, betrayed Hephaestus in a deal long forgotten. In an attempt to get payback, Hephaestus secretly incited this system lord’s slaves. The results were passed down among the pre-Polynesian people and eventually became the Polynesian mythology.
Other manifestations of Hephaestus
Who is Rohe? – Hephaestus’s ‘wife’, and another personification of Pele – fire goddess. Also known as Mahuika. She was actually the Polynesian Goa’uld that allied with Hephaestus to help bring down Ra.
Hammer of Hephaestus (Greek: sfyri) is a device created by Hephaestus during his time as Maui, when he attempted to overthrow Ra’s rule over the continent of Mu on Earth. The ensuing war caused a massive tectonic upheaval, causing the continent to sink.Very few people know what the nature of the Hammer of Hephaestus is. After his defeat, Hephaestus retreated back to Greece and joined the Gods of Olympus. His Hammer was divided up into 5 pieces and spread across the galaxy.
Hades once commissioned Hephaestus to make him portions of the Labyrinth ship, in particular the cloaking device (Hade’s Helmet). .
Hammer of Hephaestus was in 5 pieces. Hephaestus distributed them across the galaxy for fear that his enemies would use the weapon. Time has forgotten what exactly the weapon does and Hephaestus only left a few clues as to the whereabouts of the 5 pieces.
5 pieces correspond to the 5 Elements – Fire, Earth, Water, Air, 5th (Quintessence/Soul/Life). Each piece and/or location is related in some way to what the Element symbolizes.
Everyone seemed to have a reasonably good time with it – the plot idea was good and setting was cool. However, for the past two LARPs, we ahve been struggling with problems with certain characters getting too much attention and other characters with little depth.
My goal this year was to make the game less SG-centric and give every side an equal chance of winning. Although I might have done that on some level, I think I gave one particular character too much of an advantage. The one goa’uld with the cloaking device was probably too much. Perhaps I should have limted the number of time he could use it.
Also, in the past two LARPs, the locals were just not fun to play. I am not sure how to make them fun without writing up a fairly deep and meaningful world, which quite frankly is a lot more work than I am willing to put into it. These locals were OK – a little better than last LARP at MACE 2007, but still became basically background after a certain point. They needed more motivation during the game to stay involved.
The SG team was OK, but one character in particular did need some revamping and we did not get a chance to do it.
After thinking about all this, I am not sure if SG is really adherent to a LARP format or not. Maybe it is and I just did not put enough work into it. If I do it again, I will have to make the locals more meaningful and fun to play. But for right now, I am shelving the SG LARPs until I feel like I can come up with something worthwhile.