Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Blending with reality

Modern Day LRP - set in the real world in the current universe.

This falls into two categories. You might playing with normal characters. They start as pretty standard people and get slowly more and more changed by their experiences. Alternatively you’re playing edge cases who are already pretty strange and expecting things to be weird - for example vampire games seem to work in this area.

For me, with a modern day game, dealing with real people is an important part of the setting. It’s something I would have to do if it was real, and it’s something I have to do in a realistic game.

So you’re at a game, you go out to a pub for lunch, and you’re still ic. This is sometimes how these things work. I’m completely fine with this. Other people aren’t. I’m putting this down to a couple of things:

  • My normal life is pretty strange. I spend a lot of time sat in pubs writing games or building creatures. The conversations I have when pretending to be someone else are often far more normal than my standard pub conversation.
  • I don’t really care what people think, as long as I don’t get shot because of it. None of those people know me. Most of them have barely registered I’m there and very few are actually listening to me. If they are and I’m discussing demons - that’s not actually illegal. I very rarely play characters that would plot murder in the pub when I might be overheard, so it’s not a problem for me.

At SlenderLRP I found myself stood in one of the offices in the building with the normal resident watching us in fascination whilst arguing about various game aspects. He didn’t mind. Most people don’t, and we gave him a chance to kick us out very early on. (He seemed very keen for us to be there).

SlenderLRP players

Writing this blog has brought my worlds together. I know people from work and family members read it, and I suspect for a lot of them it’s entirely outside the realms of their experience. It’s not going to make a lot of sense to someone who doesn’t know the LRP world. It’s apparently not making a huge amount of sense to people who are on the periphery.
Yet people are choosing to read it. People have mentioned it to me at the office and at home. I’m never entirely sure how to respond to that. Do I tell people more? Do I offer to take them to an event? (I don’t actually do this anymore. I don’t play enough in enough systems to make this something I want to do. I’d think about it for Slender, but you’d have to ask.) Do I show them photos or tell them stuff about it? I honestly don’t believe I can give a good idea of what LRP is about without taking someone to a game.

When talking to people about LRP - especially none LRPers - I tend to default to the assumption that LRP is fantasy. This annoys me when other people do it, and it annoys me when I do it as well. Scifi is hard to do well (visually), but actually, so is fantasy. Modern day is the easiest of the lot. The public image of LRP is almost entirely fantasy. The Sci fi is probably too close to airsoft and gets bundled in with that, and I’m not sure how much good modern stuff there is. Does it happen in America or Germany? Whilst the Nordic stuff is often modern day, it’s not a game in the sense of what i mean by a LRP game.

Modern day always feels like it should be a far more accessible and interesting game to people than fantasy is. It feels like an interesting route into the LRP world. It’s a chance to play with things that are much closer to life as it is typically experienced than your fantasy game is. The Old Courts Theatre and Events are running a zombie experience. Mike said that none LRPers will pay £70 for one evening because they don’t know about LRP. They aren’t aware they could pay a similar amount for a whole weekend. There are a range of Zombie attractions around the country and people love them. Airsoft is similar but with more guns. People are already paying a lot of money for a few hours of LRP without knowing that the modern LRP world is out there. Yet we tend to talk about fantasy and vampire first, and only add Sci Fi and modern day stuff later.