Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Talking about LRP

The best exchange of LRP ideas happens face to face. For me this normally ends up meaning in the workshop. Good conversations happen in places like pubs, at events people are monstering, and anytime you put a group of LRPers in the same place and they’re not actually LRPing.

This is a massive benefit of the LARP awareness party. It gives us a chance to talk about what we’re doing, and to look at the different opinions that are out there. Talks run throughout the weekend, from a wide variety of people running different systems and sites. A whole host of traders are present talking about kit options and exchanging ideas, and a large number of systems advertise there. It gives you a chance to talk to the people running events that you might like to play or crew.



I will be there. I’ll be trading with Mandala (come and see our new armour range) and also taking part in the discussions around LRP. I started blogging because I wanted to share my opinions and ideas, but i also want to hear about other peoples experiences and the LARP awareness party gives me a chance to not only see friends I normally only see when I’m pretending to be someone else, but also to talk about what we want to do.

This is my 50th post. This blog scares me. I'm not good at expressing myself, I tend to keep my opinions to myself, and I'm not good at sticking to things. Currently I seem to be managing all three. I've had a lot of people tell me that they enjoy reading this, tell me that it's useful, and talk to me about the games they're involved in, and I really appreciate that. Thank you. It's going to be a bit of a mixed post. There's something in there about the importance of planned plot arcs, and I'm also going to look at some of the real life factors that change how we run games.

Plots and events benefit from seeing what other people are doing and hearing their opinions and experiences. As much as anything it acts as a reminder that other people have different opinions and ways of doing things (and that’s good) and encourages me to think about why we’re doing what we’re doing the way we’re doing it. The major places I get to see what other people are doing event wise are events, Facebook, Reddit, and blogs (and since I started writing this I’ve been reading a lot more of what other people have been writing). I’m aware that the ones run by US LRPers tend to mostly discuss boffer LRP with less reference to story, and they’re almost entirely fantasy. I’m wondering if UK LRP projects the amount of detailed and involved plot that is a core part of the games we run, or whether it comes across in the same way. I’m also interested to know about other genre games that are run in other countries, and how you deal with sci fi, for example.

My main sticking point with events is sites. We’re getting more inventive due to necessity. There aren’t enough good sites around that offer enough access for groups with the facilities we need. It’s the next area we’re going to start making more compromises in. Being from Coventry we tend not to run events more than 2 hours drive from where we live. This does give us a significant proportion of the country to run in and also means that we’re not really a horrendous distance from most of our players. However, it does mean we’re limited to the more expensive sites. Everyone wants a site that’s fairly central as otherwise the scots or the southerners are faced with a drive they mostly won’t contemplate.

2 LRPers in one pair of trousers

When we write we are trying to plan how long a plot line should work. Whether it’s one encounter, or something that spans 2-4 years. We can’t know how the players will react to a plot, but we can have a reasonable idea and knowing how long things have to last and how often this particular group will be seen helps a lot with design decisions. We’ll get caught out sometimes, but normally it allows money to be spent where it’s needed and gives the ability to choose npcs well.

Long running plot helps to add definition to a world in a way that single event plot just can’t manage. The players learn about their enemies, and major decisions can be stretched between events so that by the time the choice is made they’re overthought it in several directions. It also means you can invest in kit. If the kit will be used for 4 events that it’s cost can come from the first and it’s there for others without needing to be bought again. Money is another major limiting factor.

There’s a lot of repetition here. It’s a bit of a mixed post, but it does cover the major themes that pop up when running LRP events.